for a few weeks now — ever since we visited him at med school and told him our planned renovation was off — the plan has been for dave to set up our dining room table somewhere in our house (he was doubtful it would fit in any room) while home for christmas. he was a little vague about when that might be, exactly, so when we got a call from him last saturday morning saying, “i’m home until next tuesday,” we had to gear up from first to fourth pretty quickly.
see, i really wanted to paint our dining room, and even though this has not been an easy week, i’m pretty sure it’s been way easier to stay up until midnight, cursing beveled edges, than if i’d waited to paint until after there was a 300 pound elephant in the room.
however, despite it’s wee dimensions (12’6″ x 15’4″) i will admit this has been the absolute most challenging room i’ve ever painted. it could be because the walls are plaster and by their nature both lumpy and thirsty. it could be because neither of us start our christmas holidays until next week, so we were coming home from work at night and doing this literally by torch light. (and i really do mean literally. there is no overhead lighting in that room, so one of us would hold this cage lamp up while the other rolled.) it could be because the baseboards are 70 years old and needed a fair bit of patching and sanding. it could be because it’s the week before christmas and there are gifts to wrap — hell, gifts to buy — and a tree taking up precious floor space. or maybe it’s because the only other person i’ve ever painted with before is my mom, who, after 30-odd years painting room after room in my parents’ house, has the fastest cut-in skills of anyone i know. any of these issues would be perfectly good reasons as to why this was the hardest room i’ve ever had to paint, but i think it was the details in the room that were the real straw.
what’s not to love about beveled, wooden trim around our windows and doors and original 8″ baseboards, you might ask? i’ll tell you what: it took me four hours to paint one window and some baseboards! even less exciting (from a painter’s perspective) is the realization that these door frames, windows, and baseboards are in every part of the house. and that there are gallons of benjamin moore paint downstairs, waiting to be applied to all walls.
okay, well, dave will be here sometime this afternoon and i still have to touch up our ornamental plaster ceiling (of course) where some summer shower accidentally left its mark.