Monday, February 20, 2006

Painting with puppies

By this I mean “painting with puppies in the house” and not using the little blighters as brushes. Here is my best practice, honed over several houses and quite a few puppies.

Buy a house with blue carpet (I hate blue carpet), preferably aged blue carpet. As you live through either the puppy housebreaking stage or the incontinent old dog stage, remind yourself that you hate blue carpet.

Plan relentlessly so that wallpaper and paint colors flow nicely through the house. You may redecorate one room, but make sure you love the colors. Don’t worry about stains on the blue carpet. Don’t include the blue carpet in your color scheme—like that would happen!

Generally, I like to have one trim color throughout the house, and I use a lot of nice grayish greens, usually a historical blue-green, sometimes a pink but not too much to the Pepto-Bismol end of the scale. Pale lavender is nice. In this house, I may do a deep red dining room since there is not too much wall space anyway in a room with three windows, two doors and an archway to the kitchen. Or maybe a deep goldenrod.

When you start to paint, have a staging area in a room with a door that latches. I cannot stress how important this is, having learned the hard way. Speak lovingly to your puppy, keeping attention focused on your own sweet self and away from the intriguing equipment. Putting the puppy in the fenced yard is cheating.

Once you have completed all your walls--this will take several long holiday weekends, as evidenced by my Easter bathroom, my Thanksgiving stencilled kitchen floor, and now my President's day upstairs hall and half a bedroom--you are ready to call someone to rip out the blue carpet. Then you can do what you want. This step is best timed for when your are between puppy housebreaking and incontinent old dogs.

Meanwhile, don’t paint for too many hours at a time. When you get tired, you stop talking to the puppy. Tired, you are also more likely to do things like step on the can to close it tight and send it shooting across the floor on its side, still open. Clean up promptly and put brushes—which attract puppies—up high. Higher.

Today this worked. It doesn’t always. In the event it does not work, please remember not to apply turpentine or denatured alcohol to your puppy. And do try to ignore the swirls—so beautiful!—left on the dining room wall by the fluffy tail. I wonder if the people who bought the Chattanooga house ever noticed.

1 comment:

martha in ny said...

Some would say those swirls added to the decor:)