Paint Postulations

I finished painting the ceiling without spilling one damn drop on the Mrs.’s precious bathroom fixtures and tile floor! I dodged a bullet while slipping a noose and whistling past a graveyard. (It’s a triple metaphor accomplishment!)

I’ve never before painted a ceiling when the room contents below were not scheduled for subsequent paint. This doesn’t mean I’m a stranger to painting. It means I plan ahead. (Alas planning didn’t work out this time.)

Painting gives one time to think. It all comes down to utility, quality, and freedom. Here, in no particular order, are some Curmudgeonly tips on home improvements with the brush.


  • If your house looks like shit, paint it.
  • It won’t hurt. You can’t “trash” the place by adding fresh paint.
  • If your walls suck, after paint they will still suck but it won’t annoy you as much.
  • Fresh paint won’t fix the foundation, plumbing, wiring, or insulation, but it’ll make you happier with the dump you can afford. Studies (which I just made up) show that 98% of new home sales are to losers who get infatuated with a new home’s shiny paintjob and countertops. Here’s a hint; fresh paint in the $300,000 house you’re looking at doesn’t mean it lacks the same deficiencies as your current hovel. Quite likely it was slapped together by six illegals who were hired by a developer that went strategically bankrupt after the sale and the whole thing is constructed out of mouldy cardboard and debt. If you can paint your old house to avoid buying a different house do it!
  • Killz2 is good stuff.
  • Primer is your friend. If not a primer, then consider two coats.
  • Once you’ve prepped and taped and done the first coat, the second one goes fast.
  • Nobody has ever regretted a second coat of paint on a wall.
  • Painting is labor intensive. Get good paint.
  • Painting takes time. However, it’s a lot easier than tearing out walls and re-shingling the roof so be happy you’re only painting.
  • Decent brushes are worth it. Wash them you lazy bastard. Foam brushes are bad juju.
  • You can cut corners when taping or putting down dropcloths. You can also punch yourself in the balls.
  • Some teenagers are helpful. Others are aggressively useless. If you’ve got the latter, kick their ass out or you’ll never get done.
  • Many adults are just as useless as teenagers.
  • If you have a cat, its sole goal in life is to dip its paws in wet paint and run around on the carpet. Either lock the cat out or shoot it.
  • While you’re working, folks might show up and make negative comments about the quality of the job. If they are h the job take heed of their comments. If they aren’t, shove your paintbrush up their nose.
  • There is no reason whatsoever that you can’t paint while drinking beer.
  • Paint day is the best day for men who like to wear tattered clothes. Enjoy!
  • Croks are embarrassing as footwear but they’re great for jobs involving wet paint and/or lots of blood. You shouldn’t encounter both wet paint and blood in the same project.


  • There are two types of paint jobs. One type of paint job is done by people who live in a house and deliberately wish to enjoy or preserve it. The other type of paint job is done by landlords or someone who desperately wants to sell a house (and usually run from it).
    • There’s is no overlap between the two.
    • If the walls look looks like a bunch of monkeys on crack and Jackson Pollock jointly did something unnatural with a can of paint; you live in a rental.
  • You can paint damn near anything with brushes and rollers. Paint sprayers are cool (I have one) but they’re best used outside on big projects (like a barn). Unless you’re painting sixteen rental units per week at “lowest bidder quality” a sprayer is counter productive.
  • It is almost impossible to make a home look worse by slapping on a coat of paint. Landlords who hire illegals at rock bottom prices to slap the cheapest paint in Christendom on wafer thin drywall manage this feat.


I did my time with white walls. Damn near every wall in every house I lived in for many years was painted white and eventually I’d had enough! It’s your house. You live there. The only reason to paint a wall white is to make it as bland, uninteresting, and soul killingly dull as possible; as if some schmuck out there is going to have a seizure if the walls are tan and that’ll cause the asset price of the real estate to implode. Fuck that!

