Painted Into a Corner

One would think after recently recovering from a debilitating journey to wallpaper removal hell I would have come to the conclusion that I’m significantly challenged in all forms of home improvement.

But because I suffer from delusions of grandeur based on the hours I’ve spent watching HGTV I decided instead of giving up I was just going to use a very 2020 sensibility and pivot from wallpaper removal to painting. Never mind that in the past I have proven to be a very, very, unskilled wall artesian.

This time though was going to be different because I was just touching up walls not doing anything that requires skills like painting trim or the dreaded cutting-in (shudder). Before you judge me for being a big cry baby about cutting-in please note that there are like a zillion videos on the internet about the right way to cut-in. So, I ask you if it is so easy why are there so many videos telling you how to do it?

My problems started before I even picked up a paint brush. The issue was how to match the wall color. Now, I’m completely aware that a sane person would have saved the paint swatch perhaps even filed it under home improvement/house interior paint colors. I did this – kind of.

 The problem was I saved the paint swatch of every color I was considering a decade ago when the room was painted. This meant I was left with about 50 swatches.

News flash – it’s almost impossible to take a paint swatch and see if it exactly matches your wall especially when you have dozens and dozens of swatches and they all look almost exactly the same. Some more than others especially if you’re squinting.

It was time to call for help and I enlisted my husband’s advice about which swatch looks like the paint color on the wall. The amount of discourse we had was profound. Not only were reading glasses used but at one point I got out a jeweler’s magnifying thingamabob for up close and personal comparisons. (Note: I don’t even know why I own one or really where it came from. But that’s a discussion for another time.)

I felt like we were paint anthropologists going deep on the life of paint. Had the paint on the walls aged or been bleached by the sun? Was the sheen different on the sample thus making an accurate comparison suspect? Or had the swatches been degraded after spending ten years in a Ziploc bag and shoved in the back of a cabinet drawer?

 Honestly, the level of discussion and introspection we had over matching the paint samples was next level. I’m not sure we examined getting married or having kids with this degree of scrutiny.

I finally had a Eureka moment and unscrewed a painted over cable outlet and took it to a hardware store for a color match. It was a case study in déjà vu.

The paint professional began quizzing me about sheens. Hmm, was it eggshell or satin? I finally guessed satin because it sounded prettier than eggshell. Then he went deep on environmental factors affecting a perfect paint match.

As I felt myself losing my tenuous touch with reality I had to wave the white flag of surrender and just tell the guy to do the best he could and I would live without whatever that was.

Hmm, guess who had to repaint an entire room and do the dreaded cutting-in due to the paint being slightly “off?” That’s right -me. I guess there’s no such thing as a perfect match or at least that’s what this paint anthropologist firmly believes.