Tuesday, May 29, 2018

12 Things To Remember When Tackling A Big Painting Project

Over the past couple of weeks, most of my blog columns have been about Our Big Bodacious Painting Project. Understandably so. It has consumed most of our time over the past couple of weeks. It was a much bigger project than we had anticipated. It was A LOT of work. It was challenging and grueling. But, aside from a few minor things we still need to do, the worst of it is done and over with.

Throughout the process of completing most of Our Big Bodacious Painting Project, I've posted photos, published blog columns, and shared our trials and tribulations. That has inspired quite a few people to reach out with questions and requests for tips and advice before they begin the journey of renovating, in the form of painting, a couple of rooms or their entire home.

That has inspired me to pass on a little wisdom that stems from years ago through what we've experienced over the past couple of weeks...

1. Not everything will go as planned. Originally, the plans to renovate our entire home in the form of painting was supposed to happen last April. Unfortunately, Lisa couldn't get a week off during that month. We moved Our Big Bodacious Painting Project to that fall. Nope. Didn't happen again.

In January, we chose the month of May. Lisa put in for a weeks vacation. It was approved. We've been doing some hardcore planning since, but despite the amount of planning, we had our fair share of challenges.

2. Take everything into consideration. That includes, but is not limited to, having to strip every room, human kids, furry kids, errands, obligations, schedules, stuff that comes up unexpectedly, alternative options when a frequented room is being renovated, work, and making a few trips to pick up needed items that you may have forgotten.

3. Plan meals accordingly. For the past couple of weeks, our kitchen has been out of order. We relied on takeout during the first week. The second week, I utilized our electric skillet, our outdoor grill, and super simple meals. Thankfully, we had a couple of people feed us multiple times so we didn't have to worry about cooking or meal prep.

The meals and snacks that we make for our kids were prepped and cooked and baked twice during the last couple of weeks. We made sure to make plenty of extras. That included a lot of cooking and baking during those 2 days, but it was necessary.

4. One room at a time. I've adhered to this philosophy for over 30 years. It has alleviated a ton of stress. We had 6 rooms to tackle. That included stripping each room, moving the furniture and decor into another room, Spring cleaning, painting the trim and walls, deep cleaning the carpets, and then putting the room back together. We focused on one room at a time. Had we done otherwise, we would have found ourselves stressed and overwhelmed.

5. Don't rely on help from others. It doesn't matter how many hours or days you spend helping out others with their renovations, yard work, etc. Your efforts are very seldom reciprocated. In fact, you'll probably notice that not very many people get in touch with you while you're amid renovations. We've been on the receiving end of that time and time again and have also witnessed the very same thing done to others.

As I mentioned to a dear friend not too long ago, human nature is baffling. Usually, throughout a week's time, I hear from a lot of people via private message and email. The week Lisa was on vacation and we started Our Big Bodacious Painting Project, I didn't get a single private message or email.


6. Make sure Mother Nature is going to cooperate. Obviously, if you're planning a big painting project months in advance like we did, you have no idea what type of weather Mother Nature will be doling out on the days you've put aside. During the week of Lisa's vacation, it was cloudy and rainy 80% of the time. We couldn't open the windows because of the humidity and relied on the air conditioners to keep the air in our home cool and dry. If you're planning only a week or 2 in advance, it'll be easier to get an idea of what the weather will be like. And, if at all possible, avoid the hottest and coldest months.

7. Kids! Kids! Kids! Our 4 kids get stressed out when we make any changes within our home especially when it involves moving furniture or blocking off a room. In addition to maintaining their daily routine, we took lots of breaks to help alleviate their stress. This included snuggle time, playtime, extra snacks, etc. When I was on the floor painting the trim, the kids constantly interrupted me because they love it when their Mamas are on the floor. At times, it took me 5 times longer to paint an area. That was okay.

8. Double check the paint colors before you leave the store. On May 12th, when Our Big Bodacious Painting Project officially began, I double checked the paint smears on top of the cans with the colors in the book. One didn't match up. The color was supposed to be Ivory Paper. Instead, it looked like Ultra White. Lisa ended up having to make a trip to Home Depot for them to fix the color. Apparently, on the day our paint was purchased, the employee who was mixing the paint made a few errors. We weren't the only ones who had to take gallons of paint back that had been mixed that day.

9. Expect a few twisted and tangled nerves. Lisa and I work exceptionally well together. We always have. But, despite how well you work together with the person/s you're painting with, there will be moments when your nerves will be shot. It happened a few times during the week Lisa was on vacation and the week after when I embarked on the kitchen while she was at work. To be expected. It will happen. It will pass. Take a time out if needed. Brush it off (no pun intended). Let it go. Move on.

10. Don't set the bar too high. It doesn't matter if your determination and motivation are bursting through the roof or you're in speed demon mode. At the end of the day, you're human. You need sleep. You need to take a break here and there to hydrate and nourish your body. You may even need to walk away for a bit o' time. That's okay. On more than one occasion, Lisa and I called it quits early because we needed to rest and rejuvenate. We took time out to do that. On Saturday, we spent the afternoon at our neighbor friend's house for a cookout. Much. Needed.

11. Goals are great but don't etch them in granite because life happens. In April, I made the decision to start Our Big Bodacious Painting Project the week before Lisa went on vacation. My intent was to get a lot of the work done so we could finish mid-week. I wanted Lisa to be able to enjoy a portion of her vacation. Well, that didn't exactly work out. A few days prior, I got really sick. I spent the week before her vacation on the sofa barely able to function.

During the week of Lisa's vacation, our goal was to finish every room by the end of the week. That didn't happen either for a slew of reasons.

Then, I took the week after Lisa's vacation to finish up what we didn't get done. That included the kitchen and cabinetry, bathroom, and the half-wall paneling in the new DIY Dog Mom Project Room. Again, the goal wasn't met. The cabinetry proved to be more challenging than expected and required 2 coats of Kilz before painting. We ended up finishing the kitchen on Sunday. Together.

12. Admire and be proud of what you've accomplished. Very little of Our Big Bodacious Painting Project went as planned. We didn't reach a lot of goals. Our bathroom and the half-wall paneling in the DIY Dog Mom Project Room still needs to be painted.


That didn't stop us from marveling at the amount of work we accomplished and how gorgeous the completed rooms look. We had a lot of moments of standing in the doorway admiring the view and giving each other a high-five.

I know it's easy to focus on what you didn't get done or the goals you didn't reach, but it's important to focus on what you've accomplished. Eventually, the work will get done. The light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming freight train.

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