What to Do When Things Go Wrong
by Nicole Balch on February 28th, 2012
Let me start by telling you a little story. Years ago, before we bought the home we live in now, my husband and I lived on the main floor of a single-family home that had been converted into apartments. We had a very lenient landlord who let us paint the walls whichever colors we liked, and we enjoyed the freedom. Our living and dining area was purple! We were young, and we loved living in a fun, colorful house.
That home, when converted, had gotten an addition to contain the stairs to the apartments. A byproduct of that addition was a bright, window-lined sunroom at the back of the house. We used it as our mudroom and daily entrance, since it was our way out to the car, but we didn’t spend a lot of time back there. What a great little spot to experiment with some color, right? How about hot pink?
Goodness. I could tell it was a little much when I was painting it, but I was not prepared for how it would look in the morning. The room faced south and east, and when the sun came up the next day, the adjacent kitchen positively glowed hot pink. It was terrible! We lived with it for a few days before I tried to mitigate the effect by painting wide tan stripes all over the room. It was not much of an improvement. Eventually I painted the whole room tan and called it a day.
Did it scare me off painting though? No! And I wouldn’t want you to be afraid of making mistakes either. Sometimes they happen, even to the best of us. When we moved into the house we’re in now, I painted the bedroom a pale, buttery yellow. It was a pretty color, but I was instantly transported to my grandmother’s kitchen when I saw the finished result. Who knew I had such a strong association between yellow and kitchens? (Side note: my kitchen is now yellow!) No worries. The room was empty, so I just decided to keep on keeping on. I painted it a pale, neutral taupe the next day and it was lovely.
So what do you do when things go wrong? How do you recover? First, decide if you really and truly hate it, or if it just takes some getting used to because it’s different. Rooms always look better once the furniture is back in, and all the little touches like pillows and art on the wall are in place. If you decide that you do in fact need to repaint, no biggie. Prime over the walls if you’re making a drastic color change (or get a paint with primer built in) and get going. If you’re making a slight change in color or shade, you can just skip right to repainting.
Or hey, you could always give those wide stripes a try!