Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Yellowing

I'm completely consumed by the kitchen repainting project. Yeah, you think, sure, all you need to do is slap a coat of yellow up there and you're done, right? Ha ha! That is also what I thought, innocent fellow! No, what you have to do is first get sucked into a Lowes display of faux painting techniques and then start in and then think, hey, I'm kind of doing this whole thing as an homage to my mother, who believed in yellow kitchens and also because I have a half gallon of yellow paint in the garage that was the paint my mother used in her last yellow kitchen. Then you need to start using that yellow for the insides of the cabinet doors and thus find out that your Mom's yellow and the yellow you have chosen are, like, almost exactly the same. Then you're launched and suddenly you're noticing moldings where you never did before.

And then, if you're lucky, your friend A who is a painter and a contractor will stop by and say, "Whoa, what are you doing? Painting the kitchen?" And then he might, if you are very lucky, say, "I'm bored, do you want some help? I have a ton of extra paint at home, I'll bring it over tomorrow."

Even before that I'd gone and bought some serious orange for the details and trim and then A brought cranberry red and utterly invaluable help and advice, like, you need a brush like this and you need to pull it this way and wait, wait, try it this way and you might not get paint all over the ceiling. So the painting is proceeding apace, if not quite as quickly as my mad mind had thought it might, like, hey! I can knock this out in one day! Okay, two days! Okay, maybe, alright, three. Possibly four.

The history of the kitchen in my house is that it was all white with this terrible wallpaper border of strawberries and blueberries up towards the top. Not quite at the top, because the lady who lived here before and I are of like minds when it comes to perfectionism: Fuck that! Just do it! So the border, in addition to being yellow and full of well, strawberries, wavered madly.

The strawberries, two rows of them, were sitting on a yellow background and above them was a row of blueberries, bounded also in blue. Okay. This would have all been all right, except that below the strawberries was a row of furbelows. Yes, furbelows - little sort of ruffley, drapey things like the edges of curtains, in yellow and with blue trim and shadows, descending onto my walls. The first time I looked at this house I turned to D, my real estate agent and said, "Well, those have to go."
"What?" she said, "You don't like strawberries?" Now this was ironic and, oddly enough, it turned out that all my friends said pretty much exactly the same thing. I kept saying, completely unironically "The strawberries must go. Go, and soon. I hate them." and my friends would say, "What? You don't like strawberries?"

Then A came over one day with his wife, my dear friend D, and after he'd heard me bitch about the goddamn strawberries while D and I were drinking wine on the porch, he decided to draw skull faces on the bottom row of strawberries. The strawberries looked much, much better. He came over again to a recent party and while, again, D and I were drinking wine, he started drawing eyeballs on the top row. A is a good artist and I like his work and also the strawberries now started cracking me up, so I kept them. I painted over edges and edges but I left the skull strawberries. And they're still cracking me up.

So anyway I've done nothing but paint for two days solid. The trim is orange and red and the walls are old plaster yellow and it's very bright in my kitchen and I'm completely insane and thinking of moving into stencils once and/or if I ever finish all the trim and psychedelizing the door geometrically and stuff. This is brilliantly good for me, actually, and it's all making me tired and happy, even though I am suddenly for the first time in my life battling weird insomnia.

However, meanwhile S got back from the Yukon or north something Iowa, where it was very cold and she came by for beers and Z & H came by for beers and so we all drank in my discombobulated kitchen and admired the wet paint (the dogs and Pebble have large yellow patches. Why just paint the kitchen when you can paint the animals too!?) and so, here I am, about to walk back into the kitchen and be knocked back by, wow, yellow and orange! I love it.

1 comment:

boringpostcards said...


Can't wait to see pics of this project when it's done.