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Old 07-28-2009, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Funny painting experience...

I was once painting a house for my landlord. She pulled up in the middle of the day and I had recently painted the recessed area where the front door is.

The alcove was about 6-8 feet deep.

So she comes up and wanted to know if I had used a different color in the alcove. She said "it looks so much darker". I assured here the color was the same, and that it just looked darker because the wall made a 90 degree corner there, and the alcove was in a shadow.

It took me several minutes to convince her that the paint was the same color as what I had used on the front of the house.

So she fretted and fretted about how different the color looked.

Then she brings up the idea of using a LIGHTER color in the alcove. so that it would "look the same" as the front of the house.

I very diligently tried to talk her out of doing that. I told her that the match would only have that effect if the lighting was exactly the same, and viewed from a specific angle (the driveway) and at the same time of year.

I told her that in all my years of painting I have never done that, or heard of doing that.

If this had been any regular customer, I would have insisted based on professional ethics not to do this, however I knew the lady very well on a personal level, and strangely enough, that somehow gave me LESS influence and leverage in the decision.

So I agreed to match the color a few shades lighter because she absolutely would not take no for an answer.

And while I was using the fan deck to find a lighter version of the color that "matched" the un-shadowed area, she came back around the house, and had found ANOTHER wall in the carport that was presenting the same illusion to her.

So I went to the carport, and that was darker still, from a shadow standpoint, and if I wanted to create the illusion that there was no shadow, on that exact day from the exact spot where she pulled up in her car, I would have to use yet ANOTHER different color to "match" what the front of the house looked like.

I tried everything I could to reason her out of doing it, but when it was all said and done I had to put THREE different shades of the same color on that house, so when she viewed it from specific angles, those "darker" shadowed walls would "match" the front of the house.

It was actually her daughter's house. And I don't remember the exact scenario but I think her daughter wanted it done either sooner than it could be done, or for less money, I don't remember.

But I remember when she was talking to me about it and I was telling her the cold hard reality of her request, she touched my wrist suggestively, and with a sultry voice and said, "I am sure you can make it work, can't you?" Or something to that effect, and I just pretended like nothing happened!

Then the daughter called me during one of the few days of the week I had set aside for a different job I was doing, (which had been totally agreed upon before hand with my landlord, and was the condition that I agreed upon to squeeze the house in for her at the end of the season ). So the daughter calls me, and wanted me to drop what I was doing and come work on her house.

So when I said, there is no way I can do that, I have to stay here and work on this job, she said:

"Well what if I just sprayed it?"

At which point I let out a hearty laugh instantaneously before I could even think about the fact that I was laughing. And she said, "You are laughing, you don't think that I could do it, it can't be that hard can it"?

And I said "seriously, I am not trying to be mean, but you wouldn't even know how to get the sprayer up and running, much less have any idea about how to go about the spraying and the necessary prep work for the spraying, I am obligated from a professional standpoint to absolutely insist that you do not do that."

Mind you, this person had never even touched a sprayer, or seen anyone use one, or seen anyone prep for spraying before.

In any case, I got the job done in the nick of time before the weather changed.

I drove by the house in the middle of winter when it was a ubiquitously cloudy day, and sure enough, the few walls that my landlady wanted painted lighter to "match" the un-shadowed front of the house, now looked out of place, lighter than, and inconstant with the rest of the house.

You win some, you lose some.

Last edited by Last Craftsman; 07-28-2009 at 12:42 AM..
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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You win some, you lose some.

Helpful reply - Yep.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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I got one, still makes me laugh to this day.

I got into painting while in my real early 20's with a friend of mine who had been painting at this point for about 10 years. Nice guy but very particular about his work and wanted everything done his way. Now like the cocky guy I was, I thought... shoot, anyone can paint, how hard can it be. Well, he showed me to do the job right its all in the prep and he'd bust my nuts and really taught me the craft. One of these guys who'd take the time to teach, then when you'd mess up, never let you live it down, and then tell you..." I told you so!".

One of his lessons was always know your surroundings, know where you are all the time and whats around you. On outdoor jobs, he'd stick a pan at the bottom of the ladder waiting for you to step down into it, and if you'd miss seeing it as you stepped down, "Always Be Aware! I told you so!"

So we are doing this job, bathroom and the basement floor. I'm up in the bathroom while he is doing the epoxy on the floor. I'm just finishing up, doing some clean up and I hear this yelling. I go to investigate and walk down the basement stairs. He's standing there holding his roller like the Farmer in Ma Kettles painting looking at me with this dumbfounded expression...... He'd painted himself into a corner!

All I could say as I wiped tears from my eye, was "ALWAYS BE AWARE!"...

Now that is funny stuff!
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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I have people on a regular basis argue the paint is not the same color as over there, both interior & exterior. Usually the only fix to drop the subject is to dip my brush in paint, and touch both spots that they insist are different, and show them that they are not. Never had anybody suggest using another color though to make it apear to be the same. You gave the right advice, if they choose to not listen... Well atleast you did your job.
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