Being frugal at heart usually means attempting to do it yourself when it comes to household projects and repairs rather than hiring an expensive contractor. Luckily, my father-in-law is an expert in practically everything so we always have lots of help when we need it. We’ve removed carpet and replaced it with bamboo hardwoods, tiled bathrooms, replaced toilets, built stair railings, a front porch and so much more with his help. Interior painting on the other hand, we’ve done ourself. I should have known from previous painting experiences not to mess with specialty finishes. I once attempted a crackle finish in a bathroom that turned out pretty disastrous. But did I learn? Apparently not.
When we bought our first house I couldn’t wait to start “fixing things up”. I started with the kitchen which had some ugly wall paper borders and dusty blue cabinets. In my head I envisioned a beautiful and modern black and chrome kitchen. I went to Home Depot to check out some paint ideas and found a really cool textured paint that would make the walls look like stone and I was sold. I also bought some glossy black for the cabinets.
Years later, almost our entire house has been updated and looks pretty nice, but the kitchen? Not so much. That textured paint was difficult to apply. It was like paint with sand in it, and very heavy to roll on. It didn’t go on evenly at all. What’s worse is that the walls cannot be wiped down because they are like sandpaper. We have three kids and this is the KITCHEN we are talking about. If you have an artistic eye you might consider the peanut butter and jelly smears on the wall Picasso-like.
The good news here is that I did learn a lesson. I gave up painting. When we remodeled the downstairs we removed paneling, mudded, taped and sanded the walls ourselves but hired someone to texture and paint. I have to say, it was well worth the money. It looks so much better than it would have if I had attempted it.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that it might be cheaper in the long run to hire a professional rather than attempting something we likely won’t be very good at. Now, I have managed painting small areas like the bathroom and our bedroom but made sure not to use a specialty paint — another lesson learned!
What are your Do it Yourself projects that have turned out to be don’ts? Please tell me I’m not alone!
I wrote this post for a chance to win $5000 worth of GE Appliances from PartSelect.
UPDATE: And I WON!