Moore is Moore

Confessions of a paint freak

By Carolyn Strickland


I need a new hobby

I lie about my hobbies. I usually say they are tennis and hiking when I’m filling out a form at a doctor’s office or applying for a job. In my mind this is half true, I like tennis — or did the few times I played it 25 years ago. I hate hiking.

My real hobby is paint. Not the artistic kind on a canvas, just flat-out, wall-paint, interior stuff. There’s something magical about it to me. When I was in my early 20s and had no money for furniture, I compensated with paint. A good color created architectural interest and guests would comment on the room, forgetting I didn’t have furniture. Until they had to sit down.

Don’t make me go outside. I like sitting inside, in good lighting and looking at painted decks. Although, I will happily sit in my car in front of your house to help define an exterior paint scheme. Admittedly, I never paint myself, but I will sacrifice food and drink to hire a good painter who can cut straight lines. I’m not a diva but I did it once and it made me cry.

I have a love for paint that knows no bounds. I used to think everyone knew the color and formula number for every shade of paint on a wall, but I realized they didn’t while attending a party where everyone was oohing and ahhing over a Weimaraner puppy. “He’s so beautiful, so soft.” I noticed his fur was an exact match to Ben Moore HC-45 Revere Pewter and made the mistake of sharing this with the crowd. This may have been around the time when people quit asking me to play tennis.

I’ve discovered the transformative power of paint by moving. Ten houses to be exact. Mistakes were made. I learned that the first time I tried to paint my daughter’s room a warm, sunny yellow. Here’s the secret: Don’t pick the prettiest color from the deck, pick a murkier version of the shade you like and it will go up looking just as you had imagined. Maybe. Sunny, warm yellows are a particular danger. I see this going wrong daily. Not only am I a paint enthusiast, I’m also a snobby one. Don’t even talk to me about white paint if you don’t have a few days. It’s a complicated subject, fraught with danger and pitfalls. I suggest Ben Moore/ Simply White. It’s not too white, yellow or gray. And there are some stunning Farrow & Ball whites but that’s an entirely different discussion. Plus, $90 a gallon is money that can better be applied towards buying a Weimaraner puppy.

Discovering a new friend with a similar obsession was a recent highlight. Instead of going out for dinner, we ordered a pizza, set up a special light and went through different paint chip books discussing the pros and cons of various colors. We both wept over the hues that seem to be perfect all day yet go suddenly green at night. Or the sophisticated blue reminiscent of a nursery. At one point during this glorious evening, we looked deeply into each other’s eyes and realized with love that we were both freaks. Let’s never tell anyone of this we said. “No of course not,” I lied.

I recently attended a yoga class. It seemed like yoga would be a great new hobby — except for the part of hating it

While doing the tree pose, inner peace and mindfulness went out the window because all I could think about was how the too-dark lavender color on the walls should have been a more calming hazy greenish gray. The lime green accent wall just didn’t work at all with the cool tones. My mind would temporarily calm, I would stop wobbling, and then I would imagine how bad the room would be in a sunny neon yellow. Would white be too cold? What about HC-45 the Weimaraner puppy color?  Too trendy? And what’s with accent walls and why do people do them? Stop!!! Namaste!!

I stand. I walk to the parking lot, breathe in deeply the outside air. Once safely inside my car, I pull out a paint deck and try to figure out a new color for the yoga studio walls and add yoga to the list as my new hobby. And suddenly it is. My very favorite.  h

Carolyn Strickland is a real estate agent at Leonard Ryden Burr real estate in Winston- Salem.

Contact Us

Have a question about Seasons? Shoot us a message and we'll get back to you shortly!

Start typing and press Enter to search