Thursday, August 20, 2009


’Tis a fine irony: In all the 93-year-plus history of this house, though its walls have worn many layers of wallpaper, the 1st and 2nd floor halls and stairway have had but one coat of paint, that attractive but too dark teal blue distemper. But in the very few weeks since late July, these walls have been afflicted with ten coats of paint, and as of today, the upstairs hall boasts eleven.

And now, the way my twisted perfectionist mind is working, they are in very grave danger of getting an eleventh or twelfth.

I begin to think I suffer from an obsession. I like the colors of the redo of the faux finish; the light rosy peach topcoat looks much warmer with the dark green and dark rose of the base coat and first glaze coat than the yellowish-white did. The combination is so much more harmonious with the colors in the "Blackthorn" wall paper. So much is good. But Lord help me, I still am not happy with the texture. After two coats of the top color, it still seems too blotchy; the overall effect is still too sweet. There needs to be a certain opacity . . . though not so much as totally to efface the colors underneath.

It drives me nutty! How did I get that smooth, bland, plaster effect on that one sample board? I used exactly the same tools as I’m using on the walls!

I made myself stop and not mess with it tonight. A lot depends on how it looks in the light of day. Very likely I will want to go round lightly with the sponge and blending pad and even things out here and there, as I did on the 2nd floor this morning. If I do blow another day of my life on this, I’ll have to start downstairs this time. It's possible there might not be enough left of the light peach glaze to do the whole ten surfaces a third time, in which case it would be better to reserve the more polished treatment for the 1st floor.

If I do add a third coat of the top glaze to it all-- if-- I’ll make myself do it only in conjunction with the touch up work. That's got to be done regardless. With some of the painter's tape peeled off, I see there's an intermittent line of dark green at the abutment of the walls and ceiling. Wasn't quite accurate sticking the tape up, obviously. Then there are those places here and there where green or rose or peach paint or glaze hit on the other side of the tape and wiping it off left a very visible ghost of my mistake.

But I refuse to be haunted tonight. Enough of this. My padded cell awaits.

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