Painting a Room in One Day, almost

The worst part about painting used to be the clean up; now it’s the next morning.

We painted our son’s room in a day. It felt like a much bigger accomplishment yesterday than it sounds now. Maybe because we’d been talking about painting his 12x10ft room for a year. And maybe it took us that long to get to it because it took us two weeks to paint our daughter’s room, which is smaller. The difference? Good paint and a sound plan.

We centered the furniture and cleared out the rest Thursday night, when my wife spackled the numerous holes. Friday night we sanded, touched up, taped the trim, and painted the ceiling. Cocktails were essential, as was music—reggae, bluegrass, Zydeco—anything simple, rhythmic, and bouncy. Yesterday was the real work: the baseboards, door frames, closet, and window frames took two coats of white, and the walls were painted Rocky Mountain blue or, as I called it, Smurf Dick.

This proved to be the difference: Benjamin Moore paint, not my juvenile name. Last weekend, we went to a specialty store and bought the mid-grade BM at $37 gallon. This was about $15 more than the Valspar we bought from Lowes for our daughter’s room. The Valspar took three coats on our plaster walls to get “Berries Galore” rich and consistent. One can of Benjamin Moore equaled one coat that looked great on the first application. And trust me, it wasn’t the painters. Last time, we had to make two trips, buy three cans of Valspar, and had to wait twice as long for it to dry. All tolled, Benjamin Moore was less expensive and far superior. If you’re reading this with the intention of painting a room to live in, don’t bother with the crap at Lowes or Home Depot.

(For a more objective review, ostensibly, of 25 paints, check out this Good Housekeeping analysis, which hates on my Benjamin Moore.)

(Since we have no idea if any of the reviewed paints also provide ad revenue for Good Housekeeping, also consider this most objective aggregated analysis by

Another key to getting it done in a day was getting the kids out of the house. We finished by four pm and it looks good. Thanks, Busia, for letting us present each other with the Valentine’s Day gift that keeps on giving.

The worst part about painting used to be the clean up; now it’s the next morning. My wrists ache and small bones in my feet and back feel pinned together. The best part is that it’s done. Except putting on the doors and hanging the new blinds.


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  1. #1 by Todd Shamberg on 02/12/2012 - 7:44 PM

    I second that on the BM paint, but I don’t remember seeing Smurf Dick on the list when I painted my house. Interesting……

    • #2 by Robert Duffer on 02/12/2012 - 7:59 PM

      It’s only available to families with kids that are old enough to question why Smurfette is the only girl in Smurf Village. And why are your lips blue?

  2. #3 by lynni on 02/16/2012 - 12:23 PM

    I’m impressed!!!!

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