The Paint Disaster Downstairs & What I’m Doing About It (Parts 1 & 2)

Hi, Everyone,

This is a follow-up of Sunday’s post about the paint disaster that has befallen my entire primary bedroom suite. If you missed the drama, please begin from the top. Otherwise, to skip ahead to the latest, please click the link below.

I am incredibly grateful for all of you! Your wisdom and support are among the primary ways that help me cope. However, I’ve listed some others in part 2.

 

Part 2 Begins Here

 

Dear Readers,

I know: a paint disaster.

No, I am not joking and definitely not exaggerating.

It’s unreal, isn’t it? And for the love of God, paint colors are something I’m known for. I’ve been specifying paint for clients since 1988. However, I’ve spent the most time studying them since I began this blog in 2012. Incidentally, with everything going on at the time, I forgot to wish everyone a Happy 12th Blogiversary on April 8th.

So, having a paint disaster to deal with is the height of bitter irony.

 

How did this happen?

 

I will tell you, but before I do, a couple of people have gotten on here and chastised me for this and that under the guise of being “helpful.”

It’s not that I don’t want help; I don’t particularly appreciate being belittled; no one does.

 

There is a huge difference between offering a suggestion (which is always welcome) and telling me:

 

“Laurel, you don’t understand men; you don’t know how to communicate with them, blah, blah.” [ However, I’m a far superior human being than you are, Laurel, so I feel obligated to tell you what you’re doing wrong. After all, you seem to need help.]

 

Sometimes shite just happens. It happens no matter how careful we are or how well we communicate.

 

Most things in life are out of our control, in any case. That goes for all of us, even those who are far superior to me.

As most of you know, a LOT was going on last week. Most of it should’ve happened months ago, but one thing that happened shouldn’t have been happening at all.

Unbeknownst to me, beginning on Wednesday, finish coats of paint were being applied downstairs amid copious amounts of construction AND the dustiest conditions possible.

I wasn’t aware until the end of the day, but I told the painter he needed to use the Advance Formulation and Regal Select. It’s written out in the comprehensive paint schedule I gave him. (It’s attached later on in the post)

 

Look, as you know, this isn’t easy. I’m trying to run my business, blog, write, take photos, manage the contractors, vacuum, maybe eat, wash the dishes without fail, and occasionally sleep and take a bath, etc. I can only focus on so much at one time.

 

I trusted that this sub, who I knew was highly experienced and recommended by Robert, would do a beautiful job. However, when I went downstairs on Friday, I was horrified by the ensuing paint disaster in my newly built bedroom suite.

It was a rough weekend for me. That doesn’t mean there’s anything you need to do. I appreciate you just being here; more than you’ll ever know.

Okay, the following are images of the paint disaster.

 

Please allow me to take you into my not-so-funhouse-of-horrors while we visit the crappiest paint job imaginable.

 

I mean, what is the number one culprit painters fear most?

Dust.

Right?

paint disaster poor prep unfinished wood showing through finish coat of paint
Yes, folks, this is Benjamin Moore Simply White oc-117 in the plastic “Ben” semi-gloss latex formulation rolled on instead of finished with a brush (back brushed). It contains not only dust but large detritus particles, along with an improperly prepped door jam.

I specified Benjamin Moore Advance in a written paint schedule. (coming up)

 

dusty paint surface

 

This has not been painted yet, but everything needs to be wiped clean before it is painted. I rubbed this for a bit to push the dust to one side. It does not come off easily.

However, of course, the bedroom is where the guys do their sawing. It is a massive dust bowl. I had told Bryan to hold off on applying any finish coats.

He ignored me.

 


One quick wipe on poorly painted mouldings yielded this.

 

paint diaster wtf?
That’s another door jamb.

 

The moulding inside an expensive embrasure door.

 

a beautiful embrasure door totally effed up
Another door above and below. Yes, this is the finish coat. Although, it’s supposed to get another coat. Yikes!

 

This door has paint pimples and looks and feels like sandpaper.

 

Dust, dust, and more dust on the primary closet doors, and hinges!

 


More shiny orange peel from the roller on this door jamb.

 

The jamb of course, but also look in the upper left at the door casing.

 

embrasure door panels-plastic latex paint

 

As an aside, because I never like to show only bad things, I don’t think I ever showed you what Brendan did for the inside panel of the embrasure doors.

 

However, this is what shiny latex paint looks like. It has a weird plastic-like sheen. I can’t stand it. I always specify Benjamin Moore Advance.

 

Also, notice that the trim hasn’t been put back on the hidden doors, and the doors haven’t been prepped yet.

All prep work should be 100% finished before any finish coats are applied. That is basic painting 101.

 

niche jam not prepped

They also painted the casing around the niche without sanding the jamb, which is also getting painted with the same paint. This is all so weird, not to mention confounding.

No sanding at all - paint disaster

 

Oh, Laurel, are you sure they painted the casing?

 

Yes, 100%, and that’s because they managed to eff that up too.  (see below)

I knew this casing was going in the bathroom, so I found the exact style I wanted in molded plastic. It is smooth as silk, and somehow, they managed to do this to it.

 

niche casing effed up

These are not isolated flaws. No, they are everywhere.

 

door jam not prepped properly paint disaster

The prep work was dreadful.

 

gunky crown - ceiling defects

My beautiful crown moulding in the bedroom looks like paper mache here. And look at those lumps in the ceiling. They haven’t properly skim-coated the wall, as you can still see the metal plate here.

 

Now, interestingly, I found something that looks as it should.

 

beautiful trim Benjamin Moore Advance - mimic oil

This crown and ceiling are beautiful. The second day, Bryan did bring a gallon of Advance, but he insisted this was the Ben formulation. I have no proof, but Advance has this silky-smooth look.

 

The door is supposed to be Farrow & Ball Hague Blue, and they painted it Simply White.

 

New Entrance hall - embrasure doors - bedroom-Linen closet Farrow & Ball Hague Blue Door

 

But, Laurel, what is that gorgeous color on the ceiling?

 

Oh, thank you. That is one of my favorite Benjamin Moore Opal Essence 680 colors from the Laurel Home Paint Collection.

All of it is on the aforementioned paint schedule I made for Bryan, which you can see here.

 

And now, a few more closing shots of the paint disaster in my bedroom.

 

 

 

Yes, this, too, is Opal Essence below on the ceiling. I’m only doing it downstairs.

 

 

This is how they left the work site on Friday. Please note that I used the wide-angle phone lens. The eye does not see the room like this.

You know, I had a Brazilian painter way back when my kids were babies. The drop cloth was akin to a net for a trapeze artist. It was there, just in case. I mean, there wasn’t a drop of anything on it. Every day, he would fold it up and bring it back, looking like he had just taken it out of the package it came in.

Ahhhh… we had oil back then. Oh, how I miss it! However, Benjamin Moore’s Advance on new, properly primed, sanded, and wiped-clean materials is very nice.

 

Okay, I know what you’re going to say.

 

FIRE HIS ASS– NOW!!!

 

Well… not so fast. First, he has to fix this paint disaster.

 

Laurel, this is your contractor’s painter. Did he recommend him?

Yes, and yes.

 

Well, is he on something? Drugs? Alcohol?

 

That’s very astute of you. ;]

Of course, I have no way of knowing what his problem is. However, his judgment does seem to be impaired.

 

Ya think?

 

Now, both Bryan and Robert, my GC, have assured me the paint disaster will be taken care of and it will be perfect.

 

Robert admitted to me today that the job is unacceptable, yet he’s perplexed about how it happened in the first place. He insists that Bryan is a superb painter, or he wouldn’t have recommended him.

I’m sure he realizes by now that I’m, shall we say, “discerning.” Of course, most of us are when we’re paying thousands of dollars to have a professional do work for us.

 

It’s a pity. He has to spend much time undoing what he did and then doing it again correctly.

 

If I fire him, it’s going to set the job back, even further.

 

Any good painter is booked right now and probably for the entire summer.

Okay, we can continue this for Wednesday. I’m sure many of you have plenty to say. Please be kind; I feel like I’ve been put through the wringer.

In the meantime, I have a meeting with Robert (my GC) tomorrow morning. We’re going to go over everything left to do.

Oh, one last thing. I’m definitely not using Robert’s floor guy. No way! I did some research and found a couple that look terrific, and I also saved some recs from local readers from way back. So, thank you for that!

To be continued below…

*********************************************************

Part 2 Begins Here

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Hi Everyone,

I’m tearing up reading the dozens of kind, supportive messages. In all sincerity, without y’all, I don’t know how I’d get through all of this on my own.

Yes, it was a rough weekend.

 

Some of you wanted to know how I cope.

 

Well, I called my sister, Holly, who was very sympathetic, and my son, Cale. He is good for about 60 seconds, lol, but it’s better than nothing.

Writing the blog post about jib doors was a great distraction. Plus, it was a reminder of something good going on.

 

I’m sure I watched plenty of ballet online and scrolled a lot through Instagram.

 

Oh, and I discovered the piano prodigy of all piano prodigies on Instagram, Jonah Ho – age five here.

But he’s nine now*. But get this: he hasn’t had a piano lesson since he was THREE.

*Correction. He’s 13 now.

An interview with Jonah when he was about seven or eight where he explains the inexplicable.

Here is Jonah Ho’s YouTube Channel.

I very much recommend his Moonlight Sonata, exquisitely performed in dinosaur PJs.

 

 

 

Music like this is my alcohol.

 

l can’t drink (more than an occasional sip) as it can bring on symptoms of POTS. (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

POTS is a form of dysautonomia. I had a terrible episode when I went to visit Crown Point Cabinetry on December 1, 2022. I know many of you also have it, or a loved one does. Yes, it sucks because when I have a bad episode (which, fortunately, is very rare these days), I am very ill and have to lie down. It is not life-threatening unless one faints and hits their head. The feeling faint comes from a sudden and extreme loss of blood pressure. Since 2017, when I was diagnosed, I’ve been taking beta-blockers twice a day.

