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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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A Giant Misstep Painting My Door


Over the weekend, I got it in my mind to paint the inside of my apartment door. I painted it orange. But that's not the real news. 

(Well, it kind of is because I used the wrong shade of orange paint when I meant to use a lighter shade.) The real news is in what ensued after painting it.



I was so proud of myself. (I'm not much of a painter) I taped off the door and put brown paper on the floor (I drip a lot too). I was prepared. (Instead of what I usually do, which is grab a can of paint and a brush and immediately go to town, dripping all the way.)

But what about the ugly gold cheap, and very old door knob and lock? Well, I decided I'd just get my meager tools and take them off. As I did, I watched how they came off to see how everything went back in. Looked like a breeze. 

I took them outside and spray painted them white. I thought about black, but then with an orange door, it would look like Halloween year round. Believe me, the bright orange is enough to blind you!

At the end of the day, I had applied four coats of paint. It was on the fourth coat that I realized that I had used the brightest orange paint instead of the Orangella, which has more peach in it. Don't know if I'll repaint it or not. 

See? VERY bright orange.


(Brightest shade of orange paint I had)

(The lighter shade of Orangella I meant to use)

Moving right along. 

My door knob and lock was dry, and it was nearing dark. I have to do my yoga stretching, take a shower, then eat supper and feed the dogs, in that exact order. (Truly, in that exact order every single day.)

So I went to work putting the knob and lock back in place. Except...the screws kept going round and round. I took the thing off probably 75 times and tried to figure it out. Seemed there was more to putting on a door knob and lock than I thought. 

Well, most of you would think, that's not a disaster. 

Except my gate off the patio in back had a padlock on both sides. I had the key to the inside lock on my key chain. But the other key I keep in my Pathfinder console. 

So I call my neighbor Charlie. He comes over and tries to help, but we quickly learn that I have also locked the storm door. 

So here I am, literally locked into my place with no way of getting out unless I wanted to shimmy through the windows. I could go out on the patio, but I couldn't exit the patio because of the lock on the other side, and the fact that the key to it is in my car out front. 

I call Kay. Can she think of any ideas? I didn't figure she could. But what looms ahead of me is trying to explain this predicament the next day to Volare (not sure how it's spelled, but it is pronounced vol-are-a) the Russian maintenance man, who doesn't really "get me" to start with. 

"You paint a lot," he mumbles when he's here to fix something. And shakes his head. 

When I first told him last week that I was thinking of painting the door, he said: "But it's painted." I told him I knew that, but I thought the white was just too plain. He just stares at me. I wonder what he's thinking, but am too afraid to ask.

The next morning, Kay drives from the nearby town she lives in. I stand at the front window and use my remote to unlock my car. She rustles around till she finds the key that goes to the outside lock on the patio gate. She then has to drive all the way out of here, around the business behind me, to get to my gate. 

Then she goes in pursuit of Volare. I watch from the window as she catches up to him down the way. 

I don't know what she said to him. But I'm sure he was trying hard to figure out how on earth I had managed to do something this patently ridiculous. 

Hey, I was too. 

It seems I had ruined the door knob in my earnest pursuit to fix it.  

Volare had to put on another knob. It was a used one, I could tell. He asked me if I wanted to paint it first. 

"Why, yes," I said to him. "I think I will do that." 

He has stopped being surprised at what he is called here for. He just does not understand my ideas, which appear to me to be easy peasy. And yet I have to call him so often to bail me out. 


I'm sure life in Russia was vastly different. A few weeks ago, he told me that his daughter, one of six children, works cleaning house for a rich man here in Tulsa. The house the man resides in is 10,000 square feet. 

Volare told me that his daughter says this man is very unhappy. He does not understand this. 

"Why he unhappy?" he said to me. "He lives in 10,000 square foot house."

I tell him that a big house and a lot of money does not make one happy. 

He looks at me askance. America is so complicated. 

So I have a question for you. When you paint a door, are you supposed to leave it open while you paint it? Shut it? Take it off the hinges? 

