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Friday, July 15, 2016

I got the lowdown missing painterman blues

In case you didn't see the "before" posts, here are the doors that were on our house when we bought it.

Old long gone

We knew that they would have to be replaced almost immediately, so one of the first calls we made was to a door company. New slab doors were installed a week ago, and they were scheduled to be painted on Tuesday. (For you longtime readers: Yes, I chose the same Sherwin Williams Copper Mountain that I used on the door of the "modernist nest." I love that color!)

Door at "modernist nest"

We had purchased two narrow star escutcheons from Rejuvenation, and I had shown them to the owner of the door company when he came to give me an estimate, but when the doors arrived, the dead bolt hole was drilled too close to the hole for the doorknob set for them to fit. After a little initial disappointment, I realized that I wasn't really married to the idea of escutcheons anyway, especially when the porch lights were installed and I saw them with the plain knobs, and I definitely didn't want to live with the old doors another two or three weeks while new doors were fabricated. To be honest, the orange paint may be enough of a statement without any extra adornment. If I eventually decide that the doors look too plain, I can always find other escutcheons or add some sort of decorative wood ornamentation.

All that said, the doors are still unpainted. They're sitting in all their white primer glory, waiting on the painter who never showed up.

He was at the house last Saturday installing fans and light fixtures. A painter by trade, he found that he could make good money doing handyman jobs in addition to painting. He was quite personable, very professional, and extremely capable. He said it would take him about an hour to paint the front doors, and he said he would do the job $100, so we agreed on Tuesday at 10 a.m. On Monday I texted him to see if I needed to buy anything besides paint, and he texted back immediately to say I didn't.

On Tuesday, the appointed time came and went, but I wasn't too concerned. Punctuality doesn't seem to be a trait many workmen have these days. Almost everyone who has come to the house to give us an estimate or to do work has blamed traffic for a late arrival.

Sometime after noon, I texted him again to say that I had expected him at 10 o'clock and to ask if we had miscommunicated, which my iPhone auto-corrected to "Did we miscommunication?" (Don't you just love being made to look moronic by a machine?)

I never received a response from him. Did he get a better job offer? Was he involved in a terrible car accident on the way to my house? Was he the victim of an alien abduction?

After getting estimates of $850 and $450 from two major local paint companies...completely absurd for two doors, when painting every room of the house was less than $2000...I will wait to hear from him. I'm disappointed that the doors are still white, and I'm impatient to get the work done, but wait I will. At least for a week or so.

If you run into a painter named Steve, have him text me.
I have a can of orange paint with his name on it.


  1. I bet you'd do a better job yourself Dana!
    (bl**dy tradies! same here! 100 bucks cheap though)
    I like the simple doors, they suit the house much better than the "confessionals" did. I hope you don't have to wait too long for paint job x

    1. My daughter and I have already decided to paint them ourselves if we don't hear from him again. He said the trick to getting the paint super smooth is to mix oil-based paint with Penetrol. I'm sure I can find the ratio online somewhere. I think the orange paint will really make the doors look different. The trim will all be painted a grayish-brown color that coordinates with the mortar.

  2. Would you mind sharing who you hired to install the slab doors?

    I have never tried penetrol but I have had good luck with a paint from Sherwin Williams that is self leveling.

    1. I used M & M Door and Window in Fort Worth. I can't say enough good things about the installer named Levi. The trim around my doors isn't even made any longer, and he was extremely meticulous in taking it off. He did a beautiful job.

  3. Give it a go Dana! Anything will be an improvement on those old doors, truly hideous!

    1. A friend gave me the number of her painters. If I don't hear from Steve soon, I will call them. I really want a perfectly smooth surface, and I'm not sure I can paint them myself without leaving brush strokes. Even white, though, they're definitely better than those old monstrosities.