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 🙂
Lisa E says
I don’t do heights either,so I understand. Looks great so far and am looking forward to the final reveal. Happy Anniversary!
Wow, read GOMI much Katie?
Nope. I never read. Actually I don’t need to because they come here and talk about it and try to stir things up. Look at the comments in the last post and you will see what I mean. And admittedly, I need to stick better to my no-drama comment policy but even if they don’t get approved, I read every comment and know what the gossips are saying. I just don’t take kindly to false accusations of racism. It’s completely unacceptable to accuse people of that. I have family and friends of all different races and backgrounds that read this blog and I am not afraid to say how offensive, unhelpful and untrue those gossip sites are. I read an article from A Beautiful Mess how you should never give them a click because it’s actively supporting that behavior and in a world of bullying….we should stand and support one another, not tear each other down.
xo – kb
Love it all…what a great color!! Happy Anniversary to you and your boyfriend!! <3
Rene @thedomesticlady says
I can’t believe what a difference white trim makes. That previous trim color was horrible. #whitetrimonly
Happy Anniversary guys! Hope you have a good lunch : )
Wow! What a fantastic job Carlos and his wife did. I am so impressed with his painting skills on those ladders. Looking forward to seeing the “afters” !
That hashtag is my motto 🙂 love it!
xo – kb
Eh. In today’s environment, people get brownie points for being the first to level claims of bias– so they’ve been conditioned to be too quick on the trigger in all arenas of life. (And I’m a university professor, so I should know.)
I was also born and raised overseas, and it’s clear that anyone with basic reading and interpretive skills could see that you were plainly writing about the perils of “low talking” and how it leads to “close talking!” (Seinfeld most definitely couldn’t be made in today’s environment.)
Shake it off. You rock. As does your white trim.
Andrea Worley says
Looking great KB! Hiring a painter was the best decision I made when we purchased our new home. We didn’t have as high a ceilings as you do, but it still was worth the investment for my time! Made things so much more less stressful when you have to think about painting an entire house!
Looks really great Katie! I love the color and how you didn’t just go with plain gray but something with some more depth. Seems like it will be very timeless. Also, why did you do a color match rather than just going with the original color? Just curious:)
First off – The paint looks great and I love the color!
Second – I was one of the people that commented yesterday, but I don’t understand why anyone who questioned you talking about Carlos being hard to understand is being lumped together as a “hater” or someone accusing you of being racist. I would have said the exact same thing even if Carlos was your own brother or Jeremy even. The way you addressed it just came off as being unnecessarily negative, when you could have just said something like, “I had a hard time hearing him on the phone, but I’ll talk more about that later…” Since you were on the phone with him, you weren’t actually even “close talking” so there’s so need to say it’s awkward to talk to him!
Anyway, it’s your blog. Say what you want. But you might think twice about considering any reader (loyal ones included, not just GOMI!) who leaves a negative comment a jerk.
Rachel G. says
I have been so excited for the day you all would be able to do this paint job – and we have never meet and it isn’t even my house! Do I get points for living in the RVA like your best buds? 😉 Anyways, just wanted to say I love your humor and honesty and that I get the impression that the way you “read” on the screen is exactly how you are in person. Haters gonna hate, right? And the paint job looks dynamite! And one more thing – I hesitate to give opinions because I am no design expert, but I have to say that while I normally love a gallery wall, I think your staircase is so stunning that something more simple and less busy on the walls would be beautiful. But I die over a gorgeous staircase no matter what it looks like! Congrats! Your home and family are gorgeous! See? You aren’t the only one with an exclamation point obsession. 🙂 (!!!!)
Hi Michelle…Well, I truly apologize if I offended you. I wasn’t on the phone with him when I was getting the quote…he came to our house. And I think that if two comments are closely related and only one is accusatory (some of the more mean ones weren’t approved) then they all get bunched together as jerky. And I know you already know this but this blog is my story…I will call something out if it is awkward…not to embarrass anyone but just to tell the story. Sometimes things are negative (not in this case) and sometimes things are irrelevant…but it’s still my story so for people to question it and then to become accusatory is really hurtful. I am just like anyone else out there…I get offended too…and for people to say things (again…some of the more avid accusations were not approved) well…that stinks. I am sorry if you got lumped in with a group you don’t associate with. I don’t think everyone is a jerk. It’s just hard to differentiate between haters and people leaving negative comments.
xo – kb
We don’t have a Benjamin Moore near us so we couldn’t go with that brand. And we color matched to go with our hall. I do believe the grays are timeless and can add depth but our dining room is a dark gray and our kitchen is a lighter gray so we wanted something more warm and still neutral…that’s why we went with the more basic greige 🙂
xo – kb
MAJOR points 🙂
xo – kb
It’s refreshing to hear of a contractor who’s so conscientious (yeah, I had to check the spelling on that one!). I’ve had over 2 weeks now with contractors that I have to follow all day, just to make sure they’re doing what we agreed on. And being able to give them the keys to your house-wow! I’ll bet Carlos and his wife have plenty of work for a long time after this referral.
I hope so! I think so highly of them!
xo – kb
That’s a whole lot of painting to do. Great job Carlos & his wife.
Happy Anniversary Katie & the Boyfriend. xo
Holly L. says
Wow!! That looks so great. Can’t wait to see the after photos. Today is my wedding anniversary too! 14 years for me and my hubby!! Hope you were able to get lunch 🙂
Enjoy your blog. You are so lucky to have someone so talented and trustworthy to paint your house
Would have been so hard to leave with someone in and out of house while on vacation.
I understand the hearing when someone talks softly. I always feel so old when I have to say please can you repeat again.
