copy & paste: U.S. vs. Austrian Painting & Painters…

Here’s an entery from my personal blog that I thought may be of interest to you…

Having the interior of your house painted Austria is much more different than what you might expect in the United States.

First of all, many in the U.S. will paint their own rooms as we (I) did in our little in-law unit in San Mateo but then, we didn’t have 13 foot ceilings with moulding on the ceiling and the wall.

Here’s a shot of our ceiling and walls (now freshly painted) to give you an idea of what we’re facing:

Most, as I have done, will go to the local home-repair store, bring paint chips, pillows, fabric swatches… whatever and have it electronically color-matched so that they can have the exact same color, again and again. Here, in Austria, you buy a huge bucket of white paint and bottles of colors and are expected to blend it yourself… or you hire a painter.

In the U.S. a painter will spend the first few days

covering everything in scotch tape and plastic. In Austria, they throw re-usable fabric drapes on the floor and a 6 inch paper boarder along the wall and get started — after they’ve spent a few hours hand-blending and matching the colors of your choice. Then, they hop on wood ladders that have the same step on each side, straddle the middle and walk from side to side as they paint the ceilings and top parts of the wall. As the perfect hostess you offer coffee, tea and cookies as I have done for the last seven days. Now, you’d think that the paint job has only taken seven days (the estimate was 3) but we’ve been in a state of semi-disaster for two weeks. The painters started last week but, with the four-day weekend (May 1st holiday) etc. everything has taken much longer than my patience, or joy of making caffe’ latte at 7:30 in the morning.

Anyway, this was the last morning and I took a picture to memorialize the event before clearing away the empty cups:

The paint job is fantastic, and the removed every bit of paint. It’s some kind of natural watercolor stuff and all you have to do is wet a sponge and wipe it off. Unfortunately, you have to be careful when cleaning the walls. “Don’t use water!” one of the painters told me. “It will wash off the color”. Of course, the wait until they’re on their way out the door to tell me this.

I have a toddler, are they kidding that I can’t wash the wall?!?

“Paint over the stains.” They said, as the closed the door on the way out.

1 Comment so far

  1. georg cracked (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 7:37 am

    any decent home improvement store in Austria (Obi, Baumax, whatever) will have a color matching and mixing system somewhere in the store.

    for the stains on walls: try dry wall rubbers (there is one from Procter, looks like styropor or a brick of foam but really works)



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