Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Ten days of grueling, messy work, by the men, and the main floor of the house was ready for paint.
Jim announced that Howard and I should go to Lowes Home Improvement in Campbellsville and purchase 2 five gallon buckets each of primer and wall paint.
For months on each trip to Lowes I have added paint sample cards to my stash, spreading them out from time to time to compare the minute differences in shades of 'off-white.'

There are those who find 'off-white' totally boring. I prefer a neutral background--restful, non-demanding--which allows for what the decorating industry currently refers to as 'pops of color' supplied by my quilts, curtains and collectibles.
I narrowed my choices to three: 'Thistle Seed;' Quail's Egg;' 'Muslin Wrap.'  [Ever wonder who dreams up the exotic names for paint colors?]
I chose 'Muslin Wrap'--a warm cream that doesn't present as 'yellow.'
The open living area/great room will have wainscoting; the two main floor bedrooms will have chair rail with a different color paint below.

I pondered the options.  My color preferences in quilt and drapery  fabrics, as well as paint for refinished wooden pieces, have long been the 'Early American' shades of faded dark red, old gold, grey-green.  Bright 'hot' colors set my teeth on edge, pastels don't inspire.
I dithered between a warm golden yellow [Early Morning]  a color labeled 'Mystic Mocha' [used in several of the bedrooms at the farmhouse] and a sage green [Dried Sage.]
I stood in the bedrooms at different times of day, considering what the effect would be. 

Typically, the trip to buy paint was announced suddenly during breakfast on Thursday.
["If you want paint for those bedrooms, we're going to Russell Springs in half an hour!"]
I hauled my folder of paint samples from the cupboard, hastily shuffling out the favorites.

My fingers paused on a sample I have used as an 'accent wall' both at the Amish farmhouse and the Bedford stone house which we refurbished and soon sold.
'Hand-Loomed Scarlet,' a faded 'antique' red which makes a statement without screaming.

I applied the first coat to the north-west bedroom yesterday, working around the men who are now laying down floors.
If you've worked with paint, you know that reds are considered 'transparent' colors. It takes several coats applied to achieve coverage

These trim pieces were purchased already primed. 
I have applied two coats of semi-gloss 'Swiss Coffee.'
Yesterday I was directed to a work space set up in the back area of the basement, and instructed to paint a stack of narrow molding which Howard had already primed and sanded.
The boards were laid out on a trestle constructed of two folding sawhorses and 2 x 4's. I began painting but wasn't satisfied with the lighting that had been hung in the stairwell. 
[The electrical inspector is dragging his feet on the final permit needed to 'turn on' the permanent electrical service.]
I decided that working from the opposite end of the trestle would provide better light on the length of the molding strips.
I had finished about 3/4 of the work, carefully moving each painted strip to the far end of the 2x4's when the whole set up went down with a crash. The painted strips clattered to the floor in disarray; the paint cup and brush overturned splattering paint in dripping streams.
I bellowed in outrage and dismay--provoked to using a scatological term.
Jim and Howard pounded down the stairs!
Howard snatched up the overturned paint container and brush, while Jim righted the overturned sawhorses.
I was treated to exasperated queries: 'Why on earth were you working from that side?'  
'Couldn't you see that you were over-balancing the supports by loading the finished pieces on that end?'
No, I didn't see that or of course I wouldn't have done it!

I suggested that I should have been warned not to work from 'that side' of the set up.

'We didn't tell you because anyone in their right mind should have known what would happen!'

Howard, in spite of dire mutterings, was quickly brushing down the paint which had been flung on my finished work. I attempted to dip up puddles of paint which had landed on the floor, furiously lamenting the waste of paint and the spoiling of my careful work. 
Forcing a calm which I didn't feel, I took another brush and subsided, smoothing out drips, rearranging finished strips. 
With that accomplished, I excused myself from working on the remaining lengths of molding. 
I needed to settle my feathers and decided that folding clean laundry might provide a soothing interlude.
It has been suggested that I appear and continue with applying hand-loomed scarlet paint to the bedroom walls.
I shall bundle up against the windy walk up the lane, hoping for a stint of painting without drama.

The resident experts on all things construction and paint related.


  1. All's well that ends well! :~/ You are making, in my opinion, excellent choices for your paint colors. How wonderful that so much progress has been made this month. You will soon be saying bye-bye to the travel trailer and hello to a beautiful new home.

    1. Chip; Thank you for the affirmation re the paint colors.I'm always aware that any number of combinations would look good--I suspect I become a bit fixated on 'getting it right!' My husband and son are indeed steady workers and I'm hoping another month will see us moving in.

  2. Bless your heart dear Sharon. I cannot believe how quickly your house has evolved. Great work by all of you.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I think you have a good idea of the time and messes involved in building or renovating. We are far enough forward that in my better moments I can imagine moving in!

  3. Best wishes for getting it all completed!

    1. Michelle; All good wishes are gratefully accepted! The work is going well, but I am definitely 'over' the camper as a residence.

  4. I also like neutral colors and picked the same off-white. I think these mishaps ALWAYS happen on a construction site.

    1. Phil; It is reassuring to be reminded that I'm not the first--or likely the last--to spill paint. I'm glad I was working from a plastic paint cup rather than having a nearly full gallon of paint balanced precariously in my unstable work area!
      Neutral walls have a timeless appeal.

  5. You are fortunate to have such a light house and the colours you have chosen will look wonderful. In this house, the off-white colours just DON'T work. Pure white is OK on the southern side of the house (but not the kitchen which has a bigger window facing east) so that just leaves 3 bathrooms in white! We have chosen a soft custardy yellow for the stairwells and landings and front hall, and a brighter one for the Dining Room where off white looked like dead fish-belly.

    I love your choice of the deep reds as a contrast - when I was in the Llandeilo patchwork shop last week I had to stay my hand over the beautiful selection of the deep old-American colours you favour, made worse because he said they were the Civil War range . . .

    Sorry about the upset. We women need broad shoulders at such times as of course, the menfolk are always right (sometimes!!) Not long before you move in - how exciting!

    1. Jennie; We have always planned for many windows when building. It makes arranging furniture a bit difficult sometimes, but the sense of natural light makes up for that. I pick my 'off whites' from those specified as on the 'warm' spectrum. I agree that some white tints have a 'dead' rather grey appearance.
      There's no one absolute way to decorate--I hope for harmony!

  6. Yes, so terrible to lose face in front of the men;) such experts of course! I am sure everything is righted, I came across the million and one colours one can paint in the house, but mine was only for the dolls house, it would be impossible to choose for this house, which of course is painted in magnolia.

    1. Thelma; I hope that 'magnolia' paint is as pleasant as the blooms on the magnolia tree at our first Kentucky home. They were a creamy white, each bloom lasting about a day before they crumpled and looked like a brown paper bag.
      I'm convinced the decorating industry doesn't need such minute tints and shades of every possible color, but there it is! Some home style guru becomes popular and suddenly one is expected to be trendy!

  7. Oh, geez! I can just imagine how you must have felt! Someday, you will laugh about it......but for now, it must be so discouraging. I always love the British saying, 'Keep Calm and Carry On'. It sounds like you did just that! Love your pretty paint samples. Hard to choose, for sure. So exciting to see the walls up!

    1. Karen; I'm still being teased about the paint upset, but not in a mean way. I've managed to apply paint in the two main floor bedrooms on the lower third of the walls that will have a chair rail installed. No paint spilled! Still finishing to do, but its looking far more civilized.