What’s That Rusty Colour?

A few years ago I confessed my lack of regard for fine distinctions in paint colour, and I should have known it would come back to bite me in the ass.

This week I’ve been doing some touchups around the house.  Nothing big – a couple of swipes of drywall compound, light sanding, and a feathering of paint to blend in the patch.

I’ve done it dozens of times over the years and usually it’s easy.  But sometimes the stars and planets misalign and the patron saint of painting goes on a bender and can’t be roused from the hangover.  Then everything that can go wrong, does; and several things that couldn’t possibly go wrong, do anyway.

The drywall repairs went smoothly (pun intended).  Then I trotted out to the garage to find the leftover house paints, which were all labelled, colour-matched, and ready to go (I thought).

I decided to start with the small patch on the bathroom ceiling.  There were two paint cans, both labelled ‘flat white ceiling paint’.  Fine.  I optimistically pried the lid off one, mixed it, and applied a test swatch.

It wasn’t white.  Nowhere near.  Nope, it was an odd rusty colour.

I repeated the process with the second can.

Same weird colour.

I was beginning to question my own sanity when I realized the rusty colour was spreading like some vile algae on the test swatch.

Yep, there were rust flakes in the paint.  I’d like to say ‘I’ll never understand why paint comes in cans that rust and wreck the paint ten seconds after you open them’, but the truth is I do understand.  It’s a diabolical scheme to force us to go out and buy a whole new batch of paint for every single project, no matter how minor.

So I succumbed to the inevitable and headed for the paint store.  Little did I know that my karmic debt was about to be called in, with interest and penalties:

  • I was in a hurry (first mistake) so I asked the paint person for a quart of flat white ceiling paint, took the can she handed me, paid, and left.
  • She screwed up. It was untinted neutral base, which is translucent.  Back to the store, stand in the returns lineup, then go back to the paint department.
  • Decide to get drywall primer instead, thinking that’s what I had used as a finish coat last time anyway. (Second mistake:  relying on my shitty memory.)
  • Discover the drywall primer is also translucent. Back to the paint store.
  • Find FLAT WHITE CEILING PAINT. They don’t have any quarts; only gallons.
  • Buy a gallon of paint (approximately 20 times what I need for my small patch) because it’s only $7 more than a quart, and I’d spend more than that in gas, time, and annoyance going somewhere else.
  • Take the paint home, open it, ascertain that it is in fact the right paint and the right colour.
  • Paint over my patch and feather the edges onto the existing painted ceiling, finally accomplishing the ten minutes of work that I set out to do about eight hours ago.
  • Go to bed, not exactly happy but at least relieved.
  • Wake up the next morning to discover the new paint has dried to a different shade of white than the original, so now I have to repaint the entire ceiling.
  • Slit my wrists, staining the ceiling a very unpleasant rusty colour indeed…

How was your week?

P.S. I’ll be away from the internet most of the day today, so I’ll catch up with comments as soon as I can in the evening or tomorrow.  ‘Talk’ to you then!

New discussion over at the VBBC:  Is John selfish or supportive?  Click here to have your say!

59 thoughts on “What’s That Rusty Colour?

  1. It never matches, which is why I never touch up paint. Just wait until the room needs repainting. I clean good brushes and rollers if painting paint acrylic, which I prefer. Water and soap is cheap. If using Alkyd then I wrap in plastic and put in the deep freeze between uses. Use LOTS of plastic and do NOT forget them. Throw them out when finished. The cost of cleaning solution is higher than buying new ones


    • For me, even the cost of cleaning rollers and brushes for latex is too high. Soap and water are cheap, but I hate the drudgery. It always makes me feel guilty to buy new rollers and brushes, though. Sigh.


  2. Wasn’t sure where to put this one, but I see the audio book still says soon to be released!
    Book 11 arrived in paperback this morning, so now I have the complete set in books and on my kobo. I love the smell of a new book its so full of promise
    Ok I’m a little strange

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Strange in a good way! Love the smell of new books!

