February 9, 2009

Color has taken possession of me

Today the moment of truth came for painting the exterior of Casa Abeja. Last week I had selected paint colors for windows and doors, window and door frames, and exterior wall colors based on an especially attractive color scheme Hermana and I saw in Taos. Today Esperando had me go up to the house and look at the colors I had chosen which were roughed out so I could verify that I liked them. It was then I realized the exterior wall color was identical to the existing one and somehow it wasn’t our house if we didn’t change it a bit. And without the adobe colored walls that had made the jade green doors and teal frames look so fantastic in Taos, the aqua paint I had selected didn’t work so well. The upshot is we had to stop the painter from finishing out the wall color and make a new trip to the paint store to change the color scheme.

When we first started discussing exterior paint, Esperando told me we were only going to buy a small quantity to “test drive” because of my propensity to want to fine tune colors, so he was expecting this reversal. We drove slowly through town so I could look at a few other buildings and focus on exactly what color scheme I really wanted and by the time we reached the store I knew what to get. The frustrating thing at the paint store is that their paint samples are bound in a 15-page book with 30 chips on each page and no way to check to those chips you like against the other chips on a backing page. I decided I better keep my scheme simple with colors I knew would work together because I couldn’t easily do any chip comparisons. So now I have selected a much deeper shade of aqua with more of a blue cast, an off-white trim for frames, and deep golden yellow stain for doors and windows.

Still that was probably the easy part—now we had to get the paint mixed and pay for it! You wouldn’t think a store that just sells paint could be so busy in such a small town, but I swear 15 people came in after we had selected our paint. The paint mixing machine was broken so the paint had to be hand stirred. The stirrer person got involved in an extended conversation with some other person wanting to buy paint, so our paint was seriously overstirred while we could have been paying for it. Then they waited on an old lady, even though we were there first. By the time we left the store 40 minutes later you could barely move so many people had come in. We bought two gallons of oil-based paint and one container of thinner to the tune of US $70. Esperando thinks the paint is highly expensive here especially considering its poor quality. And he still doesn’t believe me when I tell him that the color choices I made today are perfect. Just like a man to not believe a word you tell them.

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