Sunday, October 30, 2011

White as Snow

First of all, did anyone else think it was ridiculous that it snowed in October? We decided to stay home for most of this weekend, so J could work on grad school. I didn't mind the weekend at home since the month of November promises to be quite busy. Being home, it was somewhat nice to see the snow come down, but my parents had quite a lot of the stuff to deal with. Also, it was mostly rain here and mostly icy and heavy snow up at my parents. We still had to use the ice scrapper on the car to get to church this morning though.

Northern VA:

My parents in PA:

I spent the snowy Saturday and cold Sunday painting various parts of the kitchen white. I started with repairing the doorway that had to be modified for the door project. I had to rip out the baseboards in order to get our new door to fit in the pantry opening.

Over the course of the week, I had been prepping the door frame with layers of putty to smooth the area out. I used thin coats of drywall composite (as we had used for the ceiling drywall repair in my last post.

After roughly getting it smooth, or as smooth as I could, I painted the door frame white. I found a can of white paint downstairs with the label, "closets," on it, so I thought it might suffice. It was actually too white for the rest of the pantry, so I went ahead and painted the whole door frame the white color. At least that way it would match the trim (which I painted next).

I then re-installed the door. Now, this is a "before" set of pictures for the kitchen trim. As you can see, the trim is pretty much the same exact color at the wall, which my mom had painted in May.

As I have painted trim before, I went through and painted the trim to the same white (Snowbound - Sherwin Williams) that I have been using elsewhere in the house. These are the "after" photos. Notice how the wall color looks different from the trim?

I was enjoying the contrast so much that I decided to repeat the process on the ceiling. I already knew the ceiling needed to be painted due to the big lighting re-design we did last weekend and I had ceiling paint lying around in the basement, so I went ahead and decided to go for it. Here are some before shots.

Patch job:

And here is after I finished the edging work. I think these photos really show how off-white our ceiling really was. It was almost a peach color instead of white. And it seemed too even to me to have happened over time. I think someone deliberately painted the ceiling a peach color. I am not sure why. As you can see from these photos, I don't use painter's tape. First of all, it takes a long time to put it all in place. And with a little practice, a steady hand, and a damp paper towel on hand, it is actually not that bad to do the edging without it. I think the key tool is really having the damp paper towel. Wet paint will wipe right off of surfaces and a finger nail under the damp towel works wonders to get a straight line.

I then started rolling. For any of you who have not painted ceilings before, it is a tough job. You are up on a ladder, contorting your head the whole time and trying to roll above you. Not easy stuff. Here is how it was looking mid-afternoon today.

It actually took two coats to really get an even white throughout the room. Unfortunately, I think these photos still show some blotchy-ness after two coats. Thankfully, they are not really apparent in real life. The flash in the camera made taking accurate pictures hard. Plus, it was evening by the time I had finished. But, I think you can still get a sense of the difference. Finally, the walls stand out as a true pale yellow instead of looking white. It really made a huge difference.

Of course, as always while painting, I listened to apologetics lectures (Os Guinness during the trim painting and Art Lindsay during the ceiling painting if you are curious). Somewhere along the line, I started to draw parallels between painting and the Christian faith that I thought I would share.

When I first contemplated painting the ceiling, I wasn't sure I needed to. It seemed fine to me, why couldn't I just paint over the areas we had patched up? But as soon as I started to compare the ceiling with the true white of what it should be, I realized instantly that my plan would not work. I needed to paint the entire ceiling. So my first parallel was that sometimes we do not see how sinful (or un-white to keep using my parallel) we are until we compare ourselves to the true standard of sinlessness (or white). As soon as that is made known to us, we are forced to decide whether to submit and "paint the whole ceiling" or to leave it messed up, hoping that no one will notice the parts that were patched up. It reminds me of the passage in Luke 5, when Peter is first confronted with who Jesus is. He says, "Go away from me Lord; I am a sinful man!" Thankfully, God's grace through Jesus paints our "ceilings" white as snow.

For I know my transgressions, 
   and my sin is always before me. 
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight; 
so you are right in your verdict 
   and justified when you judge. 
Surely I was sinful at birth, 
   sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; 
   you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; 
   wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; 
   let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 
Hide your face from my sins 
   and blot out all my iniquity.

 Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
   and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
Do not cast me from your presence 
   or take your Holy Spirit from me. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation 
   and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
- Psalm 51: 3-12

1 comment:

  1. The parallels you shared reminded me of yesterday's sermon at my church here. The pastor quoted CS Lewis, saying that God doesn't want "nice people," He wants new men. He wants us to give Him all of ourselves and be made wholly new -- not just try to be good and hope God doesn't notice if we fail here and there.
    ...As always, I'm so impressed by your diligence with the house! I love seeing your progress :-)