Make us your home page
Instagram

Saving hundreds is worth a little paint on the yard, muscle aches

Julie Johnson isn't a do-it-yourself weekend warrior. She's a bond trader who is much more comfortable on Wall Street than in the aisles of a hardware store.

But then she was laid off from her job of 17 years. And a professional painter gave her an estimate of $2,200 to paint her 2,200-square-foot house in northeast St. Petersburg.

"I had time on my hands and I thought it couldn't be hard," said Johnson, who has two daughters in elementary school.

Johnson went to a home- improvement store and came home with khaki-colored paint, rollers, an expandable handle and a nice brush. It cost her $325 and took her 25 hours over five days.

Because she and her husband own a stucco house with limited trim she found exterior painting easier than interior painting. There's no need to protect carpet, hardwood floors or furniture.

"I didn't even tape anything. If the paint hits the grass, then the next time you mow the grass it's gone," she said. She used a plastic shield to keep painting around the soffits and trim neat.

About two people a week stop in the Ace Hardware at 7575 W. Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa to buy supplies to paint the exterior of their house, according to manager Tony Figueroa. Closer to the holidays, when folks are more focused on sprucing things up, even more take on the job, he said.

One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet. Buying in 5-gallon buckets instead of 1-gallon cans saves you about 10 to 15 percent, Figueroa advises.

"What you spend all depends on the paint you buy," he said. There's paint that will last 12 years and then there's some that will last 25 years. There's also a paint that is primer and paint combined.

"The price goes up the higher quality paint you buy," he said. "No matter what kind of paint you use, the secret is the supplies."

Rollers and brushes make a big difference, he said.

To make your paint job look good and last, you also need to use a pressure washer on the house first and make sure all of the old, loose paint is gone, Figueroa added.

Johnson pressure-washed and used Behr brand paint and primer in one.

"The kids thought I was really crazy, but they would come home each day and wanted to see how much more I'd gotten done," she said. "They turned out pretty impressed."

Would she do it again next time the house needs a refresher coat?

"I would, but I'm glad it's only once every seven years or so," Johnson laughed. "Every night I went to bed and my arms hurt so bad. They hurt the next morning, too, but it kind of felt good."

By the way, Johnson did get a new job. She is now a bond trader with another national firm.

Katherine Snow Smith can be contacted at (727) 893-8785 or kssmith@tampabay.com.

Saving hundreds is worth a little paint on the yard, muscle aches 10/07/12 [Last modified: Sunday, October 7, 2012 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]