      The audiobook is still on the way, but I’ve hit some snags with the distributors. I’m still hoping to have it released soon, but ‘soon’ has been a moving target lately, so it could be anywhere from next week to next month. Grr.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As a canine, I plead “color blindness.” At least that’s my approach when I accidentally scratched the wall and caused a “touch up. The Geezer didn’t talk to me for a week – he had to repaint the whole wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I purposely picked white for my interior color when I built my house. I wanted the brightest white because I would be living in the shadier, but more consistent light of the North side of the house and renting out the sunnier South side, yet I wanted it as bright as possible. Totally neutral would be ideal so my paintings wouldn’t have nuances of other colors changing the color of light that illuminates my work. I told the builder that I was going to be very picky about the white, I wanted a paperwhite, no off-white, eggshell white, beige, etc. White! Did they need a paint sample of what I consider white to be? No? Really? When they were painting the house, I went to check it out. They gave me pale yellow-orange walls throughout. I threw the second fit in the entire process of building the house. (The first one was when they failed to include the linen cupboards that were in the blueprints.) They told me the paint was called Navaho White and they used it in all their buildings. I said there were a thousand colors that were named white that are a thousand shades of something other than white. I wanted a white that would go with my white appliances and cabinets. Since getting an actual white paint painted throughout, I have painted exactly two walls in the house- in the smallest room of the house- handpainted using colors I mixed myself adding acrylic paints to a little leftover paint, or using just pure color here and there. I’m the last person you’d ever want to use for interior design.

    Whatever color is selected for the walls, it will look different depending on the light source. During daylight hours, the color will be influenced by how cloudy it is, how sunny it is, how clean the air is, and how low the sun is in the sky. At night, it will depend on the type of light bulb used and the color of that light, and the color of lampshades, and carpet, window coverings and other furnishings nearby. In other words, there is no such thing as a perfect color. It will be different in dark corners than adjacent to a well-illuminated wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I learned that the hard way: I wanted a warm white for my first house many long years ago. I painted swatches and agonized over the perfect colour, then bought enough to do the whole house. And once it was all over the walls and reflected against itself, it was pale pink. I LOATHE PINK! But I lived with it until I sold the house because I couldn’t afford to repaint.

      I don’t blame you a bit for pitching a fit over Navajo White, especially when you’d been so specific about what you wanted in the first place. I have another artist friend who did exactly what you did: stark white walls. It looks great with her art, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I loathe pink too. I’d go so far as to repaint cosmetic containers if they came in pink. I’ve mellowed some now, as I will willingly wear Orchid Violet which is almost pink, and I’ll wear fuschia, but I worry about looking like I just came out of the girls toy aisle at a department store and some of the pink and purple rubbed off as I passed by. (shudder)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fuschia doesn’t really count as ‘pink’ in my mind, even though I know it technically is. To me, ‘pink’ is that nauseating candy-like shade that makes your teeth ache just to look at it. But that’s just me. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve discovered I’m very bad at cleaning painting tools (which is silly, because I’m fanatical about cleaning all my other tools). It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even try – I just buy disposable brushes and rollers. My conscience twinges each time, but I’ve learned to live with it. It beats buying good-quality painting gear and then wrecking it when I procrastinate too long before cleaning it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The guy that I hired to repaint after my tenants from hell moved out had a nifty trick. He encased all his paintbrushes and rollers in plastic wrap at the end of each workday so they didn’t need to be cleaned until the whole job was done. The children’s bedroom was scrubbed several times with different cleaning compounds, primed with two different primers, and still it took five coats of paint to cover all the different types of pencil, crayon, markers, skin grease, and other assorted mayhem inflicted upon the walls by the children of a neglecting and unconcerned adult tenant. (And she wanted me to call that normal wear and tear.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I understand the urge to use disposable brushes. I really do. And I’ve tried them. It’s nice to be able to just toss them and walk away instead of having to scrub them with soap and warm water for what seems like hours.

