Friday, March 25, 2016

Cheap Paint is Cheap for a Reason

I dislike spending money.  It makes me uncomfortable.  The mall gives me anxiety, Walmart makes me insane, and paying the bills every month raises my blood pressure.  I don't know exactly why I don't like spending money, but I know that it is something I struggle with.

Our big spring break project this year was to clean out, paint, and organize the garage.  We purchased a peg board and some organizational devices for the board.  My husband wanted to purchase more, but I wasn't comfortable with that, so we bought just a few.  It was a compromise: he gets storage and I didn't have to spend very much money.  We also needed to purchase the paint.  When he was busy asking about a light fixture (THE fan), I snuck off to pick up some plain white paint for the garage walls.  The walls are sheetrock, but they have this paper over them that looks like wood paneling.  For years I thought it was actual wood paneling, but once I got close up to it and felt the texture, I realized it's more like a photo of wood paneling printing on giant sheets of paper. It is as though someone wrapped the inside of an enormous gift with masculine woodgrain gift wrap.  When the house was built in 1980, I assume this was a delightful addition to the garage, an upgrade of sorts.  In 2016, it's an awful light-sucking eye sore.  The husband and I had agreed that painting the room white would make it more modern and really lighten the space.  We sometimes build various projects in the garage or paint furniture, so having a room with better lighting suits us both.  If you've ever purchased paint, you know there are many options.  I always try to avoid the Valspar sales rep or the Sherwin Williams sales rep because I know he will trick me into buying the most insanely thick paint, which costs so much I have to take out a second mortgage to afford.  I quickly walked up and down the paint aisles dodging the employees, glancing at the shelf markers looking for a price in my comfort zone.  I found that price, about $14 per gallon, on an end cap.  The winner was a generic paint designed for rental property owners.  It is called "Property Advantage" and claims to be ideal for property maintenance, new construction, and multiunit interiors.  To me, this sounded like the perfect paint for a landlord more concerned with his/her bottom line than the quality of the paint project.  It was perfect for me!  I purchased two gallons, a paint tray liner, a package of replacement paint rollers, and two of the cheapest brushes available.

I've learned a valuable lesson.  Cheap paint is cheap for a reason.  This paint is more like water that has some paint in it.  We are on our 4th gallon, and we are highly suspicious that we will need a 5th.  Sometimes it makes a lot more sense to spend a bit more up front that to save a buck and pay for that in time and elbow grease.

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