Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

One Door Closes...Finally!

Completion!!!  Do you ever find that it seems to be the simplest little jobs that somehow take the longest?  Last Jul... hang on, let me check... nope, August (not quite as bad as I thought), I accidentally walked into the job of painting the doors on the library, which is right across the street from my house.  Part of the reason I said I would take on the project was the proximity.  Not really the paint work I do, rolling solid paint and brushing trim, but Georgine, the librarian, wouldn't have to come in on her day off, if I could paint the doors there, rather than remove them.  In the back of my mind, Little Tiny Voice screamed "Give her Paul's card!  No?  Then take the job, but sub it to Paul!", but from out of my mouth came something like, "Sure, piece of cake, no problem."  I'm pretty sure I heard Little Tiny Voice mutter something like "Just shoot me", before it retreated to a dark corner.

Library door "before".  Gray primer with sample colors taped in place.
 Deep breath.  In... and...out...

Now, I Dawn-Marie deLara, do solemnly swear to never ever again take on a straight paint job, unless I truly am subbing it to Paul and Peggy at Buckets of Color (Minneapolis to Mankato 952-873-4679).  There.  I've stated it publicly.  No going back, now.

I honestly think the most difficult thing for me to do is to get a smooth coat of paint (though pounding a straight nail runs a close second).  Add to this a few variables:  First, there were weeks of daily rain, broken occasionally by 90 degree scorching heat, and the rare days of fine weather, I was on decorating jobs with strict deadlines that couldn't be rescheduled, so I kept trying to paint this in less than even semi-ideal conditions.  Second, on the day I drove 40 miles for paint, my favorite paint store was out of my beloved Benjamin Moore DTM in the base I needed, so I let them substitute an "equal" product. 

I'm sure the strength is equal, because judging by how hard it was to sand smooth after every messed up coat, a jackhammer isn't going to nick the stuff.  Even the times I tried without wind or baking heat, I could not get a smooth coat.  I did get very good at sanding, though, and 3M, maker of Sandblaster sand paper, will no doubt see a rise in their profits this quarter. 

Finished!  Except for top coating the golden primed trim.  Oh, and the details...
Finally, a few days ago, I added an extender ( a product that keeps the paint wet longer), which didn't work, so I doubled the maximum amount, and tried it again yesterday, at sunrise, on a calm, cool morning, with prayers and pleas for angelic intervention, and a promise to the Divine to never ever again say "yes" to a job that isn't what I really do.  I'm not kidding.  There was a good long minute of silence before I picked up the roller.  It worked.  Credit the extender, the weather, or the angels, but I think it was the promise that I have learned my lesson, that I can safely acknowledge that I am not (even supposed to be) good at everything (which just might possibly be one reason why there are a lot more people than just me on the planet), and that I can safely say "no" to the jobs that really aren't mine to do. 

This is of course, not the end of the story. 

From the start, I've known Georgine would have preferred some snazzy accent color, something special on the front door, and I've wondered if I should take the time to add a detail.  I couldn't charge for it, as it wasn't in the bid, but not only would it please the Keeper of the Tomes, it could be good for business.  After all, Georgine, contrary to librarian stereotype, is as talkative as I am, and runs the Information Hub of Belle Plaine over there, so she would certainly be sure to tell people where to find me.  My only problem was that I needed to finish this today, and I had an Artgirl coming for class at nine o'clock, during the prime painting hours.

Sometimes problems are their own solutions!  I met Faithie at the front door, with an exclamation of "Field Trip!", and away we went.  Faith is home schooled, and I am privileged to be a part of that.  I mostly stick to art, but lately many of our projects are needing math, so I figured this would be a good place to practice both math and measuring, plus perspective.  We've been working on architectural drawings, and gearing up for some model building, so today was a good warm-up for that.
Yes, Honey, you do the math.  Yeah, that's my clipboard in her hands.  No calculator, no little computer-thingy, just a pen and the little gray cells.  

This vintage yardstick from a lumber yard lists their phone number as "38"!  Interesting to see what technology has changed, and what is exactly the same!  Faithie liked measuring.

Faithie did NOT like taping.  I must admit that I DID like her taping.  My knees especially liked her taping.

Once she saw the first panel unmasked, Faithie was excited to finish painting the rest.

Ta-da!  From flat to formed in about two hours.  This is the simplest version of trompe l'oeil raised panels, but even at that, it will fool most people standing right in front of it.

And here's the front door "after"

I would love to see Georgine's reaction to this when she arrives at work tomorrow.  Probably it will just be relief to see the job is finally done!  Alas, I'm off to paint and distress a china hutch, but I'll see her a bit later at the Garden Club meeting, which meets at the library tonight (if you are in the area bpgardeners.blogspot.com).  They aren't exactly impressed with my addition of zinnias and mariagolds to my usual repertoire of mint and ditch lilies, so maybe the door will wow them.  Hey, I never said I was good at everything! :)

I am pretty good at decorative paint and plaster, so check out my website, theartofthehome.com, to view my portfolio, and for details on how to hire me.

If you are working on a project that you think I might know something about, feel free to email me with questions.  I'll answer if I know something helpful. dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.


Maureen Carlson said...

So, what did Georgine say? Did you show her the post? Looks great. Will certainly think about you and all your hard work next time I absentmindedly open that door!

And Faith's photos are priceless.

Dawn-Marie deLara, Artist in Wonderland said...

Georgine was leaving as I arrived, but took a minute to say she LOVES the doors, and would I ask the city if they will spring for marbelizing the inside columns. At the garden club meeting, one member stood right in front of the door saying, "I don't get what the big deal is", then shreiked with surprise when she touched it and realized it was flat. Funny thing is that sometimes really little kids aren't at all fooled. It's a brain-train thing, I guess.