A Fresh Coat of Paint for a Fresh New Adventure

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 edition of Tiny House Magazine. You can subscribe and read the most recent May issue today. 

This summer, after years of treating our tiny house as a quick weekend getaway, we are moving back in full time. This is the first time we will live in the tiny house for longer than a couple of nights since 2013. We are excited about our new adventure as Matt begins a summer law job in Asheville between his first and second year of Law School.

To mark the event, we gave the house a little freshening up. I’ve never owned a house of any size for more than seven years that didn’t get a fresh coat of paint or some other makeover. Now, our tiny house could feel as new and exciting as our current adventure.

Over the week of Spring Break in March, we traveled up to Asheville to paint the inside walls of the tiny house. We were inspired by several tiny house friends who also used paint to give their tinies a clean, new look.  


I’ll confess – I hate painting.

In our bungalow in Asheville, we painted two rooms before we gave up and hired a company to do the rest. We built a tiny house with our own hands, but painting is the most tedious job that only leads to bickering and frustration. But, when you’re painting less than 120 square feet, it seems possible.  

We arrived at the tiny house early on Saturday morning and removed the old sofa. As with many things in the tiny house, it was intended to be a temporary fit but we never replaced it. When we move back in, we’ll be replacing it with something new. Then, we cleaned the house from top to bottom, took down all the shelves, and taped the trim.  

We budgeted the entire day for prep, but it took us barely a couple of hours. We decided to dive right in to primer, choosing a product meant to seal porous surfaces. It would cover the tung-oiled knotty pine all around the living space and kitchen, leaving the ceiling and front entrance in the natural wood. With one person rolling and the other cutting in with the brush around the trim, we made quick work of it.
We closed up the house on Saturday evening and drove back to town to get cleaned up and enjoy the evening with friends. The next day, we planned to paint at least one coat before deciding if it needed a second.

We arrived back at the tiny house to find the primer good and cured. The first coat of white paint went up smoothly with the two of us working. Our biggest challenge was staying out of each other’s way. Just as we finished up the first coat, our friend arrived to help out, but we needed to wait four hours before starting a second coat.  We ate lunch out on the deck and drove down into town to visit the local brewery. We sat outside at the brewery and enjoyed some IPAs before returning to the house for our second coat. (If you visit our blog Life in 120 Square Feet, you’ll see that local craft beer played a large part in our building process.)


We still found that two was the perfect number of people for painting, so our friend provided moral support as we finished up.

We’ll get back in May to start the summer. It’ll take an afternoon to put the shelves up and get the house in order again. We plan to order a small sofa to fit the space where the old one was. The green counters will also be replaced, we just haven’t settled on what we want yet.

Stay tuned for more new adventures in Life in 120 Square Feet in upcoming issues of Tiny House Magazine.