This is a young woman’s issue for the most part, not an old lady thing. It’s becoming better known these days as POTS can be a symptom of “long covid.” Long covid is not new; it just has a name now. I think a better name would be “Post Viral Syndrome.”

 

When all else fails, it helps me to hand it all over to God.

 

It helps to say, “Please deal with this because I don’t have the strength.” I get the sense that God is always ready and eager to help with all the burdens I’m too overwhelmed to handle.

 

Saturday is when I first broke the bad news to Robert.

 

“Robert, I don’t know what to do. There’s a big problem with the paint. The finish is horrible— poor prep work, + dirty, gritty, rough, and more. As I said, they shouldn’t apply finish coats until the construction is finished and the place is cleaned. Yet, they went ahead full steam. 😢 (accompanied by several of the pics in this post)

 

Would you like me to work with Bryan directly?

 

I have spoken to him about some things, but on closer examination, I am horrified by how bad it looks. The trim should be smooth, like the kitchen cabinets you said weren’t perfect when they arrived. I disagree. The finish on the cabinets is fantastic.”

 

Robert replied:

 

***Hi, I’ll talk to Brian for you.

 

However, on Sunday, I couldn’t hold it back any longer and texted Robert again to share more information about how horrible the paint disaster was; this is what he said:

 

I know I recommend Brian but he is not my responsibility as he is working for you directly and you are paying him directly and I’m making no money on the painting side of the job , I mention to you I would talk to Brian tomorrow as a favor to you and I will do so in the morning
If you would like to get rid of Brian and hire another painter that’s up to you
I’m actually loosing my shirt on this job , making $00000

 

Yes, my dear ones, that’s what he said.

 

Sitting here, shaking by this callousness, is when I summoned my higher power to take over.

However, I didn’t tell you any of that yesterday because Robert turned a complete 180 on Monday admitting the paint was unacceptable and had to be fixed. (Couldn’t he at least have said that?)

Aside from the inappropriateness of his response, he can’t have it both ways. If he has no responsibility, then, the day before, he should’ve said. “You should talk to Bryan, as this is between the two of you.”

 

Yes, I knew I was paying Bryan directly, but I did not realize he wasn’t working under Robert’s contract. Everyone else, including the electrician, plumber, tiler, floor people, etc., is working under his contract, but this was never stated.

When I took clients who needed to hire a GC or other contractor, I made it clear that when I gave recommendations, their contract was with that person, not me. This applied to items that, once installed, weren’t movable, like tile and wallpaper. I would be there to troubleshoot should issues come up, but I’m not responsible. If they wanted to use another contractor, that would be totally fine.

 

So, where do we stand?

 

Bryan’s assistant is not a rooky, but highly experienced and did most of the damage. He returned today to sand, and things are beginning to improve, but despite what I said, on Sunday, I am looking for a new painter. (and hardwood floor company to do the floor refinishing.)

You know, even if I hadn’t specked which formulation of paint to use, and in writing, Bryan knows what’s appropriate and what’s not. This is a historic home that I’ve spent a lot of money fixing the horrid remuddling that occurred previously. No way would anyone use the cheap latex paint on their trim. Okay, that’s not true. They would. However, he knows better. With Benjamin Moore, it’s Aura, Regal Select (for walls), and Advance (for trim)– PERIOD.

 

Please understand that I’m not chastising anyone for using the budget Ben formulation if their budget can’t afford the premium paint.

 

I need to cut my losses because I could end up losing even more. I’ve made that mistake before.

 

Laurel, might he be reading your blog?

 

I would say the probability that he reads my blog is like maybe one in a million.

 

In any case, who cares? The worst that will happen is he’ll walk out. Good riddance!

 

And, no, as was asked in the comments, they do not know nor do they care to know who I am or that I get on the Internet and write about their every move, both good and bad.

 

Okay, we’ll let the paint disaster go for now. It’s a drag for sure, but somehow, I think, in the end, it will work out even better for me, like many disappointing things do.

Again, thank you all so much for your wonderful messages and support. They helped me realize that I’m on a sinking ship and need to get onto a more seaworthy vessel soon.

 

xo,

 

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133 Responses

  1. So Sorry. This is going to be expensive and legally problematic but after what the GC wrote you I would check with all the other subs on the job (electric, plumbing, ac, etc) immediately and make sure they have been paid to date. Then for the painter and probably the GC, I would fire their asses now and change the locks immediately. It will only get worse from this point on. Had a moment on a project where I walked in during the first week of painting on a large new build when no one was around and found empty barrels from Glidden paint which the painter was replacing for the various Benjamin Moore paints specified. They had just a few of the specified cans around in case someone walked in during the day. Of course none of the Glidden colors matched, but I was exceedingly lucky to catch this before it went too far. GC was in on it. He changed the painter I met and approved and I found out that it was because the budget was already blown and there were no funds left to hire the professional painter. I called several of the other subs and found out that the GC had also provided “fake” intermediate subcontractor sign offs too, but luckily the large job hold back was able to cover much but not all of it. The contracting business has only gotten worse since this happened 15 yrs ago.

  2. OMG! That’s the first thing that I said to myself upon seeing your photos of that God-awful painted mess. You have every right to be PO’d at what has happened. I know how hard you have worked to create your dream home and I know you have faced some big obstacles. Just know that all your readers are as horrified as I am and all of us hope that this gets resolved as quickly as possible so you can finally enjoy the space you have created. I’m still in shock that supposedly experienced painters could do something like that. Totally unacceptable!

  3. Oh Laurel. Much sympathy from me. I’m upset for you about the paint. It just got worse and worse with picture and what happened.
    When it’s all said and done you’re home is going to be freaking fantastic. Hold onto that vision and hope!! 🙂

  4. I , too, had a painting disaster like this after an extensive water damage situation. The walls were not cleaned after hardwood floor replacements and the was clumped sawdust everywhere which was painted over…even paintbrush pieces painted over. I went around the house and must have used 3 giant rolls of blue painters tape to show the more obvious issues. I finally had to go through my insurance company to get the contractor to sand, clean and repaint all the walls. It was heartbreaking. My heart sunk when I saw your walls and mouldings! The reno process is so emotionally exhausting. But your reno is so beautiful and my guess is that your contractor will never allow something like this to happen again. Best wishes to you!

  5. Oh, my. I’m sitting here reading Parts 1 & 2, and am horrified and speechless. I’m sooo sorry this happened! Just awful. Unacceptable on so many counts. In the future, should you ever decide to have any sort of decorative painting done on any of those surfaces, and the execution of that painting involves even the most delicate of painter’s tape, trust me, the tape will pull off paint right down to the substrate. Bryan and his assistant must sand it all smooth (down to the bare will be nearly impossible) and leave.the.building. I’m sure you are aware that many painters out there will substitute a less expensive paint for what was specified so they can pocket a little extra dough. I even knew a shister who poured inexpensive paint into cans of a better quality paint in order to fool their customer. Yup.

  6. As others have said, that is the worst paint job I’ve ever seen. In the 1980s, I helped a boyfriend fix up an older house. We hired a painter to sand all the horrible walls and repaint them.

    Our painter was on METHADONE in an effort to get off heroin, yet we had the most beautiful walls I’d ever seen after he was finished. How did your highly-recommended painter who presumably wasn’t on any substance, manage to create such a disaster? This is a mystery.

  7. Oh Laurel….my heart truly goes out to you and WE ARE ALL ON YOUR SIDE AND SENDING UP HUGE PRAYERS for this to be resolved and for your beautiful home to be finished! I know it will be resolved. I agree with others that it may be time to move on to another GC, get legal advice on where you stand, and find another painter to fix this situation to your satisfaction. Someone who gaslights you can NEVER be trusted. We are all so so grateful for your blog, the time you’ve put into it to give us basically FREE decorating advice! I’ve purchased your decorating package in the past for someone who’s an architect….it’s excellent. I’ll purchase it for myself in the future when I really need it. Thank you so much, again. You’re a TREASURE. We are pulling for you with much love, respect and appreciation!

  8. So many people have responded to your horrible situation and I can’t read them all, so I may be writing what others already have. To my eye it looks like Robert wants out of your contract. It is too big a job for him, taking him too long and he knows it.

    Does it say in your contract that painting is included? I’m sure it must, or the painter wouldn’t have arrived until you called him to start painting. If you see the him again, ask him why he decided to show up that day.

    Frankly I would fire Robert. I suspect this is not the only thing that will go wrong before he finishes the job. One way or another, I think he’s done with this job. Time to consult a lawyer to establish your rights. Maybe you and Robert can come to a mutually satisfactory financial conclusion to this. I how difficult this will be when the job isn’t finished, but now what remains are the finishing touches – the painting, the floors, installing electrical lights and likely many other things I don’t know about. You can handle all of these Lauren!

    I don’t know how the paint job can be repaired but he has to do it. (Part of me suspects he arranged for this on purpose so you would break the contract.) Then get Robert to clean up the mess in every room to your satisfaction, while you watch. And then he can get out! I don’t think you need a GC to finish the job. You have good social contacts who may be able to give you names of good tradespeople.

    I think you do have someone for the floors. Although they’re very busy, I do know that sometimes they will send in a crew after hours (4:00?) and it’s light out until nearly 9:00 these days where I live. Make sure you understand exactly what they are going to do before they begin. A neighbour had some new product used on her floors and it was a disaster. It had to be removed and started again. Still not right. Make sure they use tried and true methods and products.

    I think someone on here recommended a good painter in your area too. Consider this Laurel. You are so excellent at the details that you can explain exactly what you want before any of the work is done. And you can be there all day long to supervise. I would watch the painters closely in every room.

    Ask for 3 references for each trade that you need. It’s worth the hassle.

