After many years the colour of the wardrobe, originally painted with loving care by my wife needed a facelift. Since this original operation a paint brush has never be gripped by her again, but this was about to change. Besieged by all those damn TV programmes giving hints and tips to the unweary to update, declutter, and brighten, some of the gems of wisdom had spun off. A face lift was planned that would slap on a new coat of paint in a new colour. Although much encouraged by her offer to wield the brush the biggest shock came with the announcement she needed just a little advice on how to use the blow lamp to burn off the old paint.
Stunned silence. This degree of preparation was not only excessive, a quick whip over with sandpaper was the maximum I was going got invest in the project, but the commander-in-chief homes seemed fixated on the need for fire and brimstone. I felt it prudent to visit the local fire station and pump up their tyres.
And so to the choice of paint. Faced with an array of choice where one has to extrapolate the subtleties of Super gloss, from mere gloss through semi gloss, satin, sheen, matt and finally eggshell, then the path of internal versus external, walls and ceiling, or wood and metal it finally lay down to the colour. This was to be “Lauren” a stone colour in my vocabulary yet the tin mysteriously also promised a pastel undertone to enhance our living experience, it said. It was the last tin on the shelf. We were blessed. But the wretched stuff held hidden dimensions; it did not live up to its promise of a one coat application – they never do. It was like painting with treacle and the colour was far from doing what it said on the tin, it was a very whiter shade of pale from that anticipated. Holding with the faint conviction it may dry darker we ploughed on using the unique “one cost” brushes specified. These also turned out to be not quite that unique and shed bristles despite the “guaranteed” promise this would be the last thing on their mind.
Watching paint dry took on a new intensity, the added dimension of its possible metamorphosis into the correct colour provided an edge of anticipation that knocked “Broadchurch” into a cocked hat. But disappointment was to loom large. The paint dried much the same as when it was wet. Worse still the one coat application failed to cover the previous coat and had stretched miserably short across the promised area. A further two tins of the jalap was needed.
Back to B&Q. And here the story takes an added twist. B&Q are in the midst of dumping Dulux as their main provider of paint in preference to Valspar. The world of paint is in chaos. There was no more stock of “Lauren” and it is not possible to mix the wanted colour as the machinery involved was owned by Dulux and not able to mix Valspar. New mixers were needed and the man with spanners was up to his eyeballs in lumps of machinery being installed around the universe for B&Q. The best bet, as advised by the helpful and understanding assistant was also not to order the colour wanted as a single 750ml tin arriving in her store would get overwhelmed by the other 30 pallet loads of paint arriving with it. You cannot ignore this insider advice, instead she added – seek out a store that claims it has one in stock. The look the slanted nod said it all, this was not advice to be questioned.
Trudging across the outback to find the strange location of the in-stock store was thankfully fruitful. Two more tins of “Lauren” one coat satin paint were indeed located. Back home the task of transferring the stuff from the tin to the half finished woodwork was met with scant enthusiasm. The moment of spousal assistance has passed. Thus armed with tin and brush round two began with indifference. The unpainted area was to be covered first, the treacle applied. And this was the moment the next problem arose. The new paint was dramatically different in colour from round one. This batch was the “right” colour it was stone as nature intended. It was hugely different from the original. Unless it was to dry a dramatic shade lighter we were buggered. And it didn’t.
The two shades of Lauren paint, showing the correct tint on the left
Thus the two tins purchased were just sufficient to do the whole job again. Deep joy. The finished effect was as planned, the right colour and the right finish. It transpired that the first tin of Lauren satin one coat by “Colours” the B&Q brand was the base format only, the tint had been omitted during production. I was down £12.98 in paint, £10 in petrol and 3 hours in life span. But the wardrobe is now looking spruced, the C in C Homes delighted, and thus we have reached utopia the long way round.