I painted my first house when I was 26. I went for half-strength “fluffy duck”. It was the ’90s, yellow was very trendy back then. I naively thought I’d take a few days off work and knock the whole place over. Weeks, months, years later, I still hadn’t finished. The back of the loungeroom door was last to get done. Husband finally painted it when we were selling the place, just so everything would look schmicko. It’s funny how you finish off all those last bits and bobs for someone else to enjoy. We took so long to finish painting because it’s awful. Not as bad as childbirth, granted, but still pretty horrible. Especially the ceilings. The ceilings are brutal. Windows and doors aren’t much better, but at least your arm isn’t stretched above your head the whole time, pushing a paint roller backwards and forwards. I’m not a very neat person, so avoiding paint spatters all over the floorboards, window glass, me etc doesn’t come naturally. Especially when I get bored and just want it over as quickly as possible. As for annoying crap like sugar soaping the walls, that’s on par with sifting flour for cakes – ridiculous and unnecessary. But Husband always insists on doing things by the book. Husband and I painted numerous subsequent residences before deciding we didn’t care how much it cost, we were paying someone else to do it in future. Our painter, Michael, is a marvel. He’s cheap, he’s reliable and he does a decent job. He obligingly painted our last place every questionable shades we requested. (Pink, purple, green, yellow … I blame it on the pregnancy hormones … a year later when we decided to sell, the real estate agent begged us to paint the whole place white. Pride prevented us, we told him to suck it up and sell it rainbow-coloured. Pussy.) The walls of our current place were attractive shades of forest green (made everything so light and airy) and cream when we moved in. I’d had my fun with colour, so I got Michael to paint everything white – Dulux Antique White USA, I think. My sister just commissioned Michael to do her place. I popped over yesterday afternoon to discuss shades of white with her. Choosing the perfect shade of white is tricky because there are zillions. Interior designers get quite animated about whether “warm” or “cool” whites are best and usually have their favourite shade. We ignored their advice and just stuck a paint chart to the wall instead. After much agonising, we chose “Fair Bianca”. Nice and warm and glowy without being creamy. We moved on to the exterior colours she was considering – cream and blue – and I threw a total spanner in the works. Very 10 years ago, I opined. I suggested stone and steel blue instead. I wish we could get Michael the painter over to our place for a bit of steel blue and stone, but Michael comes a poor third to the cleaner and gardener these days (and we really shouldn’t be getting them either). Our most pressing need is a paint job for our deck. Husband is waiting for all the deciduous trees to finish copiously shedding in the backyard, then he’s going to paint it himself. There’s a weekend or two or four he’ll never get back. I am not looking forward to Husband painting the deck, he’s going to be very cross. I will offer my services, but I’m such a paint slapper, he’ll probably turn me down. Sometimes it pays to be hopeless at stuff.
Go on, tell my your painting horror stories. I love painting horror stories.