    You taking control over this last part is exactly what you need to do for your own peace of mind. You can do this!

  9. Laurel, considering the number of comments on here I am sure you won’t see mine; however, I think I will post just to blow off some of my steam from seeing your horrible issue. It is such a downer to have something like this happen when you have an expectation that someone will actually do their job correctly; that you can trust them because because this is what they chose to do as employment, and you are paying them to do what they sell. I think what happens is that the worker knows technically what they should be doing but skirt around it because it is too much work, and they rely on the customer to either not notice it or not complain about it. You did what you could do, which was tell them what you wanted. They should come back and remedy it. I hope they can, because your molding is beautiful, and you have worked so hard to plan the design. Fortunately I don’t have a lot of money to which I can pay people to do work, which leaves me as a perfectionist to get it done the way I want it. But of course the major downside is the same as the upside -I DO have to do it myself, which takes FOREVER. If I really did have a choice, I would hire someone. I do hope that things can get resolved, and that you have much better luck for your future projects!

  10. I too specified the exact Benj. Moore paint I wanted used on my jobs and found the painter had brought a Sherwin Williams paint he said was “just like” Benj. Moore Super White Regal. I said that was not ok and insisted he go back and bring the right paint in the original cans. From then on, I just said I would buy the paint myself and he had to tell me how much was required. I’m sure I lost the benefit of a contractor’s discount but at least I knew the paint was right. Just a thought for others facing the same issue… I hope the work required to fix all the problems doesn’t ruin the underlying carpentry and molding. So sorry…

  11. That is without a doubt the worst paint job I have ever seen in my life. It is really quite stunning.

    If you plan to fire the painter, make sure that he and his assistant do all of the sanding and scraping necessary to correct that mess, preferably on their dime, before you pay them a cent and before you fire them. Otherwise you will wind up paying twice for the same work.

    As for your GC, he is unfortunately quite typical of the breed. My parents were their own GCs in building several houses and in various renovations. They had some excellent craftsmen. But if one or the other of them left the jobsite for even a few hours some subs would try to get away with anything they could; for example, not installing rebar specified and *paid for* in part of the poured concrete for a porch. (That one was discovered years later when it started to crack and collapse.) When they did use a GC for a major renovation when my father’s health was failing, they got the same routine. He claimed to be losing money, he didn’t pay the subs, one of whom came by to apologize for having to move on to another job because he had to pay his guys. (They paid him themselves.) But at this point so close to the end you would probably be better off just holding your nose and getting the job–or at least the part he is responsible for, which apparently doesn’t include the painting and floors–done.

  12. I’m inclined to agree with Ramona and suggest you take legal advice. The GC clearly isn’t up to the job, and sub-contractors not finishing a job and disappearing for a week or more at a time is not acceptable — imputable both to them and to the GC. Glad to hear that you’re going to get a new painter in. Can you ask to see work done by any painter you might hire?
    I am horrified by some of the comments which suggest that such work has only a one-year guarantee. The works on our two renovations (of a ruin) in France were all covered by the obligatory ten-year guarantee, and all the firms working on our house were made aware that we would retain 10% of the payment for a year after completion in order to ensure that they would fix any problems.
    But this was a long time ago, and shortages of materials and craftsmen resulting from the Covid pandemic have changed things. It is now difficult to get anyone for smaller but essential jobs. We have yet to find an electrician to deal with old and now faulty switches, but that’s nothing compared to the problems you have, Laurel, and the problems of many of your readers.

  13. Along with many, I was horrified at the paint job. Having done 10 house remodelings, and building 3 homes I’ve had many issues. Thankfully all were solved and life moves on. Your GC was not the nicest in his comments, but you did contact him on the weekend. Is that acceptable with him? Mine would never answer if their family time was interrupted. Our thoughts are with you for a “smooth” solution….

    1. Hi Judy,

      Yes, Robert has called me after hours and on weekends. All he needed to say was, “Oh, gosh, Laurel, I’m so sorry, this isn’t a good time. Let’s discuss this further on Monday and we’ll sort it out.” However, I also needed to know what he was going to do about Bryan. I did not want Bryan showing up Monday morning to put on more finish coats of paint. This was a crisis situation!

      There is NO excuse for the way Robert talked to me. He also gaslights me making up things that never happened, or were expressed. However, the opposite was repeatedly reinforced through his actions. I do kindly call him on it when he does that. I have zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.

      I have worked with some extraordinary contractors over the years with no BS whatsoever. While I believe Robert means well, he is not equipped to handle a job like mine, but not only that, he has passive-aggressive tendencies instead of being 100% a team player. Sometimes he is a team player, but too often, not at all.

      The carpenters except for the den have only about four days of work left and most of it is small things like installing doorknobs, and magnet catches. Yet, they are gone this entire week. This has happened many times. Or, they are here two days, two weeks in a row, or only one shows up. Inconsistencies, and not enough manpower are why this job has dragged on and on. I’ve done everything I can to help them including finding them the right hinges. How sad. That is the general contractor’s job. That’s what I’m paying him for.

      As for family time. I too, would like that, but it’s not been possible unless I’d like to put my son up in a hotel. He is coming in 9 days and I fear I’m going to cry the entire time because I’ve missed him so much. On the other hand, it has been impossible for me to go anywhere. Look what happens when I AM here 24/7 and for the last 6.5 months. Even when I’m here, right under my nose horrible things frequently happen.

      I do not hover over the workers. I expect them to know what they are doing and to ask questions if there’s any anomaly. They do, 50% of the time, but not asking many times, has resulted in an unacceptable situation that requires them to do it over again. Where is the supervision? What if I wasn’t here at all?

  14. Laurel,

    Everyone has said it all…after a 5 year whole house remodel which was halted then slowed due to the pandemic, I feel your pain. You’re smart and very talented and will figure this out.

    Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sending prayers and a glass of wine.

  15. Okay, so my intuition was correct: Robert has soured on you and is now claiming that he isn’t making a dime on the project. So he wasn’t experienced/competent enough to realize this job would be intricate and exacting? I would laugh, but nothing here is funny.

    And Robert IS most definitely responsible for bringing the painter in before the site was ready for painting.

    I am going to make a radical statement: you should consult a lawyer about your contract with Robert. Robert is gaslighting you and has been doing so for quite awhile. Just get an opinion as to what your rights really are. I am not suggesting you bring in a lawyer to address the issues. I just would like you to know precisely what the law has to say about your situation. A consult will cost a small fraction of anything you are paying these ‘guys’ who you have coaxed and praised throughout the process.

    As others have stated, contractors today do not have skill or ethics. They bid a job with the idea that they can get away with all sorts of things. They truly do not have the skills they need. They believe, it isn’t cost effective for them to train properly or do things correctly. Still, they want to pull in income that far exceeds what some other professionals with extensive and expensive training make.

    The California State Contractors Licensing Board representative I met with told me that even licensed contractors constantly game the system. He said that the entire system was nonfunctional.

    Needless to say, I am soured on contractors. The ones my neighbor hired to create her outdoor room violated codes right and left and installed things which flooded my home just before Christmas. Six months later, I am still struggling for resolution.

  16. Laurel, I love your blog but have never commented. I have no design experience and no useful knowledge. But I am so sorry for the situation you’re in. I’ll not load on our experience with a large house remodel in 2020 and prior to that, a new house build. I still have PTSD from both. (Well, I have to mention finding workers using my Design Within Reach chairs as sawhorses.) The lousy skills and casual
    work ethic of these “craftsmen” we all are hiring is astounding to me and very sad. And, on the remodel, our GC started the same thing: He was losing money on the job and even laying on me that it was causing problems in his marriage. Arrrrgggghhhh.

  17. Riddle me this, Batman: If we have to watch the subs like hawks anyway, and be there every second, why are we paying a GC? I am serious, having never done this. Why not save the overhead cost and hand pick our own subs to do the trade work?

  18. It is that we must almost stand by the contractors body 24 hours a day- yes even when they got to the bathroom! I specked Benjamin Moore White Dove, high end quality for my apartment walls, a color that is my one true love and have lived with and loved for years. So what did the painters do? Yes – they used the low end BM paint. BEWARE everyone – the color is not the same. It is plain yuck. Yes, it is called White Dove, but it is NOT the same color. The quality makes al the difference.

  19. Laurel. I sure hope things turn around very soon on this paint issue for you. A nightmare to deal with. We are counting on people to do as we ask and sooo disappointed when they cannot follow through . Plus they are professionals and should know better.

    I do not blame you for looking out for new painters and floor people . 🙏🙏

  20. How maddening! How frustrating! I expect anyone who hangs out a shingle to know how to do things properly. Anyone can be “Joe Handyman”.
    I so admire your tenacity Laurel. Your expectations are completely reasonable. Your home will be stunning. Keep visualizing the end result while listening to gorgeous and soothing music.

  21. There’s always 2 sides to each story, so I’ve been trying to figure out what the hay-hoo could your GC be thinking in sending you such bizarre, contradicting messages?

    It may be too late to remedy the current situation, but it reminds me of the author’s solution to his unfinished remodeling project in a Year in Provence. He and his wife planned a Christmas party for all their contractors AND THEIR WIVES. The contractors started falling all over themselves to finish up when they knew their work would be inspected.

    In this case, what if you scheduled a photo shoot and exclusive interview for the Boston Historical Building Association, or whatever it may be. Or invited a decorator magazine to come and see the renovation. Offer your GC, in writing, to feature every one of the contractors to those folks for future recommendations. Then sit back and see if the quality improves. It might not work…but it might?

    Praying you get the best flooring team ever!

  22. I need to ask – was this ever even primed? All of the raw areas require completion, sanding, prep work and priming BEFORE the finish paint is applied. Priming seals everything up and allows for inspection of what the finish product will look like after its final coats. Primer is sand-able and should be sanded smooth and cleaned prior to finish painting. Finish paint is not easily sand-able. You have a mess!

