Changing course midstream

So after all those weeks of insanely careful color-picking and pulling my hair out over finding just exactly the right shade of this or that: surprise, surprise. I did my first coat of The Chosen Color and I actually liked the color of the first coat much better than where strokes overlapped and made a dimmer, browner coat (or in other words, what was supposed to be the final color). The white of the wall peeping through gave the orange a kind of luminosity that I don’t think could have been achieved by just choosing a bright orange to begin with. And I think part of the reason that I did like that bright orange so much was because it was tempered by all the toasty browner color around it, where the streaks and patches overlapped.

So I had a bright idea: why not do a sponge texture on the walls, and thus preserve the luminosity of the first coat, but in a more mellowed, natural-looking way? (I had visions of my own adobe-like room inside my 1964 rancher).

I went to Michael’s and bought myself the biggest sea sponge I could find… which ended up being only the size of my fist. And I went home and I sponged. And sponged. And determinedly sponged. I covered every single square inch of all four walls with delicately diluted paint, sponge by sponge. But… no visible result. So I came back the next night to sponge, and sponge, and sponge. And the next. Each night I used less and less water in the solution, hoping for a better, more perceptible result than the night before.

That’s right. Three nights in a row I painstakingly covered the walls from floor to ceiling with dabs from a tiny, fist-sized sponge. And have you any idea how much time it takes to cover the entire surface area of a room with a sponge the size of a misshapen orange?! Let’s just say I didn’t get to bed before 1am.

And then this is what I got.

Well, it actually looks kinda good shrunken down here. But in person…blotch-tacular, plus streaky in the corners. (Never mind all that junk in the middle, that’s what happens when you pile all your stuff up so you can get at the walls). I wasn’t sure if I liked it – though I really wanted to, after spending all that time working on it. I was ready to give up. I still had half a gallon of my primo paint, after all, I could just go ahead and cover it with a flat coat as I had planned all along.

But guess what? At Lowe’s, looking innocently for new outlet covers, I happened to come across a SEA SPONGE ROLLER. That’s right. A roller, wrapped in (synthetic) sea sponge. I gritted my teeth and bought that baby (it cost $11, too) and in one hour had given each and every one of my walls a lovely, uniform spongy coat. One. Hour. After all those nights! All those sore arms!

That was all they’d needed: a layer to bring it all to some sort of dappled homogeneity. Pictures will be forthcoming soon (not that they’ll look all that much different than that posted above, but in person you’d be able to tell the difference I think).

Will I do it again? I don’t know. I certainly didn’t think I would while I was doing it. Though maybe I should, if just to get my $11-worth out of that roller.

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