Tuesday, October 26, 2010

one thing leads to another

I just spent $25 on the ugliest can of paint ever and it was, not surprisingly, very unsatisfying.  You may wonder why I would buy a color that I dislike intensely, to put it mildly -- it is because I can't afford to gut my kitchen.  Our favorite zen statement from Matthew's Japanese mentor while he was working on his PhD is: Everything is interconnected.  Ponder that for a moment and you will soon see how true that is.  My bathroom for instance:  the wallpaper bears a striking resemblance to wedding wrapping paper and I have had friends comment that they cannot believe that I haven't ripped it off the wall, but if I tore it down then one might notice that the wall is crumbling behind the toilet where there was a small leak; that the floor tile is slightly discolored; that there is dark wood stained cabinets and vanity, but a white wood medicine cabinet, corner shelf, and trim; that the sink and counter are cream marble, but the toilet and bathtub are white porcelain... need I go on?  Can you believe I can stand it?  But I have to and the wallpaper distracts one from the surrounding discord -- ooh, shiny!  See why I can't do something as simple as remove wallpaper?  It would just start a domino effect.  


My kitchen is kind of in the same boat.  At some point in its 92 years of life someone decided it would be great to modernize it -- fun!  This must have happened in the late 60's or 70's and we had some great wallpaper which my mother thought was very cheery, but put me in mind of Gilman's short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, and was taken down in an attempt to prevent madness.  The other elements were not quite so disposable so because of the permanence and abundance of the harvest gold tile, the harvest gold sink, etc. we have chosen to live with the dented cupboards and the rippling countertops because how could one go to the trouble and expense of replacing those and yet leave the tile and that FLOOR!  It has its own amazing qualities and while I don't know if it will ever really be stylish, it does generally look pretty clean which is no small feat around here.  The wood trim around the kitchen and down the back stairs is all painted to match the tile and it is so nicked up and not cleanable -- it probably hasn't been painted for 50 years -- that something needed to be done.  I couldn't decide whether to go with a color I like and let the tile stand out more; try to "do away" with the tile entirely, taking the risk that the plaster wall behind it might completely fall apart, and as long as we're doing that just do everything else that needs to be done, or simply buy the most awful color in the whole store, Earthy Ecru to be exact (and here I thought my kitchen was yellow -- very dirty yellow, I guess).  I bit the bullet and made the hard choice of the $25 can of paint instead of the $50,000 kitchen redo.  Yesterday afternoon I painted away, the whole time thinking how I didn't like the color and I hate painting anyway and it is no fun to be painting something a color you won't even think looks better and how I am such a horrible painter!  I have paint everywhere: my hands covered, in my hair, my painting clothes are a visual history of every painting project I've ever done, it is all over the floor... why do I even try to make improvements?  I've had friends ask me to help them paint and I have to laugh because they must not know what I'm really like.  Usually I'll try to do something innocuous like put up tape, but I can even bungle that by not doing it completely flush with the edge which creates its own mess.  


Well, look at that.  It does look better.  Much more serene without all of those peeling off places and wood showing through.  I suppose I will keep going.


I did paint my back door blue last week.  I like blue doors.  
It looks more blue in reality and hey you can see my beautiful floor.  Do you think it will come back in style?  Was it ever haute couture?  I doubt it.  My friend's daughter used to not like coming to our house because she thought our kitchen floor was haunted.  Yes, it's bad.

2 comments:

HARA said...

We have lived in this house built in 1970 for 8 years. My kitchen cabinets are made from particle board, or card board. No really. I can't bring myself to do anything because of the expense. Also, in my bedroom I've had paint tape and different samples up for over a year. I do love that door! I love the hardware and the color, nice work.

stacie smith said...

love the door. At least THAT could be a different color. I am sure the rest looks awesome. Rather than clean, you painted... same result, but a lot more work.

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