Today was a great day. We met with my very great friend M who, amongst all his many lovely qualities, has been an extraordinary house painting artist for over 20 years. I say artist because M doesn't just come in and slap a new color on the walls. He wants the walls to sing. He repairs the cracks, smooths the rough patches, makes things stronger than they were before. He can guide you on colors and finishes, and which is even more impressive, he is honest about what can and should be done. He doesn't tell you it is a two day job if it is a four day job. Nor does he imply that an easy job is harder than it looks. Craftsman and artisans like M are harder and harder to come by, so if you are lucky enough to have one in your life, treat them well. Don't haggle with them on prices, and don't fight them on the important decisions like choice of paint brand or finish. You will be so much happier in the long run.
We thought that we would start with two key rooms when it came to our fresh new paint, the Kitchen Library, and the room that is going to become Charming Suitor's Dressing Room. The Kitchen Pantry, while showing the natural wear of a room in a 105 year old house that has not been painted in 18 years, is in fairly good shape. Poor Charming Suitor's Dressing Room, however, has a wall in need of major repair before a lick of paint can even be contemplated. Plaster and lathe is a cruel mistress, and time, humidity, steam radiators and badly hung heavy artwork can mean that a wall needs some serious TLC before you can gild it up with a shiny new color. M looked me in the eye and told me so. Told me that he wouldn't just paint it without restoring it first, even if we asked, because it would ultimately cause even more damage to the wall. On the one hand, sad, because I really wanted to make that room fresh and nice for CS before he moved his stuff in, and now he will have to live with it for a while longer. But on the other hand, I love M for protecting my wall, and not letting me make a big mistake.
In anticipation of the painting that is to begin Tuesday, CS and I turned this....
AREN'T YOU AMAZED AND PROUD? Well, don't be. Meet my new dining room.
YIKES! Good thing we aren't having any dinner parties anytime soon.
But even though the dining room looks like a tornado hit it, knowing that this room
which I have not seen empty since January of 1994, is going to be all smooth and fresh and a sassy new color in three little days makes my heart go all pitter pat.
Anyone else have a major project they are excited about these days?
Yours in Good Taste,