My love-hate relationship with paint began when I was 16 years old. I had recently acquired my driver’s license and was backing out of our driveway when I ran smack dab into a pile of paint cans my dad had put out for garbage pick-up. The cans lodged under the car and were promptly dragged out into the street.  By the time I managed to free the car of the mess, the street was a beautiful shade of pastels with smashed metal here and there.  Soon after, a flock of gulls landed on the pavement, pecking at what looked to them like a delicious dinner. 

My experience with paint could only get better, right? The deck on our new house was in need of a paint job.  I recall spending many summer evenings listening to the Cleveland Indians on a little transistor radio while I meticulously painted every spindle, board, and stair of the weathered old deck. It took two coats and when I was done, I was glad my hours of work had paid off.  The deck looked wonderful in its new shade of Brick Red. The first push of the snow shovel a few months later took off strips of paint, and by the middle of the next summer, the lawn chair legs had turned the deck into a two-toned mess. I was glad to replace the wood deck with a brick patio a few years later.

When I decided to paint a small, windowless bathroom a dark green, I figured the contrast with the white sink, toilet, and tub would be striking. Actually, it was like going into an underground outhouse. The paint stayed on the walls for two days before my husband repainted them white.

I stayed away from “bold” for a few years, but when I came across an HGTV Magazine at the library and saw all those daring colors on the cover, I was hooked. I took out every back issue I could get and studied the color combinations and paint inspiration pages. Earlier this year, after putting in a new front door, I took a magazine into Sherwin Williams and said, “I want this paint color.” Maxi Teal! And it is beautiful! I think I may have finally nailed it. I have my sights set on our mudroom next.  What do you think – Carrot Stick, or Calypso Orange?

Gail Ruester is a circulation clerk at the Bainbridge Branch. She is currently reading Sourdough by Robin Sloan.
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