          But I just can’t. I use the GOOD stuff and dutifully wash and wash and wash until each brush is perfectly clean again. And after it’s clean, I shape the bristles properly and hang them vertically to dry. Yeah, I’m that guy.

          I don’t use tape or masking paper or any of that stuff, either. I just use a good brush and hold a good line. And if I blow it, I’ll go back with a really nice artist’s brush later after it’s dry and touch it up until it’s perfect.

          I drive my wife crazy with it. I won’t use a drop cloth, either. I’ve tripped over the wretched things while painting ceilings with my head back so far that I looked like a PEZ dispenser. I never needed them (well, not with good paint) so I just work a little more carefully and move on.

          Anal? Nope, just too cheap to pay a ‘skilled professional’ to screw it up for me. True, I do work fairly slowly, but I’ve never turned out a sloppy paint job in my life. I’ve paid for some, but I’ve never done one.

          And no, I don’t hire out. Nobody can afford me. Seriously. Warren Buffet can’t afford me. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Dang. Cutting in corners is the bane of my existence. And you’re right, the only thing that makes the job possible is a good, well-cared-for ‘real’ brush. That probably explains why I’m so bad at cutting in corners… 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, great tools make the job easier. Great paint too, as Some Random Guy already mentioned. As I might have said in response to last week’s post had I not lost my comment three times, I joined the riff-raff element as soon as I started paying my own way. My folks made sure none of us became elitist snobs even though we were accused of it by those who had never bothered to gain any first-hand knowledge about me and my siblings. I’ll steer clear of designer clothes and drive modest used cars with great reputations, but my tools of the trade are all top notch quality and are very well cared for. It has absolutely nothing to do with elitism either. There is a false economy in buying the cheapest paint if it requires multiple coats. A junky brush will drop hairs all over the work, it won’t hold an edge, and it won’t clean up well, so the next use is made more difficult because the brush now has hair that looks like mine if I sleep on it wet and forget to comb it out the next day. All that extra time it takes to apply multiple layers of paint using bad brushes and all the extra paint do add up.

              Liked by 2 people

              • I feel the same way about kitchen knives – a good one is expensive, but much easier and safer to use because it holds an edge and doesn’t twist in your hand. Same with hand tools that don’t bend/break. 🙂

                The loss of comments is very annoying – sorry about that! Here are a couple of hints: before you click the Submit button, click and drag to select your entire comment and then press Ctrl-C (to copy the comment). Then if it disappears without a trace, click in the comment box again and press Ctrl-V (to paste the comment in again without retyping it). Also, sometimes the page won’t let you comment if it’s been open too long without being refreshed (you’ll often get a ‘sorry, this comment couldn’t be posted’ message). If that happens, click on the Back button to go back to the page, then press the F5 key on your keyboard to refresh the page. After that you can click in the comment box again, press Ctrl-V to paste in the comment that you cleverly copied in the first step, and submit the comment again. Hope this helps!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Aha! There is a way to salvage the situation! I’ve actually copy-pasted stuff into a Word document, restarted the browser, and dumped my blatherings back out of the document. Glad to know there’s another way. Thanks!


                  • You’re welcome – and I’m sorry it’s necessary. WordPress isn’t always my friend.

                    I actually thought about posting these instructions somewhere on my blog to help everybody out, but after years of writing software documentation I know that most people’s eyes roll back in their heads at the first ‘Ctrl-C’. Maybe I should revisit that decision! 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • And it assumes everyone is using a PC rather than an Apple product. I actually was on my iPhone. No f8 buttons in evidence. While we are on the topic, why is it that when I comment on one of the blog postings and it wants my email address, it gives me the basic screen to enter letters, numbers, and punctuation, but when I do the same with a comment in the VBBC, and I need to enter my email address, it gives me a special screen designed for just that- both the alfabet and the number mode include the @ symbol as well as periods?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m not sure why it does that – maybe it’s just because it’s a different theme? I’ll check into it and see what I can find out.