    By the looks of what you have here both the woodworking, wall preparation AND the painting suck. I’d hold both the contractor AND the painter accountable. Nothing in any of the photos you posted were ready for any kind of finish paint. Properly prepared, Advance is the closest paint you’ll find to mimic oil base. It goes on smooth, levels out well and dries (cures) to provide a durable surface. That is obviously not the case here.

    Congratulations to whomever caulked the panel molding in to the flat panels in the doors. Perfectly professional. I would fire the painter. It’s obvious from the get go that this person does not have the knowledge or skill to paint, nor otherwise “fix” this lousy job. I would also confront my contractor. It’s obvious that this remodel job is over his head. He underestimated both the skill and quality required to satisfy a high end job. That basically shows his incompetence. Unless he was hired as the low bidder I would place the overall blame for this mess on him. Why give the painter the go ahead on a project that isn’t even prepared to be painted.

    It is extremely difficult to switch contractors in the closing phase of a project. Not too many people want to take on the responsibility of completing someone else’s project, especially if there are issues. People get paid for their responsibility, coordination, expertise and for doing good work. Tell him to step it up. He may be losing money, but at this point he could be losing more than that. I’m sure both of you wish this was over. You may need to bear with it in order to finish things up, but I would certainly require to have this painter replaced, perhaps someone he IS responsible for.

    Hopefully you’ll be able to work something out. I’m kinda at a loss as to why the contractor would recommend a painter to work directly with a customer when he could be overseeing, responsible and getting a percentage for a very important part of the project.

  23. Laurel, thank-you for sharing your real life experience. When we have renovated, I cannot count the times I’ve had to console myself with “This too shall pass”. I feel your stress and pain.
    The GC has somehow decided his lack of profit is your fault. News flash! His lack of time management skill has been his downfall on this project. Unfortunately, not all great tradesmen are good entrepreneurs. He should be embarrassed to admit this. Keep your chin up!

  24. Dear Laurel, I don’t have any advice, but just wanted you to know that I think you are amazing. I know that God hears our prayers, and I’m glad you could find strength through prayer. I hope you also feel the strength of all your “virtual” friends who are 100% behind you! Take care of yourself. Love, Sheree L

  25. This is so disheartening to hear. When we put our trust into the trades and good ones that the ball can still fall short.
    Must people would be pulling their hair out and on the floor after so many issues. It’s like that Christmas present from the crazy uncle and sure what you will find under the tree.
    Stay strong have faith it will all come together. You will find sitting in your beautiful home looking back thinking ,wow this time last yr what a process, but it all turned out just like I imagined. I really love my home.

  26. Good morning Laurel,
    Your tone this morning tells me you’re off the ledge. I’m glad.
    Robert may have stated that this mess is between you & the painter, but who told Bryan that he could come in & start painting? Your bedroom hadn’t been cleaned yet.
    I sincerely hope things get fixed in a professional manner. But I’m keeping my fightin’ pants close by. Just in case I have to go up there. 😉

  27. Laurel, I have lighted a candle for you so each time I see it, I can send a prayer upwards toward the healing of your home. Painting itself is easy. Prep time for painting is time consuming and hard and should take up 95% of the job time; this dude obviously did not get the memo. I am so sorry. It is unbelievable verging upon criminal. I was brought up on the motto “Do the job right and you don’t have to do it twice.” I don’t know that many young people had that drilled into them as we did. Please know we are all rooting for you. I would normally say “Take a break” but you have to be on these dudes like a tick.

  28. Oh Laurel…..I am so sorry you have been going through this….I have encountered this myself since my brother passed away. ( he was the world’s best master carpenter:-) and i miss him so) It seems the GC may be unaware that some of his “great guys” might have developed some kind of problem that is common in construction trades…..just a thought…Many prayers for you! Sending love…and much appreciation for all the guidance you’ve shared in helping us all to make the decisions, products, and correct way to do things! What would we do without you???

  29. OMG- what a mess! The condition left at the work sight says it all.
    You have such vision and your attention to detail is second to none.
    This infuriating.
    So, why trust this painter to fix it?
    You have come too far.
    Fire and file – a complaint with BBB and AG.
    I am in Metro West and can recommend Chris Audley,Paint by Design ( Concord based).
    He is brilliant and immaculate and does a lot of work in your neighborhood…plus he is a true gentleman and a scholar.
    He knows paints, undertones, surface prep being key and maintenance of an immaculate work site.
    Also, he would NEVER rush between coats.

    I built my home in 1978 and have added on and remodeled several times…I have seen my fair share of painters in the area.
    Some have been horrible!
    I will share names, if needed.
    But, I can give an in qualified recommendation to only one other than Chris.
    Chris did our entire interior in the past 4 years, si I have recent experience with him.
    Good luck.

  30. Hi Laurel,

    I hope you feel better. Your prayer of giving it up to God is actually a prayer given by Jesus to a saint (Dolindo Ruotulo): “I abandon myself to you. Take care of everything!” And He does take care of things for you, as we have experienced. Hugs to you!

    Renovating is not for the weak of heart!

    Hang on! In the end it will be beautiful. We are rooting praying for you.
    Thanks for the beautiful music, to you, and your blog.

  31. I’m hoping, once this is done, that this experience will be like giving birth and you will forget all the pain you went through to have something beautiful that you love and adore. Stick to your guns. Your standards aren’t unrealistic. There have to be some craftsmen still out there, with your values, who would be thrilled to use their expertise to help you bring your dream to reality. I have found older workers are much more meticulous about their work. They take pride in showcasing their talents and understand the treasure of restoring historic properties to their glory.

  32. We are in a different market, and yet the contractor on our new build at one point made a comment similar to Robert’s. Our home is a custom build. We had it built remotely by a builder with an excellent reputation. After we signed the contract, his adult son moved back home. The contractor made the son, with no former experience, the project manager for our home. There was no quality control performed on our project, and the subs cut corners, performed sloppy work, and installed obviously defective materials. When we moved in, all of the defects began to surface. Early in the process of resolving the punch list items, our contractor became annoyed with us and claimed that “everyone lost money on our job.” Yep, that’s unprofessional. However, prior to our signing the contract, the subs all submitted their bids to do the work. We accepted the contract based on the bids that the subs submitted. If they under bid the work, that’s their fault, not ours. We still have a contract that the contractor has a legal responsibility to fulfill. We broke ground in June, 2020. We are still waiting for several punch list items to be performed. The contractor thinks his one-year warranty on our house has expired. Our attorney has told us that per our contract, we are actually still considered to be in the construction phase of the contract. The warranty period has technically not started yet. We have a small balance due, which we will not pay until after the punch list is completed. The problems have been so extensive that we have had to settle for some things that we would rather have not accepted. But some repairs would potentially cause more damage to things that are currently ok. My husband has had to come behind the subs and repair/complete their work after paying A LOT of money to have this house built. This is not how my husband had planned to spend his retirement. Generally, the house is lovely, but my husband hates it. (He is currently regrouting the master bath shower, because there are large sections where there is no grout.)
    Our experience has been extremely disappointing. The advantage you have is that you are able to catch things while major construction is still in progress. But it is still discouraging and highly frustrating that you can’t rely on professionals to do their jobs properly.

  33. Oh man, Laurel. This is so, so bad. It hurts my eyes to look at it. I am not a designer, but I am a property manager and when contractors do a poor job, this is my method. I don’t tell you this because I’m great and you’re not. I bow down to your amazing and impressive skill, knowledge, class and overall bad-ass-ness. I only offer this to you humbly. I always make first contact with a phone call and I keep my tone friendly, but I let them know there is a problem and we need to work together to figure out next steps. Then I insist on a face-to-face meeting onsite. We move from flaw to flaw and talk about what they will do to fix it. We agree on a timeline and then afterwards I formalize everything in an email. My approach is always, “let’s figure this out” and 99% of the time this works really well for me. I am so sad looking at those photos and I am praying for a good result for you.

  34. What Robert said was inexcusable. He bit off more than he can chew with your job. Rather than leaning in, learning, and being a professional, he’s throwing a tantrum and blaming you. It’s impossible to work with that kind of emotional immaturity. Leaves you in a difficult position. Soooooo glad you’re firing the painter. Too bad you can’t also fire the GC.
    Thanks for Jonah Ho. What a delight!

  35. Laurel, now days from having read the first post on the paint debacle, I am with ‘Laura from Birmingham’ – my jaw is (still) on the ground. Every day since my thoughts have traveled to you and your home, and all of the heart and skill you’ve put into it. In reading the passionate responses from other commenters here, I am certain most have also continued to daily send good thoughts your way.

    I am beginning a completely unanticipated total kitchen gut job. What you share has become even more deeply meaningful. I could not have begun to pay for the knowledge you share, nor would I have had a clue as to where to find it. You are a gem, and a trooper.

    BTW, I did write a thoughtful reply on Sunday morning around 5am, and must’ve fallen back to sleep and deleted it! As others have expressed, health considerations for YOU are primary in my concern. I fully recognize there is a budget here, and picking up and moving out is not an option. Without you, there is no anticipatory joy to be discovered in this massive and involved process. We value you; your historic apartment needs you. Take good care of YOU!

    You mentioned Robert’s comment about losing his shirt on this contract. I cry B.S.!!! When and IF this was the case, or approaching that point, you would have heard about it LONG before. No doubt you have greater knowledge than most other clients, AND you are not afraid to stand your ground, and challenge him. This takes time, for him, (and for you). I suspect that’s rather novel for him. What a bone-head. I know I’m name-calling, but, I’m being very polite.

