Thursday, May 21, 2015

Be My Guest!

Our son has gotten his own apartment and moved out, leaving behind a surfeit of stuff that is apparently too important to throw out, but not special enough to take with him to his new place. It's hard to explore the new frontiers of adult responsibility with boxes full of things you've had since junior high school. I understand that. So once he assured us he had picked the room-bones of every thing that he wanted, my husband and I did some picking of our own based on memories of the things we left behind ourselves all those years ago when we moved out of our parents' houses.

A few things went to live in the attic, and a lot of stuff got donated to charity, and some items went to the dump. Then I vacuumed. And then the fun part started:

I grabbed the reins and began changing the former-teenage-boy room to the new guest accommodations! 

The first order of business was to change the paint. When we bought this place ten years ago, the whole house was painted in a funky fashion, two or three colors in each room. My husband called it "The Key West Retirement Palette", and it was rich with orange, pink, purple, mint green and bright blue.  This room had two peach colored walls and two sky blue. We told The Boy (age 13) he could change the color to anything he wanted, as long as he did the work of painting it -- a move I now see was reckless-- and he decided he could live with the blue, but the peach had to go. He wanted green. He says now that he just wanted to be sure that the green would cover that orange-y peach, and this is why professional therapists say communication is so important. A simple conversation about primer could have saved us all a lot of work. But kids don't know about primer. Instead, The Boy brought home a rich, deep kelly green. A very pretty color for a shamrock or a bell pepper, but... well, it was a very bold decorating choice. He did quite a nice job painting, only dribbling and smearing a little, and the end result was this:
Ten years later, still just as bright.
Green. So. Very. Green.

Not exactly what I wanted for our guest room, which is only 10x12 feet and looks even smaller with that intense color. But I'm an adult, and I know about primer. Even better, I know about a product called "Kilz" which not only primes the surface for new color, but provides amazing coverage over dark tones. 

It took two gallons of Kilz to cover that green. Amazing. But even more amazing is the change in the room. Behold! 

Took this with the second coat only partway done. You can see the window wall and corner is still uneven. Time to move the dropcloth over and finish up! 

After the primer dried overnight, it was time for my new color. Mom likes yellow and so do I, but yellows are tricky because they can be pretty intense. I always pick the color I like and then go one shade lighter, and I've never been disappointed. I chose a color called "Daisy Yellow" which looked buttery and light under the harsh florescents at Home Depot. When I got the first coat put on, I didn't like it at all. What happened to the warm tones? This looked almost... dare I say it? Greenish! 

I decided it was probably just the primer showing through that made it look stark, and a second coat would fix it. And it helped, yes, and it looks fine, but it's not the color I was hoping for. It's close enough that I'm going to stick with it, and as the days go by, I find I don't mind it at all. 

So pretty! So clean! So light and airy! 

But this is all you get to see, even though the room is mostly finished. Mom reads this blog and I want to surprise her, so you'll have to wait a few more weeks to see the completed room and its decor. Stay tuned for that! 

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