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The Mast-Head: Painting Over

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 15:56

Not that I have had the time lately, but over the weekend I took on another household project, refinishing a bathroom floor that I had installed myself more than 20 years ago. Considering its age and the years of sandy feet and dog claws, it was in good condition. But I had always disliked it.

The wood itself, mahogany short-ends left over from a job in New York City, came via a generous friend. It remained in the barn for some time before I used it to replace the bathroom’s original yellow linoleum. Shortly after its installation, someone pointed out that a mahogany floor in a beach house did not really “go.” That offhand comment stuck with me, and I thought about it almost every time I went in the room. Painting over that memory might help.

Sanding took up much of Saturday and Sunday, and as Monday came around, it was time to start considering what to do next. Polyurethane, which had been on the floor up to that point, was out. I had been impressed by my brother’s painted hardwood floors in his house in Springs, so that seemed the way to go. Dan made the kitchen floor black and an adjacent sitting room floor white. I liked it.

Choosing colors and surfaces for one’s home is difficult, for me, anyway. I am constantly reminded of this by the gray tile settled on for the entryway and kitchen floors sometime after my bathroom makeover. When the household included a pet pig and two incontinent dogs, tile may have made sense. I have fancies of taking a jackhammer to it now. As of today, I lean toward a pale green paint color for the bathroom, kind of like up at my sister’s place in town.

Green has something of a tradition around here. A lot of the shacks at Lazy Point and in Poseyville at the other end of Amagansett have green asphalt shingles. The way it was explained to me, green was the least-popular shingle color, so they could be had at a discount. I’ve always found that kind of Bonac frugality appealing. Why fuss with mahogany when good old green will do? 

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