Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Ten Step Guide To Painting Rooms, If You Forgot You Have Kids

"Yes, George. I too dream of a world where we could bulldoze this house and start over."

Afternoon Readers,

I woke up today, determined to be productive. A go-getter. A person who cleans things.

Which is why I'm currently shopping online and drinking coffee. Well, initially I typed it as "coofe," so let's all thank the inventors of spell check and the makers of coffee for giving me the presence of mind to hit "search and replace."

Doesn't matter. The point is I've spent the last two days painting bedrooms and a little staring-into-space time is warranted. We're thiiiis close to being ready to list the Split level.

I can feel it in my bones. My brittle, caffeine-fortified bones. 

Painting the bedrooms has been my final Everest. Yes, I understand it's contradictory to imply there's more than one Everest in any particular situation, but my grasp on metaphors is slippery at best. My balance isn't so great either, but that didn't stop me from perching perilously on a dining room chair and edging against popcorn ceilings like my life depended on it. For added fun, the children have been turned loose in my workspace.

Today, I will perch once more, determined to knock out this last bedroom and pull this house together in one, unified color pallet symbolizing mild saleability. 

What's that you say? You have a painting project you're also wanting to complete that's just above sub-par?

You also have children, but forgot before you committed to home improvement?

Step this way, my friend. You came to the right place. Pooling my experience with materials, cheapskate tendencies, and an overwhelming urge to throw paint brushes through plate glass, I've compiled a list that should help.

A Ten Step Guide To Painting Bedrooms, If You Forgot You Have Kids

1.) Reevaluate 

Do you really have to do this? If you're super rich, I'd go with selling your house as-is or just burning it down and having someone rebuild it. Oh, and there's always the saner option of hiring someone to repaint the room for you.

If you, like me, happen to be strapped for cash, decide weather you really have to paint at all. If you don't absolutely have to, scrap all painting plans and go spend quality time watching your kids not step in paint. If you do... Godspeed. No one can help you now.

2. Decide on a color palate

Sure, a nice cream is wonderful, but will it hide the inevitable dirt? In my experience, something that falls under "Earthtones" will hide poop, and anything filed under "Slate Grey" will cover up the time your toddler took a hammer to the wall. Very Zen. 

3. Buy supplies

Whip out the old credit card and go to town. One brush for edging, another one to replace it when the baby shoves the first one down the vent that's missing a cover. Rollers, trays, paint thinner for while you're simultaneously weeping and trying to get paint off the duvet the preschoolers rolled for you. 

4. Save the receipt

Go back to step number one and really mull it over. It's not too late to turn back.

5. Ok, you're optimistic. I like that. Unfortunately, now is the time you have to get to work. Put a movie on for the kids and try not to cry into your newly-filled paint bucket because none of them want to watch what you picked out.

Pro Tip: Tears thin paint. Try to cry into your shirt. If you do hit the bucket, really sell the lighter color to your house guests as "Feathered Buffalo." It sounds very Anthropologie. If any of your friends point out the room resembles diarrhea, start yelling about how uncultured they are and storm out in search of boxed wine.

6. Outline

You managed to get the room edged while the kids fought over something irrelevant. Sure, you could've mediated, but when someone insults someone else by saying they build a better pile of saltines, well, that shit's gotta work itself out. 

7. Let me see you do that roll

Slide to the left.
Now, slide to the right.
Never mind. You're not getting any painting done. Try to convince the kids a truckload of popscicles just fell from the sky, into the backyard. Commence trying to paint again.

8. Second coat

More like one's good enough for most people. So what if you can still see the hand-drawn mural of Ponce de Leon discovering the Fountain of Youth? Moving on.

9. Nice and Trim

Remember that time you were trying to roll the walls and you rolled all over that fresh, white molding because the kids dumped the tray of paint down the stairs? Sure you do. It's why you drank this morning. Now that it's midnight, get back in there and finish the job, soldier.

10. Good enough

Spots? What spots? Hand prints? Just put a dresser there. Can't find any of the outlet covers because you stepped on half of them and the kids threw the rest in the trash? Hmm, you're not sure, but isn't it very European not to cover outlets?

Doesn't matter. The room's done, and all you have to do now is enjoy your new life in Feathered Buffalo.

Tres Chic.

Until Next Time, Readers!
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  1. I take it you've also painted the kids--one or two coats?

  2. I recently painted part of my main floor (we have a funky split level - main floor is at ground level, then splits up and down into 2 bedrooms & a bathroom ... and then down again into a basement ... it's weird but I lurve it!). "Part of" because I got sick of it after 2 days and "part of" because my 7 and 5 year old kept wanting to help. I let them help in the dining room which is open to the kitchen and thus linoleum floored. (yay for that when paint is involved!). They did well with the painting. As a reward when we were done, I painted their hands and feet and we made prints. At this point my (mildly sensory issue'd) 7 year old freaked out about paint on his feet and needed to immediately wash them. In his bathroom. Across the carpeted living room and down a carpeted half flight of stairs from the kitchen. I contemplated leaving the green footprints on the carpet, but I cleaned it up. Oh well. We made fun memories. And I finished painting the second wall the next day when I was on vacation and sent them to daycare. Now I only have to do above the cabinets, above the backsplash, behind the stove and behind the fridge ... you know, the easy jobs. *** sigh *** maybe it will stay the quintuplicate color scheme kitchen/living/dining room that it is; the colors being a light dusty blue, a cream, an olive green that is lighter than my husband and I had agreed on - "oops" - but which I love completely and so it is never changing!, and a more yellowy cream than the one with which I will paint over it and a lovely light terracotta that torments me every morning when I walk down the stairs. (Previously, there was a light blue, a darker shade of dusty blue, the yellowy cream color and the terracotta color ... so other than the remaining light blue, the rest of the colors kind of go together ... kind of ... if I've had enough Captain Morgan to forget how much I hate the orangey color ...)

  3. Seriously, how are you doing that?!?! I can't even dust a shelf in this house without someone underfoot. This moving business is for the birds. I pray that we both sell quickly and move on!