Monday, September 1, 2008

I! Have Made! Paint!

First of all, let me point out the elephant in the room. I have painted the whole upper level of our house while pregnant. (I only intended to do the nursery, but then I just couldn't stop). Sometimes I get the reaction, "Oh, you can't do that!!" but I did a much research as I could on the subject on my own, and haven't found any real evidence that modern paints have ever done any damage to an unborn child. There are lots of women on the message boards that I frequent who said that their doctors were okay with it, and some that endured and participated in enough renovation that they were sure their baby would be born "with a brush in his hand..." I also received the go-ahead from my doctor, as long as I had proper ventilation in the room, and took breaks. I stopped short of the basement (our TV and rec area) because I couldn't keep that area as open, and because by then I was just too freaking big to get up and down my little step ladder safely. Or at all. I hate stairs right now. I used low-VOC paint (many of them are now, but I used Benjamin Moore), and when it came to our bedroom, I painted it just before we left town for a long weekend at Ma's, so that we wouldn't be sleeping in a freshly painted area. Anyhow, that was my choice and I was personally comfortable with it. I'm very glad of it right now, because all this painting is something I just wouldn't want to address with a new infant. Also, I feel much cozier in my house now (much more like a home).

I've been very happy with how all the paint colors have turned out in our house. I used subtle, almost pastel colors everywhere, except for one chocolate brown wall in our dining room. That's why I was dismayed when the "Withered Moss" color I chose for the hallway looked to be a very, very dark green when I painted a test-swatch on the wall. The original color is the one on the far right. Chris said it looked like "Orc Green." He's nerdy, but he was right.

green paint swatches

I had been too much of a doofus to buy a sample size, of course, so what could I do with this big gallon of dark, yet intense, camo-green paint? I started to experiment on a hand-palette, like you would with a mixed drink: one part this, two or three parts that... My first mix is the one you see on the left. Too brown. The mix I ended up with was three parts orc green, one part white (I actually used trim paint), and just a drop of light brown. I re-created it, approximately, in the same proportions using an empty can of the light brown paint (figuring that the brown coating the can was enough of that color) and adding the green and white. I brought it back to the hardware store, so that they could use their high-powered shaker thing and I'd get a good mix.

The finished result is the one you see in the middle. Just right! We call this one "Uruk-hai": modified, and stronger. Dorks.

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