Painting for the Weekend

Unlike many weekends, which are filled with laziness, relaxation, and football-watching, I feel a great sense of accomplishment after this past weekend.

Starting Friday night, Andrea and I embarked on the rather large task of painting our entire living room, dining room, stairway, and upstairs hallway. Now, being a rather small twin, that doesn’t seem like a lot of work — but it was. There are plenty of things we’d love to do in the house (tear up the carpet, replace the front door, buy a new couch, etc.), but painting seemed to give us the most noticeable change for the least amount of money. And it looks great, but it sure was  a lot of work.

First of all, the prior owners painted most of the house a rather drab beige color, and painted the trim and doors a color that we thought was white. But once we laid on a coat of our new pale yellow paint, we realized that the trim was not really an aged shade of white, but more gray to almost lavender. Needless to say, it was pretty bad.

Second of all, the walls are textured, which makes it tougher to get the paint to cover evenly. And putting the light color over the darker color forced us to do two coats — everywhere. So we spent all of Friday night into the wee hours of the morning laying on a first coat. Followed by a second coat on Saturday, and some bright white coats on the trim Sunday. It involved plenty of heavy work with thick rollers, in addition to some fine detail with a brush on the molding that goes all the way around the ceiling.

It made me think of the kind of projects we work on here at a full-service advertising agency like DDA. No matter whether it’s a small print project, a video production, or a brand new website from the ground up, there are so many different kinds of work that go into what we do.

For something like a new website, there are the preliminary concepts from our graphic designers, which is like picking what color paint you want. Then our programmers and copywriters use the big rollers to build the structure of the site, both behind the scenes with detailed, custom coding and programming, and on the surface with keyword-rich and well-structured content. And when it looks like it’s all done, our search engine optimization (SEO) specialists use a fine brush to add the finishing touches and help the site sparkle. When it actually IS all done, people can look at your new site and see that a lot of work went into making it what it is.

And along those same lines, we refuse to just throw a quick coat of paint on a flawed project. If a website is poorly structured, badly designed, and rarely updated, no amount of bright colors, advanced copywriting, or post-launch optimization is going to fix it.

As for our painting project? Well it’s still not all done, but my sore muscles need a paint-free night. The timing is perfect, however, considering the Eagles play the Cowboys on Monday Night Football tonight. So the paint will have to wait.