    And yay to that condenser at ground level! When I saw the photo, I ‘heard’ Cindy Lauper singing the first line of “At Last”…

  36. I have never seen such a horribly botched paint job such as what was done in your home. Please fire the painter. I would not even trust him to properly sand the woodwork to prepare for a new application of paint. Prep work takes the most effort and time in a good paint job. A competent painter will be able to correct the hideous mistakes the first painter made. Take courage and be strong – you will get through this latest setback. I have been so amazed and delighted at the transformation of your home because of your exceptional design talent. You have a huge following cheering you on. Be strengthened and encouraged and carry on!

  37. There is a wonderful saying I like…”give it to God and go to sleep!”
    You are in the “home stretch”, don’t give into discouragement, and go to sleep. I know God’s awake anyway 🙏

  38. Laurel, I’m sorry this happened. However, as your GC is doing a good job – though, yes, with much oversight and direction from you, it seems reasonable to continue to work through this with him.

    Most important, given the scope of work, your design skills, and what you have accomplished so far, I hope you feel good about how much you have accomplished. I admire you for taking on a project of this magnitude. Not a “gut renovation,” or a “re-muddle,” but a rehabilitation of a historic home, with thoughtful, period-appropriate design that embraces character-defining historical features.

    I am going through my own renovation (a 1966 MCM, 1,400 sf condo) and your posts have been very helpful. And have encouraged me when I hit my lows. Hopefully I’m in the final phase, but everyday brings new challenges I work in historic preservation, however on the financing side so don’t have your professional design skills. And this is my first renovation project-my learning curve was steep, there have been bumps, and still feel very unsure! But I’m pushing forward and working with an architect-designer, so am cautiously optimistic that in the end, this will be a successful period-appropriate design. Hopefully at least a “B minus”.

    Given that this is my first project, I will use what I am learning to get better for my next project. And perhaps, whether for me or others who are daunted by taking on a renovation, find a team of professionals that embrace the design and architectural elements of historic properties and goid design, and will take on smaller projects like ours.

    I look forward to your posts, and offer my thanks and admiration for what you are doing. Few have your talent and skills. To share the full story with us is so very appreciated. As another commenter said, “it is reassuring to know that someone as “discerning” and talented as yourself has also had some mishaps..”.

    Looking forward to seeing how you resolve the painting issue, and all the other twists and turns you encounter on the way to the finished project. It will be fabulous.

    All the best,

  39. I agree with a previous poster about the BM paint curing time. We are slowly remodeling our house, and I am painting the trim myself with those exact products in Simply White. You do not have a long time to get a coat on before it dries, and it really needs a couple days to recoat, or the paint drags and looks rough. I too prefer oil paint!

  40. Replying to Donna M.

    I think you have hit the proverbial nail precisely. Once a contractor sours on you, the homeowner, things go from bad to worse. The final straw may have been the kitchen tile fiasco.

    Isn’t the GC responsible for telling the painters when to come? And indeed, why are your floors not covered completely? Is there a professional type vacuum on the premises?

    After all this construction going on for months and months, there should have been a thorough shop vacuum and shouldn’t the walls and woodwork have all been washed?.

    I don’t know what the projected finish date is now, but please insist they take the time to do things correctly.

    What lout is your GC going to bring in to do your extensive wallpapering, including the mural/s? I would be terrified. You should vet that person to the nth degree.

    Why would they even start painting when there are so many other construction details to finish given how much dust you have been living with? Logic seems to direct them to finish construction, then clean up, then start painting.

    Contractors are now suspect in a way they were not, say, 25 years ago.

    I think you need to confront the souring issue with your GC. He may have come to believe your exacting standards are in the way of his profit. The fact that various workmen disappear for vacations without even notifying you is a big message.

    Your place is going to be a showstopper. I agree that whenever I see that kitchen, I drool with envy.

    Perhaps getting Cole to be present for a serious meeting would back off these sexist men who think they can push women around. I don’t recommend this tactic except in these precise circumstances when we are deal with a less than sophisticated male cohort. Not that the sophisticated male cohorts are fundamentally better, they are not.

  41. You didn’t exaggerate. What a shame to ruin nice carpentry work with such a horrendous paint job!

  42. In all of my years and 6 homes I have only had a perfectionist painter who painted for me in 2 homes. I have found most painters are not perfectionist. I am a very good picky painter, I sand walls and rub my hand over all of the surfaces to make sure there are no bumps, flaws are filled and sanded. Walls are cleaned before I do any painting. A good paint makes all the difference and most people do not understand the difference between a poor or superior paint. I am so surprised your GC did not tell the painter that you were extremely detailed and picky and it had to be perfect.
    I have found that sometimes we think that everyone knows how to do things correctly when in fact you have to be very clear how you want something done. If possible it is best to be home to oversee their work. I have had too many contractors or an experienced handyman that when you come home you find their errors. I know we all cannot be home – we have to work.
    I hate to say it but some are just lazy and think you won’t notice.
    I don’t know how you are surviving, it seems to me you have had more problems than things going smoothly.
    I would make sure you tell the painter exactly how you expect the job to look. Spell it out to him.
    I feel so many feel your pain.

  43. I am very particular about the quality of paint finishes. So my heart goes out to you. I am also a designer and I remodeled my home from 2018 to 2020. Yes, it took 2 years. But a lesson I had to learn the hard way is that once a contractor has gone “bad,” the best course of action is to set them free. There is something that happens to their psyche. They know that they have done an inferior job, and from my experience, they become bitter towards the person pointing that out. Even though there will be consequences to your timeline, I would not trust that this painter is going to be conscientious about the job, knowing how much time and material he has lost. Most likely, he will do it begrudgingly and not with the sense of particularity you are looking for. Regardless of the lost time and perhaps some lost money, my experience has always been to set them free to mitigate even further problems.

  44. Ask for ANOTHER painter!! DO NOT let this Bryan guy ‘fix’ it, because he will not be able to, obviously this is how far his talents go, so he’ll make an even bigger disaster. Robert will have to bring in a real painter or paint this himself to make it right. We just finished a big interior paint job and the crew (all Brazilians) were excellent, most did not speak any English, but they all painted like Picasso, of all our crews the painters were the best, covered every inch of the floor with heavy paper and taped it down all around, not a scratch anywhere and no drips. I still don’t understand why they are not covering your floors properly with paper and tape all around? But hang in there, courage mon brave, I’m sure it will be fixed!

  45. Oh, I would be SO INSANELY ANGRY!!! How DARE he! He is a professional painter. He KNEW the minute he arrived on site that if he painted in that dusty environment, he would create a horrid mess. HE KNEW and he intentionally did this to your home. I am so sorry for you, Laurel.

  46. So discouraging, disappointing and loss of respect for these guys, who call themselves professionals totally unacceptable and definitely not professional. What can you do…but keep going and try to put it all in perspective and get what you have paid for. You may consider filing a claim with the Contractor’s Licensing Board in New York. I had to do this after major issues with a contractor who did unrepairable damage to our historic home. You are in my prayers.

  47. Oh my goodness…I feel your pain and frustration. I hope you continue with updates on the solution. Our contractors painter did the same types of things (dust, dirt, splatters, bubbles, etc.) on our custom build. I am ready to redo the entire house…but not sure how to fix all the issues. Thank you!

  48. Laurel – I’ve been following (and not commenting) for a LONG time. I love your taste and your care going into all that you do. I am commenting now because, well…I’m just sick to my stomach having seen this. I’ve seen shoddy work (I’m a Realtor and serial remodeler) but I don’t think I’ve seen anything as bad as this. It creeps me out to imagine someone did this deliberately. I’m just so effing sorry! Deep breaths and MORE patience. If it were me I’d try to step away for a bit and get a break, but if it were me, I wouldn’t be ABLE to! Grrrrr.

  49. I feel your pain! I have struggled finding a good painter lately. There is so much sloppy work out there, it’s hard to find someone who really has good paint skills. I have a new painter that still uses oil and he hand painted all of my new built ins-they came out great, but the prep took forever (as it does if done properly). Hope your luck turns around soon! It will be beautiful when it’s done! Tracy

  50. Strength to you, dear Laurel…
    More time and more dust to come
    Hoping your wonderful GC will provide a different painter…
    How the painter treats his work materials is a clue to his work…
    does it really matter what drug/state of mind…
    the carelessness – if you continue with his, can he be supervised from the start?
    Aggravated for you … wishing you calm vibes…

  51. Horrible! I’m so sorry you are going through this. I don’t think I’m ever going to hire another contractor again if I can avoid it. I haven’t had a good outcome with any contractor I’ve hired lately.

  52. Laurel, my god woman, if’n I had a tropical island retreat I’d invite you to decompress there! Because after the hell you’ve gone thru you deserve some AMAZING down time– I know, I know–you’ll want to revel in your *finally finish renovation* but you certainly need it. You go you Titan!

  53. I first looked at your photos on my iPhone late last night – like 3am (I’m in Montana – can’t go to sleep till I look). Looking again this morning on my PC (with a big screen) and I’m kind of sick to my stomach for you. I had something similar happen when I built my house – but only on the garage ceiling. When I complained the painter’s comment was “it’s only a garage”. But, but, but, I’ve never had a nice garage! I just wanted a really nice garage! Hang in there Laurel.

  54. I am still not going to tell you about the six month horror I am going through in my home. Maybe when it is closer to being resolved, but here is a hint: I am going to have to completely move out for the fix. Yes, every stick of my belongings and for at least a month. That would be the happy ending for my story.

    As to your current issue, I would not trust this painter to come in and sand!!! He could ruin your mouldings!

    Insist the GC find someone new to fix this. Perhaps one person to do the sanding and another to do the painting. But only after all the finish carpentry is done. This is bad scheduling with all that equipment in the way. Even someone who was trying to be careful would have a problem.

    Originally, you had another GC whose schedule could not accommodate you. How about calling him and getting some advice, including some referrals?

  55. Laurel; I’m proud of you for keeping your act together while having to relive this disaster by documenting and sharing it with all of us. You would have been justified in taking action that could land you in jail. I know that you will do your best to have the situation rectified to your standards.