                      One way around that would be to create a Gravatar profile for yourself – that saves you from having to enter all your information each time. The only catch is that it requires you to sign up for a WordPress blog (which is free and you can then cheerfully ignore). I’ve been meaning to post instructions on that but haven’t had time yet. Soon… 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Paint is really no fun at all. I’m picking colors out for my house and when I tried to tell the builder why I needed the name and brand of the paint of the white in the house, he didn’t get it. Apparently he didn’t realize that white is subjective and not all colors will look okay next to it. AH the agony of paint!! On the upside I now know that it’s Dove White by SherwinWilliams. At least I think that’s what he said.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Last summer we finished hubby’s dream room, a dedicated home theater with a 103″ screen, 6 chairs with tiered seating, commercial theater carpeting, movie posters on the walls (yes, you’re all invited for movie night, LOL). Picked out the paint, and went with a dark maroon for the walls. Used Behr’s new one coat Marquee for the room…a 11 x 14 ish room. Then a marine blue on the walls going down the stairs to that room. Both started on pale yellow walls by the way. It took 3 coats for the theater room and 5…yes, 5!! on the stairway to get consistent coverage. Total project cost just for paint was $328. Behr reimbursed EVERY dime. Lesson learned, never buy Marquee. So Diane, it ain’t you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to know! I’m totally impressed that Behr reimbursed you. I didn’t think that happened to ordinary mortals. The home theatre room sounds magnificent, though! (Remind me not to let Hubby read your comment, or he’ll want one, too.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As a former paint mixing specialist (everyone else hated it) I could have told you it wouldn’t match. It never does. Be thankful it wasn’t a plumbing project. They take a minimum of 5 trips to the store. That is only IF you know what you are doing. These are natural laws and no one can change them no matter how hard they try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do not plumb. I can do it, but I hate it, I’m not good at it, and the consequences of being ‘not good at it’ are more severe than it’s worth. Hubby is the plumber in our family. Which is probably a good thing, because my butt-crack isn’t hairy enough for authenticity… wait, maybe that’s why I’m no good at plumbing – I don’t have the proper uniform! I learn something new every day… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • You just generated a whole montage of visuals here. Thanks. I think. 🙂

        The urge to flash some fiction is overpowering. Must…get…back…to…work… … …

        Okay, I lose.

        A tall, good-looking, redheaded woman walked into an upscale men’s hair salon staffed by attractive and scantily-clad young women. Several handsome men were being attended, and all turned to look when the quietly melodic door chime announced her entrance. Every eyebrow in the place went up appraisingly. And approvingly. She was a knockout.

        “Good afternoon, madame,” said the young hottie at the reception desk. “Er, did you have an appointment, or, perhaps, you are here to fill out an application?” The young woman clearly was scoping out the potential competition. She could see their clientele at least doubling with the addition of this one. Beauty, alright. Class, too. Not a bad thing, that.

        “Uh, no,” replied the tall redhead. “I am here to be fitted for a toupee.”

        “I beg your pardon?” The receptionist was taken aback She stood and walked around the redhead and scrutinized her tresses closely. “With thick, beautiful hair like yours, you want a wig?”

        “No, no,” said the redhead. “Not a wig; a toupee.”

        “I guess I don’t understand,” the receptionist said, obviously confused. “Toupees are for men.

        “Well, yes…and no.”

        “Uh, perhaps you should speak with the manager…”

        “Yes, perhaps that would be best. Do I need an appointment?

        “Maybe not. Let me just see if she’s in. Won’t you have a seat, please, while I call?” The receptionist, still clearly confused, was at least making an effort.

        The redhead nodded agreeably, walked rather sinuously over to a comfortable chair, sat, and gracefully crossed long, stocking-clad legs with a barely-perceptible sizzle of silk gliding against silk.

