It’s no secret that Scott and I inherited some pretty dreadful paint colors upon moving into our new house. Without a doubt, the most egregious offender would be the pumpkin spice orange the previous owners chose to “accent” the kitchen and upstairs loft.
The orange on its own wasn’t totally horrible. But when sandwiched between two smokey blue walls, and perched atop a sea of eggplant carpet , things were looking pretty obnoxious. This photo of the girls most accurately shows the trio of colors that haunted my office:
Orange + blue + purple shag = gag me with a spoon. (At least the dogs look cute?)
Being that I spend about nine hours a day in my home office, the colors were slowly causing me to go insane. I mean…I’m a designer. I can’t be surrounded by a cruise ship jazz lounge color scheme while I’m trying to work all day!
Scott failed to see my point.
“Katrina…changing that paint color is so low on the list of priorities. We have way more important projects that need to be tackled. Paint isn’t going to happen for a very long time.”
“But Scott,” I whined, “That orange is starting to negatively affect my mental well-being! I think it might even be causing damage to my retinas at this point.”
Scott rolled his eyes, explaining that we would hire professional painters to come in and redo the entire house in one fell swoop.
At this point, ‘ish hit the fan in a major way. Professional painters? That’s expensive! And I didn’t even need the entire house painted right away. As long as I could cover up that single offending wall, I would be happy.
“Come on, Scott.” I pleaded, “Just let me paint one wall.”
“There’s no way I’m letting you near painting supplies,” he explained calmly. “I don’t want you making things worse than they already are.”
I took great offense to this comment. I majored in art in college! Earned an “A” in advanced painting! Was named art student of the year in 2006, for Pete’s sake!
Scott’s response? “Panting messy, abstract splotches on a canvas is entirely different from painting a wall.”
“You’re treating me like I’ helpless!” I huffed.
“You are helpless.” Scott oozed in the most condescending tone possible.
I stormed out of the room, frustrated beyond belief. Sure…I’ve pretty much messed up every last DIY project I’ve ever attempted, and have been known to…well…spill things…but the orange needed to go! I sat down, took a few calming deep breaths, and resolved to paint the wall in secret the next time Scott was away for the weekend.
The problem? Scott wasn’t going away for the weekend anytime soon.
I officially changed my strategy to begging. After weeks of making my case–aka, nagging–Scott finally gave in.
“I promise,” I assured him, “I won’t mess up. Just give me one chance to prove that I can paint a wall. If I screw it up, I won’t ask to paint anything ever again. I swear.”
Thirty minutes later, we were picking up supplies at Menard’s. Scott insisted on buying the largest protective drop cloth possible, and one of those paint rollers for dummies. You know…the ones with the ‘squeeze-trigger internal feeding system for fewer trips to the paint can’?
“You’re acting like this wall is going to be painted by a five-year-old.” I complained.
“Well…it kind of is going to be done by the painting equivalent of a five-year-old.” he chuckled.
I pretended not to be offended and dragged our cart full of painting accoutrements to the register. Within the hour, I had set up shop in the loft. That pumpkin spice paint was no match for my primer!
It’s funny — I had begged for permission to tackle this update for months. I’d looked forward to my Saturday painting session all week, and was so excited to finally be rid of the orange accent wall. My moment of DIY glory had finally arrived!
But here’s the thing about painting: it takes me all of five minutes to remember how deeply I loathe it. Taping off the edges takes an eternity! Reaching the top corners of the wall strains my back! And let’s face it — I don’t really possess the required patience to successfully paint around windows. A mere ten minutes in, I was so ready to be done.
But did I tell Scott that? Of course not! I couldn’t let him have the satisfaction. After desperately petitioning for the chance to do this, I wasn’t about to squander my hard-earned opportunity!
I was painting to prove something.
It took two coats of primer, two additional coats of paint, and 36 hours that truly felt more like an eternity. There was also a great deal of stitch-witchery involved. But at the end of it all, I was left with this.
So. Much. BETTER.
It’s amazing what a coat of paint and some homemade curtains can do. I was able to make the atrocious purple carpet seem sightly less out-of-place, brighten up the space, and create a work environment that doesn’t make me want to go colorblind.
Clearly, this is the point where the gloating began.
“Doesn’t it look amazing, Scott?”
“Check out those perfectly crisp edges…I’m a painting rock star!”
“Admit it…I paint way better than a five-year-old.”
“See? I’m not helpless!”
“C’mon…tell me how good it looks again.”
Scott was quickly able to swallow his pride and admit that he hand underestimated my skill level.
“It looks really nice, Katrina. You did a good job. I even like the curtains.” his tone was thoughtful and genuine.
(Mine was slightly less…adult.)
“Ha! See? I toooooollllllld you sooooooo! Bwahaha!!!”
“Yup,” he assured me, “You did it.”
The smile on my face may have been larger than my grin on our wedding day.
“So,” he asked casually, “What are you going to paint next?”
“Ha!” I shouted? “Are you kidding me? I hate painting! Despise it, even. We’re totally hiring professionals for the rest of the house.”
At this point, it was Scott’s turn to say “I told you so.”
Still — at least I was able to prove I can paint better than a kindergartener.
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