ManFAQ Friday: A Paint by any Other Name

11 November, 2011 | | 2 Comments

It’s Friday, and that means answer time! For those of you who have commented with questions from previous ManFAQs, thank you. I’m adding yours to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years, and I will answer them all in turn – to continue to demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler.  Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man. What could go wrong?

Question:   What’s the problem with painting?  I read about a company renaming their paints “for men” – would that really get my man to paint the living room?

Answer:    Do you really want to paint your living room a shade of “Porcelain Throne” in an eggshell finish?  Or a bathroom with “Beer Foam” in high gloss?  Yes, the short answer is those folks are geniuses, and men really will buy one paint over another because it doesn’t sound like “Desert Blush.”  (The fact that I loved that shade and used it liberally in our last house is not materially relevant to this post.) 

“Hey, nice paint job!  What’s that color?”
“Brute Force.”

Guys focus on primary colors – most of us don’t get past 3rd Grade in our color palette.  When you ask him to choose between Eggshell, Soft Ecru, Pressed Linen, or Silver Lace, he’s pausing because (A) he can’t tell the difference, (B) he couldn’t care less, (C) he’s having a hard time figuring out which answer you’re leaning toward, and (D) he thinks if he guesses right, it’ll lead to Hey Hey sooner.   He’s frustrated at the lack of clear labels.

This has been an issue for a long time.  Prehistoric men came home to find their wives had painted the cave in calming earth tones using urine and bird droppings, and called it “light ugga foam.”  This was also the first use of the term “man cave,” by the way – when he painted the next cave over using mammoth blood, and called it “fucking mammoth blood.”

Shortly after the Woolly Mammoth died out, I myself went hunting one day in an ancient place called Hechinger’s.  I was hunting for White Paint – I had orders, and they were to return with White Paint.  (And yes, my orders usually include Capital Letters.)  I spent about 15 minutes wandering up and down the paint aisles, reading labels and becoming increasingly frustrated with the Light Elephant, Eggshell, Ecru, Off-White, Bride’s Kiss, Caucasian Sway, Soft Linen, Lilly Ass, and all the other things that might – or might not – be what I was looking for.  Finally some “May I Help You” type came over and May I Help You’d me.

“Yes,” said I, in a state, by that time, of high dudgeon.  “I’m looking for Fucking White Paint, but you don’t seem to carry that.  You have seven hundred and sixteen others kinds of white, but I can’t find just plain old White.”  Luckily, this May I Help You had seen my type before, and without missing a beat lead me down the next aisle:

“Oh, yes sir, not a problem, it’s over here in the Fucking Aisle.  Let’s see, Fucking Red, Fucking Blue, Fucking Green, here we are, Fucking White Paint.  Not a problem!”

At least he was cheerful about it.

So no, most guys don’t really care what color you paint the walls, or what color you tell him to paint them – but you’ll get it done faster if you tell him you want to paint the walls “Miller Time” and the ceiling “Lilly-White Ass” than you will with “Soft Umber” and “Ecru.”  


Now you know. Please, feel free to comment! Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!



  1. Diane Henders says:

    This made me laugh my Lilly-White Ass off! My personal favourite colours come from the Damn You Autocorrect site: “Fuckweasel” (Fuschia), and “Effervescent Shitstain” (European Sunrise). Hmmm, I feel a blog post coming on…

  2. Big Ugly Man Doll says:

    Effervescent Shitstain I’m unfortunately familiar with, parenthood being what it is. Fuckweasel, now – that’s a color I can really get behind!

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