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".