Don’t Paint Angry!

There are at least three things you shouldn’t do when you’re angry. Don’t drive angry (that advice comes from the movie “What About Bob?”). Don’t write an email angry. And don’t paint your house angry.


I did that five years ago. I can admit it now. I painted this house just after we bought it, when I was angry that we had bought it. I was angry that it was smaller than our previous house and not nearly as cute.


I was angry that there was no affordable housing in this tourist town. And I was angry that we had finally fixed up our old house in Waco (by ourselves!) and then had to move to Fredericksburg before we could enjoy the fruits of our labor.


So I painted angry and it showed. The color scheme I chose just didn’t work.


Over Spring Break, my husband and kids painted the exterior of this house, and I am still painting the interior. I’m not angry now. I chose colors that actually work with this house, not the colors I wanted to work.


Of course, I didn’t tell Bonnie at the paint store that the previous awful painter was Yours Truly.


“You’re sure getting a lot of paint,” Bonnie said.


“Yes,” I said. “Our house is one of those ’70s houses that no one loved, and we’re finally fixing it up.”


“What color was it before?”


“Yellow! Can you believe it?” I said.


Bonnie shook her head. “Yellow!”


I actually love the color yellow. I had a yellow room when I was growing up, and the color has almost spiritual meaning for me. But imposing yellow on this house was oppressive.


This time I used a painting of South Padre Island by Michael Frary as my guide, incorporating the colors of the dunes into the walls. My parents gave us this painting for our first anniversary. We’re about to celebrate our 19th.


I’ve bought a lot of paint in 19 years, from “Fire Engine Red” to “Bamboo Garden” to “Amazing Grace” to “Navajo White.”


“Butter Cream” is a beautiful color, but it didn’t work. Not when I was angry.