I’ve never been one for aesthetics. I don’t think I’ve ever owned something on purpose just for the aesthetic value. Which may be why I don’t like painting. The last time I painted a room was my bedroom in high school and during the process I actually painted my entire foot royal blue. I did paint my dorm room loft (also royal blue), but that was college and paint was free. So after that point, I’ve lived in many places and never painted. I always thought if I want color on the wall, I’ll add posters (or later framed photos and art). That system worked for me, perhaps until now. Prior to Sara and I moving into our place it had been lived in by an artist (according to the landlord). Well this artist had a pretty atrocious color palate and an unhealthy obsession with sponge painting. The dining room was puce, a brownish-purplish-reddish room that luckily the landlord painted over before we moved in. Well, thinking that was the worst of it, because it was so awful, I didn’t even consider the bedrooms, one was sponge painted in shades of blue, the other in shades of green. The blue wasn’t so bad, but the green room (with drab olive trim) looked like dirty camouflage. No matter how much cleaning happened in that room, it always felt dirty. When Sara moved in, one of her first thoughts was that our bedroom needs to be painted. I ignored that thought and continued along my previous course of action (add art to the walls). As time went along, the idea of painting fell by the wayside (to other concerns), it was a rental after all and we’d lived with it so far.
But then a month or so ago the idea of painting popped into my head, unbidden. Me, who has substantially avoided all painting related activities since I was 18, now was deciding to paint a room. So last weekend, I put the plan in action. Sara was going to her friend Shirley’s house for a baby shower and then down to “The Cities” to give a seminar for work. This meant that she would be out of the house for about whole day. So I though, it’s only one room, that is more than enough time. So when Sara left I made a list of things and headed to the paint store. I picked up a few things I needed and picked out the paint. I picked a wall color and a trim color. For the walls I picked Haiku Blue (a light blue with a hint turquoise and teal). I had wanted a color called Peace River, but that color wasn’t currently available on a paint chip. Since Haiku Blue was pretty close (and I do love Haiku’s) I went with it. For the trim I chose Fish Tale (which is a dark teal color). I thought it went very well together, plus it was fish related without actually being another fish picture. This whole process took me 12 seconds. I figured there was no point in agonizing over the color, because anything is better than splotchy green. I also decided after watching a YouTube video that I wasn’t going to use a roller, I was going to use a paint pad. The dude on the video just rocked out room after room using this technique, so I thought how hard could this be. Well, there is a reason people make a living as painter, they are professionals. This was hurdle number one, accepting that I’m as good as the dude on the video and it will take me 10x longer (at least). Since I was working by myself my first thought was that I can do this without moving anything out of the room. This was not true. I figured this out after completing a half of one wall, while dipping paint on Sara’s dresser, the floor, the bed sheets, and the bed frame. I also broke what had been advertised as an unbreakable bedframe by trying to move it around the room. It was not a good first hour. I spent the next hour removing things from the room and piling them around the house. The bed and frame were in the dining room and sitting up until the cat climbed on top and sent it all crashing down onto the floor. Luckily no animals were hurt (although the same cat later had to be rescued after climbing under the same mattress and becoming stuck). So with everything but the dressers out of the room I girded my loins and took another swipe at the painting. I made it about another half a wall before I decided that I should switch back to the roller and away from the paint pad. So off to the hardware store for more supplies (luckily the store is only 2 blocks away). I returned and used the roller for the remainder of that wall till I discovered that I had in fact broken the roller. So how the metal part had dislodged from the plastic allowing roller to spin around in a way that wasn’t conducive to painting. So back again I switched to the paint pad. Finally I go a rhythm going and I got the whole room done. Now it was onto the trim. The wall paint had been primer and paint all in one and did a good job with coverage, but the trim paint not so much. I painted the doors and window and their frames by hand with a brush, and when I was finished it looked awful. It looked like a failed Pinterest Project where someone was trying to make develop a faux-finish on wood. In many areas the drab green shown through the bright crisp Fish Tale color. By this time it was late, almost midnight. The house was wrecked, several items of furniture lay in ruin. And I was mentally and physically exhausted from my “afternoon” project. That night I slept on the guest bed and dreamt about other ways I could fail at painting. The morning took me to work, where I had to finish an online training course or risk losing my computer privileges. After work I went back home to tackle the “project”. I didn’t have a lot of hope, but I stopped by the hardware store and bought an edger paint pad and another regular paint pad. When I looked over the room, it needed a lot of work. I put two more coats of paint on the doors and trim and a second coat of Haiku Blue on all the walls. Luckily that did it. The edger and the paint/primer combo was a key in erasing my mistakes with the trim. The second coat of paint went on much faster than the first. In the end it wasn’t perfect, but it looks pretty nice and was a big change from puke green. Now the room looks bright and crisp and happy, ready to receive a baby. Now I just had to fix all the problems I’d created in the first place. In the end, the room made Sara happy and I felt like I’d passed some pre-fatherhood rite of passage. Even though it isn’t truly a baby room I actually feel proud of accomplishing something, even if there was not really a practical purpose for it.
In other news, the baby is now 18/19 days away, but for practical purposes the baby could arrive at any point. It is pretty exciting to think that I could be holding my daughter tomorrow, and pretty scary too. We spent tonight going through Target to pick up a few last remaining items we will need to bring the baby home. These discussions that seemed academic two months ago are now concrete and real, where will the baby sleep, are we going to us a bottle, what kind of diapers are we using. I’m trying now to make sure I do something every day to get more ready. Saturday I put together our baby swing and installed the car seat. Both of which were projects, but they were completed. I’m a list guy, and those items were on my list (along with painting the room) and I was happy to check them off as complete, but like remodeling the kitchen each little thing you do seems to add 10 more things to the list. I have some feeling this maybe just an adjustment period to the new status-quo, but I’m hustling to get enough of them done so that I can feel ready for Katie’s arrival. We’ve gotten so many amazing presents from friends and family and it is wonderful to realize how generous our community has been (add send new round of thank you notes to the list). Better to be busy than bored. I guess that is all for this update.