painting with mike

170 This is Mike. Mike is my dad. (Welcome to the Internet, Dad! No, this doesn’t really make you famous. Sorry...) Mike is a very useful person—he loves to help out whenever he can. Which is one of the many reasons he is awesome. So of course he offered to help me paint some rooms at our new house... even though he doesn’t totally love doing home improvement projects. He is a really good guy like that.


This should in theory be a perfect paint color.

A brief aside: I went down to the paint store to get some paint chips and I found one called—I am not making this up—Green Tea Latté. I was desperately hoping it would work somewhere, but it wasn’t quite right in any of the rooms which is weird because I can’t imagine a scenario in which green tea latté would not be perfect. I guess it’s a little different when it’s paint. But still. I truly thought such a thing could never happen.

So my dad and I set out to paint the bedrooms the week before we moved in. The walls had been covered with old, peeling wallpaper over horsehair plaster—all of which is a nightmare to remove. Then my mom discovered paintable wallpaper. Problem solved! You put it up right over the old paper then paint with regular old latex paint! (Such a miraculous product fully warrants—demands!—the use of the exclamation point.) So easy, right?

No, it was not.

My mom and dad were the lucky ones who put the paper up. (I intend “lucky” sarcastically, as you will see should you choose to read on.) They tell me it was an enormous pain in the ass. Seams wouldn’t stay glued down. Bubbles erupted. It tore easily. But they managed to remedy these issues. Painting would be a lot easier, they reasoned. Was it?

No, it was not.


This stuff is a paint sponge. We used twice as much paint as we would have on normal walls. And it took FORever to cover them. Also it is patterned vertically. See?

Try painting across those lines. Go ahead. Easy, right?

No. It is not.



Yes, my son DID insist on 3 different colors.

We had 2 days to paint 3 rooms. No problem—easy, right?

(What do you think?)

I fully encourage you to tell anyone you would enjoy seeing really pissed off and frustrated to run out and buy this wallpaper. (You shouldn’t really do that, though. It’s not very nice. But if there is someone you absolutely MUST see really pissed off and frustrated, this would be an excellent option.)


The girls chose pink. I know... shocking, right?

So I was totally freaking out and planning on painting through the night because it was taking twice as long to paint as normal walls. And this HAD to be done before we moved all the furniture in. Catastrophe would ensue otherwise. (What catastrophe? Just the regular kind. But still.) I am sure my response to this painting crisis comes as a surprise as I am usually so calm in general. And am never ever a total control freak.

(Steve [not his real name] please stop guffawing.)

In the middle of a panic attack, my dad said, “Just do what’s right in front of you.” Don’t look at the whole thing, he said. Just do the thing right there in front of you.


If you were smart, you would apply this philosophy to other areas of your life. That’s my plan anyway.

(He’ll most likley need to remind me next time I am freaking out.)

In the end, we got it done in one and a half days. And it actually came out really nice. Especially in light of the fact that we fully expected it to come out really awful. Dad even took me and the kids to the beach on the second afternoon.

(Daddies are the best.)