Painting by Numbers
Published: August 13, 2010
My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in November, and I decided to paint the nursery. For the record, the project was three rooms: the nursery, a vanity and a bathroom. Now, I am not particularly handy by any measure, but I decided that I am good enough to paint. I think I was trying to save money and impress my wife all at the same time. In the end, I don't think I accomplished either.
We are painting each room a different shade of pink. Sounds reasonable, but the walls were all green. Several days before painting, I primed the walls, but I didn’t get all of the corners, especially in the bathroom. So it's Sunday morning, and a friend of mine comes over to help. He has some skills.
After five long hours of painting, we realize we aren’t going to finish before my wife comes home from being out of town. So we make a plan to take the last two hours and get one of the rooms perfect. Unfortunately, after seven hours total we have three unfinished rooms with green showing through in the corners where I didn’t prep.
The next day, I called a professional to finish the job, mostly because I could hardly walk from the work the day before. Clearly, a humbling moment. The painter looks at the three rooms, laughs, and says, “It looks like you did a great job.” He finished all the rooms eight hours later and they looked great.
In the end, I realized that I was doing what some businesses do when evaluating consulting firms. I found someone who had limited experience (me) and tried to save money, only to have to hire a real professional and pay them to do what they do best after I couldn’t get it done right. Lesson learned!