Cozy Little House
86 Comments
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86 comments:

  1. I would have left the door open but that is just me - and wow that is orange :) I'm sure for a person from another country they would think if you have money and a big house you must be happy - too bad that is not always true.

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    1. Too bad rich Americans aren't aware of how in some parts of the world, some just want fresh drinking water.

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  2. It looks MAHVELOUS!!! Seriously, I am not even an orange person, and I love it. I"m always doing things like locking myself in or out, don't you worry yourself about stuff like that.

    I worked with Russians for many years. They come off as unemotional, and they sort of are, but there's a marshmellow in there somewhere. Do you drink tea at all? They generally like VERY VERY strong hot tea, perhaps you could offer him some now and then. (I know you like your coffee and maybe it would be too overly friendly anyway)

    I can give you some phonetic Russian phrases ( simple things like thank you, please, good morning, etc) if you thought it would help!

    I admire you sooo much, you are so artistic and talented.

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    1. Well, here's the deal. I've given Volare pieces of furniture and all manner of things for his wife. I make him smile even while he's shaking his head. Sure, I'd love some phrases to surprise him with. He'd probably love to hear something from me besides "help."

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  3. Well first off, I love the color, a true orange. One of my many happy colors. I think about painting everytime I read you painted something. But I have NO patience for it. I can sit and do embroidery for hours...paint? NO. I would get as far as half of it and just give up....I think. Anyhow, I would think one would just leave the door open while painting...No? Now I want to go home and paint my base boards. Ha Ha! Hugs to you.

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    1. Well, the reason I haven't started the embroidery is because of the arthritis in my hands. Very difficult now to do small minute things. It's hard enough to hold a paint brush, but I'm not having to hold a small needle. I do not have patience. But I have told myself: I will learn to paint. Maybe not well. But I will paint.

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  4. I love the orange door. But I can sure identify with the knob debacle. I removed one, thinking that it would be a piece of cake (after all, I fixed a toilet one time with a paper clip!). Ha! I am getting ready to sand and stain a door, and I am not removing the knob. The horror. I'm glad your story had a happy ending--and ended with a beautiful door.

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    1. You don't think it's too LOUD? Don't remove the knob. Cover it with gobs and gobs of masking tape. I will never remove another one.

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  5. LOL. Only you would discuss the color orange on St. Patrick's Day. : - p

    Irish politics and religion aside - I do like your door but you should have waited a day. LOL!

    And you are braver than I - could never do hardware stuffs.

    OK, going back to my jigs now. ♣

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    1. Shoot. I forgot all about St. Patrick's Day. Last weekend I didn't know it was the changing of time, and I went all day so confused by things that seemed to be just a tad off. Like my TV shows that night showing the credits when I'm just sitting down to watch. I didn't figure it out till about 10:30 that night.

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  6. I don't know - I say live and learn. I think its great that you have all those stimulating and cheerful colors. Color really makes your little place lively. I like it. Last time I painted ours I took the hardware off, too. I had to scrub the spray paint off of it from my failed attempt at trying to make it oil rubbed bronze. Oh, well. Gotta take decorating chances!

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    1. From now on my mantra will be tape, tape and lots of tape. Do not take off hardware even though it looks so simple. It isn't. There must be a strategy because he put one on in just a few minutes, while I wrestled with that thing for about three hours and ended up breaking it.

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  7. I happen to like the color on the door!
    I have a bedside table painted very close to the same....
    I'm glad you weren't too panicky about being looked inside your apparent FORTRESS!

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    1. I'd only get panicky if I couldn't get IN!

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  8. Door looks great, lucky that the Russian maintenance man does what you ask even if he doesn't understand why an orange door looks great. Between your car beeper and Kay and the key in your car you got out and can now go in and out your freshly painted door. Door handles with locking mechanisms drive me around the bend so now I tape around them when I paint. The door colour goes very nicely with your wall quilt.
    Joy

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    1. I sure thought I had a lighter color. I seem to have three shades of orange. I kept thinking, oh, when it dries it will look lighter. IT DID NOT.