  56. OMFG! No wonder you were so distraught a few days ago. Thinking first that they hurt your FP, then your floors, it never occurred to me that this level of incompetency could even exist. It is jaw droppingly terrible. I feel so bad for you. I’ve remodeled every house I’ve owned and have never had such a terrible result from any sub. I would have wept. The process of remodeling is so personal and time consuming and really means so much to our psyche. This is your home, and should be a safe and beautiful place for you and, so close to the end, it came crashing down. Don’t they know what you do for a living? You’d think they would all bring their A game. Anyway, big hugs to you, my favorite designer, and deep breaths going forward. It will be beautiful.

  57. Laurel, this is the worst paint job I’ve ever seen. I would bet you a trained monkey Bryan didn’t paint that. Bryan let his kid make a little moolah in the summer (or his wife’s third cousin who needs money for a lawyer to fight a drug charge). As the mother of an addict, I know how my son would do that job–paint and get the work part over with so he could get on with the getting money and getting high part. Bryan now has to swallow his pride and take responsibility (and ultimately it is certainly his responsibility) and re-do the job. I have a solid mean streak in me, deep down. I wouldn’t be able to resist watching Bryan strip off that paint with a heat gun. Two or three inches at a time. For days.

  58. Honestly, Laurel, I have Never seen such a horrible job from Anyone – much less a “professional”. I applaud you for keeping your cool. None of what we’re seeing makes any sense, especially if your painting contractor is claiming he & his professional team completed the job. Instead, it looks almost as if he handed the job over to some of his neighborhood pre-teens in exchange for a pizza party.

  59. Nancy J’s reference to Scottie Scheffler is hilarious but apt! (I’ve got him in my golf pool and the other ladies in it are sooooo jealous)
    This blog has taught me so many useful things and I greatly admire your creative responses to setbacks. You are the Scottie Scheffler of Interior Design!

  60. I can’t even think of anything to say that hasn’t already been said. I was so shocked, that when I gasped out loud, my husband thought someone died. There had to be drugs involved- I am the worlds worst painter- and those picture make my painting look immaculate hugs to you- I’m sure Robert has a plan to remedy this… your home will be incredibly beautiful- and I really think a book is a great idea!

  61. Dear Laurel,

    I’m so sorry for your paint disaster. With our new construction, we did not have the best experience with the builder’s painters but we did not have anything close to the disaster you are experiencing. Our painters had their screw ups but I think most had to do with improper supervision. The lead guy was never here and most of the guys could not speak English. And, inside the house my issue was that they created problems for the other subs and they would not listen when it came to using the paint brand specified. Fortunately, the builder did let me use my choice painter for special staining throughout.

    I can appreciate how frustrating this is!!! It’s just something else to delay completion; I do so sympathize..

  62. About the painted surface being like sandpaper:
    I had the same thing happen to me a few weeks ago! My huge 25’ x 10’custom-built cabinet wall unit, with fireplace mantel, shelving and wainscoting, was primed and then painted with Ben Moore Advance Satin in Chantilly Lace to match all the other millwork in my house. So I know what Satin in this color should look like. Well, this wasn’t that!
    …when it was done, we also got a sandpaper surface. All over this huge expensive wall unit.
    After much research and talking to the Ben Moore people, what we think happened is that our painter didn’t wait long enough between coats before applying the second and third coat with his sprayer. A very helpful woman at the Ben Moore store told me you must wait 17 hours between all coats. Otherwise it will look grainy. After talking to my painter, he said he sprayed 3 coats in one day, only waiting until the previous coat was dry to the touch. So apparently it is imperative to wait a day between coats for the best results. Now I get to sand it down, and put a new coat on myself. Living and learning can get expensive and exhausting!

  63. Heartbreaking, maddening, disappointing and frustrating!
    I’ve been remodeling my 90’s house, it is taking YEARS and it is effin’ frustrating! Shaved years off of my life.
    If I see another HGTV remodeling show that makes it look easy, with ridiculously cheap estimates (lies!), and done fast…I will literally break my tv.

  64. Wow, Laurel! It’s unfortunate that you weren’t there at the beginning of this debacle. Any idiot knows to clean all surfaces before painting. You use a tack cloth or if necessary wash with TSP and wipe down. Especially, if you are painting latex over oil based enamel. I’m don’t really even know how you can fix this! It also looks they rolled it on and didn’t even brush back on any of the trim. I figured out how to do that after some idiot rolled a door in my house!
    I would demand a complete refund because now, you have to fix it before anything else can be done!
    Patience, my darling!

  65. What in the actual eFF??? Like other commenters, I was actually sick to my stomach looking at that mess. I, personally, am an awful painter but my crappy work looks stellar in comparison.

  66. Oh Laurel,
    I am so sorry…I can imagine how utterly frustrating this must be! It’s like 4 steps backward for every one forward. I hope that it gets fixed properly. I have been planning to paint the ceiling in my kitchen a very similar colour to the one in your living room. It’s lovely!
    Hang in there, and do take whatever mental-health boosting actions are needed.

  67. What the …????? I’ve never seen painting this bad! What a terrible blow. That you can still see the positive, and have a little humour, is a testament to your fortitude and professionalism. Good luck with the meeting tomorrow and I hope the clean up is not too long and painful a process. Big, big hugs.

  68. This is painful to look at and think of your beautiful vision mismanaged so carelessly. It’s actually shocking how poor it is. I personally wouldn’t let him continue. I’m dealing with a different disaster issue at my home and actually texting this from my car because I can’t go inside. We’ve been displaced for 3 weeks now due to a cleaning company using Orange Glo on all my floors including marble! It caused terrible health issues for me including confusion, memory issues, agitation, migraines My doctor told me to get out of the house. My blood work shows very high levels of inflammation. I’ve since learned this product was banned in California due to tragic side effects. If a company settles a lawsuit they don’t have to admit guilt and can continue to sell it in states that haven’t banned it. If you’re pregnant or have small children be warned. We just had the floors refinished in a way that supposedly pulls out the oil from the wood. But the floor guy used an oil base stain on the stairs which was not approved!! After I told him I can’t tolerate oil based products. So we’re delayed moving back in again. All of our furniture clothing etc. are in pods. Laurel please consider living elsewhere while the sanding takes place. Please consider a post-construction company to clean who run air scrubbers to collect dust. Also your heating and a/c ducts. Best to you

  69. I, like many others, feel your pain. What has happened to contractors who take pride in their work?

  70. That looks like total crap. Unbelievable. I am so sorry. I would be in danger of needing a lawyer for causing physical harm to the dude but also bc I would sue the crap out of him. 😂. Looks like he had lots of work to do to make it right.

  71. We met a painter like that, too! I happened to see him paint over a dust bunny when he was doing a baseboard corner. I stopped him immediately, and he said it was my job to let him find clean surfaces ready to be painted. It smelled of incompetence, but I started cleaning like crazy. I did fire him, though, when I saw he was painting a set of stained and lacquered wood French doors without having sanded them beforehand. At least he brought in a first-rate carpenter, who did a marvelous job with crown moulding and a weird baseboard situation in our living room – I’m just glad I fired the painter before he could ruin that too!

    This is a heavy blow for you, it’s hard when we see someone treat callously and incompetently something we dearly love. As others have said, it’s also hard to believe it can happen even with a professional painter entering a historic Boston property. I’m sure you’ll find the right way to deal with this!

  72. This paint job is exactly like the paint in college apartments— where the student grabs paint and rolls it everywhere to get his deposit back. While hungover. Hoping it dries before the landlord arrives.

    I hope you get everything fixed soon.

  73. Laurel, I am so very sorry this happened.

    TLDR: this painter is completely unreliable and unsafe. My unsolicited observation/experience/advice (to be freely rejected) do not continue with him; do not allow in property. Have contractor gather his personal property and hand it over on the sidewalk.

    •This work continued over hours and hours and day(s). Even if this painter “fixes” his work is this person safe? Why do we believe he will spend even more hours fixing and repainting without harming property or people regardless of his mental/behavioral status then or now. What is to prevent him vandalizing or damaging your home and work done by the contractor.

  74. Oh my dear Laurel, these paint finishes are unaccceptable for sure. Even I say that, and I’m rather casual about construction issues. I guess I can afford to be that way because my own painter is quite meticulous and that is DH.

    I do not understand how this painter, knowing your eagle eye for quality, could produce this product

  75. My stomach was churning as I looked at these photos. Granted, these are first world problems, but there is NO excuse for such poor workmanship! My heart goes out to you. This is unacceptable. Hang in there. The day WILL come when this will all be a distant memory as you enjoy your beautiful and lovingly created oasis.

  76. Laurel, I can’t really add anything to these lovely and caring notes, but I will say that I’m so very sorry. And so afraid. We just purchased (along with my sister and BIL) a 1952 Mid Century home, which is in its original state. There will be an unbelievable amount of work involved to make it livable. It was designed and built by a prominent architect in Houston, so I feel it’s a treasure that shouldn’t be overly modernized. I’m terrified of going through this after the setbacks and trauma you’ve endured.
    I pray that by the time you’re settled, we’ll be started on the work (with some amazing carpenter) and I can watch as you (finally!) relax, satisfied and happy, in your wonderful gem of a home.
    Thank you for all you do!

  77. We are the same age so perhaps you’ve seen Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

    I’m thinking of Joan Crawford’s face when she lifted the pretty silver cloche and saw what was for lunch…

    I’m sad for all the innocent parties involved here but mostly for you, and I very much appreciate you continually lifting the rock to share what can happen no matter how clear the instruction. When this project is done, and it will be, it will be so lovely and so custom.
    This record of what it’s taken to get there is so valuable. Thank you!

