Archives for posts with tag: painting

I really can’t explain or predict how, why, or when I will make progress toward any of my goals. This spring, you heard about my Big Plans for our kitchen (which surfaced as I avoided my Big Plan to re-upholster (at least partially) Dr. T’s favorite chair.)

Most of the upper cabinets and doors in the kitchen got painted early last summer. (I can now confess that two doors were inadvertently stacked in the pile of laundry room cabinet doors, and therefore missed being primed and painted.)

Our upper kitchen cabinets are hung under soffits (which have always bugged me.)

My theory was that if I painted the soffits with vertical stripes, I’d have the effect of higher ceilings. It was a great theory, but it took me months to get the nerve to try it. I have since verified my theory, but learned that I  am not as adept with painter’s tape as I might like. Let’s call it a noble experiment gone wrong.

More time passed, and the almostbutnotquiteright stripes irked me every day. I realized that the effort required for perfection exceeded the effort I was willing to expend in achieving it.

After some consideration, I decided to try chalkboard paint (surely you remember that I have used the same paint on the side of one cabinet and the panels of several cabinet doors)  on the soffit over the sink, and  the same soft gray paint that I used on the walls under the cabinets on the remaining soffits.

For no particular reason, I executed this plan yesterday and today.

I like it- I really like it!  Now that the soffits are painted, the cabinets really “pop” (as they say on HGTV.) Inspired, I finished  painting  the crown molding with the same color as the cabinets (Celery Ice by Behr, for those of you who are keeping score at home.)

This is not to say that this room is done, but it is to say that progress is being made, and that personality is creeping into a space that used to have none.

The lower cabinets even look better, though still in their original loathsome oak finish. I am optimistic now, but I know impatience will strike again before I am through.

And a good thing that is, too. I love my husband’s brother and his wife for their own dear selves, but I especially love them right now because we are compelled to get our third bedroom in order to properly receive them.

After spending the last year leaning casually against the walls, the bed frame will be assembled and get a new mattress. The extra desk, a tall secretary, will make its way out to the kitchen or family room (decisions, decisions) and in its place, we will hang a shelf for our emergency back-up TV. (after I finally paint that wall!) While I am at it, I’ll paint the inside of the closet, which has been left mostly empty so that I could do that very thing.

I’ve already been consolidating and storing the various craft materials and boxes of photos and other memorabilia, which I will finally be able to put into the closet or stash under the bed, once it is put together.

None of these little projects is too difficult; the hardest part is determining the order of operations: for example, the reason that the wall behind the desk is not already painted is that the desk came back with Dr. T in 2008, and we didn’t decide on a room color until one of my visits in 2009. The desk was already in place, and since no one was staying in the room, we just left painting that wall for another time. (Just as well, really, since it turns out that the color, in a room with south and east facing windows, is a little more “vibrant” than I anticipated. I now have a chance to paint the west wall and closet in a calmer cousin of the original color.)

But before the wall gets painted or the bed gets assembled, the remaining few kitchen cabinet doors need to be finished. I have been using this room to prime and paint them because I can shut myself in and away from Waldo, both while I paint and while the paint dries. (And yes, I knew that bringing a puppy home in the middle of a painting project was not the best idea, but I can’t say I’m sorry.) The doors should be finished and hung by Wednesday night, leaving the floor clear for bed making. After I shove everything  carefully stow things under the bed, there will be room to paint the closet, and the wall  next to it.

On the planet where I am marvelously efficient and energetic, I’d get some other things done too, but I won’t jinx myself right now by mentioning them. Believe me, if I get to any of them, you will hear about it.

In a shining example of the universe rising to meet my needs, I have an extremely light work week, and I will take every advantage of that. Back to work I go. I’ll be posting while my paint dries from now on…

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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