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The 90% Solution

There are plenty of perfectionists in the world...but I am not one of them! I believe perfection is overrated, and is usually the enemy of completion. Most of the time, I'd rather go for the 90% solution that gets the job done, rather than requiring 100% perfection and never finishing the project.

Perfection is overrated.

This is all the more true with home projects, particularly ones that are really difficult, labor intensive, or expensive. And one of the easiest ways to apply a 90% solution to a problem is with a little paint. With paint, even if you can't fix a problem, you can camouflage it. The paint doesn't need to be perfect! The point of this trick isn't to make it so the problem is totally invisible--it's to make it less conspicuous, so that it isn't the first thing you notice when you look at it.

Here's what I mean:

See the ugly blue stain on the piping? That stain had been on the chair for years, and it was super obvious at a glance. I tried removing it, but it wouldn't budge. Rather than trying to have it removed professionally or reupholstering the chair, I mixed some paint samples I already had on hand to something close to the color of the fabric, and dabbed it over top. If you know where to look, you can definitely see the new paint, but isn't it so much better?

Another way I use this 90% solution is by painting things like light switches, outlets, and air vents the same color as the wall. I also paint things like outlets and my gas meter to blend in with the brick of my house outside.

I recently renovated this bathroom, but before I did, I painted absolutely everything. All of the tile in the space was ugly and in bad shape, so I painted over it with a good primer and some basic wall paint, and it worked wonders to tide me over for a few years.

I also painted the light fixture! It was a shiny chrome finish that really didn't work in the room. By painting it the same color as the walls, I made it 90% less obvious.

Perfection is the enemy of completion.

So what do you think of this trick? Will you give it a try? Let me know if you do!



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