Saturday, August 15, 2009


The lawyer handed us the keys a week ago. It’s a 1950s row house on the outskirts of Westboro – two floors, one creepy basement staircase, and seven rooms painted in faded pastels (walls of golden sunset turned expired mustard). It’s got potential, but the extreme makeover takes a little longer when you’ve got a homeowner with high standards, who happens to share my love for extended lunches at the Vietnamese restaurant around the corner.

Did you ever notice how painting seems more fun in theory than in practice (especially when Ottawa’s finally got a heat wave and we’ve got to power through five rooms in a week). Primer, base coat, finishing coat, edging, baseboards, ceilings, closets, doors and clean-up makes for an exhausting, and toxic-smelling afternoon – and I’ve had the added pleasure of trying to Wikipedia how to remove paint that has apparently fused to the skin around my elbows. The house looks good, but the patches of rocky road and metropolis don’t really suit me, or my shoes, or my hair. Tips?

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