The Yellow Paint Saga

I’m trying desperately not to count down the few days I have remaining of my maternity leave.  Will started his leave a week early to try to get Patricia to take a bottle.  This means I’ve got a bit of time to take care of some loose ends.  The biggest loose end is my plan to clear out the basement in two months.  We are refinishing our basement and at the time it seemed like it would be fairly easy for me to reorganize and clear out the basement before I went back to work.  Of course after I decided that, I ended up with lots of other projects to finish – like Patricia’s room, ladies’ night and easter presents.  Fast forward to, well, today and I am making progress!  That being said, I’m not even close to done.  It turns out we have accumulated a lot of stuff over the past 10 years…

I know I shouldn’t challenge myself to finish in a week what I said I would get done in two months, but would I really be Lexi if I didn’t set completely unrealistic and unachievable goals and burn the midnight oil (and my sanity) trying to meet them?  No.  So here we are and I’m getting a bit downtrodden already considering that it’s Monday and I’m definitely not one fifth of the way through.  Shoot, I wasn’t supposed to be counting down days.  Scratch all that.

Well, one of the things I did finish is Patricia’s room.  Or rather I am declaring that Patricia’s room done enough.  Patricia’s room transformation is something we’ve been working on for… 8 months? Maybe 9 months?  You see, Patricia’s room used to be Will’s office.  This meant we had to vacate the office and move Will…. somewhere.  The logical place was the man cave (the room over the garage) which was the previous owner’s home office.  It even has a separate entrance and doorbell!  It took several months to get everything moved over there.  I even had to cut down a set of Will’s Ikea board game shelves to make room for Will’s desk, but now it looks like it has always been there.

So then the next step was to get the room painted and furniture ready.  Well, sit right back and let me tell you the tale of the great yellow paint fiasco of 2020.  Will has done all the rest of the interior painting in the house and he has gotten really good at it.  We usually use Behr or Valspar but during the pandemic we didn’t want to set foot inside a physical store to pick out paint.  I ended up going with this company called ECOS paints which conveniently mails you swatches and paint (and claims to not have harmful vapors but my belief in that is low).  I wanted another bright cheerful room color like Julius’ (which looks like a sunny blue sky) so I decided to paint the room a happy yellow.  After getting a bunch of swatches, I picked a yellow that I liked, got the paint, prepped the walls and trim and Will started painting.  After the first coat the walls looked horrible.  I mean HORRIBLE.  It was super streaky, and just kind of gross and dirty looking.  In the other rooms in our house we have never bothered with primer since the previous owners left all the walls white and we have never had a problem.  This paint job though was very concerning.  On top of that, Will used an entire gallon of paint on a single coat in a room that is only 10×12.  Julius’s room is slightly larger and it only took him a gallon (and two coats from that gallon) for really good coverage.

So I contacted ECOS and to their credit they responded rather quickly that I needed to use a white primer underneath that they were going to give us free of charge.  They also told us that for our room size we would need 2 gallons because yellow is a tricky color and may require more paint than usual.  This surprised me since a couple years ago I painted our bathroom a very pale yellow and we never had any problems with that.  Okay, he was giving me free primer and we’d already committed to this color so I bought 2 more gallons of the paint.  (Did I mention that this paint is NOT cheap??? So we’re up to over $200 in paint at this point, and that doesn’t count the cost of the primer.)

We get the paint and primer and Will starts again.  I was heartened.  One gallon of the primer completely covered the walls, and the horrible streaky yellow paint.  The walls were white as can be.  Surely the lack of primer was the problem.  Will paints on the first coat of yellow.  Gross, nasty, dirty, streaky yellow again.  This time though Will has wisened up.  He is painting very thin coats to minimize streakiness, so he only went through half the can of paint.  Will paints a second coat.  Still ugly, still streaky.  He opens the second can and paints a third coat.  By now it is getting a teensy bit less streaky, but it looks so much worse than any other room in our house.  On top of this, I hold up the swatch and realize that the color on the walls is like 4 shades darker than the swatch.  It looks uncannily like French’s mustard.  I tell Will this.  He completely agrees.  We decide maybe it will look better in the daylight.

