Y'all know I am my own worst enemy. I freely admit this. All my family is nodding their heads in affirmation. After the glorious get away on Saturday (nothing is so wonderful as getting in the car on a sunny day and taking off for The Cottage), I spent the morning in Wellfleet sketching, then hung around Sunday with my sister and mother. We had avocado and crab salad brioche sandwiches and fruit tarts for lunch, took naps on the beach, had Wendy's "half-salads" for dinner overlooking the beauty of the inlets behind the outer beach at Fort Hill.
Energized on Monday morning ( was it just yesterday?), I wrote an entire chapter of the novel at Sparrow's and then went shopping for paint and sundries. I did a simple project that took just a few hours and turned out well:
I'd been wanting to do this since we brought this dresser home from the thrift store two years ago. It's brown wicker finish was in good shape but oh so boring. I used some Martha Stewart craft paints I had picked up at Michaels and just did a wash of related colors.
Motivated by accomplishing a task I'd been putting off for two years, I decided to tackle painting the two steps that lead from the laundry room/side entry into the kitchen. Painted flat white by our not so bright painter when we bought the house, they had ugly black rubber treads installed by the prior owner. Chipped, worn, and shabby without the chic, I'd been wanting to pry off those treads for three years.
They came off in two seconds with a hammer, and I ran to the paint store with this in mind:
You must admit that I have good taste: these are Jonathan Adler's beach house stairs.
I wasn't entirely crazy to tackle this project this week since I have only two steps to paint. The problem is that when I enter a paint store, I lose my mind. I go on sensory overload and the chips whirl around in my brain as I imagine every possible color scheme in the world. By the time I walked out, I'd forgotten about blues and white and had decided to have some fun with pink and green.
Every house on the Cape has a hint of pink and green, right? And it would be a witty reference to the upcoming wedding in Chatham, land of pink and green, right? I'll do a one bright green and one bright pink tread, which also are the colors of the corner cupboard in the dining area.
As I was leaving the paint store, I realized that I didn't buy any paint for the risers. I decided not to buy white because they are white right now and show dog hair like crazy. Black, black will look very cool. A deep glossy black.
As I began to paint, I realized that the stairs would look all bright and shiny but the crummy molding-less walls on either side would still be their banged up flat white crappola. Should I paint the walls, too? Now that would be a lot more work. I took some painting tape and ran a slanted line at about hand height. This is perfect, plus it will hide fingerprints if I paint the black halfway up. It all went on very quickly:glossy black half wall, glossy black risers, one pink and one green tread....
A circus. I had painted a bright, glossy circus that had no relation to anything in this house. I hated it. Mr. Pom would hate it. And no, there are no pictures. So I ran back to the paint store, stayed within my color scheme and picked a pretty slate blue, Benjamin Moore Bayou Blue, and a paler sky blue. Came home, rolled the slate blue all over the black, realized that the tape marks on either wall weren't even, raised the tape line, realized that the black painted on only one wall was making the other wall of blue look too light, thought maybe I should paint that black over the blue and then paint blue? Aargh!
Time to run to store to buy Kilz. Oh bother, it's 11:00 p.m.! And fell into bed, resisting the urge to pull my hair out.
I rummaged through Mr. Pom's utility closet: there must be some freaking white paint in here so I can cover up this horror... Eureka! A pristine quart of Rustoleum semi-gloss white. Oil. Oh. Bother again. I have no turpentine....I'll just paint, put the roller and brush in an airtight baggie, do a second coat in the a.m., and go out for turpentine. Beautiful glossy white - like meringue! And I will use the pink and green and light blue to paint a runner! I am brilliant!
Except when I got up this morning, the paint, the OIL paint was as tacky as if I'd painted it an hour ago. So doing what any rational person would do, I painted a second coat, and realized that the stairs would never be dry enough to paint a runner or even to walk on, maybe even by Friday! So a house full of company, luggage, kids, and dogs would have to go out the front door, walk to the side of the house and back again in order to access the laundry room (where The Bride already has about a dozen huge boxes of decorations, favors, etc for the events.)
At this point, I should have just booked a room at Chathams Bar Inn and hid from them all until the wedding march when I Could scuttle into my seat, knowing that they couldn't kill me in front of a crowd.
From Barclay Butera's new book. It's photos like these that get me into trouble...My laundry room could look exactly like this but for....everything.
So....I've been running the heat all day and have a fan blowing on the stairs with the door shut. The door I cannot paint because I cannot reach it from the bottom of the steps. Whilst asphyxiating from the oil fumes in the hot room, I painted the two exterior doors and the window trim slate blue and the two utility closets light blue. My right wrist and shoulder are spasming, I think I have a shin splint, and my nails are a wreck. I have to put at least one more coat on the utility doors, window, and one exterior door. There's white oil paint drips I can't get up from the ancient linoleum in front of the stairs. The girls are here tomorrow with all their stuff and if no one can go up and down these steps, they will have a long trek to the front door. In the rain.
The morale of the story is this: Never leave me alone in an empty house with a can of paint. I can't be trusted. I need Mr. Pom to say, Have you lost your mind? And then I get annoyed, we bicker, and then reach a much better compromise.
But truth be told: I am so doing those stairs after the wedding. And I looked today in the hardware store for the rope. Didn't have any of that diameter but I am in boat heaven here, so it must be around here somewhere....
Someone save me or by the time I walk down the aisle with the bride, my right arm will be in a sling.