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AIBU towards DH's decorating skills?

25 replies

owltrousers · 17/06/2017 17:06

So I am the DIY enthusiast in our house, I love redecorating, fixing up old furniture, flat pack building... anything like that.

ATM I am 10 weeks PG with our first baby, so before the little one arrives we decided to fix up the house bit, this includes painting all the magnolia walls white and stripping all the horrible varnished wood.

Me and DH started the white walls today and he is awful at painting! he doesn't start from the bottom and work his way up, he just picks a section of wall (usually the middle) and uses a kind of "scrubbing" motion with the brush resulting in an uneven, patchy mess. I tried to be tactful and show him the best way to get an even coat but DH is very sensitive so I had to tread carefully... then he went to take a phonecall so I started going over some of his patchy bits and he caught me and was very hurt. I tried to explain that we need to do a proper job and want to avoid doing lots of coats but DH just walked off in a mood.

I finished the wall and then went and spoke to him, he had decided he's not helping me with any more painting. I will have to do it all myself because he can't handle being criticized.

There's the whole house left to do! AIBU? I just find it so hard to sit back and let a shoddy job be done.

OP posts:

AVY1 · 17/06/2017 17:11

Would he be better with a roller?

Or maybe you could do the painting and he starts the stripping.

We've renovated our whole house - DH did the jobs he likes / knows how to do and the same for me.

It's the only way anything gets finished - DH is a chronic starter-but-not-quite-finisher


scottishdiem · 17/06/2017 17:14

Strengths and weaknesses should be noted in a relationship. Did you know he was bad at painting? If so, I would not have asked. Yes, he is being childish and that needs looked at but if he cant do something then he cant do it, not matter how critical you get.

Of course, you could teach him, carefully and with sensitivity. There is a difference between a white wall and a well painted white wall. Telling someone that their way of making the wall white is not the correct way of making the wall white isnt going to solve the problem.


Go ask him to strip the varnished wood instead.


owltrousers · 17/06/2017 17:14

I forgot to add, he is worse with the roller Confused

OP posts:

Deux · 17/06/2017 17:18

Bonkers painting a wall with a brush. Use a roller, surely. Use a brush to cut in the edges. Better coverage and quicker. Maybe some you tube instructional videos?

I've never seen a professional decorator paint a wall with a brush.


owltrousers · 17/06/2017 17:19

Deux lots of professionals use a brush actually! I use both but generally preferably brush especially on old uneven plaster like ours.

OP posts:

Deux · 17/06/2017 17:25


FrowningFlamingo · 17/06/2017 18:08

I'm shit at painting and get grumpy when DH points it out. I'm trying my best.
Now either he does it or we pay someone. My skills lie in other areas, no point fighting it!


Polkadotties · 17/06/2017 18:28

My OH is rubbish at painting, I'm good but don't have the time. We paid someone to do it


Crunchymum · 17/06/2017 18:31

DP is a professional painter and all the 'cutting in' (so painting the wall area around woodwork) is done by brush. Rolling for main bulk of walls though. Always.


Crunchymum · 17/06/2017 18:33

Although my DP doesn't pain uneven walls, the plasterer would have been in before him.


RandomMess · 17/06/2017 18:36

I discovered the main reason for DH's poor decorating skills was actually his poor eyesight. Wearing his contact lenses was a revelation all around...

I mainly decorate as I'm a perfectionist and I never found a way of being suitable tactful to mention his shoddiness.


Jayfee · 17/06/2017 18:38

oh dear he sounds like me! my dh wnt even let me cut the grass because i go all over the place. could he do something useful while you pant?


vastknapsack · 17/06/2017 18:40

I do all the painting here due to a slapdash dh, although I work top to bottom, not from the bottom up. Am I doing it wrong? Confused


mrsBeverleygoldberg · 17/06/2017 18:42

Dh finds the roller difficult too. He puts too much paint on, which then forms lumps and drips. If I try to show him he gets furious because he doesn't like being told what to do. Anyway we've persevered and he can (after being shown each time because he doesn't remember Hmm) he can do the rollering. I never roll over it to smooth it out when he's not looking. I do edges, doors and skirting boards. He's not allowed to do any gloss after making a pigs ear of a door 13 years ago.
Everyone has a different talent.


rolopolovolo · 17/06/2017 18:46

I feel like this post is 2 years before the typical MN post of "my DH is a giant cunt, AIBU".