This is the disastrous color after all was said and done. To be fair, what sane person picks the color lemon zest for their walls?  My sister called it “big bird yellow”.

It doesn’t.  It still looks streaky and dirty mustard colored.  I tell Will I can live with it.  He says he might as well do the last coat to see if the streakiness goes away.  It doesn’t.   Don’t get me wrong, the streakiness looks way better than when he started but at this point Will is 6 coats in.  Maybe two more gallons and we’d have the solid mustard colored walls of our nightmares dreams.  Will knows I am sad about the walls.  He is also sad about the walls.  He has spent many hours turning this room into the inside of a condiment container.  I tell him again that I can probably live with the walls (but inside I’m thinking, what kind of child will Patricia become if she is forced to live in a room with mustard laden walls?  Will she be driven to madness?)  He tells me, resigned, to go get new paint.  (After being married to me for nearly 10 years he can read my mind.)

We leave the walls for a couple days to mull things over.  Julius tells us he likes the color (which makes me even more suspicious since he can’t tell the difference between blue and yellow).  My mom sees the wall color and immediately gets us swatches from Home Depot and tells us she will pick up paint for us (I guess she also questions the sanity of a child forced to live in a mustard room).  We get the Behr Marquee paint which claims to only need one coat, but I pick a color that they don’t guarantee to work with just one coat.  Will paints it directly over the ugly yellow mustard.  It looks beautiful.  He still has paint left in the can and uses it up for a second coat.  It looks spectacular.  It only took eight coats of paint total, but I’m in love with the color.  Moral of the story?  No idea.

Anyway, without further ado here is Patricia’s room..

Patricia’s door has a lovely pink ribbon that Amy embroidered for some cute photos of Patricia all swaddled and wrapped up with a bow.

View from the entrance. You can tell from here the room is themed around poppies…

I was deliberating on making a quilt myself (something I really didn’t want to do, even though I loved the little quilt Julius was gifted) and Amy saved me by making this beautiful quilt for the wall! I told her I wanted to steal it for myself!

The quilt perfectly matches the mobile I made! (I will post about that someday.)

Another view of the quilt and mobile. I’m obsessed.

This is the one side of the room I finished before Patricia was born. I’ll probably post about some of them later, but I made the painting, curtains, and pillow. I found the nightstand years ago at a thrift store and it’s been sitting in the basement waiting to be refinished.  I painted it white and added the little basket for all her swaddles and baby blankets.

The chair was in the room when it was Will’s office, and we just decided to leave it. It is actually super comfortable for nursing Patricia. It’s more comfortable than the chair I bought especially for that in Julius’ room…

This dresser used to be in the guest room (before it was Julius’ room) and then spent a while at my parents’ house. I painted it white to match the crib and trim. On top sits all her clip on bows and socks.  The wall hanging is actually a holder for more bows. (I’ll probably post about that later too.)  This is also probably the most accurate view of the wall color.  

That ducky coat hanger is a relic from my childhood. It’s perfect for all her tiny hoodies. That yellow duck is about the same shade as the original wall color.

This bookcase used to be all white. I felt it was missing something so this past weekend I added the wallpaper to the back. Now I think it’s perfect…

The changing table is the same one we used for Julius and houses all our cloth diapers (and some backup disposables).  The picture of poppies is from the same book used for our dining room pictures

Patricia chilling in her room.

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4 Responses to The Yellow Paint Saga

  1. Will (Husband) says:

    The dreaded yellow paint. The one upside of painting a room every evening for like a week was that I was able to start and finish the entire audiobook of Dune. Then of course right after this we found out the movie was going to be delayed a year but c’est la vie.

  2. Amy Colton says:

    Will is a champion painter – just the fact that he painted so many coats shows an amazing patience I didn’t know he had! ha! The room looks beautiful, Lexi! Patricia is a lucky baby girl!

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