I suppose I’d say I had a blue in mind that was more Araucana chicken egg than robin egg. Something a hint softer and a touch lighter than this color turned out to be? Maybe less saturated? A little muddier? A whisper of a color instead of a hit-you-in-the-face color? But when you decide to paint a room on a whim on the walk home from dropping your children at school, not precisely what you had in mind is sometimes where you land. If I’m being honest, not precisely is where I land most of the time, even when I deliberate for weeks and finally tire of my own waffling and just pick something.
A year and half ago, I painted the trim in this tiny room and wrote about how in the world of apartment progress and projects there’s no such thing as skipping to the good part. Progress takes work and a lot of it is slow and plodding, especially if it’s being done by yours truly. More than that, I wrote how the so-called good part usually isn’t the stuff of the dramatic reveals that the internet trades in, but smaller, subtler changes undiscernible to anyone who doesn’t spend the majority of their time in a place (and certainly to folks who only know it through a screen).
I painted the trim in this room and haphazardly pinned some possible paint colors to my pinboard and then I sold a book and spent more time in these four walls than ever before. The walls remained their landlord-preferred hue of baby formula. The floorspace gradually became filled with remains of book projects and crates of fabric scraps. The vibe shifted a bit when I found an old desk in a nearby park with a sign reading FREE (a street find requires immediate action) but mostly the progress on this room has remained imperceptible, barely tepid on a back burner that tends to sputter and shut itself off.
Last week Rose and I turned in our book edits and yesterday I marched into the hardware store and selected a color that I had heretofore never considered or even heard of. I didn’t take home paint chips. I didn’t compare colors to the deck of fancier paint colors I had at home. I didn’t buy a sample or look up examples of the color in rooms showcased online. I definitely didn’t ask anyone’s opinion. I asked for a gallon of the least environmentally unfriendly paint on offer, and pushed the little three-color card I’d just plucked from the wall across the paint splattered counter. And then I came home to further the job, making one impulsive and impactful change in a small space where other smaller, quieter changes lay a strong foundation.
I can’t say the color is perfect or that the room is finished, which is good since apartment progress never is. Maybe I’ll take the rest of the gallon back to get it retinted. Maybe I’ll mix in white and a touch of brown myself and and just go rogue, chasing my perfect Aurcauna. I don’t know. Sometimes I just need to dive right into a project, to flail a little bit, remember how to tread water, and let myself get tossed by a wave. Not too much tossing, just a little.
For the curious:
The color I chose is Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore*. It’s both more green and more blue than I expected it to be, but I was very pleasantly reminded that Benjamin Moore paint is a real joy to work with and covers the wall so quickly. I used their new EcoSpec paint in an eggshell finish!