Monday, June 23, 2014

Painting Season Starts. Sort of.

Yes. I know. I KNOW. Don't tell me.

I'm going to talk about painting in a bit. I promise. But first we need to review some house history.

Here's how I think my screen porch happened: two guys consumed an entire case of Natty Light and drunk-dared themselves to construct a screen porch out of whatever they could find laying about the place.

That's as charitable as I can be. I've certainly been less so.

Of course, I didn't help by then stacking random crap in it when I was too lazy to take it all the way to the garage or curb.

Back in 2012 I got sick of the mess and cleaned it up a bit. I talked about it in this post here, and got it to this stage:

At least there was no tripping while walking through what is the arguably worst architectural feature of my home. Still, I don't really want to tear it down or spend a ton of money fixing its considerable faults. I just want the screen porch. This is a true silk purse, sow's ear situation. Or maybe even a case of turd polishing. It's borderline, really. 

Now we're going to talk about painting. 

I've been itching to get started on exterior paint projects since May. But haven't had a child-free AND rain-free weekend since then, either. Two weekends ago I was absolutely stubbornly determined that I would, swear on a stack of paint cans, make progress. Mother nature scoffed at me, and decided send the showers down. Nonstop. All weekend. 

So I set up a little indoor paint station on the screen porch. I figured I could work on painting the shutters instead of the siding. 

But while I worked, I kept noticing (and hating) the mauve paint that had been slapped on the plywood walls, 

And how badly that paint clashed with everything in the room that I wanted to be there-- the table, the chairs, the area rug. Blech. It looked dark, and like an old bruise. Here's the corner of the screen porch as it abuts the house. 

At a certain point, my hatred of mauve, the paint brush in my hand, and the realization that I would be doing no outdoor painting that weekend caused a little mental collapse, and I did this:

Yeah. My reaction was underwhelming too. I did not love it. Even though I did love it on the shutters. Yes, that's pretty insanely fickle and inconsistent. However, I decided I liked it a lot more than the dark mauve, and that I was likely to have a ton of the honey yellow left over. I also noticed that the yellow picked up one of the colors in the print of the chair cushions. So I kept going.

As I went, I realized my eye was rebelling against the combination of the two paints and that, of course, would be erased when it was all completely the yellow color. So things seemed to get better as I went.

I know I should have planned. I know I'd been talking about re-paneling those walls with something else. I know I should have ripped up the nasty wall-to-wall first. I know. I know.

Instead I knocked it out in a couple of hours while it poured outside.

It ended up like this:

It looks so much fresher!

The exterior house siding that is actually in the screen porch is white, as pictured above, and is not the same color as the actual exterior parts of the house, which is the dreaded pinky-beige. In some instances I have obsessive issues with symmetry, and this is one of them. Since the rest of the house exterior was going to be green, it only made sense that the portion on the screen porch was the same:

The color looks a little goofy and too intense in this photo, rather than the pale olive color it actually is. But the corner shows the view into the kitchen and how it looks from the seat in the wicker chairs. 

There are certainly more improvements that I'd like to be done to this area of the house (blinds or outdoor fabric drapes for the windows, tongue-and-groove wood-paneled ceiling, a different fabric on the cushions, a light/fan fixture, the carpet taken up and the concrete floor stained), but for the amount of time I put in, I was able to make a room a lot more bearable to me aesthetically. Now when I look out of my kitchen patio door I see sunshiny light, instead of brooding (can paint brood? I think that mauve did) darkness. 

I'll have more paint progress to report next week. In the meantime, I hope my readers are getting sunshine on their decks, porches, or patios. Enjoy your summer!


  1. Definitive proof that you and I are DIY soulmates. And for whatever it's worth, I think that was a very good use of your time. Some things are so soul-sucking they need to be dealt with right now, even if it's not really practical. Wish I'd understood that much sooner. (You might remember some seashell wallpaper that looked like body parts...) Can I tell you how much I love that shot of the mauve wall with yellow slapped all over it? :-)

  2. I totally agree; that was a great use of a rainy weekend. You got to get your "painting fix" and it's looking a lot fresher even with the old carpet still there. My personal favorite thing to do is to start slapping some nice paint on top of horrid colors (picture lavender walls and purple shag carpet in a bedroom of my first house), and I think it looks like progress. Way to go!