Agreeable Gray is not as agreeable as it used to be. This is hard news for some. After all, it was less than three years ago that I was ranting about the 50 shades of gray that we are seeing on the walls of nearly every new build or remodeled home. Color trends are fast lived. This is hard news, specifically, for me. It is time to paint the interior walls of my home and I landed on the perfect color; Repose Gray. Gauntlet Gray was too dark and Lazy Gray was too gray, but Repose Gray was just right. It takes me three years to jump on the gray bandwagon only to find that this particular bandwagon in question has been dismantled.

Either way, when I say “I” have decided to paint my walls, that is where the “I” pronoun stops in this project. “I” have tried painting. It is not as easy as it looks, and nothing is more obvious than a paint job done by an unskilled painter. As Realtors, we see far too many of these. It truly is a sore sight for eyes.

Generally, we do not have to point these things out to our clients; they tend to catch these parlous paint imperfections on their own, especially if they have eyes. A Pepto Pink wall is almost better than a Nomadic Desert, if it is done haphazardly. This is why I have opted to have a professional paint my walls. Painting is not my gig. Real estate is. I will leave the professionals to do the job they were trained to do.

Some of the most common painting mistakes we see in the field include, but are not limited to: buying cheap paint; inadequate prepping; using a variety of tools to paint with, none of which include a paintbrush or roller; poor estimations or materials and time; not taking the temperature into account; and overestimating abilities.

With paint, as with so many other things in life, you get what you pay for. If an inferior quality gallon of paint costs $35 compared to $50 for a top performer, but it takes two to three coats to do the job as opposed to one with the superior brand, it costs more money than it saves. Paint brands and qualities absolutely make a difference. Plus, if it looks like it needs an additional coat, trust me, it does.

I can’t count the number of homes I have gone into that feature new paint throughout, to find that the painter apparently didn’t feel they needed to tape around the ceilings, doors or window frames. No one is that good…not even the pros. It is also a very good idea to wash the walls before painting, and not just paint over the grime. The paint just doesn’t stick too well to grime, and the grime ends up worming its way up to the surface anyway. As a side note, paint also does not cover holes. Filler covers holes. One must fill the hole, let it dry, sand it down and then paint.

The 1/16th-inch tiny artist brush used for portrait painting is not an appropriate tool to use to paint a home. Sponges are out, and scotch tape cannot be substituted for painter’s tape. Neither can duct tape, just for the record. Believe me, if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have mentioned it. I also highly recommend a ladder rather than a three-legged swivel stool for those hard to reach areas.

While estimating how long it will take to paint the walls of your home, take that estimated time and double it. Again, it is not as easy as it appears. If the preparation does not take at least two to three days for an interior top floor of a standard size home, then trust that the prep work is not done adequately. This task is not for the weak. Even painting a wall is a test of endurance. It is tedious, and strenuous on both the old muscles as well as the young ones.

Hope for some good temperatures. Ideal outside as well as indoor temps are between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If the weather is too hot, or too cold, the paint will either dry too quickly and hold onto the drips or will not adhere to the surface and will bubble and peel.

Above all, please don’t paint the plants, or the neighbor’s car, or the cat. Cover all surfaces. This was a hard lesson learned by me a few years ago when I learned that, not only the bookcase I was painting, but my daughter’s shoes, the stereo equipment, the television and the dining room table, were now all a cool shade of Crocodile Green.

For my current home, I’ve decided to jump on said dismantled bandwagon and I’m diving in with a bucket of Power Lunch Greige.

Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or

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