I will never be Michelangelo. There is no way on this green Earth that I could ever lie on my back for five years and paint a ceiling. As things stand now, I can hardly get down on my back, never mind lie on it for a prolonged period of time. And as for getting back up, well, sure that’s a gymnastic feat in a category all of its own.
But it’s the painting that I’m impressed with.
My little house was looking a tad drab, I thought, and with the weather being more sun now than showers, it could do with a bit of sprucing up. A touch of colour. A paint job.
How Michelangelo ever decided on a colour scheme I’ll never know. Have you ever tried to pick colours?
At the hardware superstore there are aisles full of paint tins, brushes, rollers, trays, handles, spray guns, nozzles, cleaners, fillers, tapes and every sort of product you could possibly need to paint the Cistine Chapel. I just want to paint a couple of small rooms.
There’s enough colour cards and walls of swatches that would blow your mind. Honestly — you need a degree in graphic design just to get through the colour cards.
Too much choice
I was thinking of something cream. Neutral. Do you know how many creams there are? And who in the world ever came up with the names.
“Can I help you?” the nice young woman asked.
Perfects, thinks I. I’ll have this wrapped up in a jiffy.
“I’m looking for some cream paint,” says I, confident, like I’m a man on a mission and the finish line is in sight. Painting is the easy bit.
“Cream?” she says, with an air of superiority that has suddenly left me questioning my choice.
“Is it a kitchen? A bathroom?”
She want to know the details of my house, like she’s coming over for dinner.
Just a couple of rooms. Matte finish. Nothing shiny. I’m led to a section of paints where there is literally ever colour under the rainbow, and then some — because I’m not sure whether the rainbow is matte, gloss, semigloss or acrylic even if it’s an outdoor durable paint jobbie.
And cream? There’s at least two dozen creams. You have your basic creams, magnolias, eggshells and then the shades start heading into yellow territory. Yellows like custard or something you see on a plate when you tuck into your breakfast.
Cream. There’s a natural hessian, a morning sand, an evening shade and then they start getting into beiges. Beige used to be just beige back in the days when I was young enough to play with crayons and follow the lines in the colouring book. But now? Is it any wonder today’s young children start to cry if you take their tablet away and give them a packet of crayons and some paper to keep themselves amused.
Greys and greens
Beiges then start to wander off into grey territory and then greens begin to creep in. The more I look at the colours, the more I get confused. I begin to sweat. If I knew what palpitations were, I’d been having them — them and some kittens too.
Cream. If you don’t focus, those creams start to blend in with greys all too easily. Greys like sea mist or African dew. Yep, there’s 50 shades of grey — and then some. But I just wanted cream.
I’m sure the young girl saw my plight. Stunned into silence. Blinded by the lights of colours.
“Maybe you’d like to try some samples?” she says.
Then she leads me to an aisle where there’s dozens of little paint test pots ….
As things stand now, one wall is a patchwork of creams, beiges, magnolias, eggshells, custards and yolks. And I still can’t decide.