Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Perfection in a can

Not many things are pure these days. You go to the paint store, for example, and there are more shades of white than Eskimo words for snow. Variety is great, sure, but there is a phrase that's gaining currency among marketers these days, and that phrase is "choice fatigue." Never does a person feel more fatigued by free choice than at the paint store. You're looking for the perfect shade of white for a Spring paint job, fumbling with dozens and dozens of swatches with fanciful names and mysterious alpha-numeric codes. You wonder why the last "white" looked blue in natural light and red under the incandescents, and you're determined to wade through the "Washed Sand" and the "Desert Solitaire" and the "Bleached Bones" and the "Glacial Sky."

Needless to say, we will be forever grateful to a friend who is an interior designer. Doing much photo styling for advertisers like Target and Best Buy, she's painted her fair share of set walls and fake window sills, and her recommendation is golden: Hirshfield's Latex Superwhite, no added tint, in the finish of your choice. (We like semi-gloss on the woodwork, eggshell on the walls, and flat on the ceiling.) If white is what you're after, then don't mess with the thick poetry book of paint tints. Buy a can of locally produced purity.

Now that it's pleasant enough to open the windows, but not quite pleasant enough to begin gardening, it's the perfect time to work on those baseboards or the stairwell, and you don't want to start the job feeling fatigued about what's white and what's not.

Hirshfield's, http://www.hirshfields.com/, 325 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, 612.823.7209; 2741 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612.870.0200; and many other locations throughout the state

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