One of the reasons to hire professional painters is because they are supposed do a better job than you would, right? Because if I wanted a lousy job, why, I'd do it myself. Except that I am a fairly good painter. I carefully tape off the walls . . . roll slowly enough to avoid "vacation" lines . . . sand between coats and have, on occasion, used a make-up brush for minor touch ups. This might sound a bit obsessive to you, but I believe a job worth doing at all is a job worth doing to the best of one's ability.
Ordinarily, I would have hired my usual painter for this job, but he was busy this week. So, I took the recommendation from my excellent drywall dude and hired his son, who's been painting about 10 years. In hindsight, I should have asked what he's been painting because the job he did looks like he practiced on cats -- on moving targets, not a stationary wall. This kid agreed to do two coats of paint and a coat of primer. When I talked to him yesterday, however, he was suddenly adamant about one coat of primer and one coat of paint.
I explained that you really do need two coats of paint, especially when using a white primer. He disagreed. He promised me that one coat of paint would cover the job. Where have I heard these sorts of promises before? Oh, yeah, right. This car was only driven on Sundays by a little old lady to church. This house is easily worth $50,000 more than what you are paying for it. Interest rates will definitely decline next month.
I stewed on this for a while and then went back into the kitchen to say, no, I really need two coats of paint. All of a sudden his tune changed, as though we were meeting for the first time. (Hello, do I know you?) He would do a primer coat, let it dry, then follow up with two wet coats of paint. If he missed anything or needed touch-up, he'd come back to fix it because, after all, customer satisfaction was important to him.
Last time I checked, the ride on a turnip truck is sorta bumpy, which is probably why it's easy to fall out of it.
Here are photos of his "finished" but before "touch up" painting. Was this monkey swinging from wall to wall and painting with a banana? Perhaps he was admiring his armpit as he scratched -- which could explain how he ended up splashing paint on my baseboards and trim.
Well, when he gets here on Monday, he will not only touch-up his screw-ups, but he will be giving all the walls a second coat of paint. This is the advantage of not paying workers until the job is finished. Often, I will give a sub-contractor a deposit check when the job is initiated and 50% or so when the job is about half-way through, paying the balance upon final completion. I am glad my instincts warned me to hold off handing over any cash at all, especially since I supplied the paint. Call me silly, but I'm thinking he's not going to get a bonus like his father received
After the kitchen is finished, I may repaint the walls, myself. I'm not certain I like the color in the light. I'm using Oat Straw by Behr. It looks fabulous in the sun room and family room, but it's a slightly different hue under the CFL lights in the kitchen. I'll hold off on making that decision until the countertops are installed and the task lighting is hooked up. Fortunately, paint is inexpensive and an easy thing to change.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub