There’s this thought I have sometimes. Painting’s not so bad, I tell myself. In fact, it’s kind of fun. It can be relaxing. Just put some music on the old iPod, change into those paint-splattered jeans, and you’re liable for a good time.
What I always seem to forget is that painting is awful. It’s boring, repetitive, messy, and just generally sucks. If somebody tells you they like painting, they’re lying and you shouldn’t trust them. I know– once the tape is down, the touch-ups are completed, and the perfume of volatile organic compounds drifts through the air like a fresh summer evening’s breeze, it’s nice. But I always forget the bummer-fest of getting there. Which is why, while cracking open a can of paint for Eva’s room, I piped up, “Hey, why don’t we just paint the kitchen too? I mean, while we’re at it.”
So off we went to the hardware store, where a color (Benjamin Moore’s “White Rain” in eggshell) was hastily selected and a gallon of paint was bought. I think of choosing paint colors as less of a question of basic ability and more as an acquired life skill, like drag racing or choosing the right jeans for your thighs. Sure, anyone can drive fast or buy a pair of pants, but only some people can do it with warranted self-confidence. It’s something you have to learn through a difficult process of trial and error. So I’m not going to beat myself up about doing this to my wall:
I could pass this off as that thing responsible people (liars) do where they paint samples before springing for the whole gallon, but I’m not going to do that. The only color I actually bought is the one on the far left. I painted one coat on one wall before deciding that it wasn’t something I could live with. It’s not a bad color for an asylum or an androgynous nursery, but it was a bad color for our kitchen. Not wanting to pay for a new gallon, I did something I never thought I’d have the guts or occasion to do: I started mixing. I put various proportions of white ceiling paint and wall paint into a bowl until something better emerged. That “something better” was the second to last color on the right. It’s about 2/3 white paint, 1/3 (not-so-)White Rain.
And after! I like it, I don’t love it. It’s not quite a baby blue (phew), but it’s sort of similar. A little bit greener (the darker hues on the White Rain paint chip are definitely of the green persuasion), and a little bit grey. I wanted something a little greener/greyer without crossing into minty or sage-y territory, but I’m not sure that color actually exists outside of my mind. Also, the Orange Glo light, when illuminated, lends the walls a much greyer tilt (this picture is just sunlight), so that’s something to consider as well. The trim is Benjamin Moore “Simply White” in semi-gloss, in case you were curious.
I’ve talked about it before, but just to be clear: I’m usually all about white paint and more modern colors, but the fugly 80s pink-ish floor, countertops, and cabinets sort of betray any possibility of the kitchen being cool and gorgeous. So the game plan in here is more 50s-60s-70s-mod-and-kitsch. Happy, fun, and sort of cute without being a kitschy mess. If you catch my drift.
And yes, I do have a step ladder hanging on two hooks in the kitchen. I know it’s not the most attractive thing, but I’m really short and our cabinets were built for giants– they go all the way up to our nine foot ceilings, and because it’s a small kitchen we can’t just pretend those top couple of shelves don’t exist. There’s really nowhere else to put it where it’s out of the way, so in plain sight it sits. How postmodern.
I also painted the ceiling, which looks way better, even though it just went from a poorly slapped-on coat of semi-gloss white to a smooth and expertly applied eggshell finish (BM’s off-the-rack “Super White”). It’s always shocking what a difference a fresh coat of paint can make, even if it’s just a variation of the same color.
The Orange Glo ceiling medallion got all caulked up and painted in the process. Also a big difference from before. I love that damn light.
P.S.- Sorry for the lame “after” pictures, but there’s a little (like, teensy) DIY on the other side of the room that I figured warranted its own post. Keep your eyes peeled for that in the next couple days!