For three days I’ve been painting the basement. I’m about half done, I see some of you nodding, slightly smirking… for those of you familiar with “we aren’t hiring someone, I can do this, it’s not that big a job” please feel free to add your two cents.
Painting the ensuite a nice Robins Egg Blue sounds great, finally covering that putrid Avocado Dip in the kitchen with Cadmium Yellow..lovely.
It sounds wonderful but if you’ve never painted a room and you’re feeling that the living room, bedroom or bathroom need freshening up for Christmas, STOP! LISTEN.
It will take four times longer and be messier and more expensive than you think, and you WILL have to go back to the store at least once.
Once you decide to go for it this will be the next several days of your life. First off to the paint store where you choose the colour and buy new rollers, brushes, drop cloths, gloves etc. Three trips from the car to the house, no way you forgot anything with the amount gear you just bought.
Okay, let’s move that furniture in the living room, push everything into the middle, even that giant TV stand, you have to paint behind it. Now, there is a lot of trim in this room, baseboards, window trim…it’s time for the BIG QUESTION…to tape or not to tape. Let’s not, your hand is steady, people comment on how steady your hands are, you can handle painting a line right next to the window trim.
45 minutes and several wadded up paper towels (because you forgot rags) later you start muttering about “using the blasted tape”. Two more hours and all the cutting in is done. Time to start the real painting. Trays…the cat is lying in the tray. Rinse the tray, look closely for stray cat hair. Open the paint can, where is that little can opener thing?…okay, can is open. Is this really the colour? It doesn’t look like the swatch…is this enough paint? Is that the TIME?!
Did you feel it? The moment when fun fled the room, when you realized there is a very great likelihood that you won’t get this done today, that the living room will continue looking like a bomb hit it and your plan for a big reveal as people came home is going to be an epic fail.
Don’t give up. It will look great, you can touch up all the white bits on the trim where the tape didn’t $%#&ing work, and no one will ever look at these walls as closely as you are now.
Final advice: dry rags, damp rags, stir sticks, wear runners so you can take them off when you leave the room (yes every time, trust me), music – really loud music so the neighbours can’t hear you swearing. You will not be making dinner so pre-plan takeout. Most importantly and I can NOT stress this enough, make sure you have wine or beer or gin. When you reach the final moment of the first day don’t even wait to wash your hands. Pour a glass and sit in the mess, toast your work and celebrate that YEAH, I’m DOING this….it might not be finished until tomorrow, or the next day, but I promise it’ll be worth it.
(this has been 558 words, oops)