Domestic Me

Paint + Anxiety + Insomnia


We bought our house on Friday from a lovely couple who had actually grown out of the home that we are calling our Forever Home. Evidently you can grow out of this home…when you have 8 kids. Especially when you are pregnant with #9. While I spent the majority of the time trying to imagine what it’s like to have eight kids, I also spent a tiny bit of the time a little bit jealous. That part of me? Is the KRAZEE part, I do believe.

We spent the weekend prepping for painting. Removing outlet covers, light switch plates, taping windows and spreading plastic. I think that’s the most annoying part of painting to me, the prep work. It’s so tedious and feels absolutely pointless as it helps you make NO progress. However, as my husband is constantly reminding me, if you prep the right way? Painting sucks a whole lot less. So that’s our goal. Less suckage. We set such high standards, you know.

LilZ and I went to the house last night and started painting his bathroom. Our goal for the week is to finish his bathroom, bedroom, and the playroom. That’s actually a lot of walls (His room is 23-feet long! That’s 14-feet longer than his current room.) and trim and I’ve not been sleeping well as I’ve been up worrying about how we are moving in less than TWO WEEKS. There are a lot of walls that need to be painted in that amount of time. We actually hired someone to help us with the common areas as there are a lot of tricks spots my husband doesn’t think we should trust to amateurs. This is fine with me as it helps us stick to the two-week timeline, and also takes some of the painting off my plate. As it is, however, LilZ and I are still responsible for a lot of square footage. On top of the three rooms this week, we want to finish NikkiZ’s and AndyZ’s next week and if we’re up for it? Start on the upstairs hallway.

You know what does NOT help with painting? Insomnia cause by anxiety. It’s a horrible Catch-22. I need to sleep so I can be a more efficient painter so I don’t spend two weeks just fixing my own mistakes, but the anxiety over making the deadline is actually keeping me from sleeping. Which means that at this rate? I’ll still be painting LilZ’s room the weekend we move. *sigh*

So…what are your best painting tips? I haven’t done a lot of painting in my life, but I’ve done enough that I’m partial to certain brands (BEHR) and sheens of paint. The flat enamel we covered our walls with in our current home has really held up well considering the wrecking balls we have as children. It’s also tough under the Magic Eraser, allowing us to scrub the walls without chipping paint. I also have a favorite paint brush. But I didn’t discover the .99 pour attachments you can buy for your paint cans until this weekend. GENIUS. I wish I had been using those all along as I feel like I would have wasted a lot less paint with drippage down the side. They make pour nozzles for the 5-gallon buckets as well which means I don’t have to carry that heavy bucket around with me. Do you have any painting tools you couldn’t live without? That 1-gallon attachment is now mine. Well, that and diet coke – of course.

22 thoughts on “Paint + Anxiety + Insomnia”

  1. There’s some kind of little tooly thing (kind of looks like it would be used for spackling except it’s wider and made out of plastic instead of metal) that you use to keep wall paint away from wall-to-wall carpeting. Eventually it gets so much paint on it that it’s useless, though, so I’ve found that a bunch of thin pieces of cardboard work just as well.

    One of the designers on HGTV recommends painting in bare feet; you’ll know if you stepped in paint, and then you won’t track it all over the rest of the house!

    Good luck. Seems to me the hardest part of painting is picking the color, and you must have already done that!

  2. BARE FEET. Genius. I always keep my paint shoes on but slip them off when I leave the room, but your idea? MUCH BETTER. Love it.

  3. My tip would be to remember that it is possible to paint after you move in to the house. (Honestly, we’ve done it twice.) So, that two week deadline isn’t all that scary, no one dies if you don’t meet it, and you should sleep. That and pick some really rockin’ music and blast it; the painting goes sooo much faster that way.

  4. I just painted my new apartment – paint edgers. We seriously didn’t tape anything and I have straight lines everywhere.

  5. Get thee to home depot. Once at home depot, get thee to the paint department. Once in the paint department, get thee to the power rollers.

    Even the lower-end option will SERIOUSLY reduce your painting time.

    When we bought our house, I did 80% of the painting myself. When it came time to paint over an unfortunately color choice some 7 years later, my honey demonstrated that he knows the REAL meaning of romance and bought me a power roller. Wagner brand, about $60.

    It still gives me flutters thinking about it. πŸ™‚ I did a single coat of primer in a 10×14 room by myself in two hours, including cutting in the edges.

  6. Always paint in barefeet.
    Use paint edgers. You can trim around a rim perfectly in just minutes.
    Slide your paint tray, roller and brushes in a garbage bag overnight, so they don’t dry out, and you can get started quickly the next day.
    Roll up and down, not in the ‘W’ people always used to talk about.
    Don’t worry about going back and touching up when it’s wet. Looks totally different when it’s dry, and usually fine.

    Send LilZ up here when you’re done to do my family room. My painter son is busy planning a wedding! heh!

    Congrats on the new home!!

