Welcome to another edition of the Projectophile series, “Yes, You Can Paint That!” where we find new and unusual things to paint.
This past weekend, Scott went on a trip by himself to a city multiple time zones away. It was the longest he’d been away from the family, and I marked the occasion by feeding the kids a lot of (fully cooked) frozen pizza, and sleeping sideways across our bed, sometimes with my shoes and the lights still on. I would make a terrible bachelor.
I wanted to surprise Scott when he got home. Not a “Surprise, I got my teeth fixed!” sort of way. More like, “That’ll teach you to leave me alone for 4 days with a fresh supply of white spray paint” sort of way. But in a good way.
Lately I had noticed something askew in our kitchen, color-wise. We’d managed to match the new fridge and shelving to the existing 1950s white sink, stove and cabinets. But then there was the microwave. The microwave already felt out of place in our (mostly) period kitchen, like a satellite dish in a Norman Rockwell painting.
And worst of all, it was black, sucking all the gleaming whiteness out of the room. Suddenly, while heating up another frozen pizza, a spray-paint shaped light bulb metaphorically appeared over my head. SPRAY PAINT!
STEP ONE – PREPARE: Slide all the crap off the top of your microwave. For our family, the top of the fridge/microwave is the best spot to hide things from the kids, or hide things from ourselves, or from each other. You’d be amazed at what ends up in that sweet spot between adult arm-reach and adult eye-level: candy, permanent markers, past-due utility bills, but mostly candy.
Now give your microwave a sponge bath with dish soap and hot water. It has probably grown a thick coat of FurGrease™, my trademarked name for the grey layer of dust and debris that clings to the airborne grease on your exposed kitchen appliances.
Next, cover up any sensitive parts. I found it easiest just to tape off the front door and control panel, which attach to the body of the microwave in one continuous line. While that leaves some black showing, there’s also enough chrome to pay homage to the vintage stove.
Just before you grab the paint can, slip on your painting pants, or what Sam (age 3) now calls my “embarrassing pants,” because I refuse to pop out and say hi to the neighbors in the morning if I’m wearing them.
No – of course they’re not sweatpants from the bargain bin at Walgreen’s. I’d like to think of them as thick cotton “harem pants;”in this case the harem is full of antsy housewives and an ample supply of spray paint.
STEP TWO – PAINT: Hold the can about a foot from the microwave and spray in a continuous, fluid motion. Don’t hover over a certain spot, keep it moving!
While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, go ahead and reheat that cup … uh, never mind. Enjoy a cup of room-temperature coffee! After about an hour you can peel off the protection to see how you did:
STEP THREE – WAIT FOR YOUR HUSBAND TO NOTICE: This step can take anywhere from 12 hours to 6 months, based on the quality of your spouse. For extra excitement, casually shake your head “no” when he finally asks, “Honey, was this microwave always white?”
* Silence = acquiescence, but in a good way.