Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Spirit of Unpainting

Now that we are mostly settled I continue to find little projects here and there that just won't let me rest. I love my windows, I love the scenery outside of my windows, but the paint splotches all over them left by previous lazy painters are driving me nuts. My friend, the razor blade scraper, now rides around in my back pocket so I can simply take care of those erroneous blops of color in the middle of my sunset whenever I see them. The problem is that I see paint smears everywhere now. Window edges, doorknobs, outlet covers, lightswitch covers, bathroom tile, and floors are all smudged up with sloppy paint jobs and I would rather skip dinner than leave those smears on my bathroom tile.

Toby would rather I served dinner. "Yee-uunnch...time!" he insists as he leans closer to inspect my work. "Oohh mommy dooo-ing?" he asks. "I'm scraping paint off of this window, see?" I respond, not taking my eyes from the menacing streak of brown covering my view of the snow. "Want 'nack. Want bar. Want rai-sins!" he grins. And I'm forced to put the scraper back in my pocket for a few hours.

Last night, weary though I was, I couldn't go to bed without uncovering the gem I was sure lay under a blob of tan paint on my bedroom closet door. I scraped, I scrubbed, I scrubbed again with CLR and this is what I uncovered:

It makes me wonder who had the brilliant idea of painting over the beautiful antique door knob. But I also began to wonder about the hands that had put that door knob there so many years ago. I'm sure it was a lovely house in its day.

The center support beam of the house is an ax-hewn tree trunk, something Pa Ingalls would be proud of. There are two canning cellars in the basement where some woman patiently stored away a winter's worth of food for her family. And then there are the lovely doorknobs. Someone appreciated their beauty before another careless soul blobbed paint over them. I wish I knew their names.

Dwelling on these past spirits at a quarter to midnight when my husband was not home did, however, prove a little creepy. I know, I watched too many horror movies in high school. No, I don't believe that the spirits of the house's past inhabitants are watching me, but I rested my head thinking, if they were, they'd be happy with the work I'm doing.

1 comment:

  1. I often wonder what stories a house could tell about its past inhabitants, what they were like, what they thought and did...