Re: looking for a SWEEEET ketchup based sauceSometimes you just have to turn a negative into a positive. Last year my wife redecorated our kitchen for the third or fourth time; faux painting the walls in Tuscan hues, putting new tile on the floor, getting new countertops, and changing the appliances from black to stainless. Unfortunately, the kitchen ceiling still retained its original finish and that got her upset. What began as standard ceiling white has changed over time due to the effects of ultraviolent light and grease splotches or other unexplained reasons for which I have been blamed. She pointed out that I needed to paint the ceiling. I went out in the garage and found a partially used can of white paint. I proceeded to paint a small test patch to check for coverage and told her that it needed time to cure.
I let it cure for a couple of months. After this entirely suitable period of time, both the paint and my wifeâ€™s patience appeared to be wearing thin. I was accused of never finishing anything. That really pained me because it is a well known rule that you have a least a year to finish a project around the house. I was threatened with disruption of marital bliss if the ceiling wasnâ€™t painted the next weekend. She even threatened to hire someone to do it. This created a lot of pressure and I knew if she was around I would receive detailed instructions while the work was in progress. Iâ€™ve learned from repainting a bathroom three times in two weeks to get the â€œrightâ€ color. Sheâ€™s even had me watch decorating shows so she could point out things I needed to do.
Well, I learned from those shows that the way to do it was to send her away for a weekend of pleasure while I did the work. On the shows that means a swanky hotel and expensive spa activities. Since sheâ€™s not used to that level of comfort, I figured it might be traumatic so I called my daughter and got her to ask her mom to babysit at their house for the weekend while they went camping.
I was deeply hurt by her accusation that I never finished anything and took it to heart. I had about a third of a bottle of Southern Comfort handy and decided to finish that first. Once I had proven I could finish something, I achieved an inner peace. I began to think about technique. I knew from my test patch that it would take at least two coats of paint to cover the stains. However, if I used faux painting techniques similar to what my wife had done on the walls, I might be able to camouflage the stains and get by with one coat.
I got out one of her decorating books and found a faux process for using layers of paint and a dash of bronzing powder to give the look of aged copper. I thought that might just be the thing she wanted.
I wasnâ€™t really in condition to drive to the paint store and get paints, glazes, powders, sponges, gloves and other faux painting accessories, nor did I see the need to spend money on things like that. I could use what I had around the house to achieve the same effect. I looked at the stains on the ceiling and they already resembled faux painting. I had been the cause of some of those stains because I had put hot liquids in the blender and forgot to put the lid on before turning it one. That was the answer. Maybe I could bring my culinary skills to the problem and finish the job quickly. I could use various foods/liquids in the blender. Iâ€™ve got a professional grade VitaMix blender that will spin the blades at 240 mph and apply the liquids with the necessary force. I could move it around the room to get an even pattern.
I thought maybe that I should wet down the ceiling with a base color so that the food would adhere to the ceiling better as it dried. Being a devotee of beer, I had some nut brown ales on hand that might provide an aged looking, yellowish base layer. I could shake the bottles and spray the ceiling. This certainly would have achieved the desired effect, but you have to use common sense. Beer is far too valuable a commodity to waste on decorating. So I drank a couple. This led to a brilliant idea. I could mix yellow cornmeal, chicken broth, and a little tumeric. I could use my Eureka Hot Shot steamer with the wallpaper attachment to apply the mixture. The cornmeal would provide a fine grit that gave a rustic appearance.
At this point, I realized that this would make a mess and Iâ€™d better do something to limit the cleanup work. I didnâ€™t have any suitable drop cloths, but my wife had just been to a white sale and bought new sheets for our bed. She had just the right amount I needed to cover everything because she figures that if you can save money at a sale on one item, it is much better to buy multiple items and save even more money. I opened the packages of sheets and spread them over the counters and the floor.
After applying the preparation layer, I had to come up with something green to achieve the desired patina. I had extra zucchini in the garden that I could use, but the color might be too fiftyish avocado. I searched through the fridge. I opened the vegetable drawer and saw that some rotting cilantro had stuck to the bottom of the drawer. It had just the right tint of rich greens and specks of black. I mixed the cilantro with a little lime jello. I heated it on the stove, poured it in the blender, and started on the ceiling. I have to say the final result was outstanding â€“ a hint of copper with a rich variegated green patina and a slightly rough texture. While Iâ€™d never been to Tuscany, I easily pictured a Tuscan mansion sitting on a hillside with a ceiling like that.
I picked up the sheets and threw them in the laundry room. Nevertheless, I had a nagging concern that my wife wouldnâ€™t appreciate my efforts. I had to make a good first impression. The decorating shows came through again. I would make sure she returned after dark. I would turn off all the lights and light a few candles to provide a subdued, but sensual effect. It all worked perfectly. When she came in the front door I had her close her eyes just like on Trading Places. When I told her to open them she went â€œWow!â€. I quickly suggested that I ought to be rewarded for spending my whole weekend finishing â€œherâ€ kitchen ceiling with a little marital bliss. To my surprise, she agreed. She started toward the bedroom and then said, â€œletâ€™s put the new sheets on the bed first.â€