Touched by a painter.. with love?

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I got a phone call today: "Please, come out, it's urgent!" Being in painting business, I'm not really used to hearing that. After all, if the wall's not getting painted nobody's going to die. Right? Well, I guess, wrong.

Nobody was going to die on the other line of the phone, but the damage was done to their most treasured possession – their home, and my customer needed my help.

When I got to their place, I saw a house that clearly had been touched by a painter: masking tape still hanging off windows, partly painted stucco. It didn’t seem very disastrous to me at that moment.

“Hi, my name is Shelley. Julia?” I turned around at the voice that belonged to a middle-aged woman in over-sized sunglasses. “Yes, I am Julia” I said, shaking her hand. “Looks like you guys are in the middle of renovations here.”

Shelley gave me a smile albeit a weak one. “It’s been nothing but a disaster for us from the day one! You see, we hired a contractor, an acquaintance of ours.. I wish I had never done that! They didn’t care about anything. We couldn’t use our backyard. Paint cans and tools were everywhere. They broke our patio. These tiles that you see here now – we had to have it all re-done.” Shelley’s voice was getting quieter as she spoke; I knew it was hard for her to say these things.

“The trouble doesn’t end here,” she continued. “Look at the windows.”

I took a closer look at the wood window frames. What is that?
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Apparently, the painters used packaging sticky tape to mask brand new wood frames. To make things worse, the tape has now been sitting on the frame in the sun for several days and has completely baked on the previously painted surface. “We’ve tried to pull it off but it leaves this glue behind, “Shelley sounded apologetic.

Yeah, that was really bad. I started to carefully look at other areas that were touched by this painter’s unloving hand. Here are some other things that I discovered that I didn’t’ seem to have a heart to tell Shelley at the moment:

- galvanized metal flashing with one coat of latex paint that started coming off as soon as I put my finger on it;
- nail holes in newly repaired wood siding left unfilled;
- holes in stucco, etc.

“I know it’s now going to cost more to fix bad painting job than to have it done properly the first time.” Shelley sighed. “I just want to know that someone will learn on our mistake. What I want for people is to have their houses touched by a painter with love”

I’ll go try to make sure Shelley’s wish comes true. I think she deserves that.