Painter’s Progress


I STILL HATE PAINTING, but not so much. The guest room is done — not yet dry, but done. The job got less miserable as it went along because I felt closer to the finish line, though painting this small bedroom — it can’t be more than 100 square feet — took me the entire week.

Here’s what I mean:

  • Last Sunday, I primed the new sheetrock walls and ceiling.
  • On Monday, 2 coats of Ben Moore’s China White on walls and ceiling, except for one short wall.
  • Tuesday, 2 coats of Ben Moore’s Rhythm and Blues on the short wall. Pleasant color – it’s growing on me.
  • Wednesday, I decided to paint a second, longer wall blue as well (and I’m glad I did – it makes the new window pop, and it’s lovely to catch a glimpse of blue down at the end of the hall). That took two coats, naturally — and rendered the two previous coats of China White on that wall unnecessary, but what can ya do.
  • Somewhere mid-week, I put one coat of China White semi-gloss on the window moldings and one set of shutters.
  • On Thursday, I decided to paint a rusty red iron bed glossy black: 2 coats plus touch-up. That was the only oil-based paint I used, with disposable sponge brushes.
  • Finally, today, having come thus far, I went the distance. I painted the worn tongue in groove wood floor white — Painter’s Select Sand Powder, to be exact. Of course, that took two coats, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

In between, there was much spreading of newspaper, painstaking placement of blue painters’ tape (still visible in these pictures), and washing up of brushes and rollers.


But it’s done, hooray! I have a feeling of accomplishment and renewed appreciation for painters — not so much for the level of skill involved, but for the Zen mindset required to get through it.

That final floor-painting, when I could have just washed the scuffed floors for now and thrown down a couple of area rugs, turned out to be the most pleasurable part, probably for being the last. But also because bending down with a roller is easier than reaching up, and the paint went on very smoothly and quickly.

Beyond that, covering that last bit of surface area with fresh paint seemed to exorcise the ghosts of the previous occupants, in that room at least. Since my neighbors told me recently that some of them (a series of short-term renters) had serious mental and hygiene issues, it feels especially good to have them outta there.

As my friend Debre pointed out, “Painting makes the room glow. I think it is as much energetic as it is a new surface finish.”

I so agree. Now for a badly needed manicure.


Guest Room Re-Do


THIS COMING WEEK, I’M SLIPPING IN A RENOVATION PROJECT that wasn’t even on my priority list. The roofer remains elusive, and I can’t do the parking court until he’s done. I can’t do the deck/outdoor shower until April at least, because the area beneath which I plan to put the 400-square-foot deck is filled with ferns that were the most satisfying part of the landscape when I got here last May, as well as 75 daffodil bulbs, chelone (turtlehead), and astilbes. (I’ll move all that elsewhere, but can’t do it until the ground is good and unfrozen.)


Like a shark, I’ve got to keep moving forward or else I’ll die. Or so it feels. So on Tuesday, a contractor is coming to fix up the 2nd bedroom, or guest room, in my East Hampton cottage. He’ll install a new window I happen to have in the basement, above (custom-made for another house and never used), along the longer wall, which I expect will make the 7-foot-wide room feel much more pleasant. He’ll remove cruddy molding, a damaged ceiling from a long-ago roof leak, and replace the old, wallpapered-over sheetrock and baseboard.

It will also make the house look a whole lot more interesting from the outside.


I’m kind of dreading the whole operation, to tell ya the truth. It’ll last most of the week. It’s been very cold here, and the exterior wall in that room will be open for at least a few hours. And then there’s the dust. But hopefully the satisfaction of accomplishment will trump the inconvenience.

And now the roofer is saying he may also come this week. Chaos!