Monday, May 21, 2012

A New Coat of Paint

Yep. Tipped the paint can over...

I’m not sure I want to keep our old set of patio chairs so I decided to give one of the chairs a coat of paint.. If I like the result, I’ll paint a second piece. The two offer seating near our back door, but have become more decorative than useful.because the wood is so rough, weathered and therefore, uncomfortable to sit on.

Coat number one went on smoothly, but there are reasons my husband encourages me to hire professionals for our interior projects. I’m not the most careful. My philosophy is to be liberal with the paint and when I had finished the first coat, my hands, clothes, and the drip-cloth were telltale signs of my effort. That was my first problem.

I tipped the paint can over while applying the second coat of color.
I wore plastic gloves this time, but didn’t grasp the can tightly enough. I had also decided to tackle the project during my lunch hour, and even though I thought I was giving the task my full attention, I wasn’t. It was simply a chore to be checked off the To Do list, and I was in a hurry. That was my second problem: I was more interested in the result than the process. 

When dry, I set the chair on the patio and sat down. The paint (and a little sanding beforehand) had transformed the deteriorating wood into a splinter-free, smooth surface. I stood and stepped away. Compared to the unpainted chair next to it, the painted one looked clean, welcoming, safe to use. But on closer inspection, stray drips and brush bristles embedded in the paint betrayed me -- there’s the evidence of my haste for anyone who wants to find it. And then, to my chagrin, I realized the paint wasn’t the color I had in mind. 

This same scenario has played out in other aspects of my life. I’ve hurried, created messes, and made choices I later regretted, but I’ve also tried new experiences and smoothed out rough edges. All of it--every experience attempted, every lesson learned, every friendship made, every skill perfected, and every failure--has been, and is, necessary. 

Like a coat of paint that makes the old look new.

The patio chair no longer has the authentic-wood look it did when we purchased it, but I think the paint is an improvement -- and with one final coat (of the right color), it will find new use. 

This May, I resigned as accompanist for our middle school 7th and 8th grade choir. I took the position seven years ago simply because I was asked and because it fit nicely into my day and our family’s schedule. I’m better for the experience, but I look forward to whatever new coat of paint comes my way.

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