Befores and afters: What a difference a coat makes

By Tilly Dillehay, Editor

March 26, 2014

I spend a lot of time in my office here at the Macon County Times. All of us do. Hope Green, our advertising manager, Chip Turner, our general manager, Leigh Dallas, our office manager, and Kelly Rich, our in-office reporter—we all spend a whole lot of time sitting in a room looking at a computer screen. The rooms we’re sitting in are different shapes and sizes, but they have been home to this paper for many decades.

In the back, Press Foreman Glenn Patterson and our mail clerks Margaret Wix, Angela Fuqua, and Kimberly Hesson spend their time in other rooms. They move around quite a bit more than we do. Patterson holds the reins of the great hulking press itself, as well as another large warehouse worth of space.

And we love our office. We feel at home here. Many people, through the years, have called this office their working home. The walls and floors and ceilings bear the marks that these people—and the varied methods that they have used to get the paper to you folks on time, year after year—leave behind.

That being said, I recently came down with some itchy painting fingers. My office, like the others here, is lined with very dark paneling. Because of this, it has always looked smaller than it is. It’s also showed a network of marks, holes, and scratches, left there by pinboards, taped pieces of paper, and shifted furniture.

So I made the resolution one Friday to do a simple paint job.

This is the way my parents used to improve their homes, I remembered; I have lots of childhood memories of family projects involving me with painter’s tape and a ceiling scraper in hand. We even painted paneling once, and it doubled the visual size of our living room in one weekend.

So I bought supplies that afternoon, came in early on a Saturday, and got to work. One primer coat, one small on-sale bucket of cream for the trim, and two coats of clean, crisp light blue on the walls. I used a cheap collection of painter’s tools and lined the floor with (what else?) old newspaper.

I even dragged a dark brown bookshelf and wall mounted shelf outside to paint them creamy white with a spray can. Never used a spray can before, but it worked pretty well.

Monday morning I came in and moved all the furniture back into the middle of the room, rehung items on the wall, and put a colorful $2 yard sale print up. Instead of the hodgepodge of taped and pinned items that were previously strewn across the wall behind my desk, I moved a large cork board there and assembled all necessary items on it.

Extra bonus: as usually happens when you take the time to paint, many items were thrown away. Many others were organized.

What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday! I may not own the deed to this property, but in another sense, it is my space. I spend more waking hours in this room than any room of my own home. They call this sort of thing an investment in quality of life. It’s an investment that has delivered a return every time I step into my office, sit down, and look around me.

So go ahead, Macon homeowners, gardeners and office workers! Go wild. Spend that little bit of time and money, and see how far it can take you. Happy spring improving!