In my old house, I never noticed marked paintwork. I didn’t see where trainers had connected with skirting boards, chairs had collided with door frames, tea bags had missed the bin and dripped down the wall. I was literally blind to these things.
I never thought I could change so dramatically.
Our old house was all ready when we moved in – a new kitchen and bathroom and magnolia walls throughout. Yes, we changed it a fair bit over the years – a loft conversion, two new patios, new windows, new drive, new interior doors, new French doors – but that was all done for us by someone else.
We painted the kids’ bedrooms, but there was nothing challenging about it – that was just some colour over magnolia. We didn’t have to fight with floral wallpaper which refused to be hidden and we didn’t paint the skirting boards or the door frames!
But this house is different. This house has been a labour of love. Blood, sweat and tears have gone into those walls and skirting boards. Not someone else’s. Mine. And my husband’s.
And now I see every single scuff, every imperfection. How do they appear so quickly? They’re everywhere I look. There’s the wall in the hall where I scraped the ladder against it, chips on the skirting boards in the bedroom where we struggled to get the wardrobes through the door, there are scrapes all up the walls on the stairs and marks on the landing (more ladder scrapes?), there are messy edges where the gloss from the skirting boards has got onto the freshly-painted walls. As I lie in bed, all I can see are those damn marks on my skirting boards.
I just want to get the brush out and cover them up. I can do that, because we still have a flipping enormous great tub of ivory paint in the garage because this house is a long-term project. We’ve slowed down, but we’re far from finished. There are still plenty of areas that need transforming.
This obsession with paintwork is not me. This is so far from the me I’ve always been.
Now I wonder, if the brand new paintwork has got messed up this quickly, what sort of a flipping awful state was my old house in?!