February 17, 2013

Home Improvement





Is a fresh coat of paint putting a bright new face on things, or covering up a multitude of sins? The way I approached my just-completed home improvement project, it's both. I decided recently (well, I've been thinking about it for at least a year, and finally bought the paint, which committed me to the project) to remove the ancient shelving paper in my pantry room and to repaint walls and shelves. I hated taking time from my various art projects, but I do see my house as an art object in itself.

             


The walls in my pantry––which is not quite a pantry, but also holds my sink, and is where I do food preparation––are hand-planed beaded paneling. Being in this house is like living in an American primitive antique, of 1821 vintage, not much changed from all those years ago.  




 This is a detail of the wall opposite the shelves, which I stripped of its many layers of new paint years ago, to show off the beautifully variegated old paint beneath. If I was feeling ambitious, I might have stripped the wall instead of adding a layer of new paint, but I wasn't.




Even with fresh paint, the old shelves show years of wear.




Here's the room pre-new paint....




and here it is after. I like the dark contrasting color on cupboard––which is made of nailed together boards of varied widths, from 4 to 10 inches––and shelves, and I'm very happy with how clean it all looks now...what a layer of paint can do! And, this project has gotten me to get rid of all those unnecessary things I've been collecting, so there's a nice pile for the recycling center. I can get back to work today: to dyeing wool and tearing down some prints I made last week.

*If you'd like to see more views of this room, you can go to this blog post, part of a series I did two years ago on "my old house".

11 comments:

  1. Don't you just love to get a nice project like this finished. You will be better able to concentrate on your art now that your space has been cleaned up. Well done.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I had a great day. on art projects and got a lot done, and it does feel great to have that space looking clean.

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  2. The color change still looks historic and yet there's a bit of a contemporary edge to it as well. Nothing like an area that you use constantly getting spruced up. I have been mulling paint colors for our living room and adjacent dining room for two years. Mark says he's willing to paint but doesn't want to think about color. He's working on a series of paintings so that's taking all his color theory energy!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Linda. I trust your design judgment, so I'm glad you like the color. And how great that Mark is painting...I guess you'll have to do the color choices for your rooms.

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  3. Looks great, Altoon--and a rather daunting project what with all the things one has to move off of shelves to paint a pantry. The darker sink cupboard and matching shelves look really nice.

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    1. Glad you like it, Susan. You are right about the moving of objects: it took nearly as long as the painting.

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  4. I believe this area in an old house was called the scullery, i.e A small kitchen or room at the back of a house used for washing and storing dishes, cleaning vegetables and other dirty household work. I ran across the word in a period novel,and looked it up. Your room seems to fit the definition.

    Nice paint job!

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    1. The scullery is a nice word, calling up earlier times. I'm sure the reason the sink is in that location is it's closest to the dug well outdoors, and there probably was a hand pump there years ago, before electricity enabled there to be an electric pump in the cellar. And that wasn't until the late 40s early 50s.

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  5. I like the historical feeling of the pantry. We live in a colonial and there is always a project going on. This spring we are building a deck and starting a raised bed garden to grow herbs and vegetables. I might even learn canning!

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