All the Pretty Paint
I’ve been on vacation since July 29, and rather than spend this week at the cottage on Grand Manan Island with my husband and his wonderful family, I decided at the last minute to stay home so I could get things done. I’m not a person who can sit around when there are things needing attention. I have this novel I’m trying to finish, and my husband recently pressure washed the deck so it could be repainted, and pulled the ugly, stained, ripped carpet off the stairs while I sanded the banister (these stairs are the first thing you see when you open our front door, and they’ve long been a thorn in my side).
My husband and his children left our house very early last Saturday morning, and I got to work. I started with the deck, because that’s the big grungy brown thing everyone sees when they drive by our house (I really noticed how awful it looks lately, standing at the bus stop across the road. It’s funny what you notice when you change your perspective. I actually felt sorry for the neighbors who see it from that angle every day). The pressure washer split some of the wood (we borrowed a pressure washer and it was a little too strong for the job) but this deck is on its last legs anyway. I just wanted to freshen it up a bit, make it look less desolate. Give it another few years of life before it has to be torn down and rebuilt. I thought it would be cool to use the charcoal grey (technically it’s called “Pencil Point”) I painted the front door to do the lattice work so that it matches, and a lighter, grey-blue on the rest. We chose “Connecticut Blue” (which looks a lot like what my mom used to call “Wedgewood Blue”). My husband didn’t want me messing with the big ladder while I was here alone (and neither did I) so I wasn’t sure if I could get the outside wall painted while he was gone. I had to try, of course (good thing I’m tall!). I reached up as far as I could from the ground, and then reached over the railing from the top to fill in the rest of the wall. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was crazy. Why doesn’t she just use a ladder? That’s okay though because if my neighbors have been paying attention at all the past five years, they probably know I’m a little nuts (like that other time my husband went away for a week and I had to literally drag a big black bag full of four weeks’ worth of garbage to the curb – because garbage day is only every other week and we’d missed the last one. I kid you not – I could not lift the bag and had to drag it with both hands down the stairs and across the yard to the curb. I’m sure the neighbors must have thought I had a dead body in that bag).
It took me a few days, but I got most of the deck done before I ran out of paint (literally scraped the bottom of the can trying to get a little more out of it). I need one small can to finish up the floor and the steps, and maybe touch up a few places here and there. I’m not as thrilled with the combination of the two colors as I expected to be, but it’s sure a hell of a lot prettier than it was before.
BEFORE & AFTER PICS!
I also tackled the inside banister this week. I love to watch all those home improvement / reno shows on HGTV (Courtney and Dave in Nashville are my favorites), and I’m always seeing the two-tone staircases on there, and in magazines and online. Pretty much every time I see a staircase redone, it’s this way. I looked online and it seems “Java” is the brown most people use. We looked at two different paint stores and the closest to “Java” I could find was “Sweet Molasses”. The risers and treads (aka “the steps”) have to wait for my husband (there are lots of holes and gaps and crazy unexpected things to be dealt with before those can be painted), but then they will get the same two-tone paint job as the banister. I am super happy with the way this turned out so far! (I can’t find a before pic of the banister, but it had many layers of a cherry-colored stain that no longer really looked like a stain, and did not, in any way, shape or form, go with the living room floor – or anything else).
So, what about that novel I’m writing? Did I get any work done on that? I’m using the 3-Act story structure that many novelists (and screenwriters) use, and my goal for this week was to get through the rewrite of Act 1. I finally finished that at noon yesterday. (Go, me!)
All in all, it’s been a whirlwind week but I am really pleased with all the results (bonus result: the tan I got painting the deck!). I have this weekend to let my muscles recuperate (my neck is so sore!), read and, of course, enjoy a cold drink on my deck.
What have you been up to this week?