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Hamptons Style Renovation: A Painting Disaster

Just when you think things can’t get any worse we ended up at the Police Station last week!!! Had this not happened to us I wouldn’t believe it as this is the type of thing that only happens on TV. We hired a Builder at the beginning of this process who sub-contracted the painting services. As we weren’t living there for the first 2 weeks we hadn’t realised many of the issues we encountered once we moved in.

Did you miss last week's blog? My Hamptons Style Renovation

The Painting Continues

The Painters had sprayed the banisters, door frames and doors but on closer inspection there we parts that had been not finished correctly and just plain missed. Their lack of attention to detail was almost shocking. On top of this we had tasked them with pre-painting the skirting boards prior to installation. I don’t know much about painting but again common sense tells me I would probably not spray my skirting boards outside on a windy day on top of my grass… So with the result that there were large parts of the skirting missed with paint and parts of my front lawn is now a lovely shade of white which will eventually grow out I’m sure.

Once the skirting boards were dry we took a sample in to the house to ensure it was similar in colour to ceilings and cornicing as we had suspected that the Dulux Ceiling white we had requested the Painters use was in fact a different brand of white paint. We knew from our last painting project the shade of white can differ from brand to brand therefore not surprisingly our skirting boards were vastly different colour white to the ceilings and cornicing, almost making the ceiling look dirty.

Door Frames & Door Tops not painted/finished.

Poor Quality Workmanship

We called our Builder who basically said we should talk to the Painters directly which isn’t the ideal situation as up to this point all our dealings had been via the Builder. However at this stage we were living in the house 2 weeks and had discovered how slow and inefficient the painters actually were… They would turn up daily around 8am and spend the best part of an hour wandering in and out of the house getting brushes, buckets, water etc. not to mention there was always 2 if not 3 of them even in the smallest space (the laundry) working together and at around 9.30am they would need to go and buy paint, all 3 of them! After that it was time for morning-tea which could take another hour and then they would mostly be finished before 1.30pm if we we’re lucky.


Different Colour Skirting Boards

The painting seemed to be taking forever but I suppose you can’t fire someone for being too slow. We did however query the ceiling and cornice paint colour and after a lot of back and forth they conceded that they had in fact used the wrong paint. They agreed to re-paint the ceilings and as they painted we could see huge areas of missed and patchy paintwork especially around light fittings and corners. We pointed out all of the issues and along with all the other previously mentioned points. Firstly, they tried blaming other trades for some of the issues but in the end they agreed to fix things up and explained “this would all be done when we come back for touch ups”…  because apparently forgetting to paint the bottom of door frames and  missing vast chunks of the ceiling even after 2 coats is normal practice!!

Reaching Breaking Point

So after a couple more days of watching them ever so slowly continue to make more mistakes and not properly fix the issues we had pointed out. We eventually decided enough was enough and called our Builder to say we had no confidence in their ability to finish the job to the standard we required and asked that they finish up and not return to the house.

What happened next just shocked me, I never expected to be in this situation… Within an hour of us calling our Builder my husband Robert got a call from the Painter. I think the conversation started pretty amicably but once Robert explained that we didn’t want them to finish the job the phone call soon deteriorated. It ended with the Painter actually threatening physical violence, this no word of a lie he actually said “I’m calling around to your house, you’d better be ready for a fight”. After the call Robert called our Builder immediately and asked what the hell was going on? The Builder told us he didn’t want to get involved and that he was staying out of it.


We just put this phone call down to an emotional outburst and tried to put it to the back of our minds however over the next couple of days we received a couple more threatening text messages from the Painter which caused so much stress and so in the end we decided to report him to the police. As far as we’re concerned the matter is now being dealt with in the proper way.

Since then we’ve hired another wonderful painting contractor who has since finished the outstanding work in less than 2 days and did a fabulous job! Who would have thought renovating your house could end in a trip to the local cop-shop!

Stay turned for next week's update that will hopefully be a little less stressful!

Watch this space as we transform our 1980's house into our Dream Hampton's Style Home. To follow our journey sign up to our mailing list on the homepage here: SIGN-UP