  • There is a name for a house which has an interior that is painted entirely in shades of white. That name is “rental”.
    • If you own a house and live in it, please for the love of God, paint it any color but white.
    • “Eggshell”, “ivory”, and the like are all words that mean “white”.
  • If you won’t paint your walls anything but white because you might sell it then get off your ass and sell the damn house already. Sell it to a human being who can move in and paint it a color that makes them happy.
  • If you think the asset price of your house will plummet by 50% because of the shade of paint on a wall, it’s not even close to being truly worth your stated price and you know it.
  • If you pick an ugly color it’s not the end of the world. You can change it any time you want. (Unlike that unfortunate tattoo you put on your ass.)
  • Men, do not pick the color. Your wife has many opinions about color. They are ever changing and mutually exclusive and you’ll never understand it. Even if you can read her mind and pick the exact perfect wavelength, an hour after you put away the brushes she’ll have a change of heart and want “ecru”. As a man, you don’t know what “ecru” is. Let her pick the color.
  • Men, drive your lady to the store and let her pick out any paint in any shade she wants. Don’t look at the price. Trust me on this, if she picks it out from a color chip and you drive to the store and get it, it’ll be wrong. You must drive her to the store and browse for hammers while she makes the selection.
  • Women, don’t let your man pick out the color. He’ll go to Home Depot and get five gallons of “oops paint” for 75% off. It might be puke yellow, it might be brown, it might be pink. He’ll be perfectly happy. Men, when they say the don’t care about the color…. mean it.
  • Whatever you do, don’t paint anything white… unless it’s a sailboat.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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14 Responses to Paint Postulations

  1. Chocs says:

    Oh Mr C, how ever did you get the webcams on my life working so well??!?! I’m sitting here, having a good laugh while the dawg is looking at me as though I’ve finally lost the last marble in my brain. We’ve painted several times over the years (parentals and moi) and it’s always been hilarious to watch the choosing of the paint. Fortunately I am now old enough to paint my room myself and the looks on my folks’ faces when I bought soft, pastel green… and yet, everyone who visits our place likes my room and the study, because it “feels so restful”. The rest of the house is a soft peach, and the last rooms to paint are still white (dammit) because of the cost of paint.
    I do love your posts 😀

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Why not just dunk that cat in a 5 gallon bucket of paint, and THEN lock it outside? It’ll never notice you approaching to grab it by the scruff of its neck as it stalks its way towards the paint. One quick grab will upset its OODA loop enough for you to dunk, toss, and lock before it even knows what happened!

    Of course, if it’s Mommy’s favorite cat, she’ll probably be too busy “explaining” things to you to even notice what color you are painting…

  3. Titan Mk6B says:

    I would add one item to the list. I always use exterior paint on the interior of the house. If it gets dirty you can scrub the shit out of it and it stays on the wall.

    Think grandchildren and crayons.

  4. Bruce says:

    White walls means never worrying that the new picture will clash with the paint. I prefer to decorate with art because painting sucks. I let other people put it on canvas so all I have do is own a hammer.

  5. R says:

    A few more things.

    Some people can paint, most attack the walls with a paint brush.

    Many paint stores have colorists available for hire, unless you have a great sense of style an in-home consultation can be very worthwhile. They always need some sort of starting directive, in the past I’ve told them “pick something that doesn’t make the carpet look pink anymore”.

    Always have a good solvent held in reserve in case the cat gets loose. Goof Off 2 works well on dried latex paints.

  6. MaxDamage says:

    White is what you buy when the wife cannot make up her mind. One gallon applied to one wall will trip whatever trigger it is that makes them go from indecisive to must-choose-something-but-that. This is when you make them choose the paint.

    Tape and primer are your friend. You’re not earning money on painting your own house, but you have the possibility of adding to its resale value. Might as well do the job well and hope.

    Cats are evil. Dunk them in the white paint you have left over and kick them outdoors. This will not help you paint and may in fact result in white footprints on your car or garage. Doesn’t matter, the cat is now outdoors and you can watch it lick paint while drinking beer and pretending white lead is still a coloring agent in paint. Not that lead injection^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ingestion would make a difference on a cat, but it is fun to watch.

    Those sheets the in-laws bought you for Christmas? You know, the ones with the flower prints or the magic foam polyester insulating blend sold only on the QVC channel and if you order right now we’ll throw in a Ronco cheese straightener absolutely free? Choosing a dropcloth can be as easy as looking in the basket next to the washing machine and deciding which item is not worth folding ever again. Even if you’ve never folded it before, think of the time you might save her.

    – Max

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