Painting After Tenants Move Out Is Hell On Earth (But Often Necessarily)!

Painting After Tenants Move Out

I feel exhausted and overworked (although, I’m probably really not), so excuse me while I’m overly dramatic and particularly volatile.

I had tenants move out just under two weeks ago, and their replacements are due to move in in a few days time, so that gave me a two week window to get the place together.

The tenant came with the property when I purchased it, and he remained for three years while I was on landlord duty. The property has always needed a cosmetic overhaul, but my tenant never complained and seemed happy enough, somehow. I sincerely hope he enjoyed having sex with his wife in a room coated with dark brown paint and mouldy ceilings.

I’ve always dreaded the inevitable day of receiving notice from the tenant. Not just because he was a good egg, but because I knew as soon as he left I would need to get to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Every room needed attention, with the minimum of multiple coats of paint to cover the existing hideous dog-shit colour palette. Every square inch of the property literally needed to be painted, and painted again. Ultimately, there was no way anyone with an ounce of dignity or semi-functioning vision would let the property in its current condition.

As a landlord, I don’t think there are many lower points than that period in-between tenancies, where significant restoration work is required, especially when you’re trying to juggle other responsibilities.

Welcome to my hell.

I’ve been painting for two weeks solid now, and I’m at breaking point. I’m exhausted, bored, miserable and excited about getting out of this hellhole.

I’m only just starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, which actually, is how I’ve managed to muster the motivation to blog. But I won’t truly be happy until I’ve squeezed through the other end completely, with a stiff drink in my hand.

I’ve gone through situations like this before – prepping in-between tenancies – but this God awful time felt worse than ever before. I think it was the sheer amount of painting that was required that pushed me over the edge.

I definitely have a newfound respect for painters. Actually, I’m not sure if I found respect or sympathy. Perhaps both. They deserve it.

Painting is profoundly brain numbingly boring. I have no idea how anyone can do it every damn day. I’m actually surprised painters and decorators don’t have a higher suicide rate. After a week of painting I wanted to blow my stupid brains out at the thought of holding another paint brush.

Applying the paint to the surface is only the tip of the iceberg, it’s the preparation that really swung on my tits; laying down protection sheets, cleaning the surface, polyfilling the holes, sanding down the rough surfaces, masking the edges.. ZZZzzzzZzz. KILL ME NOW!

Children are starving, yet while I’m painting, I’m crass enough to feel like the victim. I think about my friends out in town, having fun, doing cool shit like molesting girls on the dance floor in seedy bars, while I’m essentially fixing someone else’s horrendously poor taste. What were they thinking? Tasteless buffoons.

Here’s a picture of the “dark brown” walls and the rotting window frames, just so you have an idea of what I’m dealing with:

Horrible Brown Bathroom

Every room was that colour, or a slight variation of it. EVERY-FUCKING-ROOM!

I fail to believe that this look was ever trendy, at least not in the last 15 years (the age of the property), so it genuinely was a case of diabolically evil taste.

Well, I hope you all enjoy the Lord’s day and enjoy your Sunday roast. I’m off to paint and stuff.

I hate you all (unless you’re also going through the same experience).

16 Join the Conversation...

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Andrew Mills 10th October, 2010 @ 14:50

I recently painted some function rooms at a local sports centre. It had high ceilings (so even with a long reach roller I was up and down the sodding ladder all day), manky old woodwork, a damaged plasterboard partition. It took me two weeks to do. And I agree with you on it being a right headf*ck.

But I think many people who do it for a living do it in teams of at least 2 people, so that helps make it more bearable than when you're on your own.

However, I think your post outlines the importance of knowing when to get some help. It may be "noble" (for want of a better description) and cheaper to do it yourself, but there's no shame in getting someone in to help you. I did this with the function rooms - I got a friend in to help with the final push.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 10th October, 2010 @ 19:53

Hey Andrew,

I actually did have a few friends come and help on a few occasions. They did as much as they could, and I was extremely grateful for that. But I was working through very social hours, and I didn't expect nor ask anyone to give up that time, so a lot of the time I was working through the nights and weekends alone!

You hit the nail on the head. It is so much more bearable when you're painting with someone else. I was so much more motivated when I had someone else to talk to, and share the struggle with.

I hate painting!

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Ginsterlam 11th October, 2010 @ 09:27

You should've thrown a painting party!
Call a few mates around, ply them with beer, some grub and a few good tunes and bravo, painting done in a couple of hours!!

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kas 11th October, 2010 @ 09:29

The Landlord, I've enjoyed all your posts and check in regularly to see what bile you have been spewing. Love it.

But this time, I have to say, why don't you just hire someone to do it? I've helped my parents to paint their new house before moving in and it was a pain in poophole.

It's obvious you don't like painting. Surely your investment allows for these repairs/maintenance? i.e. there's enough of a cashflow so you don't have to do this monkey work?

I don't know. I guess I'm just thinking aloud on a personal preference - I just can't be arsed painting, so I try and factor the extra costs when purchasing property and make sure there's enough of a margin to cover it.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th October, 2010 @ 15:39


The idea had crossed my mind. But then I remembered what my friends are like when they get together and have a few drinks. It's messy. Just as my house would have looked after the party!


Many thanks, really appreciate your comments :)
I do have a contingency for maintenance and decoration, but I try to do as much as I can myself to keep costs down. After all, this is a business. I do what I can myself, and get the rest done professionally. I know my limits.

Don't get me wrong, painting is a right pain, but the way I look at it is, it's a few weeks of hard graft, and then it's over for at least a few years! I'm kicking and screaming while doing it, but I can ultimately live with it.

To paint the entire house, including all skirting, walls and ceilings would have cost a few grand. That's a lot of money! I'd rather put that money towards doing up a kitchen/bathroom!

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marcy 11th October, 2010 @ 19:26

I could of helped you out there hunni - I'm a painter and decorator with large tits - would make a great party!!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th October, 2010 @ 19:38

How large?

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Twattybollocks 12th October, 2010 @ 16:13

@Marcy - agree with Landlord - How Large? Large and pendulous or like a lactating heifer? Neither a bad thing - just need a boundry to work to!

@Lndlord: Man up! At least you did not have an avocado suite to deal with too!!

I have a tenant about to move out - looks like painting will be my new best friend for some time......


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marcy 12th October, 2010 @ 19:24

lol - the first of the two...

get in the way sometimes :)

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th October, 2010 @ 21:07

Are you single Marcy?

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Twattybollocks 13th October, 2010 @ 12:21

@Marcy: Thanks for that! I hope you really are Marcy and not some bored accountant from Penge called Eric!LOL


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marcy 13th October, 2010 @ 17:23

I'm not single although sometimes I wish I was!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th October, 2010 @ 20:25

Well, you know where my contact form is if you ever want to act single and/or paint my house while naked.

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SHeldon 22nd October, 2010 @ 22:34


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Mimi 7th July, 2022 @ 10:25

I read your blogs and as a landlord I sympathise with the stuff that you’re going through . But …. “Molesting girls in seedy bars “. ? Really ??? 😡

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 7th July, 2022 @ 10:35


I didn't mean literally molesting!

















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