We move a lot. In fact, since my husband and I were married, we have rarely lived in a home longer than 4 years. With two young children, a couple of dogs and a mortgage, we became the ultimate DIY painters.
Paint chips never worked. The 1" x 2" samples just didn't do it for me. So, I started painting test stripes and practicing faux-finishes on the "unused" walls leading to our basement (surely no one would ever see my numerous artistic attempts). From there, I moved on and began buying pre-cut pieces of drywall so I could practice rag rolling, color washing and painting a whole rainbow of colors. I can still picture my husband leaning out over a ladder with a piece of drywall in each hand telling me to hurry up and make a decision before he dropped the boards on our living room floor. Talk about testing the bonds of marriage!
Every time I would paint a room, I would say to my husband, "I need one of those things to practice on - you know, one of those things to paint and hang on the wall so I don't mess up our walls, and so I can see what it will look like BEFORE we paint the room." When we would go to the store to pick our colors, I would always ask if they had "one of those things". Surely, somebody had to have it, because everybody needed it.
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I'd ask for it at the paint store, and they would tell me, "Try painting on poster board." I tried, but that only curled up like a ribbon when the paint dried. I'd ask at the hardware store and they told me to use drywall: "Ma'am we even have cut up pieces right here." Been there. I'd have to buy primer and prime the drywall then my husband would have to climb back up on the ladder again....No thank you! I searched the web, but it wasn't there either.
Maybe I wasn't explaining myself clearly. Somebody had to have that thing. I could see it. I would just paint it, stick it on the wall and take it down again when company was coming so they wouldn't see the tell tale stripes on my walls, showing just how indecisive I really was. I could practice faux finishes on it first, instead of getting half way through a room only to discover I never did master the technique. And I could move it around easily so I could see my color choices in different light and at different times of the day. It seemed like such a simple idea. Certainly SOMEBODY had to have one.
Nope, nada, nothing. Not in the paint stores, not in the home improvement stores, not on the web, not anywhere.
So I stopped looking. I decided if necessity is the mother of invention, and I'm a mom, then I would invent what I needed. That is how Small Wall® was born.
It saved my walls and my marriage.