A Trustworthy Painter and Progress Photos

So excited to be able to share this next part of the painting-the-living-room-journey with you guys!

In the last post, it was all about getting ready.  We waited.  We saved.  We made the phone call to Carlos.  He showed up almost immediately.  And then we had four hours to get ready.  WHEW.  That is crazy!  It really was a total whirlwind.  The very first thing we did was packed up the kiddos and headed to Home Depot to pick up our list of supplies.  Our quote with Carlos was for the painting only.  We actually had to buy our own paint and provide everything else he may need (he brought the equipment like sprayers, brushes and ladders….we had to get the disposable items).  If you are planning on using Carlos definitely account for that factor in your quote because it is just the way he does paint jobs.

(doesn’t Carlos kinda look like my brother Brad from this post?  Weird, right?!)

Oh and like you will hear later in this post, he is the best.  Like completely trustworthy and does a great job.  And I am super picky if I am gonna pay someone else to do work so you know that is legit.

Carlos and his wife actually spent an entire day just doing prep.  There was so much taping and hole filling and paper laying to do.  It was our job just to keep the little guys from terrorizing them.

They were very fast.  I was completely impressed because they had to dust every single ledge and baseboard and step and prep them for the paint….that’s a lot of work just by itself.

Our foyer window and our living room deck doors had quite a bit of water damage and Carlos dug out all the rotten wood and filled it with wood filler.  See all that yellow?  That’s wood filler.  He actually used an entire tub!  If you know wood filler, that’s A TON.

Surprisingly they also used wood filler on the holes in the walls.  That is something I would have done with spackle but the end result was great (especially in the swiss cheese stair way).

After the dusting, sweeping, taping, papering, plastic hanging and wood filling, they caulked everything.  It was crazy how much needed caulking.

That first day flew by and on the second day they started on the trim.  They decided to spray because it would be a more even coat and require less coats…aka less time.  Our quote was for two coats on the walls and two final coats on the trim.  Primer was separate.  But really I was more concerned with coverage than two coats.  I just didn’t want to see the tan peeking through.  We were trying hard to keep the kids out of the house that day because of the fumes…it definitely smelled like a freshly painted house :)

Also because I am pretty sure Weston would attempt to climb that ladder if I lost sight of him.

They spent two days spraying and working on the ceilings….which leads me to my next point…the timeline.  I mentioned the fact that I had a hard time hearing Carlos.  Some people suggested that it was because of an accent or it was a racially charged remark….first of all…kinda jerky….no wait….really jerky!  To suggest that is crazy to me…and secondly…I just couldn’t hear him.  It was a volume thing…not an understanding thing.  Dude…I can speak enough spanish to communicate with him and if I was in a bind…there is an APP for that!  But no matter what the language, if you are deaf from constant baby screaming and the other person drops their voice…it’s gonna be hard!  Close-talking is almost inevitable….and that is what I was…all up in Carlo’s personal space trying to hear him.

The point of me bringing that up was because I was the one that negotiated the time line with him and we thought he would be done before we left for Florida.  I guess I couldn’t hear him well enough because later he explained again later that if he could find two assistants then he would finish sooner and if he couldn’t, then it would take extra time the following week (when we were supposed to be out of town).

As I saw the work getting done, I questioned whether he would be done while we were still here and he told me again how many days he needed.  Again…if you do hire him or anyone else, make sure you have a contingency plan if there is extra time needed.

The trim was looking great but I felt worried.  Do I leave for vacation and give a perfect stranger access to our house while we were gone?  I mean…that’s not normal, right?!  We never hire things out so I had no idea.  Not that I was scared of theft….what would anyone steal?  My capiz picture frames and my kid’s baby pictures?!  I was more concerned about the stuff in our basement…all the stuff that doesn’t belong to us.  I called my mom and asked her what she thought.

My mom was the one that gave me the confidence to go on vacation with no worries.  She said that Carlos and his wife were completely trustworthy (and my mother doesn’t trust anyone) and that she actually has given them keys to her place.  It ended up being GREAT.  I am so glad that I found a painter that does a great job and is honest, affordable and trustworthy….after hearing some tragic stories, I know that’s hard to find!  After talking to my mom, my only worry was that Carlos would have trouble with our house alarm or that my neighbors would think something sketchy was going on.  We warned our neighbors and packed our things.

We saw them finish with the trim before we left and start with the wall color.

I was so giddy with excitement that I took as many photos as possible.


One of the biggest moments for me was walking into the upstairs hall and seeing the foyer with the first coat.  OMG….so different.

I mean….so delicious right?!  It’s like this color a latte :)

A little color humor never hurts hue.   Oh the pigment play on words we could do!

Seriously though…the paint….it is Sherwin Williams paint color matched to Benjamin Moore’s Stingray.  In different light this color reads differently.  In the warm afternoon glow, it definitely reads a little more tan and in the morning it cools off with more gray undertones.  I love love LOVE the paint.  I am so glad we did the downstairs hall and the upstairs hall in it so we could ‘test’ it first before investing in it for the other bits of the house.

And if you were wondering why we didn’t tackle this by ourselves….it’s one word….LADDERS.  My ability painting a straight line ceases to exist on a ladder.  It’s CRAZY how high this actually is.   Our ceilings in the living room are over twenty feet high and he is on a ladder on steps.

Carlos said that he rented the big ladder to do our ceiling medallion in the living room and admitted that even he got nervous.  No thank you.  No money in the world could get me up there!

The moment before we walked out the door, I snapped this last little photo.  I kept looking at it on vacation and knew that when we came home, the rest of the space would look equally awesome.  It got me SO excited for the end of vacation.  And you know….no one is excited about the end.  Even the wood stairs look better!  It’s amazing the power of paint!  How many exclamation marks am I allowed to use in one post?  (!!!!!!!!)

Okay so the next post is all the after photos!  I can’t wait!  And I have more updates for the hallway and playroom….I can’t wait to share those!  AND (and this is a big one) today is our anniversary!  Eight years!  It’s crazy how fast that flew by.  It totally snuck up on us so when we finish sharing the paint job, our new hallway light fixture, and playroom stuff….we have a fun anniversary project we did :)  But for now, I am off to try to convince my mother to babysit for us so we can grab a lunch together….just a romantic mid-day meal with the three of us…Jeremy, me and Maxi Knight :)