Just the Beginning

comments: 84


Painting. They make it sound so easy. I've always thought it was actually pretty hard. I thought it was pretty hard yesterday as I was lying on the bathroom floor trying to paint behind the toilet. Again. Two coats of primer, two coats of paint, and in a few spots it needs another. Painting new wainscoting is like painting sandpaper. The brush dries out before you finish the first stroke. I creakily unfold myself and stand in the middle of the room. There. Everything is glowing, glossy as freshly poured cream. I like that moment. The one where you are finished painting and the room is actual sparkling. If it's a golden October morning, and you are happy with the color you chose (for once), the feeling of pure satisfaction is hard to beat, and worth every brushstroke. I'm still much happier at the end of the painting than at the beginning of the painting. Some people actually enjoy painting. I think I'd rather alter someone's pants for them (not) or back a trailer into a parking space (not) or have a root canal (sure!).

Think about how many rooms you've painted in your life. I counted twelve bedrooms that I've lived in in my life, including childhood rooms, dorm rooms, rented houses, apartments — and I think that's actually a pretty low number. I've watched Andy paint more rooms than I can even count. He's relentlessly cheerful — gets his iPod all ready to go, cranks it. He's fast and whistling. I'm like this: "Agh. This sucks. Ouch. Oh crap [spills paint]. Agh! Towel! TOWEL!!! [like it's going to fall out of the sky directly into my hand]." Yep. Little Miss Sunshine.

If you paint one room so that it glistens, and then you go out into the hallway and you see that the hallway is now as dingey and gray as an old milk jug that's been kicked up and down the street a couple of thousand times (no, I don't know where I come up with this stuff either), and so is the bedroom, and so is the kitchen, and so is the back hall, you realize that, er, Honey? Better download some new music. The whole house now needs a fresh coat. . . .


Oh how true it is that you sometimes have to suffer to have beauty surround you... In Sweden we have this saying that you have to stand the pain to become pretty, something mom's say to their daughters when they brush their hair for example. I hope you feel sunshiney now when you visit the bathroom! ;-)

this is the 3rd house we've restored/renovated. i think that when it takes 6 years to finish it...you then discover that it's time to start over from the beginning again! we've been here 4 years...

And this is the reason why my dad always, always, always does the entire apartment in one weekend. You just cannot live with two fresh, perfect rooms and another seven that are, by comparison, barf-inducing, right?

I, on the other hand, have almost grown accustomed to closing one eye, sometimes two, and enduring the marks, especially at nose level (at Dalmatian-nose-level, I should say). But my bathroom really NEEDS a good coat and... oh my God... let's just not think about sanding the radiator down to naked and then turning into something out of a Laura Ashley catalogue. Woe me.

That's the trouble with painting. When you do one room, they all need done!!!!
Enjoy! ;)
Vivienne x

SOO right there with you! it looks so nice when it's done, but MAN is it annoying to paint. I did my kitchen recently (cabinets too) :P and I love it, but I'm also very glad it's done.

Now.. what to do w/ the living room and bedroom? :)

I HATE painting and I'm an artist who sometimes paints, go figure. I gave up during the last room we tried to paint and made my husband finish (claiming an incapability to paint above my head... just like my fear of changing lightbulbs). We have the rest of the house to do too... four more rooms which by the time they are done, will mean the other 6 rooms will need to be redone. That's it... I'm moving into that dream one-room apt. in Soho now. Decision made.

When I paint, I end up covered in paint. I have a friend who just turns her jeans inside out "just in case" and doesn't drip a drop. Oh well. I also have a goal just to get the wall covered, where my husband has a goal of utter perfection.

Oh me too -- HATE painting! We've lived in this house 11 years and haven't re-painted a thing (inside, that is) since we moved in -- I know, bad, right? Oh well, I do think about it ;). A friend recently told me that (when she was growing up), her family painted the interior of their house every summer -- can't imagine!

I am one of those wierdies that loves to paint. It's like therapy to me, and I even love the smell. It is just so satisfying to cut in with a brand new brush and get a perfect bead going! Yep I know I am a little sick!

I LOVE to paint...It's killing me right now that I can't paint my current home...(it's on the market and is nice and neutral).

We had insulation installed last year and it needed to be done from the inside. I've been putting off the repainting, because it is every room and involves spackling and sanding and removing the silly wallpaper trim at the top of all of the rooms. I commend you on getting yours all done! Maybe I'll finally get around to mine.

Melissa L. says: October 19, 2010 at 09:49 AM

Ugh, painting. The only thing I learned from remodeling was: paint all the wainscoting FIRST, then put it up. The only time to be lying under a toilet is after a REALLY good party.

I'm with you on how bad everything else looks after that one room is finished. I've asked my hubby that we re-do the dining room for my Christmas present. No new furniture - just new paint and new fabric for windows and chair seats. I'll do all that fabric stuff myself, just want help in painting the walls. I'm sure this will start the painting throughout the house!

LOL This post really made me laugh! I hate to paint....and my husband actually won't LET me paint....I make to much of a mess! And your so right once you paint one room you feel the need to paint them all! LOL

Off to look at paint chips!

Julie G. in Iowa says: October 19, 2010 at 09:57 AM

Don't mind painting, which is a good thing because right now I'm deliberating what colors to paint the living room. Not sure what it is about this time of year, but I always seem to think about home improvement projects. Maybe it's winter looming around the corner and knowing I'll be stuck inside for months!

so true, we recently painted our bedroom before moving in new furniture and now the rest of our house is in need of painting, i am hoping for some nice colors if my hubby and i can agree on it. have a good day, enjoy your blog very much

I am an impatient and horrible painter-therfore, my husband never lets me pick up a brush. Strategy Alicia:-)

Oh gosh, I wish I hadn't stopped to add up the number of rooms I've painted (about 40+ I think)and there's still half this house to do!
I love it when it's finished, the smell of paint reminds me of my father who was a painter and decorator and I hear him whispering in my ear whilst I'm doing it but the thought of the mess is putting me off at present. I'll be fine once I've started!

Ah! So true! I'm with you all the way on this!

Oh how I can relate to this! We moved and all I could think about was painting and picking out colors ... 9 rooms done 2 more to go and thinking about paint makes me sick.

Husband loves it .. and especially the trim work - I married an odd ball.

Oh, I am laughing so hard! I thought I was Little Miss Sunshine...and why doesn't that towel fall from the sky? Messy doesn't describe me when painting...I do not paint...

My great dream is to someday be wealthy (or elderly) enough that I can hire someone to do all my painting for me! We painted five rooms in this house five years ago before we moved in, and then have painted four more over the years, and it's almost time to start all over again, LOL. I absolutely detest painting, I make a horrible mess and it makes me so nervous!

My Dad is an amazing painter. He is so fast professional and clean. We paint a lot together in fact we just finished the outside of my house and garage. It was great spending so much time with him worth all the agony. The strange thing is that he never even gets a drip of paint on him but I end up with it every where!!

Yep, you nailed it: if you paint the ceiling, the walls look filthy. If you paint the walls, the woodwork looks terrible. If you paint one room, the next room looks like total pants. Unpainted pants.

I have chills (and NOT the good kind) just reading about painting...i have that facing me for a home project coming up here at farm and fru fru....ugh...so happy you are sparkling and glowing now...

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com