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  • Writer's pictureLauren


Updated: Dec 29, 2020

I highly recommend when you decide to buy a house that you plan to paint the whole thing inside and out, especially if it hasn’t been painted recently or the former owner had eclectic taste. Our house, of course, was a bit of both.

The outside of the house and the back buildings were yellow. The top story hadn’t been painted in 20 years, and the bottom story hadn’t been painted in about 10. The doors were turquoise. Inside, the house were mostly neutral colors, but the master bedroom and my office upstairs were turquoise, and the dining room was deep red. There were screws and nail holes everywhere. Additionally, there were cracks in the plaster that needed fixed from the house settling over time.

The roof over the enclosed back porch and the roof over the front porch had been replaced at some point, so we didn’t replace them when we replaced our roof. They did have some rust spots, though, so we decided those needed painted as well. The retaining wall also needed to be hit with a coat of paint, as did the front porch and pathway.

I had budgeted $20,000 for paint, so I was pleasantly surprised when the quote came in at under $11,000. This was the only budget victory we had, and the difference was allocated to the kitchen.

If I could best describe how the painting went, I would say it was annoying in the beginning, smooth in the middle, and had some frustrations toward the end.

The annoying part at the beginning was picking the paint. I am able to visualize how things would look if certain actions are taken. For example, I can picture how different furniture or décor would look if placed in different rooms. My husband does not have this ability, so he wanted to repaint the house yellow at first because he just couldn’t see it any other way. I wanted to paint it navy, with red doors and a red porch, with white trim. I eventually won that debate. We knew we wanted to trim to be white inside as well, and we wanted the interior walls to be off white.

We had a heck of a time picking the “off white” color. We tried 9 different kinds. There were whites that were too white and whites that were too gray and whites that were too yellow. Finally, we settled on Antique White, which really is kind of a light tan, or beige. We tried 5 different blues before we ended on Indigo Batik, and 3 different reds before we settled on Crabby Apple. Overall, we spent $200 on samples and made half a dozen trips to Sherwin-Williams. We did end up selling the samples for $25 later. Small victories!

In the middle, things were pretty smooth. The interior prep occurred before we moved in from the back. The painters started on the inside, then moved to the outside, then upstairs. The downstairs was supposed to be done before we moved in from the mother-in-law suite on Halloween, but everything ended up being done on December 12th.

Towards the end is when I started to get mad. One day, I looked outside to see a painter standing on our lower AC unit. We ended up having to replace the fan for $300. The next day, Aric noticed they had covered the upstairs AC with plastic while it was running. He caught it in time to turn it off before it broke and explained to the painters why they can’t do that (something about thermodynamics). That made it all the more frustrating when they covered up the wall unit in our air-conditioned shed while we were out of town. It ended up burning itself out. Also, while we were out of town, they unplugged the fridge in the mother-in-law suite to paint behind it. They never plugged it back in, nor did they open the doors. Aric had some frozen shrimp in the freezer to use for bait. I’m sure you can imagine what that smelled like when we realized what had happened and opened the fridge two weeks later. There was also an issue with a ladder that ended with two long dents in our brand-new door and a huge gash on the brand-new back deck. They never said a word, but we caught the problem on camera, and confronted them about it. Kind of makes you wonder what we didn’t catch before we installed cameras in December….

The house looks beautiful. We’re happy with the paint choices we made, and overall, the painters did a good job with the actual paint. It was the collateral damage, and the paint left on our newly refinished floors that was highly disappointing. I would not go back and use this company, and I would have paid more to get a better one.

Update: We ended up receiving a few hundred dollars in credit for the mistakes the painters made.

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