How We Saved $2K and Hated. Every. Minute of It!

12 Sep

Photo by Anne Hornyak via Flickr

Photo by Anne Hornyak via Flickr


After a summer dominated by beer brewing and a shoddy attempt at inserting running into my regular routine, my husband and I finally conquered a project that’s been on our to-do list for at least two years: painting the house. And I don’t mean leisurely painting interior rooms in complementing shades of calming colors — I mean painting the very tip-top peaks and endless trim that makes up the exterior of our house.

We put off this project for obvious reasons. It’s a tedious, thankless job that can take weeks to complete. It requires so much more than painting — cleaning, taping, measuring, covering, priming and drying — not to mention endless trips up and down the ladder. Though my husband declared he would never hire a professional to tackle the project, I held out hope by saving Valpak coupons for house-painting — $200 off a $2,000 job or $500 off a $5,000 job. Wait, $5,000?!?

Despite the negativity conveyed in this story’s headline, it really wasn’t so bad. Several factors contributed to it sucking less than it could’ve, including:

The purchase of a power washer. My husband has been salivating over power washers since we first had a garage to store one in. This investment will also enable us to quickly clean our vehicles and avoid driving the lawn mower and barbecue grill through the car wash.
The purchase of a high-quality paint sprayer. Painting the exterior of a 3,000 square-foot home is for masochists. We have plans to use the sprayer again when we finally tackle another big project we’ve been putting off: re-staining the fence.
Saving $55 per gallon of exterior paint, thanks to a well-timed promotion. Despite the sale ending the day we were “just looking,” the salesman was kind enough to extend it until the next day when we’d decided on colors and quantities.

Overall, we spent a bit of money to save a lot more, and used our precious three-day weekend to complete a task that had been nagging at us for years. While I’m no expert on big projects, one truth became very clear to me during this process: having the right tools is paramount. My husband and I agreed using rollers would take twice as long (at least) and would’ve been anything but — wait for it — hassle-free.

And the biggest contributing factor to this PITA project being totally manageable?

My rockstar husband. He spray-painted the entire house in two days while I scurried beneath his feet, helping him move the ladder he was perfectly capable of moving himself. Though I wasn’t completely useless, I attribute the quality and efficiency with which our home was repainted to my main man.

So, thanks babe. You can get back to beer brewing and I can resume reading articles about marathon runners and assuming doing so actually makes me one.

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