        “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to fill out an application while you’re here?” the receptionist asked with a smile as she picked up the phone.

        “Thank you, but no,” the redhead replied, also smiling. She picked up the current issue of GQ from the antique mahogany coffee table and opened it to a random page. She noted that the cuffs on the jacket in the Armani advertisement were a touch too long.

        The receptionist’s phone call was answered on the second ring.

        “Yes, Ms. Stephens, I know you are in a meeting, but a lady has a question…no, she has no appointment…no, it isn’t about employment…yes, she’s stunning!…no, she won’t fill out an application…she says she wants to be fitted with a toupee…no, she has thick, long, beautiful red hair…oh, you know what this is about?…yes, ma’am, I’ll send her right in…yes, ma’am, right away. (click)

        “Ms. Stephens says she will see you now,” the receptionist said as she stood. “If you will follow me, please, I’ll take you to the fitting room. You can disrobe there, and Ms. Stephens will fit you for your new, er, hairpiece. Good luck with your plumbing!”


  8. Oh, how frustrating! But, now that you’re in the touch-up mode, we have several wall touch-ups that need tending to. You know, if you’re interested. I’ll even supply the paint. But I can’t promise it will be the right color. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ever painted over oil-based paint with latex? And had it stay just a little bit sticky? For years?

    I think we got one of Karen’s old places years ago. Every wall in the house was painted a different color. A different primary color. A different CHEAP PAINT primary color. With a crappy roller. That left big streaks. Big RAISED streaks. That kept showing through.

    We gave up on trying to stack enough paint on that mess to cover it all up.

    We finally just paneled the place.

    But we know all the tricks now. Put the color swatch WITH THE MIXING RECIPE behind the light switch cover in the room, so you can match it later if need be. The recipe is in the same room as the paint color–and labeled as such–so it’s harder to screw it up. It’s still not impossible, but it’s better than just throwing everything in a drawer. More or less.

    Store cans with left-over paint upside down so the lid doesn’t rust and the paint doesn’t dry out…somewhere warm enough that the paint won’t freeze in the winter. And cool enough so that the lid doesn’t pop off in the summer. With the can upside down…

    Yep, we know all the tricks. Learned ’em the hard way. Like we always do. If we learn them at all. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s brilliant advice – thanks! Must go turn all my paint cans upside down now. The colour swatch in the room is a great idea, too, but I keep mine all together in a file that contains all my house information. The problem with the bathroom ceiling was that I hadn’t used a mixed colour – it was just ‘flat white ceiling paint’, untinted. I should’ve known better…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This will make you laughter Diane, when I first got my own place, the bathroom of the flat had been painted red, blood red. It took about 10, coats of white including 2coats of a paint called dulux once. Which was supposed to cover any paint in one coat. My bathroom still had a pink tinge to it but at least I could live with it.

    I look around my flat now and laugh, if I ever sell this flat I pity the new owner covering my bright colourful walls, bright pink, dark purple, dark blue, light blue, peach and more purple.
    But hey I love it and can’t see me leaving any time soon


    Liked by 1 person

    • Back in the dark days when I was an interior designer, my friends sometimes used to ask for colour advice. I’d always tell them, “It’s only paint, and you can always paint over it. Choose something that makes you happy and to hell with what anybody else likes!”

      Those words came back to haunt me when we bought our house in Calgary about 18 years ago. The walls were the colour of raw meat. *shudders*

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Awww bless ya, I hate that paint touch up that goes so wrong.

    I know as soon as I try to do the last two walls in the sitting room its going to be wrong but as I only had time last year to do two of the walls and this year I didn’t get the time while my parents were away it’s going to be later this year or next year and yes I know its only May

    I have an interview (at last) on Monday fingers crossed, as we are now getting so close to termination as it were

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe your painting will go okay if you’re doing two whole walls. Or maybe you should paint them a totally different colour and call them ‘accent walls’. 🙂

      Good luck with your interview – keeping my fingers crossed for you, too!

      Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.