Monday, April 16, 2007
Petra had a snow day today. I slept with my laptop on the bed beside me (remind me never to do that again) so that I could check the school closings the moment I woke up, and allow the two of us to return to sleep without unnecessary movement. I awoke at 5:30, saw that our district had indeed cancelled, and dozed until her alarm went off at 7. Then I called, "Honey?"
"Yes?" came the groggy reply.
"School's cancelled." I expected her to turn over in bed and go back to sleep. She did, but only after running into my room to kiss me on the cheek. Oh, long may this last.
When we both had slept our fill we rose, had coffee and bagels, and did what he have been preparing to do for about a month: we painted our dining room.
We were both nervous. We had been through the whole ordeal of removing the wallpaper, prepping the walls, spackling, painting two coats of the white base to cover the more egregious flaws that had been hiding beneath the paper. But when the moment came to begin, we were both nervous. We were applying paint using a technique called "Tuscan Accents" from Lowe's, and we were sort of terrified of messing up. The house has been in a state for a month, and I swear, if I could walk through my living room and not have to go the other way for all the boxes and excess furniture, I might have left it that way. But we took deep breaths, read the (scanty) instructions over, decided who got to plug her iPod into the stereo first (Petra did-- the Hairspray soundtrack) and plunged in. The time was about 11 AM.
At 3:15, we put down our brushes and scraper, and stood back to look at our handiwork. Tuscan gold. I tell you, it is beyond beautiful. At the risk of sounding like I'm on retainer for Lowe's, here's my observation about why this was so satisfying. It's pure genius. Because you are after a sort of mottled, weathered look, the fact that you are an amateur and not artistically gifted at all is no drawback; it may even be an asset. Our uneven strokes and paint application are precisely what the technique requires. After we had finished I ran upstairs to take a shower so that I could run out to get us some lunch; when I came back downstairs, I swear, it was even more beautiful than I had remembered.