I never realized how high your ceilings were. Not that I’ve been to your house. Just seems like I have. Thanks for the blog and giving ideas for us. Working on a fake brick wall in my bedroom. Have used your ideas and talents
I love the paint color!! Great choice. Your home is very beautiful, you should feel proud of it.
Also, I wanted to add that I read all the comments from today and yesterday and had to google what GOMI was… oh my! I had no idea such a hurtful place existed on the internet. I am glad you say that you never read it, because you shouldn’t. Do not let those people get to you. This is your blog. If they do not like what you have to say (or even worse if they want to dissect every single word and change the meanings behind them to fit their judgy misinterpretations of them), then they can make the choice (hello free will!) to not read this blog. I did not see anything wrong with what you wrote. Could you have waited to say that line until the 2nd half of the story, sure, but who cares? This is a blog people, not the Declaration of Independence. They need perspective and a life it appears. Ok, stepping off my soap box now.
Keep on keepin’ on, KB!
The transformation is unbelievable. We bought our house last year and like you guys, had to DIY all of it ourselves. We are slowly going through room-by-room and painting all the orangey oak trim white. It is a ton of work! If it was in the cards we totally would have hired it out. But I have heard horror stories about bad painters. So glad you guys found such a good guy! I cannot imagine doing that ceiling–20 ft ceilings–eek!
Annie- All Things Big and Small
I love that you guys got to leave and come home to a fully done home! That’s awesome! I have followed your blog for a while and oddly enough have never been offended by anything you post. I don’t understand how all these people got offended unless they were trying to get offended. Unfortunately there are so many people that truly relish when they can be offended. It makes their day, really! The color is perfect, the trim looks perfect and I cannot imagine attempting to do that job yourselves. Definitely a time to call in the pros.
Happy Anniversary and best wishes for many more years together!
I find your criticism unfounded. It sounds like you just want to be negative and nit-picky. How unfortunate.
Edit to prior post. That post was for Michelle.
Kim Bauer says
Beautiful! I’m looking for the perfect greige color for our entry and extremely long hallway, so I may try this color. Congrats on your anniversary!!!
I looked at your lounge chandelier and it reminded me of the one painted in Little Green Notebook. It was awhile ago and if you are interested the post is called ‘painting a brass chandelier’.
Happy Anniversary!! I can’t wait to see the after photos! So sorry you are getting bashed a bit in the comments…it’s probably because you don’t go to their snarky trolling sites and they know you aren’t reading their nasty accusations so they are coming to you…sucks you have to even read them and that they can’t get blocked by a robot or something! Anywho, Hope you enjoyed your lunch with your boyfriend! Your home and family are gorgeous and I love reading your story 🙂 Love from Indiana!
Couldn’t agree more!
Well I am glad to hear you do not read that trash, no one needs that negativity in their lives. Good for you, as for the haters go away!
It looks so much better. It’s amazing what paint can do. Love reading your blog. Happy anniversary !
Oooooh got to check it out! Thanks for the tip!
Jessie G says
Man, I wish I had a Carlos and wife in South Florida!!! I need my house painted too! I love the color and the white trim looks amaze-balls! 🙂 Thanks for what you do! I enjoy your blog very much. Oh… and happy belated anniversary. That was one super romantic dinner 😉
I think it’s lovely that your mom “doesn’t trust anyone.” LOL Seriously though, It would probably also be prudent to mention that when you have a sub contractor come in to do a job of that size, it can be important that they are licensed and bonded. Accidents do occasionally happen, even with professionals. So check the risk portion of your homeowners insurance or go with someone who carries contractors insurance.
Sarah @ onesuchlife says
I have a large two story foyer that desperately needs to be painted. The previous owner did a striped, textured treatment that isn’t our style. I know it’ll be such a refreshing update once we save up our pennies to get it done.
Jana H. says
Happy Anniversary! (a day late)
The walls ARE looking delicious! And the white trim…*swoon* Can you believe my sister and her husband had their trim painted off white/beige ON PURPOSE??!!! Ewe! I questioned everything I ever thought I knew about her design sense…and her mind! lol
Meghan N says
I did my daughters nursery with white walls and a teal trim and even though it’ll be pain when we want to do something different, I still go gaga over it two years later. So a small * after white trim only 🙂
Sew View says
It’s a pretty hard life, but you’re doing a great job with the balancing. Good for you.
I am SO jealous of that paint job and wish you were up here in MA instead of GA. I had my daughters bedroom painted (no trim, literally just the walls) and I paid $600. It wasn’t a huge room either. We have to have our ceilings painted in our kitchen, guest room and upstairs bathroom because we had ice dams last winter that caused some water damage. I also need to have my livingroom/diningroom/kitchen and the hallway along the stairs and the hallway between the bedrooms painted and I am dreading getting a quote. I know it’s going to be astronomic and we only got $800 from insurance. I am so impressed by Carlos.
Happy anniversary! And Carlos honestly seems like he’s the best. I can’t believe he did all of that with his wife! I wish he worked close to my city (in Ontario.. so far!) so that I could hire him too! Your trim looks gorgeous.
Laura B. says
I wish Carlos and his wife lived here! I am tired of doing my own painting.
On an unrelated note, I told my husband “Oo! We will be in ATL this weekend, let’s meet up with The Bowers!” He says “Do we just knock on the door and say hey?!” And I said “no! That would be so creepy! And also I just remembered that we are not friends in real life, she just writes like she is talking to a friend…”
AWWW! That is hilarious 🙂
I wish we could run into each other!
xo – kb
White trim only?! Must be racist!
It looks SO good! I have a similar trim color so I know the pure joy that comes from seeing it turn white!