Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Painting the Future

Over the past year that we have lived in this house that is now our home, I lost my motivation to paint.

Most people paint a room, or a dresser, or maybe an actual painting. Not at the Lillards'. We paint trim. And lots of it.

It started right after we bought this house, a year ago. We were so excited to be in our own space where we could litterally throw paint all over the place and no one could tell us differently-- the place was OURS! And boy were we excited. This home was (and still is thankfully!) in great condition, but it had no updates or modern features. It was (and in some rooms still is, unthankfully!) stuck in the 80's.

We decided that to give it more light and brighten things up, we would paint the medium toned brown trim around the windows and doorways white. It sounded like a brilliant idea. So we bought primer and paint, and began in one of the spare bedrooms.

We quickly realized that brown trim soaks up the primer and requires about 4-5 coats before you can actually begin applying the paint to make it worth it. So we primed the window, the other window, the closet and bedroom doors and trim over and over, and over again. By the time we actually got around to applying real paint, we'd been working on this stinking bedroom for a week. I kept thinking of the remods on HGTV and listening to the designers say that paint was the easiest, most inexpensive and quickest way to transform a room. I'd agree in the transformation, but quick and easy? It wasn't hard, but man, coats later it still needed more!

After the bedroom was done, we admired how much more light the room had and how it looked more modern and updated. We decided to proceed with the stair banisters and railing. OMG. Can I just say that was a PAIN in my rear. I think I spent all last Christmas painting. And I still look at it and think, you know, if HGTV came over they'd say we need another coat! We finished that and then moved to our bedroom, where we retired the paintbrushes and rollers. Yes, we took some time off (ahem, about a year!) and last weekend I decided to pick up the paintbrush again. Well, I really didn't volunteer. Since David was in CA for the weekend working hard on one of our rentals, I made a deal with him that I would work just as hard by painting. I would commit to him to paint while he was gone. No, I didn't say how much (wiggle room people!) but I did commit. Not to me, not to the house, to him.

As I poured my primer into the tray, there were chunks. Literally chunks like rotten milk. Gross. I contemplated how I could get out of this. David would understand, chunks?! How do I get the chunks out, I need a big strong man to do that. Oh Rachel stop it, just open another can. Yes. I can do this, I have to finish. I've got to finish this project before I can do anyting else. And geez, there is so much more to do!

So I began priming. Since David was in CA for the weekend and I didn't have any engagements until the evenings, I decided to commit my entire Saturday to painting. I got a late start (a girl's gotta gym it and have her starbucks run!) but I finally got up the gusto and stirred up a fresh can of primer, chunk free. It was beautiful. So smooth and creamy. I can do this. I started on the window in our bedroom. We'd already started this, but it only had a couple layers of primer. With zest and motivation I quickly began applying primer. Move to the closet door jam and the bathroom doors and door jams. Move to the hallway and start on the linen closet doors. Argh. These things are so annoying, just let me tell you. They are essentially accordion shutter doors and getting between those slats tried my patience. I began wondering if I had arthritis. Excuses excuses. I primed over and over again after letting it dry. And you know what? It felt good to move forward, to accomplish something!

I promptly primed again the following day after church and Christmas shopping, before the women's dessert at church that evening. Discipline Rachel, you've got to get this done.

After the gym this evening and my lovely dinner of ceasar salad and banana bread, I began applying the paint. Our bedroom and the hallway linen closet are close to being finished. Only a few more coats. Finish. Strong. :)

I ate a snack. Apple time! I wrote this blog entry about painting. I went back upstairs to finish.

The blue tape surrounding the closet and my bedroom window was a constant reminder of something I was choosing not to do. Something that required effort and time. Something that could be beautiful. While this is really only paint, and is kind of trivial as it pertains to my life, I actually learned something this weekend throughout the painting process. Someday I will have lots of things (kids!) that I don't want to do and that require my time and effort. How am I ever going to be a good mom if I can't even finish painting our house when I have no responsibilities except for my job? My husband is gone during the week for goodness sake, I don't even have to take care of anyone! That bucked me up. I have always been a determined person, a disciplined person, a motivated person. Yet somewhere over the past year I lost that along the way with the doors and trim. :) So here's to being disciplined and showing my husband I love him with this paintbrush. I am painting the future with each stroke, learning to find joy in doing something I don't want to do!

The entire upstairs must be done by the end of January. Oh my goodness I said it. Out loud. Cheer me on. :)

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