Thursday, September 06, 2007

Prussian style

I painted our study a new color, comically named Prussian Blue, over the weekend L was away in Armenia. For the last year and a half, our study has been a salmon color that was pretty in theory, but was actually like being inside a human organ once you entered the room. If you tried to eat or study in there, you were confronted with the stressful visual scream of this bright, pinky, pucey, gross color. Something had to be done.

So, after running 13 miles on Saturday morning, I was struck with a sudden (uncharacteristic) burst of ambition in the afternoon. Given the sorry state of my legs I minced over to Ace hardware and bought primer, paint, and a few random paint supplies we lacked at home. I dragged all the furniture out of the study and taped up all the edges. I laid newspaper on the ground, busted out the boombox and some Fleetwood Mac and John Mayer cd's (what can I say, painting calls for white music) and applied the primer. As soon as I first dripped primer on myself, I realized that our efforts to donate away our old clothes meant that I had no clothes for painting, so I made an executive decision and just painted in my underwear. That is a tip you won't get on "Extreme Home Makeover," but trust me, it works. Anyways, priming the walls was a uniquely hellish experience: it never seems even, it's always splotchy and seems resolutely bound for ugliness. So, being someone who must always be stressed about something, I spent Saturday night feeling anxious about my primer application and disconcerted by the furniture from the study that was clogging up the hallways and other rooms.

I woke up on Sunday, eyed the misplaced furniture with angst, and opened up the Prussian Blue. It's a nice color, carefully chosen by L and me amidst a rich palette of: Celery, Impressionist, Light Sky, Shoreline Blue, Bellflower Blue, Surfboard Yellow, Lisbon Blue, Cloud Blue, Blue Mesa, Basalt, Spanish Bluebell, and Shoreline Blue. Our selection was a gorgeous color that really seemed to capture the spirit of the Prussian people, as far as I can tell. After all the prep work of Saturday, and the hell of applying a coat and a half of primer, yet with remaining streaks and clouds and foggy bits of the old color shining through, the actual painting didn't take long at all. It only took about an hour and a half, and by mid-afternoon I had restored the room to its former glory.

The new room looks great. Miraculously the color seems to match all of our wall stuff, as well as the woods of the desk and the table and the floorboards. The room is now calm, and serene, and a great place to eat and read. It only points out how gross the room was before. Why did we tolerate it for so long? Who wants a room they hate? I'm just happy that the least favorite room vaulted into first place. L was thrilled with it, too -- not bad for a weekend's work.

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