Seeing red … Benjamin Moore’s Heritage Red, that is

Red paint is a bitch.

Oh, it’s beautiful to look at, dramatic, passionate, but it’s a persnickety and expensive challenge. Benjamin Moore’s Heritage Red exterior paint is no exception.

I ventured down to Aspen Park’s Benjamin Moore paint dealer and tried to find a color combination that would lighten up the porch and make the trim on the windows brighter and more dynamic.

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I knew I needed a lighter brown to make the porch more inviting and came across Marysville Brown, a caramel-colored paint that compliments the main Appalachian Brown and the yet unchosen red.

Choosing the brown was easy – choosing the red was much tougher. One sample jumped out at me: Heritage Red. It stands out among all the other colors on the Moore color wall and I went straight for it.

Ever notice how maddening it is to choose a color from a tiny sample on those color cards? Moore paint has a good option. They have 10-inch square color cards and a sample board to hold them. You can line colors up next to each other made sure that hues and traces will sing together. Put Appalachian Brown, Marysville Brown and Heritage Red next to each other and it works!

The red paint was tricky though, it’s primer and paint all in one and costs $67 a gallon. It’s also the most difficult paint I’ve ever used. Take the lid off and it’s not red, it’s bright pink. It needs stirred every hour or it separates and gets thick. It didn’t go on smoothly with either a brush, roller or foam brush. It splatters, drips and stains. It didn’t matter if it was 50 degrees or 80 degrees the only way to get the paint on was the dab. Dab, dab, dab. It may just be trim but it’s hard to dab while standing near the top of a 6-foot ladder.

As I’ve gone over the paint I’ve found a few things that went wrong with the contractor.

Even before the painting was done the outlets in my bathroom went out. Then the outside outlets stopped working even as the painter was looking for electricity for his equipment. The front outlets didn’t work; the back porch outlets didn’t work. I had an electrician come up and he spotted a burnt plug on the back porch and realized all the GFI outlets were burned out. Since the painters were the only ones using the outlets, I have to assume their equipment was too powerful for the old outlets and they tripped the GFI. The electrician said it was lucky the house didn’t burn down because of an electrical fire.

A few days after the painters left I washed my car and found brown spots and splatters all over the front. I had wondered what I’d run over that made permanent marks on the paint! I had to scrub with a white sponge to get them off and the color looked familiar … brown. I realized the painter had washed their brushes and equipment near my car and splattered the washed out paint.

Part of the decking that was removed for painting wasn’t screwed back down and I reached over to learn on the railing and it gave way.

I know they’re small things but it adds up to I’m burned out on contractors at this point.

I have a lead on a great contractor for the inside flooring for the house and I just can’t bring myself to initiate the entry of another contractor into the house. For now.

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