My friend Mary called me up a while back. She and her husband are redoing a house too. She wanted to know if I'd come help her paint. I said yes. She was a little surprised that when I paint, I use a lot of 'oops' and Goof Off, a miracle product that cleans up paint drips right away. Mary watched this a little while, and she said, "I assumed that since you guys work on houses all the time you'd be a very good painter." I wiped the paint off my nose and I said, "You know what they say about people who assume, doncha?"
Tim's a good painter. Tim has one problem though. He likes color. Lots of color. We discussed color schemes in a rental once. I suggested neutral colors, something that would match nearly any furniture. He listened. Well. He wasn't talking while I was talking, so I assumed that he was listening (and you know what they say about people who assume, doncha?) By the time that I saw that apartment again, he'd painted the kitchen orange (ORANGE people!) because orange goes with anything, I guess.
Tim's been painting at the new house. I don't let him choose paint by himself. We have an agreement that we have to agree. It's give and take, so he didn't paint our kitchen orange. Nope. Tim was eating a steak at a local restaurant, and began to turn his plate this way and that, studying it in the light of the window. He looked up, and said, "I want to paint the kitchen this color."
Initially, I thought he was nuts, but we picked up the little paint cards, and we hauled them back to the house. We studied the color in the evening sun. With the kitchen lights on. With the kitchen lights off. Amazingly, I found myself agreeing with his color choice. This is how we came to have a kitchen painted fiesta ware yellow.
We became more confident in our color choosing. When it came time to paint the library, Tim noted that it was a dark room. He thought that changing the color to a lighter color would brighten it up. I agreed. We went back to the store, selected a handful of colors and then we took it to the house. We turned them this way and that. We brought them up on the hill and tested them against the leather sofa that will be in the library. I had selected Light Copper, and Tim found himself agreeing with my color choice this time.
We went to the house and got cracking. Tim was painting the library Light Copper. I'd offered to help, but right away he found some emergency work that he wanted done ASAP, so I was scrubbing and pulling staples out of the hardwood floor. Ordinarily, I wouldn't just walk away from a staple emergency, but after a few minutes, I had to go see what the library looked like. I stood at the French doors, and I said, hesitantly, "What do you think of that color?"
Tim said, "It'll probably darken up as it dries." I surely hoped so. Light Copper? That thing was pastel apricot. Think '70s bridesmaid dress', and you've just about got it.
I wandered back out of the room. I sure did hate to get too vocal about my own paint choice.
I scrubbed for a while, and I went back in. The more he painted, the worse it got. I said, "It does not appear to be darkening as it dries, does it?" Long pause. "No," he agreed.
I studied the situation. "Do you think they could darken it at the store, just maybe a shade darker?" He hopped down from the ladder. He thought that was a great idea, and he immediately tapped the lid back on the bucket and headed straight for the store.
I got back to work. I heard Tim pull in, but I was in the midst of my own little project on the second floor, and couldn't stop. It took me 10 minutes or so before I was able to head down to the library. Tim had painted a huge swath of the darkened paint above the fireplace and was studying it. It was now a true shade of orange. ORANGE, people!
I stopped dead in my tracks, and Tim turned around with the roller still in his hand. He said, "No?" "No!" I quickly replied.
Our confidence was shattered, and so we put the library right back to the color it was before our little adventure in Tropicana-land. The lady at the paint store got quite a kick out of the story. She suggested next time that we get a little sample can of paint before investing in a big bucket of it. Did you ever notice that the best advice is always offered up after you no longer need the advice? Just a little thing I've noticed.
Anyways, Tim's getting tired of painting. Wanna know how I know? He did not scream when I picked up a paintbrush and went to work on the stairwell. I painted the whole thing by myself, and I don't believe that I said 'oops' more than, oh, I don't know, maybe a half dozen times. I didn't use 'Goof Off' at all. That's a big improvement for me, and I was rightfully proud. I gave myself a pat on the back.
Probably should have set that paint brush down first.