  78. We are all learning from these disappointing and time-consuming critical errors. Many of us have experienced substandard results but at a much lower price point. It’s hard for me to comprehend how this would happen with higher end professionals. Additionally, are they not aware that you are passing these experiences along to a large audience with photos and commentary? (By the way, how you have maintained your hilarious sense of humor during this long and stressful process is beyond comprehension!) That’s what blows my mind. You are so detailed and knowledgeable and yes, “discerning” and none of these traits should have escaped these craftsmen by now! So a huge “thank you” for allowing us to see how you process mistakes, setbacks, and unavoidable changes—often costing money as well as precious time. You HAVE to let them know, and cannot remain silent. Hey, I’m not one to send back a less-than-hot $3 cup of coffee, but this is not THAT!

    Hang in there. Love that you celebrate the successes in the midst of this. That stairway, for one! Amazing! The kitchen—gorgeous! All of us readers have our favorite changes. You are overseeing a huge project, all while telling us about nitty-gritty details. THANK YOU!

    But I swear, if you get to the end of your rope and paint a skull ANYWHERE in your beautiful apartment, we will ALL know who’s taken to drugs!!

  79. I am concerned by you being labeled “discerning” for wanting what I would consider work warranted to be performed in a “professional and workmanlike manner in accordance with generally recognized industry standards for similar services”, as we generally write in contracts for professional services. But, what the freak do I know? I’m just a lawyer that’s been writing contracts for a zillion years . . . . Don’t let these guys gaslight you. You are a reasonable consumer. NOT DIISCERNING.

  80. Oh my……arms around you first! Unfortunately, we’ve all been through it. The painter is impaired and was hired at the last minute (i.e. the only one left due to his problem) by a GC who can’t stay on schedule. I pray that you’ve built in contingency $ and haven’t paid the CG his profit nor for work not performed yet. This industry is rife with incompetencies and in dire need of a correction. Hopefully your “new book” will shine light on some needed regulation.

    I’ve followed your blog since inception. Your humor and talent are a delightful combination. In gratitude, I’m happy to assist you with my car, house, whatever.. I’m only 10 miles out of Boston. Paint runs come to mind. Never let them buy it! (BM Satin Impervo was my go to, now FB and FPE.)

    No doubts you will persevere and your grande dame will be glorious!!

  81. OMG! That is not even an acceptable paint job for someone that had never painted–let alone a professional painter!!!

    What a mess–I know it will be fixed but WHAT A MESS!!!

    My guess is drugs-I’m sure your GC would never have recommended him if this was the quality of work he did –but either way it is a big setback for you.
    I’m so sorry that all these problems are rearing their ugly heads-hang in, it will all be worth it in the end (assuming you manage to hold on to your sanity)

  82. Yikes! That’s so bad it seems deliberate and I don’t envy the one/s who have to try and sand it out. I would bet my next paycheck the painter was trying to substitute a cheaper paint and pocket the difference. I hope your GC is watching the painters like a hawk as they redo their work. I know painters are scarce but I’d push for hiring somebody else. I had painters from CertaPro who did better work. I’m so sorry.

  83. Hi Laurel. I am astounded at the shockingly shoddy work. Why in heaven’s name the painter thought he should paint dusty dirty surfaces is beyond me. I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Blindness, substance abuse, rage, who knows? No excuse for that lack of professional judgement.

    If it’s any comfort to you, I believe your job has given your GC and his carpenters new skills and ideas and they should thank you. It sounds like your GC is suffering from the renovation fatigue that plagues homeowners when a project has gone on for a long time. It’s his job to take the worry off your shoulders and supervise his contractors. Maybe this will serve as a wakeup call for him and he will snap out of it.

    Hang in there.

  84. We built our home ourselves but occasionally needed help. I call them CON tracters, conning you any way they can to exploit more money. Disgusting, my heart goes out to you.

  85. I am not a professional, but I could have done a better job, for that matter a 12 yr old could have.

    You forgot to say on top of everything else you have been sick which is just another thing to add to your woes. Take what people say with a grain of salt, no one knows what you are going thru totally but you!

    One day when it is all finished and you look back, you may be able to laugh about it! I’m sure right now that is the furthest thing from your mind.

    I saw the railing in your last post, OH MY how absolutely gorgeous, black and gold combo is my fave and I can’t wait to see it installed, I know you can’t wait.

    I have planned to use opal essence on my dining room ceiling, which will be a tray ceiling and the walls painted BM Grenada Villa! I have been reading your blog for probably 10 years, so I have learned well!

    Always expect the unexpected as they say and press on!
    Cindy

  86. Omg!!! I am so sorry This is outrageous
    I can only imagine how upset and angry you are with this job
    Something is terribly wrong with him and hope your GC can find someone else qualified to paint after your nut painter corrects his mess

  87. Oh and I forgot to say….we insisted the GC bring in another painter as I did not want to see the other painters faces ever again in this life. LOL!

  88. Oh Laurel…I HATE this for you & I know the gut wrenching feeling you had upon seeing this disaster. It is the finished product of painting that you notice every single day. My experience: I came in to see paint literally dripping down the walls and base boards like icing on a cake. They painted in our house undergoing reconstruction post fire and there was no HVAC so the paint melted off the drywall in the cold of winter. Of course, we halted the painters immediately & sent pics to the GC. It’s very difficult to sand paint off especially any caulked areas. We had to have sheetrock redone and baseboards replaced to start over in many areas. Regarding the paint itself. I asked them to put the job as “my name” at the local BM store. All of our molding and bookcases (a lot of molding-columns, etc..) is Advance Gloss Simply White. I told the painters I wanted to see the cans or the 5 gallon buckets before they opened (time consuming for 5000 sq ft and lots of different colors/sheens). The reasons I did this was to check with the BM store to see how much paint they ordered and verify all the colors, etc. & because I’ve had your same experience and heard of painters diluting paint with water to extend it. This is going to be a lot of work to correct if correctable at all and I just hate it since like you said “It was easily avoidable” and I’ll add “very hard to correct”….I know this makes you sick to your stomach. I still look and notice so many areas where they painted over dust and debris (even though I said a million times to clean before painting). LAZY is the only excuse I can think of because unless you are blind you have to be able to see that you are painting on top of dirt!! Girl….I just hate it! It literally does make you want to do everything yourself.

  89. This painter has proven he is not up to the job. You know, when someone tells you who they are, believe them (thank you, Maya Angelou). If you received a terrible haircut, would you return to the same hairdresser to fix it? Hopefully, not. This painter has shown you that he is not only a terrible painter, but also doesn’t care about the quality of his work. You need to cut your losses and find a new painter. It will be worth waiting for. There will be a lot of sanding and scraping to make this right. Better to entrust this effort to someone who knows how to do it correctly – and not damage the underlying structure. What a mess. Inexcusable!!!

  90. Good morning Laurel,
    I’m anxious to find out how this will be resolved. This is just so so bad. I also wonder if the painter bought the sub-par paint with the intention of charging you for the Advance. And pocketing the difference. It’s been known to happen.
    Please share with us what it took to calm your nerves after seeing this mess. Was it wine? Gummies? A big bowl of ice cream? Knowing you, you probably took a long walk. 😉
    On a positive note, I truly love your ceiling color. I think painting the ceiling a pale color with white walls is brilliant! It’s so lovely.
    Hang in there my friend. If I have to I’ll put on my fightin’ pants for ya.

  91. Laurel, I am so sorry for all of this.

    My experience with situations like this (albeit on a smaller scale) leads me to gently suggest hiring someone who does know painting 101, and who you are comfortable with. I think the current guy would do a bit and then just not show up. I know money is an issue, but removing this guy means removing some variables–like time to completion– that may impact your bottom line.

    This is a difficult decision. Sorry for how painful this is, for you. I’ll send a prayer; you don’t need more angst.

    Traderette

  92. Oh my goodness, your trim carpenter has to be as upset as you are! It’s taken such work to even reach this point. Like so many projects two steps forward, three steps back. It will be gorgeous eventually!

  93. This is so bad as to possibly seem deliberate. I’m wondering if the painter has a vengeance against the contractor who hired him. Couldn’t be worse if they tried!
    I’d be in a puddle on the floor. So sorry for you.
    Guess you’re going to have to vigilantly be present to supervise the start of every new sub-contractor’s work.

  94. That paint job doesn’t even rise to the level of bad amateur beginner.
    If I were Robert, I’d be conducting an investigation to find out how this happened, and I’d put the fear of God into the sub so that it doesn’t happen again.
    All my sympathy!

  95. Oh my, I know how you feel, the same thing happened to me. I hired a contractor to do renovations and of course I needed to paint. He recommended painters who came in and did not prep at all!!!! We had taken a wall down and refinished floors and there was dust…and the dust was painted over and there were spills on the new floor. I had to find a new painter, who was amazing! Our new painter, David Reese, was spectacular and kind. The house now looks great!!!!!!! It was a process!

  96. A blind painter could have done better because they at least have an astute sense of touch and would know something was wrong on the first stroke! This man should be drug tested. Seriously.
    I will certainly never see my husband’s less than perfect
    painting the same!
    We all need to send prayers of protection for Laurel’s home, that it will be completely finished with
    no more disasters, disappointments or delays.

  97. Wow, just WOW, no professional painter would do this. I think the real painter sent his brother-in-law in or somebody to cover for him. I was shocked looking at those pictures.

  98. Up to ten years ago (am age 78 years old) always did my own interior painting and cannot believe that someone would even consider this job as professional. On that note; agree with you Laurel that it is totally unacceptable. -Brenda-

  99. Ultimately the G C responsibility.
    Your stress level must be off the charts
    I would be sick inside.
    So sorry….. painter should not have been brought in until everything and everyone done, packed up, cleaning crew to help clean up sawdust etc..

    They want out of there…. Clearly….

    My heart aches for you…… been there….
    Find another painter.
    Your current GC pays for it.
    I wouldn’t let that painter in my house with a paint by numbers kit.

