The Painting Adventure of 2011

When the fall semester ended in mid-December, our days opened up some.  To fill them, we decided to paint our daughters' bedroom, the family room, the kitchen, the powder room, the master bathroom, and two hallways before we reached the holidays. 

Joel secured my help when he bought several pint-sized paint samples and painted large swatches along the hallway and on prominent walls in the family room and kitchen.  That's throwing the gauntlet.  There's no turning back when this happens.

Now that the project is so last year, I'm officially titling it The Painting Adventure of 2011, which makes it sound epic, like The Blizard of '94.  Now that was a good snowstorm.

With the exception of our bedroom it's been five years since we last painted, which means that we covered over roughly 1,379 hand prints with one coat in the hallways and kitchen alone.  Things are looking fresh and clean, my friends.

Some observations on painting:

1) If you buy a sample pint of paint and think, "Oh, this container is so portable.  It fits in my hand so snugly.  I should use it to do all the trimming while my husband rolls the walls with the paint from the can," be sure to double-check if the paint from the sample pint has the same finish as the paint from the can.  If not, when you see the room in natural light you may notice that all of the trimming is edged-in with flat paint, while the rest of the walls are rolled in satin.  This is not an auspicious start.

2) When you move your refrigerator so you can paint behind it, you may be shocked.  Not only did I find $1.67 in change, but I also discovered two long-forgotten magnets, some M&M's, and several Goldfish crackers.  Although I don't know how long the Goldfish crackers had been hibernating beneath the fridge (days? months? years?), they still looked exactly like the Goldfish crackers from a freshly-opened bag.  This unnerves me a bit.

3) If you buy paint at a specific store because a friend works there and you'd like to support his business, be sure that they carry the exact color you want.  Or, you may ask the store to customize a color that you have named Natural Taupe.  When you open the five-gallon container of customized paint, you may think, "This doesn't look quite right," but you will forge ahead with six hours of intensive nighttime painting while the kids are nestled snug in their beds upstairs.

You and your husband may occasionally speak concerns to one another.  "This doesn't look like the sample we showed them, does it?"  But you will solace yourselves with the thought that it will look different in the daylight once it's dry.

You'll be right.  It will look different in the daylight once it's dry.  It will look oddly purplish.

At this point you will risk the good graces of your friend at the paint store and ask him to fix the remaining paint in the five gallon container.  You will return to the store two additional times until you are dizzy with the possibilities and finally settle on a color that you will call Not-Quite-Natural-Taupe-But-It'll-Do.

4) Conversation will deteriorate as the painting continues.  During the inaugural night as we painted the first coat of what we thought was the right color, Joel and I extolled the virtues of home improvement.

Joel:  After a semester of work, this is relaxing.
Me:  I know; I love seeing immediate progress.  We are so productive!

During the second evening as we painted over the purple, we were less enthused.

Joel:  How's it going?
Me:  Pretty good.  You?
Joel:  Good.

By the time we had reached the third coat:

Me:  Hrrrrmphhh.

5) Once you fold the drop cloths, move the furniture back, and reattach the light switch plates, things will look amazing.  You'll be so glad that you painted, even though you ruined a pair of tennis shoes by stepping in a paint tray that your husband stealthily moved into your path before he called you over to look at something.

6) The first hand print will appear on the wall in less than 24 hours.


  1. I started reading this with the thought, "Wow, we probably need to think about repainting a few rooms." By the end, I was saying to myself, "No chance in anything that I'm bringing a paintbrush in this house." I'll just get a good supply of Magic Erasers.

  2. I don't know whether to pat myself on the back for my de-motivational abilities or to buy stock in Magic Erasers.  ;)

  3. LaurakeiserJanuary 09, 2012

    AAhhhhh Robin, I can to relate to this and can barely type since my eyes are blurry from trying to match paint swatches, tile, trim pieces, etc. Craig and I had the same idea and decided to not take a relaxing holiday break, but to turn our house upside down for the entire break, plus the week following break! We re-tiled our kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom, along with painting walls, trim, and ceilings. Then, we thought why not replace the bathroom sink and vanity too? So, I get the late nights of trying to accomish this while children are sleeping and the frustration of getting just the right color!! Cheers to us DIY-ers!! :)

  4. I admire your bravery and hard work ethic.  I'm not a painter.  My husband does most of the painting around these parts since I did the whole birthing thing.  I have decided, however, that we are not painting anything again until all children can be trusted not to leave greasy handprints on the wall hourly.  HOURLY.

  5. LOVE this!  What a great wrap-up.  Pretty much, that's EXACTLY how it goes down.  :-)

  6. Woah, Laura, props to you and Craig!  I thought painting was a big step, but you blew right past that with all of your additional tiling projects.  My hat is off to you!  Hope you're loving the results!

  7. Painting.... giving birth.  Sounds like a fair trade-off to me.

  8. Ginger AdamsJanuary 09, 2012

    I laughed out loud at the fridge moving Mr. A and I totally had the same freak out moment when we moved our fridge to paint last fall :( Glad you survived the painting and you are my hero for painting that much in that short of time :)

  9. Ohh, sound like a fun break.


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