Brushes, drop clothes, step stool, rags, paint. When a baby is on the way, rooms need to be painted. I believe this is taught in parenting class right after they tell you that you may never sleep again. Upon hearing this all hopeful parents think, “Why not stay up at all hours and paint the kids room, it will double as sleep deprivation training. This line of thinking, found me standing in an empty room, looking at the walls. Briefly, I considered hiring a painter, but then I remembered I have student loans, a mortgage, and painting is easy.
I cracked open the can, and began to stir.
I stirred vigorously, as this can had been in the basement for awhile. Luckily for me, the previous person to paint the room must have been an arts and crafts type, which means they did an awful job. Not with the actual painting, that was fine, but rather with their selections of color and texture. There is a fine line between crafty and crazy, and this room had crossed the line, at least where the trim was concerned.
It was some type of green, with lighter shades mixed in, as if someone, upon realizing they’d need a second coat, just grabbed a random can from the basement, and seeing that said can was nearly empty, decided to just lightly smear on whatever was left. Thankfully, they used a glossy finish, assuring I’d have plenty of sleep deprivation practice, as I applied coat after coat.
I painted the windows, again and again. My wife took on the role of foreman and reminded me to “not paint them shut, like last time,” never mind the fact that she had painted that room two years prior during the first pregnancy. I remembered as I had the pleasure of cutting the windows free with a razor. Seeing as she is hormonal, I choose to take this endearing advice as a joy of pregnancy.
Now I know many of you never open your windows, I check when I’m out walking, running or biking, which I do nearly every day, I’m a one man neighborhood watch, disguised as a fitness junky, but for those of us using nature’s air conditioner (nighttime) this was a major sticking point.
Once the windows had their white shine, I sat down, not to rest, but to paint the floor trim. I’ve tried squatting, and kneeling, along with sitting on the step ladder hunched over, all are unacceptably uncomfortable. I lounge, sitting and resting on my right arm, as my left does the painting, this is uncomfortable, but tolerable. I also clean the floor as I slowly scoot on my butt, which is a small bonus, but I factor it in. Around the floor I went, up and around the doors, and back down again, by the time I got back to the beginning, the paint was dry and ready for another coat, so around again I went, like a merry go round without the lights, music, or merriment.
There are two morals to this story. One is that painting is easy, it just takes some time and patience, therefore its an easy way for you to spend less then average, providing you with dollars for saving or investing. Two, paint transforms an ugly room with just a few simple strokes. Many people shy away from buying a house just because the walls aren’t the right color. As an investor, when I see a house that on the surface is ugly, with bad wallpaper or paint, I immediately get excited knowing I can low ball my offer and easily add value to the home. If you want to spend less then average when buying a home, look for one that is poorly painting and do your wallet a favor.