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  9. i wasn't really laughing when i read this, but kind of grinning ... a few years ago, when we first moved into the house i live in how, i went out the back door to do something pulling it shut behind me. locked myself fully out of the house, or so i thought ... so i used the code and came in through the garage, but the door between the house and garage was locked ... so i went and checked all the windows ... all locked because my dad taught me when i was younger to always shut AND LOCK windows in the spring and summer, even, because it keeps them sealed and prevents warping ... so locked tight ... so then i went back in the garage (and i forgot to mention i'm wearing only socks no shoes) and searched around the garage wondering what i could use to get into the house ... i grabbed a rubber mallet and decided to slam the doorknob (one of those handled-doorknob varietals) on the door between the house and the garage, thinking that if i busted it's innards, i could open the doors. so i slammed the mallet on it, and it did bust it's innards and the handle/knob kind of twirled and twirled in its place, but this did not disengage the lock mechanism. so i went back outside and was standing in the yard, deciding to go over and borrow the neighbor's phone, when i looked up and noticed that the second-story (in the split level) window was cracked open a bit, so i went in the garage and got a ladder and got myself into the house ... but then ladder had to explain why the door between the garage and the house was sprung and broken ... omg, i feel you, so many times i feel you when i read your blog, and this is another one of those times!

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    1. I probably would have done all of those things but one. I NEVER go without some sort of shoes. Not even in my socks. I must have a barrier between my feet and what's underneath them! Another little eccentricity. But I usually just bang on stuff till I either break it or get in or whatever.

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  10. I leave my doors open. Do not take off hinges unless you have a second person there. It is impossible for me to put it back alone.
    I love the bright orange! It looks the same color as my garage (inside). Just finished painting an old louvered door half paprika to put on my front porch. The neighbors already thing I am "touched" since I painted my doors and shutters tourquoise.
    So glad you defned Bo-ho. Been that for years and did not know it.
    Poor Volare, he should be glad I haven't moved in next door.

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    1. Is it "touched" or "tetched?" I remember hearing that when I was a kid, but can't discern which one it was when someone was a little "different." No one said eccentric.

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  11. I think that your bright orange is fine! Poor you with your locks. I once locked myself out of the house...in the country, with no cell phone, etc. Someone used the emergency key and did not return it to "the spot." I sat on the front porch and cried, while my golden/mikey looked at me like I was nutty. There are those day!
    Sheila E

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  12. Today I had to call Volare because the back wood gate wouldn't stay closed! I'm sure he thought: She either can't get things open or get things closed. He always tries, in his way, to explain things to me. But he should just give up because it does not compute.

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  13. At least you were fully clothed with shoes on your feet...I once locked myself out of the house with only my nightie on. It was a nightmare, very late to work and later explaining why the door from the garage into the house was off and why my legs and feet & hands were black and blue. Life is a challenge for somebody like me ,....a twin to Lucille Ball.....

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    1. Yeah, certainly felt like a "Lucille Ball" moment.

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  14. OMGosh Brenda what a story! Lucky for me all of my door nobs are usually somewhat loose because of my kiddies tugging on them all the time, and I will just paint under them. Then I have the hubs tighten them back up again! I like your orange door,. I see what you mean about the two differnt orange colors but I think your bright door is fine...for now!! LOL! XO Barbara

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    1. From now on I will just tape them completely. Might take a lot of tape, but that's better than the alternative.

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  15. I'm laughing with you, Brenda, because installing doorknobs is not as easy as one would think, and I speak from experience. hehe I think I can top you today. I was painting the baseboard trim attached to my kitchen cabinets with my $25 quart of paint when the phone rang. When I was done talking and went to hang up the phone, I forgot that the paint was on the floor and over it went onto my porcelain tile floor! I scooped up as much as I could with my bare hands, and thank goodness 409 cleaned up the rest!! From now on, I'll turn the ringer off when I'm painting. I hope you like the bright orange paint you used by mistake!

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    1. I have this fear that I will do that. I'm very clumsy, and I trip all the time. I would just feel sick if I saw all that paint spreading everywhere! I don't know if I like it or not...

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  16. Good story Brenda! I have things to do but couldn't stop reading. Ha! That was too funny about you being locked IN! Something I would do too, for sure. :0) And yes, door knobs are tricky!! I like the orange - it's definitely a happy color. Just depends how you feel living with it - - it may grow on you or, it may irritate you until you have to lighten it a shade. Let us know what you decide... :) I'm sure it does baffle your maintenance man - he must wonder what our struggles are - having all of our needs met. But, you are right, money doesn't buy happiness. It does, however, help. Even those of us who don't live in a mansion are far wealthier (monetarily) than most of the world...Enjoy your newfound freedom of coming and going leisurely. :)

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    1. We are. And that is why I sometimes feel guilty about "stuff." We in America seem to be consumed with stuff. I give a lot of my "stuff" to Volare for his wife.

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  17. Many years ago, my son bought all new knobs for every door in our house.. They never got put on, even though I thought about trying to do it myself.. Now, I'm glad I didn't even get started.. I gave them to Goodwill recently.
    I like your orange door.. Love your green buffet, lavender w/darker purple legs, Boho quilt hanging over your sofa, the exact one on your bed and all of the other various colors you have in your patio/garden apartment. Your plants look healthy and refreshing.
    Now, you're not only Lucy and Ethel, but you're Lucy, Ethel, Volare and neighbor Charlie.. You really should write a book ! I'm glad this chapter worked out for you.. I would leave my doors on and use lots of tape.
    I hope the remainder of this week will be peaceful and uneventful.
    Thinking of you,
    Charlotte

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    1. I told Kay Sunday night that things seem to happen in threes, right? And so here's how my weekend had gone: Saturday night I choked on my vitamin D pill. I mean REALLY choked. I thought: this is it. Finally I started throwing up, which I've done probably a total of twice in my life, and that pill finally came up. Then the next morning I slipped with my right foot and all I could think was: please don't let me break it again. I managed to hit the ground without incident. Then the door. I told her we were probably good till morning.

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  18. Not that I would EVER (ahem!) put myself in such a situation (well, not more than half a dozen times), but You had me grinning with your story!
    It always pays to have a healthy sense of humor at yourself in times like these ~
    and thank the universe for good friends and handymen!!

    ;)))

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    1. Definitely is good to have a sense of humor. I was trying to explain to Volare through the screen. Hard enough to describe my mishaps anyway. I felt at a disadvantage trapped behind the screen.

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  19. Oh, no! Sorry about your door lock. I thought you were going to tell us you had to sleep all night not being able to lock the door. Glad Volara had another one. I like your orange door though. I'm probably not supposed to laugh but I did have to giggle a little bit.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Might as well laugh. What else is one to do?

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  20. Goodness I love your orange door! I'm not usually a big fan of orange, but I love it on your door. So happy! So bright! Love it!

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    1. I haven't been into orange since probably the seventies. But I have managed to buy three shades of it now. So I guess I'm a bit smitten by it.

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  21. Love the orange door, matches your Monarch butterfly picture.

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  22. What a story Brenda!! And I love your happy orange door! Keep it though the summer and then go with turquoise! ☺️ By the way, I detest painting in my house...walls. I call my sister for help. Doors I haven't tried. But if I do I'm going to remember your experience!

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    1. I somehow manage to get paint on my shoes and track it throughout. Thank goodness I have cheap vinyl floors! This experience would bear remembering...

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  23. LOL- Only you, Brenda! When I paint a door and want to paint the hardware, I just loosen it enough to shove paper under the edges of it.. and throw a plastic garbage bag around it as a tent..and spray paint it inside the tent. After it is completely dry I leave the door slightly ajar and brush paint it. With the handle up just a fraction of an inch I can slide the edge of the brush under the hardware without touching it. Let it dry completely....turn your screws back in a couple of turns and presto----you are done. lol
    But- YOUR version is so much more entertaining....Lord love ya, Brenda- xo Diana

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    1. You sound like a pro! Perhaps you should write a tutorial for the rest of us.

