Monday, July 09, 2007

If I Were a Painter, I Would Not Inhale

Our house was built in 1945 and came with the original wooden windows. They're beautiful, but mostly they do not open or if they do, some are prone to mysteriously slamming shut of their own accord. It has freaked all of us out to be sitting on the couch or something and having a window SLAM! shut for no reason. There are two possible explanations:

1) the air temperature has cooled causing the paint to contract and removing the friction that was holding it open (not all of them have their old counterbalances; you can hear them if they are there) thus allowing the window to slam shut.

2) We have a ghost. Or ghosts.

When I think of the danger posed if the glass panes were to break upon slamming shut...that is why they were replaced with a more modern version that open when you want them to, plus the energy efficiency whosits. It's the coolest thing.

That process took awhile because when the windows arrived, it was discovered that five of them had something different about their tracks or sills or what-the-heck-ever technical windowspeak, and so the windows that had been ordered for those were too small.

Reorders were made, time passed. A holiday came and went. The grass may have grown under our feet.

Last Friday, the remaining five windows were installed. A shout went out and the homeowners were happy!

Enter: today. The windows are all done! Still happy! The painter is here to slap on a coat of paint that will soon dry and so we can hang blinds up again and give up our exhibitionist ways. Except, no. It couldn't be that easy, could it?

When we first looked at this house last fall, one of the reasons we liked it so much was the unique and beautiful colors there were throughout the house. When we moved into our house in January, we found some paint cans inside. I never looked too closely at them except to identify them as some or all of the colors used in the house, which there are many lovely and beautiful complementary colors used.

The painter looked closely at those cans this morning, only finding one trim color. There are three on the inside alone. He grumpily told me they only called him on Friday for this job (it's Monday) and that when they did they also assured him that the paint cans were here. He sighed and said he had to go to Bend to get the colors, but this was only after he checked dozens of paint chips against the front door frame. He stood there in this door frame and held up chips and then threw them on the floor. The door frame was painted the same color as the window trim, but it was not to be repainted and had the problem of reflecting not only the red color that the nearby door was painted, but also the red color of the painter's own t-shirt as he stood there, grumpily tossing paint chips because they didn't match the mysterious paint color his own shirt color was interfering with.

Even though I am a painting amateur I boldly suggested it was flawed logic to stand there with the red reflection affecting the look of the paint and chip colors. I further spoke plainly that I thought using an actual window trim piece where actual paint will be applied MIGHT JUST POSSIBLY BE SMARTER.

"But, this is where I can see the color best," painter-guy said. Yes, but if it's the wrong color.......

Um. What? How many times have you painted anything? By the looks of your shirt, many times, and while wearing that same shirt. But judging from the sense of the words coming out of your mouth are making when you consider the entire circumstance, I would guess this to be your very first time.

Did you know you could scrape paint and take it in to be analyzed and matched? And that, paint stores give out small amounts of paint as a sample that you can take with you and paint a small area as a test? And, probably other suggestions, but right now I just thought of two - TWO! - whole ideas and I am a non-painter. I can think of two things in about, oh, 10 or 15 seconds of thoughtful consideration. Painter-guy took another half hour to flip through paint chips - although he finally did move to the window trim away from the weird red light - and finally announced, but not without a think slathering of resignation, "I have to go to Bend to test this paint."


I think I had five aneurysms already, buddy. Glad you arrived at what I figured out as soon as I knew there weren't actual paint colors available in the cans I had!!!! ARGH!!!!!

If they were looking for a spokesperson, I think low-VOC paint manufacturers have a live one in this guy, because duuuuuuuude.


Anonymous said...

Oh, isn't it ALWAYS something with the homeownership?! My husband has brought up new windows a couple of times and I'm not ready to go there yet. My in-laws had people come out and measure for french doors to be installed where their sliding glass door was; a couple of months later the installers came! With the doors! Which were made backwards. And so again with the reordering and the waiting and the installing. Hello.

I can't believe the bit about the painter. How maddening. I had a guy like that come look at my Anna Nicole memorial tree of mourning - a guy who was supposed to pull the tree out of the ground - and pronounced "the roots on this tree are really big. I don't know how you would get it out of there." Hello, why are you here?

Too long...shutting up now....

Lady M said...

I hope that someday, someday, Painter Guy brings the right paint.