When I first moved in, the paint was in good shape, and therefore wasn’t a huge priority. But as the years rolled by, I may have painted a room here and there, to freshen things up. If it wasn’t specifically with the intent to redecorate, it was usually the room that got on my nerves the worst from scuffs that would no longer scrub out.
Also, I don’t understand how previous owners could screw up patch jobs by putting matte paint over a wall finished in glossy, and vice versa. Funny enough, they took the time to match the colour perfectly (which, to me, would have been the greater challenge), but missed completely on selecting the right paint finish. Thankfully, I had enough artwork to distract the eye away from those shabby spots until I could have those rooms painted and consistently covered in the same finish.
It was only in recent years, when chasing Ivy the Wonder Cat around with the camera and taking pictures for her Instagram account, that in seeing things at her eye level, I started noticing scuffs more.
For one picture in particular, I spent a solid hour in Microsoft Paint replacing pixels to cover up a truly excellent picture of Ivy but a horrible one of a baseboard in a high traffic area.
With the help of a fantastic professional painting crew over three visits, not only did I catch up quickly but it also inspired me to finish some walls myself. It really is true how a coat of paint can quickly freshen up a place.
The end result was so beautiful, I have caught myself stopping to admire the quality paint job, running my fingers along a given wall, enjoying its smooth and consistent texture, while oohing and aahing. I’m sure a fly on the wall would think that I had lost my marbles.
But now, the challenge is keeping it that way.
Ever since the big paint job, I find myself gasping out loud and cringing whenever I hear anything making contact with a wall.
It’s very strange. It’s not a noise I have ever really noticed before, but now, with resale in the back of my mind, what remaining hair I have stands on end, the goosebumps come out and my stomach goes into fight or flight mode.
The first such occurrence was less than an hour after the paint crew left (after their first visit) and I was putting things back in their place. As I was returning the bench that sits at the foot of my bed back into the bedroom, in my enthusiastic haste, I scuffed the freshly painted bedroom door.
I was devastated. The perfect paint job lasted less than an hour.
Fortunately, on their second visit, the painters and I had a good laugh about it (even though I was still kicking myself over it), and they redid the door.
There have been a few times that I came home from a work a little tired… too tired to make several trips from the car to the house. In the interest of efficiency, I came up the stairs, weighed down like a mule, with multiple grocery bags, along with my usual workday luggage, not realizing that this might be a bit of a wide load.
It’s when one of the bags dragged along the wall that I cringed and envisioned a long line being etched on the wall leading upstairs. But fortunately, to this point, the good quality paint has resisted.
Or there was the frigid winter morning I was trying to quickly transfer seasonal coats from the storage closet to the entry hall closet and I heard a coat zipper dragging along the wall in my I’ve-only-got-two-minutes-for-a-five-minute-task haste. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard!
Even when I am trying to get the vacuuming done, no matter how hard I try, it seems like there is a magnetic force drawing the vacuum cleaner to the walls and baseboards, or for the extended power cord to scrape up against gleaming white walls.
At times like that, I would like to put a bumper pad in every high traffic area in the house. It would be like a plastic cover for the sofa, but for the walls.
That’s when I have to dig deeply, to get into “mindful” mode and to really be aware of vacuuming the floors, to avoid rushing and butchering the walls along the way like a crazed villain in a slasher flick.
And I don’t even have kids… I can only imagine the gasping and cringing that must go on in homes with airborne sports equipment and toys used as projectiles. I suppose that all that parents can do is close their eyes and not let it get to them. Can the painting wait until the kids have gone to college?
Just the same, it doesn’t matter whether the room was done professionally or whether I did it myself, I really would like the paint job to last.
When I notice a new scuff on a freshly painted wall, that’s when I might go into Sherlock mode, trying to figure out the cause, trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and praying that a gentle scrub with a cloth will get rid of it.
If it doesn’t, fortunately, I have enough paint left over to try to touch it up and keep the wall as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
In the meantime, all I can do is to try not to jump out of my skin when life happens to my freshly painted walls.
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