They painted the living room gold. Leslie and Jess had wanted blue, but Bill held out for gold, which turned out to be so beautiful that they were glad they had given in. The sun would slant in from the west in the late afternoon until the room was brimful of light.
This short paragraph from Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia was the impetus for this weekend’s project. Bolstered by last weekend’s ombré success, I set out to tackle the wall above the fireplace. The book is my favorite. Though I was, and am, a voracious reader, at seven years old, few things had transcended the saccharinely sweet fluff or moralistic cautionary tales of most children’s books. This book was the first that brought me to a place of genuine emotion, and I have a crystalline memory of the gutting despair I felt when I closed the back cover. The power to access catharsis or empathy through storytelling has since been incredibly important in my life. The characters live inside me, and when I read it, I lived an afternoon painting that living room gold, too.
I didn’t have a whole living room to paint, but this one swath of wall was perfect. Adjacent to the dining room wall, I sketched complementary shapes until I settled on one I liked and taped it out on the wall.
I taped on Friday night, but woke up on Saturday wondering if I should scrap the idea for a repeating pattern, something more like wallpaper. After going back and forth, I decided to just go ahead and began painting. I used Martha Stewart’s Specialty Finish Metallic Paint in Golden Pearl. I was worried that the 10oz would not be enough, especially when the first coat went on a more like a light glaze, but I actually have 2 or 3 oz left. It’s thick, like a gel, which made it easy to work with, absolutely no drips. It’s important to peel the tape off right away, though. In a couple places where it started to dry more fully, the edges of the motif peeled up when I pulled the tape off, like a rubbery film, but I was able to smooth it into the wall by pressing it down with my finger.
The metallic paint is so much prettier in real life. It catches the light coming in through the window, and almost appears to motion across the wall. The fine lines at the bottom right are my favorite part.