In most cases the color of paint is the foundation of creating emotion in a space. It can make cold space warm…dark space light and undefined space “defined”. Paint took North from a drab, dowdy, wood-paneled and stained environment into a warm, crisp, clean-lit, space. Using soft matt, cottage-white paint, I painted both trim and walls the same color in the Great Room, allowing the eyes to view freely through the glass filled walls overlooking a western view of Sleeping Bear National Park, Pyramid Point and Lake Michigan,
This is my first experience of taking a “wood based” environment and painting everything…walls, ceilings trim, doors, beams cabinets, faceplates and registers. Everything was going white: so why not just spray paint the place? “One good coat of Kilz and a couple coats of paint and off I go…no big deal.” I said to myself.
Her name is Valarie Lynn. She specializes in large exterior painting projects. Large like the Red Roof Inn. During the winter she moves inside to interior jobs. We met in September and I hired her to help in my transformation of North. I hired her as a solo interior house painter. In the past month her title evolved into Artistic Director of Paint. It all started with the 9 “expresso” stained ceiling beams…first coat of kilz…second coat of kilz…fill imperfections…sand out imperfections. The light color of the primer exposed unfinished issues that were hidden by the dark stain.…nail holes that were not filled…shadowed spaces that required caulk fill. Over and over she patiently dealt with each new imperfection as coat after coat of Kilz/paint was applied. As each additional coat went through its drying cycle, Val began to tackle the stained trim, doors, and cabinets. Methodically she prepared for paint. Kilz…fill…sand…kilz again…fill again…sand again…over and over. We began to discuss how little time was spent “painting” on a job like this. Preparation for the paint was 90% of this job. I never knew.
The paneling proved no different of a challenge. Once the Kilz was applied, gaps appeared where finish nails and caulk were needed which of course had to be filled and sanded repeatedly. The white paint revealed every imperfection that the dark stained wood concealed. It was Valarie’s mission to not miss anything.
We are coming to closure with the paint. Valarie will begin to pack her bags of magical tools next week. I learned so much from her on so many levels. I feel deeply indebted. The depth of her commitment to make North the best that it could be and her positive perseverance for doing things right has been imprinted in my soul forever. She is a true artist in her trade and a pillar of what we all strive to be…