  7. I have a few tools that I like a lot, but I don’t know how I acquired them (maybe they got left behind by my dad when he helped us move in, dunno). Anyway, there’s this can opener – for a paint can. Good for me because I can never seem to find a screwdriver when I want one. Also it will press the lid back on when you’re done (because, then I can’t find a hammer when I want either). My dad’s trick is to pour some paint in an empty coffee can – it’s easy to carry around and up a ladder when you need “just a dab” more than a brush will hold. Also, I have a medium-sized handle that will screw to the end of a roller (about a foot and a half long), it’s perfect length reaches where I’ve cut in the trim without getting on and off the ladder ( I can get on a ladder only so many times before my body screams to do it some other way already!) Lastly, when your wall and ceiling color are the same? – use one of those paint pads – they get right into the corners easily. Good Luck and Happy Homemaking!

  8. My suggestion is to make a playlist called “paint” for your iPod/phone that can be shuffled without the fear of Chapter 7 of Goblet of Fire accidentally ending up in the mix. I speak from experience. Unless you WANT to listen to GOF, and then I suggest not doing it in shuffle mode …

  9. I don’t have any painting tips – my husband and I painted our master bedroom about 6 years ago. We didn’t do a very good job, so I swore off painting after that. All your talk is making me want to try it again.

    The tip I do have – Ambien! Works great for sleep in these situations and it doesn’t leave you feeling hung over the next day like benadryl does. It is prescription but call your MD and beg for a few pills to get you through the next two weeks!

  10. Saran wrap and a freezer. You can wrap your brushes and rollers in saran wrap and put it in the freezer over night so that you don’t have to clean your brushes/rollers if you aren’t finished. It takes almost no time for them to defrost when you take them back out.

  11. I second the saran wrap, although I think the freezer is overkill, even in very dry Colorado I just leave my wet brushes all wrapped up overnight.

    I paint in old socks so that if I DO step in paint? I can just toss the socks and not waste time cleaning my feet.

    I’m totally with you on the taping suckage.

    And seriously, the two littles? How are you keeping them busy? Share your secrets!

  12. Roll first, then cut in. It seems common to do the opposite, but you can actually get closer to the edges than you think with a roller and end up using less time and paint. Plus you can touch-up any funky roller spots while the brush is right in your hand.

    I love the paint-pourer lids too! I also use one of those small, hand-sized buckets with the magnet to stick your brush on when I’m cutting in. Empty coffee cans/plastic tubs, etc. work fine, but having the handle that just kind of hangs over your hand actually reduces hand fatigue a lot in the long run. (I once spent a whole summer painting as a job and, as low person on the totem pole, I *always* had to do the cutting in. It makes a difference if you have small-ish hands.)

    A small kids’ stepstool is a lot lighter and easier to move than even the smallest stepladder. (Obviously this wouldn’t work if you have ceilings higher than 8 feet, though.)

    I know you said you already like Behr, but I have to add a ringing endorsement for their stuff with the primer already in it. I had great luck and I was using a deep, saturated blue that normally would have taken three coats.

  13. Spring for the sliiiightly more expensive drop cloths if you’ll be covering the floor- the super cheap ones are too thin and just wriggle around everywhere (and stick to your sweaty bare painting feet).

  14. I love the paint pads. They’re a plastic frame with a small thin hairy sponge. I always found that rollers splattered, but the paint pads get the paint only where you want it — on the wall. No need to “edge” or “cut in,” because they go all the way to the edge (or at least that’s how I remember it). Fast and easy to get a smooth even coat.

    And don’t forget to ventilate! Paint fumes can make you loopy and even do weird things to your metabolism/hormones. Either crack a window and run a fan, or get outside in the fresh air for a break for a few minutes each hour.

  15. I have no tips as my husband does most of the painting, but I wanted to stop by and wish you and Lil Z luck and to encourage you to get some sleep! Once you are in the new house, you will have so much to do you probably won’t sleep then. Everybody needs sleep.

  16. I’m so excited to see you make this house your own πŸ™‚ I think it will be a very cool journey.
    I am also empathizing about the insomnia, because I haven’t had more than three and a half hours of sleep per night in four days. I am pushing myself to stay up til at least 8:30 or 9 so as to reduce my odds off waking up, wide awake at 3am and being completely backwards in my schedule.

  17. (Oh, and if you’re having trouble sleeping, try really hard to ease off on the caffeine after noon. I forgot this rule and had an iced caramel macchiato at 7pm the other night and WOW did I regret that πŸ˜›

  18. … and here’s an end bracket … because if I left the previous comment as is, it would kill my little OCD soul.)

  19. I don’t trim anything with tape. Bleh. Never works right and is too timeconsuming. I just get a smaller brush and do the trim first. It works if you have a steady hand and shaves tons of time off of the paint job.

    I have also learned that painting the walls then the trim is sooooo much easier. Period.

  20. No suggestions for painting…I know nothing, always had my old neighbor do it because she painted like your husband (perfectly with little stress)..just wanted to say I’m pretty sure I know who’s house you bought, and you’re right…How can a family grow out of a house that size? They are a nice family. See you around the neighborhood!

  21. My husband made me make a special trip back to the hardware store when we painted our daughter’s room recently to get Goof Wipes– they wipe up paint neatly, even if it’s started to dry. Especially helpful when painting around trim/doorways. Apparently. I myself am not the painter in the house– I admire you! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply