Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Perfect Porch Color

Even though my house is usually a cluttery mess, I am a very picky person.  If we hang a picture a fraction of an inch off, it drives me crazy.  If we move it so it's right and it leaves a visible nail hole in the wall, that drives me crazy too.  Crazy, crazy. 
Usually when choosing paint colors, I am all over it.  I get color samples, stress over what goes with what, ask three or four artistic friends, sleep on their advice then cautiously proceed with the decision.  I buy a paint sample, paint a piece or two of poster board, hang it on the wall and see how it feels living with it.  After a couple of days, I allow myself to get a gallon of paint and take the plunge.    

This approach to paint selection was born by experience about three years ago when we had to repaint a wallThere's this certain shade of red that's vibrant and exciting and I wanted it as an accent color in my dining room.  It falls on the orange side of the red family and it's tricky.  Tinted one shade too orange and it would be like living inside Cinderella's coach.  That's the exact color we painted onto our dining room wall - and painted over two days later.  With that mistake corrected, all the colors in the house were perfect!

We were so in love with those colors that we painted stripes of them on a yardstick and brought it with us to our newest home.  Since we already had the colors we wanted, painting this house was a breeze.  I guess that's why I let my guard down.

Last weekend while I was moving furniture all around and cleaning out closets, my husband was looking for something to do outside to avoid getting sucked into my project. He hit upon the idea to stain the porch, the deck and the stairs going up the hill.  He asked me to go help pick out the stain, but I said no, I trusted his judgment.  What was I thinking?

Jerry was gone a long time and when he came back, he was smoke-billowing-out-his-ears mad.  He had purchased a five gallon bucket of pumpkin colored stain - in your face pumpkin - and paid a premium for the privilege. This was a serious error on his part and he knew it.  That this color was never going to see the bristle end of one of our paint brushes was beyond obvious to us both.  That it was a "custom color, non-returnable" was also clearly evident to anyone who could read.

The literature that came with the stain said that it was guaranteed to last for nine years.   After reflecting upon what it would be like living in the third ring of Hell with me for nine long years, my husband wisely decided to take the stain back and throw himself on the mercy of the paint clerk.

Later, much later, he arrived home once again.  Dark tint had been added to the orange stain.  I didn't think enough tint could ever be put in there, but Jer painted a sample board to check.  By this time it was twilight so we couldn't really see the results well enough to decide.  Jerry had already prepped the porch though so we rolled the dice, took our chances and painted it.  In the morning, we climbed up our driveway to survey our paint job from afar.

A miracle had occurred!  Somehow, bumbling fools that we clearly are, we'd managed to buy the perfect porch color, in spite of ourselves.  People will marvel at our clever choice!  This porch will never look dirty because we stained it the exact color of South Carolina mud.  

Crazy, crazy.


woodenstamp said...

Such a riot. I was looking for the picture of the new color,"South Carolina Mud."

Cindy said...

Love it! As long as it is on your deck and not invading your white laundry! I hated trying to get that color our of April's little socks when she would go outside and take off her shoes! (Perhaps this is why she now goes barefoot whenever possible!)