Monday, March 29, 2010

Faux Finishes

For some reason, the onset of a break from school means I feel an inner compulsion to take on a project. Of course, I simply refuse to think of cleaning the house in terms of italicized, and bolded letters, so that never qualifies as a project.

And thus begins Spring Break, and my quest to spruce up the spare bedroom, also known as Paul's garage and my saddle storage room. Not being a total cretin, I have, in the past, made a few futile attempts to decorate said room by making a very cute quilted valance for the windows and using the leftover fabric to make a wall hanging of sorts.

But now, I've decided to go for the gusto. I started my day with a trip to Lowe's -- the Holy Grail of house stuff for me. I've been researching faux finishes -- somehow, I got in my head the idea that it would be very "cool" to make the walls look like leather. While that faux finish is probably well beyond my abilities, I did watch a few online videos about different faux finishes available for those of us who face the daily struggles of being decorating-challenged. After consultation with a gum-snapping paint clerk who readily admitted she didn't know anything about faux finishes, I perused the different options and decided to go with something known as "Brushed Suede." Supposedly, the finished product is supposed to mimic the muted undertones of suede. All I know is that the paint chip looked pretty cool, and the instructions seemed idiot proof.

So I was wrong.

A few observations for those of you out there contemplating a redecorating project that involves painting:

1. Don't.
2. If you decide to go ahead with it anyway, be assured that no matter how many times you watch the damned video on the internet, your experience will in NO WAY match that of Mr. Professional Paint Guy.
3. Be sure to practice your repertoire of swear words in advance. You'll need them.
4. Paint that is designed to have a faux finish probably has something in it. If you go with Brushed Suede by Valspar (available exclusively at Lowe's), it will be a form of silica (according to the can). If I remember my chemistry correctly, that means that what I've got sticking to me everywhere is sand that has been added to paint. As if the paint itself wasn't hard enough to wash out of the the paneling...out of my hair...
5. Don't move the bed out of the room. You'll need it to jump up and down on as you try to roll paint to the top of the wall connected to the vaulted ceiling.
6. Putting a bar stool on the bed to stand on so that you can more easily reach the top of the wall is not such a good idea, especially when you're holding a loaded paint roller.
7. If you throw the comforter in the wash immediately after dropping a loaded paint roller on it, the paint comes out pretty well.
8. Make sure you have all the walls finished before you walk out of the room, slam the door, and wonder who in the world's fantastic idea this was.

The good news is that the base coat is on. I now have to wait four hours before I can start with the top coat. Considering that it would mean I'd be painting all night, I think I'll just play Scarlett O'Hara and sigh, "Oh well, tomorrow is another day." Besides, it may take me that long to work up the courage to go back in there.

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