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  24. Since you love color, I bet you'll end up loving it. If not,, there's another door painting in your future. Can't tell you the proper procedure to paint a door - I'll just learn how to by watching you.

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    1. I learn by doing. Wasn't ever very good at following written instructions.

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  25. My dad would say take it off the hinges. I would have done exactly what you did and have had very similar results. Hmmmm....maybe my dad is always right! :) Glad that it all got worked out! Love the door!

    P.S. Why no Blacklist synopsis anymore? I really loved those!

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    1. Okay, Friday after The Blacklist tomorrow night I will do a synopsis. I just got emails from readers that said they didn't watch it and weren't interested in the synopsis. I guess I can write two posts. One for the lovers of The Blacklist, and one for the others.

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  26. Oh my goodness! i loved this story! It sounds like something i would do! i haven't painted any doors so i'm no help on that score. Even though orange is not my color i think the door is very cheerful looking.

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    1. Cheerful, and a bit blinding. Perhaps I will become accustomed to it.

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  27. That sounds exactly like something I would do LOL I've taken off hinges, but I find it easier to just tape it off and cut in. Doors are heavy!

    I like the color :)

    xo

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    1. And there is no way I could lift that heavy door.

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  28. Never a dull moment at your place Brenda!

    As for painting a door, I would never take it off the hinges. I like to do things as quickly and easily as possible. I read what Diana wrote and that's pretty much my routine too.

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    1. You two get together and write a tutorial for the rest of us who are clearly clueless.

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  29. Well do not ever take one off the hinges to paint it, ask me how I know that.........And thanks for the giggle. I have locked myself out many a time, but I have yet to lock myself in.........Doorknobs can be a real pain and they are so such simple little things...........I have one now on a closet that I can not for the life of me figure out how to get off of the door and I need to because it is messed up and needs to be replaced.........sigh

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    1. There appears to be some mechanism inside, that I cannot see, though I got my tweezers and tried to hold it open and peer inside the thing, that must be lined up exactly right to make the door open and close.

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  30. Please forgive my laughter. It just sounds like something I would do. I have never taken a doorknob off when I painted because I would never trust myself to get it back on.

    I am loving your BoHo look.

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    1. I hesitated, but as usual, full steam ahead.

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  31. Funny. But I bet it wasn't at the time. I think the door looks great. It even matches the pot the plant is in.
    I must be missing something as I can't figure out the storm door being locked and you were locked in. Isn't the lock on the inside of the storm door. I had better go read that part again.

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    1. Yes, the lock is on the inside of the storm door. But if you can't get the big door open to get to the storm door, it is useless to you.

      Delete
  32. Locked in! Oh Brenda, that's just too funny! So glad you got some help. One good thing about paint, if you don't end up loving it you can repeat with another color, but don't repeat the lock in...lol! 😉
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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    1. As all the bloggers say, and I have learned, paint is cheap. However, locksmiths are not. And I wasn't going to waste my money calling one. So I just waited for Kay to go round up Volare and attempt to explain this thing to him.

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  33. Excuse me for a minute since I think that I just peed myself a little, laughing. I am sorry but you made it so funny! HILARIOUS!

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    1. It wasn't funny at the time, but I can laugh at myself now that I can actually open and close the door again.

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  34. I think you are probably livening up Volare's life. Think of the conversations he must have when he goes home at night. LOL. xo Laura

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    1. I give his wife a lot of stuff. Like a big spice rack full of spices I'd never used. Gave that to him the other day. He seldom leaves here without my giving him something. So she probably just figures that when I mess up, she will be getting something.

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  35. Replies
    1. I will have to for now anyway. My hands are so sore I doubt I could paint one more thing for awhile.

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  36. Hi Brenda ,Oh you had me laughing. and at first. I thought you were going to say you kicked over the paint can!! I always open the door to paint. Great color and I'd leave it too. Love your bright boho look.
    CM

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    1. If I'd kicked over the paint can, they might have had to straight-jacket me. Watching the money I spent on paint going across the floor might have been my undoing. I do not buy the paint most bloggers buy. I just buy regular paint. Still, isn't cheap.