  100. This is just maddening! There are mistakes and then there is shoddy work…we all know what this is!

  101. Just the pictures alone give me anxiety. Makes me wonder if the painter brought an inexperienced crew in and then left. Although that doesn’t explain him not using your specified paint.
    All that beautiful work . . . Someone has ALOT of finishing and sanding to do.
    I am so sorry that happened. Seeing the paint go on is supposed to be a happy part. Hugs

  102. I would have quite literally died. I can’t even stand to look at this on an iPad let alone real life. I’m at a loss for words!

  103. Oh man Laurel! Just wow – OMG. I would have been sobbing and incoherent if I had walked into what you posted. Pro painters don’t do what it appears this painter did. I had a 2-man team of Brazilians – just like the one you mention in your post – who were amazing. I had wallpaper removed in all the rooms as well as covering up a sponge paint job in the family room (please don’t judge it was the 90’s when I decided to have that done) – and these two spent 3+ days prepping: stripping, sanding, wiping and vacuuming before they even pulled a brush out to prime. Plus I had window film on the front windows they painstakingly removed for me. And they left a clean and neat work site each night. So yes, per those pictures something had to be up with your painter. Am glad you have Brendan as your GC. Looking forward to your next post. PS: tar and feathering the painter seems appropriate, albeit not legal in our time.

  104. Bad painters rush in where angels fear to tread! This is like watching Scottie Scheffler 3-putt or hit it in the water — hard to watch but instructive on how to manage a brilliant recovery. Thank you for letting us watch!

  105. Omg, Laurel! I’m gobsmacked. I can’t even imagine that this would pass muster with ANY GC. Robert, for whatever reason, is just not on top of this and yes, he should be (as you and everyone else had said). And the mess he left behind… no excuses, sorry. Good painters are meticulous and we all know that you are very aware of that as well. This must have broken your heart, seeing this.

    I am not certain if I’d even let this incompetent back on site. If substance abuse is the issue, there could be additional damage inflicted if they aren’t in their right mind. Just a thought on that.

    But yes, ultimately Robert has to fix this. And if I were in your shoes I’d get that paint checked to make certain it is what it should be. (Take some from the can and match it against the swatch? I’m sure there is a way to determine that due to the base tone of the paint). I’d have trust issues going forward for sure.
    I’m so sorry you are going through this.

  106. My heart breaks for you. There are simply no words for this. The end result is all about the details and some of the subs don’t seem to get that. I cry and sigh for your situation. However every time I see the rendering, or now pictures of the view into the kitchen/front hallway I smile. That curved cabinet does it for me every time. Keep your eye on the prize – you will get there. I will offer no advice or amateur suggestions. You’ve got this! You have what it takes! You are the professional with what I feel is the perfect eye for design and also for those pesky details that will ultimately present a most lovely home. I hope you consider a book about your process with before, during and beautiful pictures of the after. If so, it will be on my coffee table.

  107. Omg..Laurel! I think I would’ve started to cry walking in and seeing this. I too can’t imagine why he would carry on painting seeing the mess he was making. Makes me wonder how long it’s has been since your contractor had used him. Something is strange about that. I had flashbacks from when we built our home in 2018. One day after everyone had left I walked around our home. The painters had painted our living room and all the walls up the stairs. I started noticing spots on the wall where the rollers had missed. There was no lights in the house yet, so I had my big flashlight and started shining it on the walls and there were so many places with paint missing. I took pieces of painters tape and started marking every spot. It took me hours. The next morning the contractor and his crew and the painters came in and couldn’t figure out what the heck happened. There was green tape everywhere! And if you can believe my contractor got mad at me and gave me a dressing down. I told him off and our relationship went down hill in a big hurry after that. However, it all got fixed and finished and life carried on. Yours will too, but I guess you will have to keep an eye on the painter now. Also, are those paint splatters on the floor as well? Aren’t they new floors or newly refinished? Ugh!

  108. Oh, Laurel, my heart goes out to you. A bad paint job can ruin a good project, and you definitely have a bad paint job on your hands.
    For what it is worth, you are not alone. In 2020 we took on two projects. We remodeled a small condo and we built our primary residence – in two different cities. In both cases, the jobs were ruined by bad paint jobs. In my experience, once a paint job has been done poorly, it is difficult to locate all of the defects and get them properly repaired. My best advice is to closely examine EVERYTHING using a a portable light, and mark all of the defects with blue tape. When the painters have completed their repairs, go back with the portable light and examine everything. In our house, we have white woodwork. The painters used white putty to make repairs, and they missed painting a lot of the repairs because the putty was close to the same color as the woodwork.
    I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. Stay strong, and don’t settle!

  109. This paint job is beyond reprehensible. I can’t imagine finding this! I would have been physically sick. I am speechless about the fact a “professional painter” would even start a job with dust everywhere, not to mention continue throwing on paint when anyone can clearly see the mess he is making. Did he honestly think this was okay and you wouldn’t notice???? I don’t know how he’ll ever make some of this right. Sanding some of the details may be nearly impossible or destroy them. You are right to be upset. This was totally avoidable. You shouldn’t have to be dealing with this. Your GC may be a nice guy, but his oversight of his crews is lacking or they don’t respect him. You shouldn’t be the one finding this. He should have been there to see how it was going and if he had been, he could have prevented this from happening. Your GC has failed to do his job. No painter should have been allowed on sight until it was ready for them. He should have a cleaning crew that comes in to prepare the rooms for painting. The painter should have called him when he set foot in the door and told him it wasn’t ready to be painted because there was dust everywhere. There is more than enough fault to go around – and none of it should land on your shoulders! Make sure you don’t end up paying them to fix their mistakes. They need to pay for the paint to redo this, too – not you. I’m furious for you.

  110. That is one horrible paint job! One for the records. It’s a good thing Robert has stepped up and assured you it will be corrected. On the bright side, WOW does your bedroom look fantastic. The proportions of your molding are beautiful. Hang in there Laurel, we’re all behind you!

  111. Dear Laurel, it seems that every time you think there’s progress, the one step forward turns into two steps back. I can only offer you a massive dose of sympathy for this awful paint job so far. And the disgusting state of the working area is a worry too, betraying not a good workman. What was he thinking? The first thing before painting is to make sure there’s no dust around, to the point where ideally nobody is allowed into a room to create air movement and thus potentially specks of dust until the paint is dry. All that stuff he’s done has got to be sanded back and re-done properly.
    I love your Opal Essence colour, really beautiful. Ditto the F&B Hague Blue. A word of advice here: it is imperative that F&B primer is used under the Hague Blue if you’re using the Eggshell finish, because if you don’t use the F&B primer the top coat will never (and I mean never) dry. Been there, done that, and so have many professional painters in the UK, who griped like hell about this problem when I looked up advice on the subject. Painters must use the client’s specified paint formulations and not their own preferred choice, usually just a question of habit. Bon courage for the next steps!

  112. OMG, I’m shocked anyone would keep going after the first stroke seeing the dust in the paint, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.

    I need a lot of things done at my house and the problems you’re having are what is scaring me. I don’t have a clue how to pick the right people to hire.

  113. I had painters doing drugs on their lunch hour it happens spraying paint in garage and getting white paint on a black Mercedes. First world problems. It will all work out with lots of sanding and prep work, painters that are good are hard to come by. My experience. So sorry for you. It will be besutiful when done.

  114. Oh Laurel, I’m so sorry to see this. I went through a massive renovation about 25 years ago, and I know how frustrating this all is, especially when you think you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It sounds like you have a wonderful GC, as well as many of the men who have done work for you, but a few, like this painter, can make a project soooo stressful. I was good and held my tongue on several occassions when the guys made unreasonable mistakes, and you have been more gracious that the thoughts screaming in my head. Take a deep breath and hopefully this will all get straightened out quickly and soon your home will be your own again. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and while I don’t wish mistakes on anyone, it is reassuring to know that someone as “discerning” and talented as yourself has also had some mishaps in spite of your directions, notes and even pictures. Your home will be as stunning as you hoped and it will all have been worthwhile. Best wishes.

  115. Oh no.

    Okay, deep breath. Yep, he’s going to fix it.
    Sending good energy your way. Hang in there.

  116. I am SO, so sorry. I can only imagine how your stomach must have dropped to the floor when you first clapped eyes on this. Quite frankly? I’m no expert but you could probably have got just as good of job out of paying college kids in beer and pizza. I know this because I have done just this in the past and it looked better. LOL
    Overall, though, I just love the little jewel box of perfection you are making for yourself here —it is going to be SO gorgeous. And THANK YOU for turning me on to the gem that is Opal Essence! I love it!
    Take care and stay classy!

  117. Holy shiitakes, Laurel! What a nightmare! I can’t imagine how a supposedly “good” painter could create such a mess.I really feel for you. You deserve to be your GC’s and painter’s top priority for many days to come, until this is all fixed.

  118. Hi Laurel,
    I’m so sorry this happened, but I am OBSESSED by that Opal Essence ceiling! That’s the missing color for my ceiling I didn’t know I needed!!!!!

    I can’t wait to see your final photos. Hang in there!

  119. WOW we did a total gut and remodel and thought we had some problems. Next to your project, we did mighty fine. I still am not sure how you live there while they are working. You must have nerves of steel!

  120. Honestly, I think this sub must have been mentally altered with something on board to have done such a terrible job. I’m sorry this happened to you. What a slog and just as you were beginning to see the light at the end of the proverbial “tunnel”. Will you have a meeting with the painter and your GC to walk through all the screw ups and to discuss how they will be fixed? If you fired this painter (without paying), you’d end up paying more for someone else to come in and “fix” his screw ups, prep appropriately and then do the actual painting, correctly. You must feel like you’re hemmorhaging money at this point, so paying even more for someone else to fix the mess he made is hard to swallow. But it is going to be stunning once all is done correctly. Big groan in the meantime!

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