Thursday, April 13, 2006

An eye for detail...

I spent most of last night on a ladder painting as precise a line as I could between walls and the ceiling (we have the horrible “popcorn” style ceilings, so this can be a little hard).

Often I would paint a nearly straight line on the first try, while other times I had to go back and fill in spaces that didn’t look right. As I filled in spaces and tried to make the line as perfect as possible, I focused more and more closely, noticing with each brush stroke another minor imperfection that needed correcting.

Inevitably, if I spent too much time meticulously trying to perfect an area, the brush would slip and Warm Muffin would be all over the white ceiling.

When I finally finished with the work last night, I hopped down from my ladder, took a step back and inspected my work. Surprisingly, there was only one difference between places where I was very detail-oriented and places where I simply accepted the good-enough line: paint on the ceiling. From a distance, the lines themselves all looked good; it was the ceiling that looked crummy.

This isn’t an endorsement of laziness, or an admonishment of thoroughness. Rather, it’s a story about our perspective and how it affects our actions. Close up, the white spots bothered me. Further back, they were unnoticeable…but the paint on the ceiling certainly was not.

I thought about all of this after reading the Flier’s editorial about the charrette today.

3 comments:

Evan said...

1) Try using a edging tool you can get at Home Depot or a pain store. It is this little flat paint application surface that has very little wheels on one edge that you can roll along the ceiling edge and paint a couple inch line along the edge of the wall you are painting.

2) Another way of looking at the downtown plan is a little problem not caught soon enough grows into a big problem. Let's fix the problems in the plan now so it doesn't cost us more later to fix when it is more complicated.

Evan said...

I meant paint store.

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