Friday, July 25, 2008

The Pompous Painter

Arts & Crafts Interior and Exterior Preservation Palette is courtesy of Sherwin Williams.

Brochure is courtesy of Ralph Lauren Paints.
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I have a great talent: I can paint. My rooms and exteriors are sheer perfection. I have been offered paint jobs by big contractors; I have had individuals drive by when I am painting the exterior, look at my work and beg me to bid on their jobs. Well, I do dress the part: all white with a painters cap. To look at my work, you would think that I love painting. I hate to paint but I hate poorly done work even more. And the lack of real painters has driven me to rolling my own.

Everyone thinks he is a painter, including the last disillusioned guy we hired and fired. By the way, he still sends us Christmas cards. I suppose he thinks that being a Christian makes him immune to the need for skills and talent. He has made me religious; I pray that he finds another line of work. Enough about him!

When speaking of painting, one cannot overstress the importance of preparation. Painting is the easy part. Preparation is the bitch. After proper surface preparation, the next three, most important tips I give your are: tape, tape, and tape; with tape being used as both noun and verb. I have heard other painters brag about not having to tape and I have seen their work; not a pretty sight.

When purchasing paint and supplies for The Bunny Bungalow, the Sherwin Williams store in the neighborhood is my favorite spot. Sherwin Williams has a palette of Arts & Crafts colors just for bungalows; colors like Dard Hunter Green, Hubbard Squash, Bungalow Gray, Roycroft Adobe. And our store has the best color-matching staff and computers, plus they calibrate their computer frequently. You thought all paint-store clerks and color-matching computers were the same or even infallible? Wrong, my sweet innocent one; you should see some of the color matches I have had foisted upon me.

For interior paint and colors at the Ranchburger, I love Ralph Lauren Paints. The entire interior is Tackroom White. It took Tall Husband and me two years of looking and trying paints to find the right white. The walls are matte white and the trim is semi-gloss white. I buy Ralph Lauren Paints at a wonderful local store, Bering's.

Always buy the top-of-the-line paint. Catch them on sale. Painting is so horrible, you don't want to do it frequently. Buy the best brushes and clean them with water soluble brush & roller cleaner at the end of each paint day. If you are painting things white, use water-based paint, as oil based will yellow. I buy white scrub pants, tee shirts and white sneakers for painting. You also need safe ladders of the appropriate height and lots of drop cloths.

When you are finished, keep extra paint for touch-up work. Retain a copy of the computer label from the top of the can so the paint store can simply enter the numbers printed there to achieve a perfect match. The wooden paint stirrers are great for color matching if you don't have the computer codes. Simply dip a clean stick into the paint you may want match; let dry; then on the unpainted part, write the name of the room or area for which the color is intended. Also make sure you write down the sheen of the paint (flat? matte? semi-gloss? egg shell?), as colors will appear to be different if the sheen does not match .

Neutral colors appeal to me. I had rather that color be added through art and flowers. I get frightened when a decorator, magazine headlines or book titles shout that color is going to solve my problems. I like what the the two Ann's* told Metropolitan Home, March, 1992, about color: "Take chances with white. An interplay of various whites on different surfaces give a room depth and intrigue..." Those two are my kind of women.

Go wild with white!

*Ann Holden & Ann Dupuy, interior designers, New Orleans

1 comment:

  1. Once again, great post! Amen to everything you said about painting and prepping! I hate to see paint all over a pane glass window,because someone decided they could just wing it!! You would love Berkeley Ca. Where everything is Arts and Crafts!Everywhere in Berkeley they sell all things A&C to out fit your home. Beautiful furniture stores, lighting, the works.
    I love that period also,and got to see Frank Lloyd Writes house when I went to Chicago. Gorgeous!