Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Painting (my little corner of) the Town Red

Our kitchen chairs before

The door leading from our kitchen to our deck has needed a paint job since we moved in two years ago. One year ago, I got the brainwave that the door would look great painted red, with the two nearby spindle-backed chairs painted to match. Not wanting to rush into anything as audacious as red paint, however, I decided to leave the project until this summer. If it still felt right after a whole year, I could be certain red was the way to go.

This summer arrived, and I still liked my idea.

Not just any red would do, though. With dark green counter and table tops, a Christmas red would be unbearable. Might as well leave the tree up year-round, too.

A whisk and a pair of salad tongs sticking out of my gadget canister held the answer: lighter than burgundy, darker than cranberry, they were the perfect color. I pulled one of the end pieces off my salad tongs and took it to the paint store. Found the exact shade and discovered that the great color-namers in the sky had called it “Dinner Party.” I took home a quart and looked forward to a Saturday morning painting spree.

I lugged my two chairs to the garage, sanded them a bit, and opened my dinner party in a can. “Uh oh,” I muttered. “That looks mighty pink.” But, knowing paint darkens as it dries, I painted one chair. It reminded me of the ever-so-popular “Dusty Rose” from the 1980s, and I most definitely did NOT want dusty rose in my kitchen or anywhere else in my house! 

I needed a second opinion. Naturally, I turned to Facebook. 

With a layer of wet "Dinner Party" red
I posted a photo of the chair along with a sample of “Dinner Party Red” from the paint company’s website. Soon, I had second, third, and seventh opinions. The consensus? The two colors were not the same. Most commenters felt adamant the paint store had blundered the mixing job and I should take it back.

By now, the store was closed for the remainder of the weekend and I would just need to wait. But guess what? Once everything dried, it was indeed the same color as my salad tongs. The store had not made a mistake; they’d given me what I asked for. I should have asked for something else—something that would really “pop” against the dark green.

Rather than belabor this story—riveting though it is—I’ll just tell you that after bringing home paint chips like I should have done in the first place, I bit the bullet and bought a quart of “Caliente” red instead. Why had I been so sure I knew what color I wanted? 

The moral of the story is: never buy paint without first bringing home a variety of paint chips to compare in the actual room where you’ll use it. Don’t trust your salad tongs. 

Our kitchen chairs, after. Couldn't get a decent shot of the door.
The bigger thing I realized is this: the old me (technically, a younger me) would have settled. She would have been too impatient to wait for the store to reopen on Monday. She would have painted everything Dinner Party Red and lived with a color she couldn’t stand, trying forever to convince herself it was fine. 

I’m glad I’m not that person anymore. I love my red door and chairs. It was worth the extra wait, the extra work, and the extra expense. And come December, it’s going to look awesome with a Christmas wreath.

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