If you look round your cosy home – because your mother is coming to stay, or you want to sell it, or it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving – and the only words that spring to mind are ‘Oh ****!’ – then what you need is almond white.
Because almond white has the happy property of being uncannily similar to paint that was white, once long ago.
So a duster and a damp rag will do for the passable bits, and the bits that need something a little more radical can be uplifted by a couple of coats of almond white.
Now, personally, I have grasped that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I would not climb on the desk and the filing cabinet because I can’t be bothered to move them, and have a damp rag handy to wipe up the spots of paint that fall on the new telly. I would not skip the bit above the bay window because I can’t raise the energy to move the sofa and take down the curtains. And it would never, ever occur to me to paint over a brown patch where some damp got in once, without really bothering with the rest. Not me. Oh, no. I would have all the furniture moved out or covered in dust sheets, I would spread special floor-coverings made of recycled old bedding that I’d fallen on with a glad cry when someone else was throwing them out, and kept on their own shelf in the Useful Things Cupboard particularly for that very purpose. I would wash things down and sand things off and take days and days and days over the whole palaver. But you – now you might not be such a thorough kind of person. You might think, as some people do: ‘Oh, blow that for a lark – won’t a dab of paint just do the trick?’
And if you are that kind of dubious, half-hearted, indolent type of person – the words you need to hear are ‘Almond White’. Okay?