Surprise Your Spouse : A Makeover Story

It is time to talk about the surprise. 2010 drew to a close on a good note and December was been a fabulous month. Before I begin, wish you all a very Happy New Year. And thank you for stopping by, asking for suggestions and all your kind comments.

There was a time, year 2004 to be precise, when I was hooked onto the makeover and event series on TLC. You know The Wedding story, The Baby Story, The Home Makeover story and such…I would watch back to back episodes. Have you seen those home makeover surprise episodes when a spouse goes away for a weekend? And the husband/wife along with the TLC team renovates the yard/room beyond recognition. When the spouse returns, he/she is in for a HUGE surprise. Imagine the adrenaline rush!

The dream came true. It all began in November end as part of “Surprise your spouse” campaign for Asian Paints. It was like a dream come true. In a way, it was a torture for I couldn’t tell my husband or anyone about it for nearly 3 weeks :)

As per the campaign, I could choose a wall to be painted in a color and texture of my choice and Asian Paints Home Solutions would paint it. This had to be done when the husband was away on work. Everything feel in to place in the first week of December as my husband was away on a business trip for 3 days giving us enough window to execute the whole process at ease.  I was as thrilled as my son when he gets a new RC helicopter. Alright, more about Royale Play and the process now…

Color and texture selection:

This is perhaps the most important step in the whole process. A lot has been said and written about color selection for walls – furniture, wall decor, artifacts, lighting, furnishings play a critical role. If you do not intend to change the rest, then it is wise to choose a color that blends well with furniture and furnishings.

We are in the process of re-doing our home in parts. After a bright orange drawing room, for two years, I was game for a more subdued and neutral color, preferably monochromatic. I wanted to bring color to the room through vases, flowers and rugs. This limited my choice of colors and the selection process easier. But you never know how it would look once done. This is where the experts help. The Asian Paints’ team leader vouched that silver-Aluminium dapple gives a royale look.

To be honest, even after selection, I was skeptical for two reasons. One, it is easier to transform a room and surprise everyone by painting a focus wall in the darker shade. Though a standard and fail-safe approach, it is not novel anymore. in our case, the hardest part was to move away from a darker shade and still make an impression. Two, as I said before, one can never be sure what looks good on paper will stand out in reality as well.

The Makeover and Painting Process:

1. The day began bright and early on a Tuesday morning. With the husband away on work and my son to school, the stage was set for the makeover.

2. The folks arrived at 10:00 a.m.  and wasted no time in getting started. I braced myself for a long day ahead. They began by moving all the furniture, covering the adjoining walls and floor with newspapers.

4. Sanding: Next the surface had to be readied for the painting. Two painters scrapped the surface with emery sheets to remove all the dirt and grease. Our wall was in a relatively good condition with no cracks, water seepage or flakes of paint coming out. As part of the assessment process, the team decides if a complete putty is required or not.

5. Priming: After sanding, they applied a coat of Asian Paints Decoprime Wall Primer mixed in water. The primed surface had to dry before filling the crevices with putty.

7. Now the surface was ready to be painted upon. The orange color was intact and we weren’t sure how many coats of the new paint it would take to conceal it completely. The special effect I had chosen was Dapple finish in silver-aluminium. As part of the painting process, they first applied a base coat of lead-free aluminium Royale Luxury emulsion. To me, this was very important. Usually, when painting is done at home, the fumes are overpowering; however, with the Royale Play range, there is no strong sense of smell of any painting being done.  Having experienced Royale Play earlier this year, I knew it wouldn’t be hard and was excited about the campaign.

8. It was time for the special effect now. Believe it or not, what gives the dapple effect are crinkled sheets of tracing paper. A dozen sheets of tracing papers are crushed randomly with hand and then dipped in silver and metallic paint and pressed over the wet silver painted wall. This leaves the asymmetrical pattern.  From what I saw, it’s always better for one person to work on the wall to have symmetry in asymmetry. As simple as it may sound, please do not try it out yourself if you are doing it for the first time. this does require experienced hands.

And ta-da, they were done with the whole process in 4 hours — just in time for a late lunch at 2:00 p.m. After a picture and video shoot, we left the wall to dry for 36 hours when the husband arrived. Since it was the landing wall in the drawing room, he was in for a huge surprise. I let the camera roll..and now I leave you with pictures to do the rest of the talking…

In all, it was a great experience and was thrilled to be the first person in Bangalore to experience it.

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