Last July, dB and I snagged our first home – an 80’s ranch in need of some TLC. Many decisions needed to be made, and we had but one week between closing and moving in. Within that week, we had to:
- put a new roof on the house (and new chimney while you’re up there)
- fix newly made hole in that roof that roofer created, then fell through
- paint entire inside of house and trim
- rip-up all the carpet in BR’s and put in new carpet
- replace all polybutyline pipes throughout
- replace ALL plumbing fixtures in baths and kitchen
- and by the way, while you’re at it, go ahead and…
- tear out the vanity in the master bath and,
- ok, the floor, too, and kindly put this tile down (on the diagonal) and PLEASE
- put in these new vanities that require vessel bowls that NO ONE in South Carolina has ever have seen in their lifetime, EVER and (where’s the wine?)
- replace the toilets. Oh, did you arrange for the movers yet? Of course not. Slacker.
I had of course been looking at paint colors obsessively in the month before our closing, and I found the best colors and most compelling story at Anna Sova, an environmentally conscious store in Dallas, TX. Environmentally friendly paints have lower Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), therefore emitting less, and sometimes none, of the toxic fumes abundant in traditional paints.
I ordered samples, painted poster board and placed them ever-so strategically around the (old) house, noticed they were all way too dark, obsessed some more over slightly lighter colors, and then ordered the gallons upon gallons of paint I needed to get started. While ordering, I asked what the turn-around time was if (when) I needed more of these colors. All of the colors I had chosen would only require a two-day turn around. This fit into my plan perfectly. I would meet with our painters (we had FULL-time jobs, people. Let the professionals do what they do, while we professionals do what we do, ‘kay?) and determine how much more of each paint was needed, order it, and by the time the first coat was drying, the extra paint would be delivered.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the pollyana picture I painted in my mind turned out to unfold precisely the way I had envisioned? Well, the paint warehouse burned down. Between the time I ordered and received my first allotment of paint and my intended re-order, the Anna Sova warehouse burned down, taking with it all of the glorious pigments from the further reaches of the Earth. (Thankfully, nobody was harmed). No more paint was available for at least 3 more months. Humba?
Unfortunatley, that forced me to match my paint colors, all of which were already applied to my walls in their first coat, at the local Lowe’s. So instead of glorious, vanilla malt smelling, edible paints, HIGH VOC is what I got.
As for the attempt at the Anna Sova paint; I LOVED the smell, and the colors are quite true to their sample books (which one orders separately, but it is WELL worth it). Anna Sova customer service is unparalleled. Simply outstanding. They ACTUALLY call you back after they offer to investigate your questions well enough to find the answers. Truly a joy. However, I highly recommend following the instructions exactly as directed, which requires at least seven days drying time between coats and up to 30 days in certain instances.
Also, try to find a knowledgeable professional painter. This will help to alleviate the innane questions and sideways glances, for one, when you start eating your paint to show off its green value, but mostly because you will need a professional who is able to figure out the texture of this paint and finesse it, if you will. It is idiosyncratic, and really requires experience and patience.
Because Anna Sova only offers flat paint, I am presently on the search for low VOC paints that can be applied more reasonably, offer great colors like Anna Sova, and come in textures other than flat for wet areas, like bathrooms.
NOTE: DO NOT EVER, NEVER, NO MATTER WHAT, use flat paints in bathrooms. Just don’t.
Anna Sova paints cost about $60 per gallon. Use sparingly. If you are a designer and have a resale cert and business license number (I did!), it is half that price.