Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

Sticker Shock


Over the past month or so we’ve had three estimates performed for painting the interior of the house.  It’s important that you understand exactly how much of our house is in dire need of painting (just about everything.  Nay.  EVERYTHING) and how poor the conditions of those surfaces are (far, far from great.  So far, I almost can’t see them anymore.  Except that I can. Everywhere I look).  Which is why our quotes include prepping and painting all walls, brick, doors, frames, window surrounds, baseboards, ceilings, and closets.  And the prices?  We’ll let’s just say we’re not going to be having our sallow, beigey hued house professionally painted a crisp, clean white any time soon.


Before you think me boring and inspiration-less, yes, we are going to have some color on the walls.  We’ve been talking about adding some bright and/or bold colors on one wall in a room, or creating a few “feature walls” as they say — but first, I am really craving a blank slate.  Right now I’m just having a hard time envisioning our space beyond this awful, awful color.  Gimme the white!

The first quote came from a neighbor* who, while he owns a house painting business, specializes in artistic faux finishes.    He spent a considerable amount of time shamelessly opening closets and drawers and generally making himself at home**. I knew right away that his bid would be high and it was.  To the tune of $8k.  But given that he’s currently painting a feature wall at the Baltimore Museum of Art, I kind of expected that.  Still made me throw up a little.

You didn’t think the ceilings would be spared the Sad and Dingy treatment, did you?

The second quote was from a commercial company I found on good ‘ol Google.  The man that came out spent a considerable time measuring and calculating — it took him almost triple the time than our neighbor and that’s saying something — and broke the price down for us in multiple ways.  It would be X number of dollars if we did this ourselves, and Z number of dollars if we did that ourselves.  For the sake of comparing apples to apples, his final number for doing the whole shebang was around $6k.


Oh yeah.  Even the insides of the closets are painted the same dreary color as everything else.  I honestly think someone bought 8746 gallons of this paint, taped off the floors and windows, and worked that paint sprayer like nobody’s business.  Work it, guuurl!

Lastly, we had another neighbor come over.  This guy actually lives several streets away, but has painted the home of our friends across the court and came highly recommended.  He spent about 5 minutes in the house, didn’t pull out a tape measure once, and quoted us just under $5k.

Saving three grand is great, but we’re still talking about a whole lot of money we don’t have. For paint.

Of course we could do it ourselves for a few hundred dollars, but given the condition of our paintable surfaces (a lot of cracking, a ton of peeling, and just general grossness) I can’t think of anything I want to do less.  For reals.

IMG_0550 cropped

Except maybe stare at all these yellowed walls for another 6 months or more.  And note, that that’s a big maybe.  Please, please someone kick me in the pants and hand me a damn paintbrush, will ya?  Thanks.

*I actually met his wife the day we got the keys when she scared the bejesus out of me peering in our living room windows from the backyard.  I met him the day his wife caught our then 18 month-old peering in another neighbor’s windows.  We bonded over our shared lack of resect for privacy.  Or something.

**It was actually quite amusing watching him all-but kick his feet up on our couch and tune into MASN.  He is very knowledgeable on Gordon Sugar homes having ownership of one himself.  He talked to us about the radiant heat ceiling coils we didn’t know existed and the original doorbell which he spotted (now disconnected) and offered to rewire while he was painting.  He then ushered us over to his house for a tour, where he picked up some fancy plaster samples and invited himself back to our place to show us some crazy expensive ideas to modernize our interior brick.  He may actually be the most eccentric soul  I’ve ever met.


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

2 thoughts on “Sticker Shock

  1. Between you and Rehab Addict, I’m really looking forward to moving into a house this summer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s