For Jerry Seinfeld, it was cabinets — for me it was paint.
After we remodeled the inside of the house 15 years ago, the wife has been on a 10-year odyssey to save the money and make “cosmetic changes.” Somehow painting the outside was her final task — I would have picked it first. Needed it. But she who must be obeyed was not bothered by the outside mold and crud.
She carefully project managed every aspect of the plastic grass, pavers, BBQ stand, fire pit, killing and cutting down my loving Christmas trees, new bathrooms and new floors, new drywall and crack filling the walls (even the ceiling that gave her a stroke — not kidding).
But when it came time to paint, she almost abdicated her duties. She found a painter recommended by the handyman who installed the doggie door for Carol Baskins. And she said she was done.
“You can organize and supervise the paint jobs… I’ll just check on the colors.”
Shit, another household task with all the responsibility and none of the authority. But such has been my wedded bliss since 1987.
This is how it started:
My goal was to keep the same colors – just add a whiter accent color on the pop-outs, and lighten the garage door. Light colors reflect light – good to fight the summer heat. A brown garage door always seemed fucking stupid to me.
For those of you who don’t know, “pop-outs” are the fake chickenwire and styrofoam frames around the windows, over the garage door, a 2-foot high “band” around the house, and at the top and bottom of the “fake” post holding up the front doorway eve. It’s supposed to make the house look thicker and help you forget that it’s just sticks and stucco.
Then came the questions from Gary… the talented but talkative painter.
- “What colors do you want the eves?
- “What color do you want the garage door frame?
- “What color do you want the front door frame?
- “Do you want the screen door painted?
- “Do you want to paint the bird screens under the roof tiles?
- What finish for all?”
I didn’t even know what “finish” meant. Gary picked Satin — looked great.
The wife panicked on letting me pick “whiter.” I’m not color blind; I’m color apathetic.
I can see colors — I can tell the difference between a red and green light, but I just don’t give a shit about whether it’s an Ivory White or a Navajo White or just a very light gray.
She went to a paint store and picked three sample cards. A tan one for the base coat, a light beige for the accent color and a solid brown for the trim.
I showed Gary her cards.
“Are you sure you want this tan” he asked. “That’s a lot of orange.”
“That’s what she picked,” I said as my apathy set in. “They all look fine to me.”
Gary bought $320 worth of tan paint.
He stated with the new “whiter” accent color on the pop-outs. It perfectly matched the current color of the house.
“That’s what I thought you said you wanted,” Gary said. “I asked if you were trying to match the house, and you said yes.”
He put a splotch of “tan” on the wall and called me outside.
“See. Orange…” Gary the painter sighed. “With that brown trim this house is going to look like Halloween every day.”
He went on to explain in about 25 paragraphs, that tan is based on red; beige on yellow. Once mixed, you can’t take the red out to convert tan to beige.
I had to call on a higher authority.
“Honey, when you get home I have something to show you.”
She was not amused by the orange splotch and the talk of red and tan. Gary’s solution: Buy new house paint that is the exact same shade as the original house color (now the whiter accent color) but make it 300-percent darker.
The wife agreed. It only cost $320 more.
So now my house has 300-percent more pigment. I wanted 300-percent more pigment for me and 300-percent less for the house. But NOOO! the universe decided I should burn after 10 minutes in the sun, but my house should absorb 300-percent more heat.
He could paint it any way we want — we just have to know what we want. We didn’t.
This is how it ended:
Before and After:
At least the garage door isn’t shit brown anymore…
PS — that’s the same roof — it is a multi-colored tile, and in the different time of day/season (amount and angle of sun) the camera picks up different colors.