Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Red Doors

In times of economic uncertainty, women's magazines change the flavor of their articles from "Designing your New Home" to "Fixing up Your Current Home."  It was one of these "Add Pizazz to your Place" type articles that Mary Ann was reading when she stumbled upon the idea to add punch to her house by painting her front door.  Paint the front door?  Hmmm.... How hard can that be?  So she went off to Home Depot, brought back paint chips and chose one.

When she had the paint mixed, the color was electric pink, not the raspberry she'd been expecting.  "Don't worry," said the paint clerk, "It will dry darker."  So she went home and painted three coats on her door.  Of course, it didn't dry darker and now she had a hot pink door.  Electric pink.  So pink that it almost vibrates.  "It's like a big kiss." said our friend Dee.  Yeah - a big kiss by a girl whose color-blind boyfriend chose her shade of lipstick! 

Mary Ann asked me my opinion and I said, "Yick."  She so totally agreed that she took her paint back to have the clerk darken it.  He cheerfully did so which, I might add, was a nice surprise -  and she came back home and painted two more coats of the new color.  She still thought it was too pinky so she went back again and the clerk mixed her a new, darker color - gratis.  I think he knew how horrible that first color truly was and didn't want his conscience to bother him.  Back at home, she painted two more coats of the third color, then just stopped.  The thrill of a new colored door was gone.

One of her closest friends popped over and said, "I'm going to be blunt with you, this door needs another coat of paint."  I guess when they took the VOCs out of paint, they took some of the effectiveness out of it too because after seven coats, you can still see the original door color.  Mary Ann says she's finished for now and maybe she'll just buy a new door all together.

Meanwhile, Jerry was looking for a small project and I said, "Has this door ever been painted?" and that's how we ended up at Home Depot buying paint for our front door.  I wanted a royal purple because I love that color and also because I thought it would look good with our beige siding.  Jerry, whose mother always had a fire-engine red front door, wanted cranberry.  I deferred to him because a rich, dark cranberry sounded mighty appealing too.  I went off to look at bushes while Jer had the paint mixed.

When he met up with me he said, "The paint color looked almost fuchsia, but the clerk said not to worry because it will dry darker."  He could feel my nervousness so he whipped out the paint chip and showed me where the guy had painted part of it to prove it was the same color.  It was.  I still was a little antsy -- because, as we all know by now, paint is not refundable.

Back at home, Jerry had already painted two coats on the door when I looked at it.  It seemed strangely familiar.  While he was putting on coat number three, I snuck up the hill with the paint can lid.  Yep.  We have painted our front door the exact same color as our next-door-neighbor's.  Our cranberry door is actually the same as Mary Ann's raspberry door.  It's a cheerful color though and, like Mary Ann, I'm so done with it.

Choosing a paint color from a chip the size of a postage stamp - or even of an index card for that matter - is a risky business and it is not an activity I would recommend for the faint of heart.  On the other hand, I heartily recommend choosing a community, like ours, where you can paint your door any color you want, even if that color's raspberry.


Anonymous said...

I have so many paint chip cards, I now use them as book marks....seriously!

After remodeling we decided everything needed a fresh look inside. We had already gone through painting the back hallway a chocolate color. It was too dark, and that experience had me worried. What went with what? I love gentle colors but did not want the house to look like the interior to look like an Easter basket.

About the same time, while shopping for eco-friendly stain at an eco-friendly store I discovered a barrel with posterboard-sized paint samples, rolled up and getting along together. The store owner said, "Go ahead," pull out three, "they all are made to go together."

Needless to say, I asked her if we could bring the whole barrel to my house and do a walk through. I love how the painting turned out. The large samples gave me a good idea of how it was going to look. These are Yolo paints. I highly recommend them.


Anonymous said...

Okay....I did not proofread before I hit the "publish your comment" button. I CAN write a sentence!

I meant to say....I love gentle colors but did not want the interior of the house to look like an Easter basket.

: /

A Wandering Soul said...

I've often suggested to my customers that it's better to paint a piece of poster board and hang it on the wall for a week to see how it looks in different lights and times of day.

However, a fuchsia pink door sounds wild and exciting. Adds a bit more pizzazz with something made of leopard print, like a bow on a wreath. Love it!