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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Painting and Pet Peeves

A few days ago my neighbor and I took a break from the exterior stone work on his house to redo the interior walls of his bedroom.

We removed layers of pink and turquoise wallpaper down to the plaster. (I was told the doors, now an off-white, were bright yellow when he moved in.) The idea was to paint the room a simple bright white as, facing north, it can be quite dark.

Christopher opened his new tub of paint and we looked at it aghast. Mind you, I'd been previously warned how bad the paint can be here, and how brutally expensive nonetheless. This looked like milky water with a dollop of white resting on the bottom. Despite prolonged stirring, the watery mix dripped off the wall without any pretext at concealment. Chris looked at me in despair. However, I had a solution.

I possessed a 15-litre container (roughly 4 American gallons) of what I was told was the best French paint, Dulux Valentine, for 100 euros (about $150.00). Thus far, I'd used it on two small walls in the kitchen and a bit of the bathroom so I had most of it left. Christopher retrieved it from my house while I entertained Tilly, my 11-week-old puppy. I'd brought her because she has exhibited real separation anxiety issues and will yowl for hours on end if I have the temerity to leave her home while I go next door to work. You can hear her yowling through the closed windows. It's heartbreaking. Okay, okay, she's got me completely wrapped around her paws and she knows it.

Anyway, it wasn't long before we were back at work, me up on a ladder doing the brush work along the trim while Chris eagerly slapped the roller over the walls. Unnoticed by me, Chris had slopped a large blob of paint atop the flattened cardboard we were using in lieu of a drop cloth. Unnoticed, that is, until I descended the ladder.

I gasped as I looked at the blob in horror. Tiny white paw prints led straight from it to the bedroom door, beyond into the kitchen and out of sight. Now it was my turn to howl.

"Oh, my God, she's walked through the paint!" Chris immediately said not to worry; it would clean up easily.

"But where is she?" I cried. I envisioned sweet little white paw marks drying on his dark chocolate brown sofa...or worse.

Fortunately, Tilly's penchant for brushes and brooms meant she'd only gotten as far as the tiled kitchen, pausing by the fireplace to steal the dustpan broom Christopher uses to sweep the ashes from his wood-burning fireplace. As we burst into the room, she sat contentedly by the fire chewing the sooty bristles, ignoring us as her paws gripped the handle, contrasting a gleaming white. "Blanc satin luminieux" to be precise.

Well, at least she hadn't licked her feet.

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