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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Adventures in Painting, part III

The Intervention

How’s that song go? “I get by with a little help from my friends…”

Though I’m sure I knew it before, this bathroom painting drama has shown me that I have two different types of friends.

First, there are the supportive, let’s-make-the-best-of-it type friends. Like my friend Jane, who willingly risked her retinal health to put two final coats of ultrabright orangey yellow paint on my bathroom walls. That would be coats seven and eight for those of you who are counting (2 coats primer + 6 coats paint).

Jane’s efforts at least evened out the paint job that I’d done (and redone and redone and redone – well you get the picture), though the extra coats just added to the literal glow of the room.

“You know, once you get the mirror up and hang your pictures, it will tone down,” Jane tried to assure me.

Ahh, sweet Jane.

Then there are the equally supportive, tell-it-like-it-is-for-your-own-good type of friends. Like my Friday morning coffee buddies, Beth and Denise. They were well aware of my bathroom redecorating trials and tribulations. So, when I told them that I needed to head back into the bathroom to paint the trim, Denise spoke up.

“Amy, I love to paint. I’ll paint your trim for you.”

Ummmm….hello??? She loves to paint? Why didn’t she speak up five or six coats ago?

Unable to contain my excitement, but also wanting to make sure Denise knew what she was getting into, I brought Denise and Beth to the house to see the bathroom. Now, up to this point, I thought these two were friends of the Jane variety – that is I thought they’d get a little chuckle at the radiance of my bathroom walls, but that they’d pat me on the back and say all would be well.

So, we stood in front of the open bathroom door, I flipped on the light and what did these two church-going friends of my have to say?

“Holy sh!#!” They both put on their sunglasses, followed by a few gasps and exclamations of “I thought you’d been exaggerating.” And, “You really weren’t kidding!”

In about 3 minutes time (they couldn’t stand to look any longer than that), the plan had escalated from Denise painting the trim to an old-fashioned intervention: Beth and Denise would re-paint the entire bathroom.
Before they left the house – once their eyes had re-adjusted to the dim level of daylight – I had a list of supplies they would need, including Kilz primer in white, and yellow paint at least two shades later than the “Sun Ray” shade that I’d already painted.

The plan was that they would return the following Friday, foregoing our usual Friday morning Panera routine. So Thursday night, I returned to Home Depot, supply list in hand. Rather than just moving a few shades down from Sun Ray, I leaped to a whole new palette of yellow, selecting “Lemon Sorbet” after much consideration.

I called Denise on the way home and offered to cover the walls in the Kilz primer before they arrived, if she thought that would help.

“You’ve helped enough,” Denise quickly informed me. “Stay out of the bathroom.”

Now, I have to admit that wasn’t 100% sold on the need to repaint the bathroom. Would Jane’s feeling be hurt when she found out that her efforts had been covered with Kilz? We hadn’t even tried to diffuse the color by hanging the pictures and mirror in the bathroom. Was I jumping the gun by letting Beth and Denise have their way with my bathroom?

I got my answer when I turned on the bathroom light later that evening. Everyone was in bed and I was on my way there. I turned out the lights in the family room and kitchen. As I walked by the bathroom, I flipped on the light to view the bathroom in all its golden splendor once more.

“Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!” I swear I heard the “Hallelujah Chorus.” The glow from the bathroom was such that I was almost certain the gates of heaven had been opened and I was being summoned to go toward the light. Except, instead of the warm, peaceful feeling I’ve heard near-death survivors tell of, this feeling was eye piercing and downright painful.

“Ok, I’ll let them paint tomorrow,” I decided.

Friday morning arrived and so did Denise and Beth. After a little coffee and chit chat, they got down to business. In about an hour, eight coats and four days worth of painting were history, covered with two coats of white Kilz primer. Time for the next course…Lemon Sorbet.

“Amy!” Ok, that does not sound good. “You were supposed to go two shades lighter!” This was Beth screeching in disbelief.

There was no point in protesting. Apparently, Lemon Sorbet is to Sun Ray as Cruella DeVille is to the Wicked Witch of the West – different name, no less evil.

Which led to all three of us going BACK to Home Depot for a third paint selection. This time, my job was to whip out the credit card and to get lunch on the way back. I stood quietly while my friends debated the differences between Sun Shower, Citrus and Pale Daffodil. Sun Shower prevailed and went on beautifully in one coat.

All in all, the bathroom that I decided to paint myself to save money took five people (six if you count Robbie), two different primers, three different yellow paints, two weeks, 11 coats and nearly $300.

I think when it’s Robbie’s turn for First Communion, we’ll have his party somewhere besides our house. It’ll be a lot cheaper in the long run.

© Amy Magan, 2008


Vicki aka Diva Mom said...

I don't know what it is about first floor bathrooms. I had almost the exact same experience painting mine - just trade your yellow for my green.

What looked so calm and serene on the paint card was actually 80's neon in our powder room. Took 3 shades before I got the calm, serene look I was going for!

Anonymous said...

I have not laughed so hard in so long. Thank you Amy for directing me to this entry...or two, or three. It made me feel much better knowing I'm not the only one who thought that yellow would look good in a small bathroom. Good times!