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  37. lol You're giving Volare plenty to talk about, Brenda! I'm sure he finds you very entertaining! I love the orange pop of color, but I can see that it would take some getting used to. I use very yellow and very red paints in my house and it occasionally shocks me how colorful things are. But other times I'm so happy with all the color. Do you have any white you could add to the orange to lighten it up? Surely, Miss Brenda has some white pain about the house!

    Thanks for the enjoyable read today, dear one. You are a very special person with very special stories to tell! Keep telling!

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    1. Well, I could add white, yes. But I have never blended paint. And I fear that would case even more of a mess.

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  38. I don't understand painting permanent things like a lock or doorknob in a rental. You're going to have to undo all this painting when you leave, right?

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    1. Yes, I'm sure I will. Maybe I'll never leave. And I'd rather live with what I like, since I spend almost every waking hour in here, than worry about that. I had Volare put on a new sink faucet too. You know my motto: Love it while you rent it. I have also added to this place. Before I moved in, I bought and had them install a taller toilet, a hand held shower nozzle, and a storm door. It certainly looks better than when I first walked in here.

      Delete
  39. Oh my goodness! That was a mess, but glad you had someone to help you out! I have painted doors before but left them on the hinges and just taped around the handle. I didn't take the handle off. When our front door got stained (from professional painters) they did take the door off the hinges and remove the knob though.

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    1. I considered just taping around it, but then I couldn't use spray paint for the knob inside. The dogs and I cough enough.

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  40. Oh m, locked in I would have been climbing out a window. I'm claustrophobic. I love the door color. I painted the long wall in my kitchen/hall that color. It feels so comfy in there during the cold winter months. Maybe something hung on the door over the orange? A wreath in natural tones, or a small quilt. After a week of the paint curing, you could attach something to it Maybe the command 3 hooks from 3M? I love everything you share on your blog!

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    1. Yes, I'm considering adding something to "tone it down a bit." I am not claustrophobic unless I'm in a very closed and small space like an elevator. Being locked out would probably have driven me round the bend though.

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  41. To tell you the truth...when I saw the title of your post Brenda....I thought you had injured your ankle again! I am relieved it was only a fantastic post about painting your door and locking yourself in! I suppose one would think that if you had a 10,000 sq. ft. home one would be happy...but, we do know that money doesn't make your life happier, it does tend to make life a tad bit easier though. I'd say that if your painting antics can add some humor to Volare's life...you've made his day! ;)

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  42. Interesting that you should post on painting your front door. I just bought paint to paint my front door too.
    I'm painting mine yellow, on the outside of the door. One place to look for tutorials is You Tube. I've done some fixes myself like door knobs and replacing insides of toilets after watching the videos.

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  43. Tell Volare that you are his "Job security". He's guaranteed to have his job for a long time.

    Keep the door as is.

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  44. I am glad that you explained how you got locked in. I couldn't get my head around it. Never thought about you not being able to get the big door open to get to the lock. Only excuse I had is a long night at work and was late when I read it. But then again it could have been any time of the day and I could have missed it. lol. I hope today is going better for you.

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  45. I think the door looks fantastic in the brighter orange - I would leave it !
    Second - I agree - taking doorknobs on and off is not so easy - they look very simple, but they're not ! Pesky things - I've done the exact same thing as you...
    I think you've done a wonderful job on your new place - so colorful and happy.....

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  46. I agree with you, you might as well enjoy it while living there, after all it is your home. Sounds like you have a real treasure in Volare, great guy. You probably make his days. I have no luck with door knobs either, can't understand the mystery of them. I like the orange, I think it will grow on you. You have certainly given me pause to think about how I'd decorate a new living room if I move one day. Exciting fun!

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  47. OMG Brenda..How do you get yourself in these predicaments?? Well at least when I ready to paint my door I know what NOT to do..lol..And I love the bright orange!

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  48. I must say your adventure made me laugh. I'm always so afraid this could happen to me that I paint my door open and I stuck a cushion in the door frame, just in case the door would like to shut itself (doors are unpredictable)!

    ReplyDelete

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