Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do-It-Herself - Painting at the Home Depot

"I do it myself!"  I've heard that from many a toddler.  Well, this time it was my turn to "do it myself".  A couple of weeks ago Gina from Moneywise Moms posted about a free interior painting workshop at the Home Depot.  It's part of their "Do-It-Herself" line of workshops that are aimed specifically at helping women to become more DIY.

I thought, Hey, this is perfect!  We are in the process of buying a new house, which we expect to be in by next month.  We've already got tons of ideas for things we want to do and painting is at the top of the list.  (Do the words "very big orange wall" mean anything to you?)  However, I have never painted a room in my life and the last time my husband painted was when he was 12 and followed the barking commands of his dad.  Needless to say, we know squat about painting.  No amount of sitting in front of the tube and watching HGTV all day is going to fix that either.

Here is what transpired when I arrived to take my girly painting class:
  1. I spent 5 minutes wandering around Home Depot looking for the class/someone to help me find the class.
  2. I was finally directed to the class in the kitchen cabinets department.
  3. I was the first one to arrive and spent 30 minutes reading blogs on my iPod (who knew the Home Depot had free wi-fi?) because . . .
  4. I was the only person to arrive.
That's right, I got my own personal, one-on-one, class on how to paint by Home Depot's Paint Department star, Alex.  Someone from another store in the area called to see how many pupils showed up at Alex's class.  She had three, he had one, but he insisted on bringing in more chairs because he knew that 15 people had signed up.  Where were the other 14 people?  I have no clue.  That's a very large amount of people not to show-up for something.  I'm going to guess that aliens were involved.  Or the government.  Or aliens and the government. 

Once Alex finally accepted the fact that nobody else was going to show-up, he started the workshop.  He said something right away that I thought was kind of funny and weird.  He said, "Since it's such a small group tonight (at which point I nearly snorted when laughing) hopefully, we'll be able to finish early and then we can all get back to what we normally do at this time."  Huh.  Okay.  I'm not sure what I was supposed to make of that but the whole "small group" thing was hilarious.  I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure that one person does not a "group" make.

He began by telling me all about different paint brushes, different rollers, paint pans and liners, etc.  I asked tons of questions, which was easy since I was the only student there.  I especially wanted to know about prepping the walls for painting including what to clean the walls with and how to fix holes in the wall.

The workshop featured paint by Martha Stewart Living (which recently replaced Ralph Lauren paint at the Home Depot), so I also learned quite a bit about paint:  what's in paint, how paints are different, primer, VOCs, light vs. dark paints, more than enough stuff to befuddle my silly little head.  It was really pretty interesting and I learned way more than I expected to learn.  I even got to use some of the Martha Stewart paint, and I'll say this about it, it dries quickly and is very low odor.  Martha Stewart paint is supposed to be environmentally friendly and is a zero VOC paint.  Not having anything else to compare it with, that's about all I can say.  Okay, wait, I can also say that unless Martha Stewart herself shows up to repaint that orange wall, we're probably going to go with a different fix.

So, that's about it.  I fully intend to sign up for more of these "Do-It-Herself" classes at the Home Depot.  Not only do they seem to be pretty informative, but if I don't show up, then who will they teach?


  1. Painting 101:
    1.choose a paint chip that looks really cool at least a gallon of the stuff
    3.prep nothing, just start painting
    4.realize chartreuse isn't the color for an entire kitchen
    5.get pissed off and leave it (along with the other 10 color splotches you decided weren't quite right)
    6.sell your house and have your husband paint the room white.

  2. Who could learn about paint at a time like this? The Dufresnes are missing!

  3. HaHa! Bush! Search party of 3. You can paint once you find the Dufresnes!

  4. I guess we didn't paint anything after you were a baby, or if we did we didn't turn you loose on it. Oh well, water under the bridge. At this point you probably know more about paint than I ever knew, no on ever showed me how to do it, and I managed to get by. But, hey, take advantage of the one on one training for free. That's not likely to happen anywhere else.