I’ll Take the Big One!

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Since my husband has been cooking up a storm today (20+ gallons of spaghetti sauce for a cookoff tomorrow evening) and storing that sauce in 5 gallon paint buckets (they’re new & clean – why not?), I thought I’d share our adventure with a 5 gallon bucket of paint.

It’s been a love/hate relationship from the start.

One of our first big projects after moving day was the master bedroom. Remember this? Big mess.


With that gaping hole in the ceiling, it was completely inhabitable. And even though my dad boarded it up, but I sure wasn’t sleeping in there! Since the room was already torn apart, I decided to redesign the whole ceiling – new can lights & relocate the air vents (because that’s where I wanted the can lights, of course).

{master ceiling – during the redesign}

After we called in reinforcements (in the form of Angel, my oh-so-talented drywall guy) to patch up the ceiling, we had LOTS of painting to do. Walls, ceiling, trim, doors – if there hadn’t been carpet on the floor I would’ve painted it too!

After much deliberation, I finally settled on Benjamin Moore’s “Super White” for the trim. Since we planned to use it on all 23 interior doors (yes, 23 – they’re out of control), the entry and dining room wainscot, plus various built-ins, I figured we’d need at least 5 gallons. And since there’s a nice discount on the 5 gallon bucket, buying in bulk seemed like the perfect solution.

So I drove down to my local Ben Moore store, bought that big bucket & proudly lugged it home. Ethan & I got started on the master bedroom trim right away and painted the first coat that evening. Check out our handiwork!

{Can you believe how yellow the trim was??}

One coat down – we were well on our way (and EXTREMELY excited about seeing that yellow trim disappear!)

Fast forward to the next night. We’re armed with 4.99 gallons of “Super White” and ready for coat #2. But the can didn’t open as easily this time.

We’re slightly messy painters, and we’d failed to clean the small cap as well as we should have. So it took a wee bit more elbow grease to open the second time around. Here’s my mess from the first night of trim painting.

Multiply this episode by a few more rooms/weekends. We started using pliers to open & close the can until finally, it wouldn’t close at all. Fabulous.

I think this was the first time (and it surely won’t be the last) I realized the difference between overseeing a whole home renovation and actually doing the work yourself. It has everything to do with your manpower & the oh-so-crucial timeline – days or weeks vs. YEARS. Where’s that painting crew when you need them?

So here’s my recommendation (and the solution we found for our dilemma) to any DIYers who might actually need 5 gallons of paint.

1. Make sure you actually need that much and buy it (but seriously, calculate first).

2. Go directly to Lowe’s/Home Depot (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and buy five 1-gallon easy-to-seal paint buckets.

3. Carefully portion out your paint into the new buckets. It’s probably a good idea to do this outside.

You may lose a little paint during the transfer, but you won’t risk it drying out, getting clumpy, and having to strain debris out of your paint months later (take it from a girl who knows). So there you have it. Five gallons of paint: good, bad, or maybe a little of both.

One thing is for sure – this overzealous DIYer still has about 4.25 gallons of “Super White” paint sitting around her house. We have some painting to do!

UPDATE: Ethan’s spaghetti sauce won third place at the cookoff! I’m so proud.

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