Painting proves picture of horror

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Halloween's over, but the horror of interior decorating remains.

We're still in the middle of painting Becca's room.

Last weekend, we put on a coat of white, oil-based primer paint after stripping the circus-design wallpaper from the walls with the aid of a steamer that turned the room into a primitive sauna.

Joni and I could have painted the whole thing ourselves, but we decided to let the kids help. Besides, Becca and Bailey were begging to paint even as we taped the window frames to protect them from the paint job.

The girls couldn't wait to use the rollers.

It didn't take them long to get up close and personal with the can of paint. Within minutes, Becca looked like a ghost. Her arms and legs were covered with the white paint, although she also managed to get some on the walls.

Bailey soon had plenty of paint on her arms and legs too. Kids, it seems, are just paint magnets.

Becca and Bailey had so much paint on them I considered rolling them over the walls.

I made a quick trip to the local hardware store to buy some paint thinner. When I mentioned my kids were helping paint, the store clerk suggested I consider buying a huge container of paint thinner.

I told her I didn't think we needed that much paint thinner.

As it turned out, Becca was quick to grab the paint thinner and scrub the paint off her body even as the rest of us finished painting the room.

A few days later, the girls and I painted the baseboards and chair rail black. Years ago, I painted them a pastel blue. Now, Becca wanted them painted a solid black to go along with her jungle room theme.

Bailey managed to get black paint all over her hands and arms. Fortunately, the black paint could be washed off in water, making for easier cleanup.

Even with newspapers spread on the floor, the girls managed to drip black paint all over the carpet. Fortunately, we already had plans to take up the carpet and replace it with laminate flooring. Had that not been the case, we would have had to paint the whole carpet black.

That might have looked grand in a horror movie, but it would have been a little dismal for an 11-year-old girl's bedroom.

We're scheduled to put a cream and tan coat of paint on the walls this weekend.

If all goes right, we might finish painting the room today.

Becca will be thrilled. So will Bailey. Our 7-year-old has had to share her room with Becca and climb over a ton of Becca's furniture just to get ready for school each morning.

Becca's dresser drawers are piled to one side and it's hard to get around the extra bed in the room.

Meanwhile, the renovations continue across the hall. And that's just one room. We've got to strip wallpaper from two other rooms before we even touch another paint roller.

The whole endeavor is enough to frighten the soul and make the most fiendish witch feel right at home.

Joni managed to fall off a stepladder during the painting. Clearly, it must have been the work of some ghost.

Fortunately, Joni didn't have to go to the emergency room, although Bailey probably wouldn't have minded. She dressed up as an emergency room doctor for Halloween.

She likes the idea of surgery. She doesn't mind getting covered in paint.

As for our house, it appears to be on life support. But we're pretty sure it will pull through.

We're just not sure about our family.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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