Choosing White Paint is Not for Wimps! (and other fixing-up advice)

Choosing white paint is not for wimps!  I didn’t think it would be any big deal, but it was.  The off-white we used at the Lebanon house seemed fine.  So I dipped a stick in it, had Home Depot do a color match, and bought 5 gallons. Along with the paint, I also picked up some other bathroom accessories. I’d been on the other day and found some interesting bathroom ideas I could implement. My plan was to paint white over dark color (read more for some tips). Painted one coat in our bathroom.  It was green!  Was it because of the green drywall underneath?  No, the second coat wasn’t any different.  Dip a stick in the new paint, lay both above the edge of the shower surround.  The original was a tad green, but Home Depot’s was definitely greener. If those frequent Home Depot visits tire you out, you can entrust professionals like to educe from the room the vibrancy you were after.

Leave the bathroom paint problem for later, go to Lowe’s this time to chose another color.  An original color, not a color match.  Look at samples under the different types of light in the little paint department machine.  Go outside and look at it in bright sunlight.  Back and forth, back and forth.  I think I’ve got it.  How hard can it be to choose a nice, vanilla-ice-cream color?

Come home, paint bedroom #2.  It’s peachy!  What happened to vanilla?  It actually wasn’t too bad, it actually matched the carpet with southwestern style designs from Southwestern  I was looking at for the livingroom. So the room wouldn’t have to be repainted, but it wasn’t what I wanted in whole house.  Back to H.D.  If they color-matched it wrong, they can darn well replace it, even if it says “non-returnable.”  Took a friend this time, looking for one gallon to test before I commit to five.  With a better sense for underlying tones than I have, Susan narrowed it down.  She pushed for a slightly whiter white, I pushed for a little creamier.  Just one shade different.  I win.  Go home, hold breath, paint main bathroom.  YES!  This is it!  Paint bedrooms #3 and #4.  Yes!  Still the one!

Paint whole house.  And paint.  And paint.  And hire someone else to paint a little.  And then paint some more.  And more.  And hire the painter again.  And keep going.

Anyway, the house is pristine, most of our stuff is in boxes crammed into the garage, and the Century 21 sign is in the yard.  Other things we’ve discovered through this very long and very exhausting process:

  • Old English Scratch Remover is a miracle worker when it comes to reviving old woodwork. It works well with oscillating tool blades and other equipments. Wipe on with a rag, wipe off with another rag, and be ready with a sponge to wipe off what gets on the walls and floor.  (There’s always some.)  Best if done before painting, but works afterwards, too.
  • Rosin/Resin paper is great to protect the floor from drywall mud, but watch out if it gets wet.  It can stain the vinyl floor underneath so that it’s a big pink splotch and entire floor has to be replaced.
  • Wear a tennis elbow brace if you’re going to be doing a lot of painting.  And if you start hurting, start wearing it even when you aren’t painting.  It may save you going to the doctor for a steroid shot and then wearing it 24/7 for months.
  • If possible, try not to move stuff/people from room to room as you paint.  It makes for chaos, lots of work, and your kids not knowing where they’re sleeping that night.
  • Definitely don’t try to be painting one area of the house while the carpet layers are working on another.  That leaves absolutely NO space to put anything!
  • Have lots and lots of money available.  That way you can hire someone to help when you get overwhelmed.  Or better yet, hire someone to do it all.  And it gives you money for the repairs that will undoubtedly be uncovered.
  • Breathe.  If we can survive this, so can you.


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