A Simple Painting Lesson I Learned 7 Years Ago

I have to start this post with one of my favorite stories about a client I painted for. This happened about 7 years ago and while at the time was very frustrating, it really helped me understand the minds of my clients.

I was painting the interior in one of the North suburbs of Minneapolis, it was an easy and straight forward job. My client simply wanted new paint on their walls. The current color was a dark green and my client really loved the color gold. So I was hired to paint their living room, entry, kitchen, stairwell and upper hallways all gold.

The job took 2 or 3 days (I don’t remember exactly) and everything went just fine. There were no issues, the client and I got along just great, I finished the job, got paid and went on my merry way.

The next day I got a call from a very upset client, they said that I had gotten paint all over their trim and all over their ceiling. They said I was really sloppy with my painting and were extremely frustrated. I couldn’t hardly believe that I had done what they said, I am a very good painter, I had looked over my work and made sure everything went great. Did I work too quickly, was I zoning out, what was the issue?! Shocked, I jumped in my car and headed straight up to their house.

When I got into the house the client took me straight to their stairwell and pointed out spots of green paint on the trim (even on the sides of the trim) and green spots on the ceiling. I immediately began smiling, which they did not like. If you were paying attention above, remember I said I painted GOLD. Their old color was GREEN, they had painted the green themselves. After a bit of explaining we both had a good chuckle and to this day this is a story I enjoy telling.

What I learned from this experience has been a very important lesson about construction and painting in general. Homeowners typically do not inspect the little things on their home (such as paint on ceiling) when they either buy a house or do work themselves, but they inspect it to a T after hiring a contractor. This is 100% what they should do as well. What I took away from this is that I should also inspect their home to a T before I start a project.

This helps me to find issues, known or unknown to the homeowner, point out things that we could fix if they want us to or even just to point out issues so that I don’t take credit for them when finished. This has made my contracting life much easier through the years.

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