Painting is shit. There’s no other way to describe it. When we decided that we were going to purchase a house to renovate, I was inundated with the offers of help to paint. In recent weeks I have come to the conclusion that the people offering have clearly never painted a house.
There are so many reason why painting is the worst job in the world but let me take the time to explain to you my top five.
- Preparation – no one (let me reiterate this: NO ONE) likes prep. Nor does anyone tell you how long that shit takes! They say it’s all about the prep and you know why.. Because it takes a bullshit amount of time. Now factor in decorative cornices and 80 year old plaster walls and you’ve at least tripled your time. Sanding and patching is messy, tedious, mind numbing and time consuming. It’s also hard! You have to have good eyesight and attention to detail and it’s not something you can do well at night after work. Therefore, taking up your whole weekend *sigh!*.
- Priming – if your previous owners were anything like ours and decided that the colour terracotta would be nice for those cornices in the bedroom, baby blue in the lounge room and mustard in the halls you have yourself another nightmare. Welcome to weeks of priming! Priming paint is hard to use. It’s thicker than most paints and if you’re painting decorative cornices then you’re using a special brush which is round with a blunt end. Dabbing primer on 15m of decorative cornices in each room is not fun and cannot be done in a weekend.
- Choosing a paint colour – White is white, right? Wrong. There are like 40 shades of white which, if you look at them for too long, begin to become the same colour… And this is just in the Dulux range! With five or six brands to choose from in any one hardware store, you suddenly have a white colour pallet of about 100 shades! It’s ridiculous! I’d also like to know who’s job it is to name these colours because, as if looking at the colour isn’t enough, there are competing cutsie names which is enough to make even a seasoned renovator confused! (Did I want vanilla ice cream skies or polar bear love? – argh!). Not to mention, they never look the same on paper as they do on the wall!
- Coats – So, after you’ve gone through the paint colour debate and you’ve prepped and primed, it’s smooth sailing home right?! Well, let me tell you something. Not even all the best priming in the world will hide the hideousness of terracotta paint. Alas, not one, not two but three coats of paint might just be required. Remembering how long the decorative cornices take to paint in the first place and couple this with mind numbing task of painting the same thing three times, let me assure you that by this stage you are bordering shooting yourself in the foot!
- Rolling – This is the part which is the quickest and easiest but definitely the least satisfying. After working for weekends on end to get to the rolling stage, rolling the walls is almost disappointing. If you’re anything like me, your spaghetti arms serve as useless work tools when painting high ceilings. Which means a stronger (male) counterpart will sweep in and take the glory by rolling the walls in one day and finishing off the room off.
Needless to say, we are only one (beautiful) room down at this stage. A paint job is a sure way to freshen up a room and give the space a new lease on life. Just remember to be realistic with your time allocation to complete your project – particularly if you’re working after work and on weekends.
Despite the pain, the end result is more than worth it and for this reason, paint project two has begun in the lounge room in this cottage. We’re definitely hanging out for it all to be done but when it is, we will stand back and think we did that!