OP: aren't you concerned about having a baby with a man who is childish, stubborn, rude and uncaring? How do you think it's going to work when you ask him to change something relating to your child? Do you think he's going to magically behave better?

I just don't get it. OP will want sympathy and revel in it and play the victim when it's time for MN LTB but absolutely refuses to take any responsibility for her own life right now when she has the chance.


Allthebestnamesareused · 17/06/2017 19:07

Are you supposed to start at the bottom? Confused


Foxdale · 17/06/2017 19:24

My father was an interior decorator He always said start at the top and work your way down while "working it in".

Oh, and rolopolovolo is right - kill DH and bury the body. No one should be allowed to get away with starting in the middle.


owltrousers · 17/06/2017 19:38

annnd this is why I get anxiety about posting on mumsnet. Always people with the angry, ridiculous, over the top answers. I said he was shit at painting, that's all!

OP posts:

Louiselouie0890 · 17/06/2017 20:13

Jesus rolo it's only paint lol
If he was shit I'd want him out my way so to me it's mission accomplished lol


BelfastSmile · 17/06/2017 20:42

I didn't know that painting a wall was a skill until I met DH. I always assumed that it was one of those things that everyone could basically do.

The first time we painted a room together, I nearly throttled him! He spent the first 45 minutes or so painstakingly putting masking tape round every edge (window, door, light switch, plug sockets etc). Then he starts painting. Really. Slowly. I had 2 walls done and he was about a third of the way through his. The paint was streaky, and there were parts where it was too thin and other parts where it was dripping. It was honestly one of the most frustrating things I've ever had to watch!

He did listen when I tried to show him what to do, but he just has no "feel" for it.


rolopolovolo · 18/06/2017 16:35

OP, open your eyes: you said much than that. I'm sorry you think I'm over the top but this isn't about him being shit at painting (which he def), it's about him refusing to deal with any criticism at all.

You said yourself that he cannot handle being criticized and that you have to tread on eggshells because he's so sensitive. He's happy to have his pregnant wife paint the entire house rather than adjust his method of painting. Do you think that will be sustainable when you have a child?

He'll be happy to have you do all the feeding, cleaning, organizing of this child because you dare to "criticize" him i.e. ask him to do it right?

I don't think he's abusive btw but I think you he's about to be a difficult husband when this baby comes. You can think I'm a bitch or OTT or dumb but I can't believe you would have bothered to post this "charming" story if somewhere deep down you weren't worried about how this kind of behavior will manifest when the baby comes.

You have to try right now to push back against this behavior right now. If you think you will have time to "manage" him when you have a child, you are very mistaken. And he's probably going to ramp up his behavior then. Yikes.


nocake · 18/06/2017 18:10

His inability to paint shouldn't be a problem as no one was born able to do DIY. However his attitude to you trying to help doesn't sound great... unless, of course, you're being an arse about it?


Birdsgottaf1y · 18/06/2017 18:24

Lets hope if you dare to speak to him over the baby he doesn't strop and leave you to it.

He needs to grow up quickly.


WhatWouldGenghisDo · 18/06/2017 18:37

To add a note of optimism, my DP had these tendencies (particularly apparent when doing diy) but becoming a father worked wonders in helping him realise he was an adult and needed to start behaving like one.

I suggest thrashing this out with him now OP (his response to criticism not the painting thing) so you're not having to do it at 3am while trying to explain safe sleep guidelines or something.


bookwormnerd · 18/06/2017 18:48

<a class="break-all" href="//" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">// would highly recoment paint pads, it goes on smoothy with no drips and looks better than a roller. Its quick and really easy ro do edges. Someone suggested to me when we redecorated and now wouldent use rollers or paint brushes again. You can also put them on extendable pole to do ceeling. Your dh might find them alot better as paint doesnt come out patchy and doesnt overly matter where you start

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