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Painter Sued for Bad Colors

A homeowner sued her painter for bad color choices – colors the homeowner agreed to – and has won the case, at least for now. Not surprisingly, the contractor is appealing the decision.

30 March, 2023

Contractor Sued Over Paint Colors

A homeowner was so dissatisfied with the colors of their new paint job that they sued the painting contractor. Despite the homeowner agreeing to the paint colors in advance, the customer claims the contractor provided such bad color advice that it amounted to fraud. The contractor lost the case but is appealing.

The homeowner claims several paint colors negatively affected her family, causing “mental anguish, depression and aggression.” According to a local television news report, the homeowner said “We wanted to be a bit bolder with our color choice and not go with the usual beige and off-white. He [the painter] suggested some unusual colors, and we were nervous, skeptical, but he’s the professional. He said we could trust him.”

The resulting “aggression” emanated from the husband, the “depression” from the couple’s 14-year-old daughter and the “anguish” from everyone in the house. The homeowner pinned the problems on the following colors: “Black walls in our daughter’s room, phosphorescent canary in the kitchen, an unbearably incandescent orange in our bedroom and a ponderous burgundy port in the dining room.”

In court, the contractor’s attorney produced the contract whereby the homeowner specifically initialed each color choice. The attorney said “there was no ambiguity on the plaintiff’s part. Colors were discussed, identified, viewed and agreed upon.”

But the homeowner’s attorney argued that the contract does not supersede professional responsibility on the part of the contractor. “A professional cannot stand idly by and allow their client to endure undue risk. Outcomes and injuries suffered by my client were clearly foreseeable. The professional’s failure to advise customer of potential damage is textbook example of breach of professional responsibility and continuation of enduring culpability.”

The homeowner’s attorney acquired text messages between painter, job foreman and contractor discussing the color choices, claiming the conversation proves prior knowledge of the pending risk. Those text messages were released into public domain during the trial and appear below:

Painter to Foreman: “You sure these colors r right?”
Foreman to Painter: “Why?”
Painter to Foreman: “they’re f***ed up”
Foreman to Painter: “I’ll ask”

Foreman to Contractor: “hey did you check the colors at Vinson? theyr strange”
Contractor to Foreman: “Damn right they’re strange, so is she! She wants weird so she’s getting weird.”

Foreman to Painter: “Yep, he knows they’re terrible. Just paint it.”
Painter to Foreman: “Damn! Reminds me of the house I was in last night.”
Foreman to Painter: “Whose house?”
Painter to Foreman: “Your mom’s house!”

Prior to the trial, plaintiff’s attorney told WAFD News: “F***ed up, crazy, weird? If that’s what the contractor is selling, no customer should have to pay for it.”

The homeowner has not paid the contractor the $4,320 for the paint job. In rendering his decision, the judge declared no payment from the homeowner was necessary and awarded punitive damages of $2,000, or $500 per “damaged room.”

The vast majority of plaintiff’s testimony during the trial was that of the wife/mother, who is also the homeowner. “We had a happy home, and that changed immediately after the paint job was done. My daughter became unrecognizable. Sure, teenagers are moody, but our sweet child was swallowed by those ridiculous black walls. Who let’s a 14-year-old live in a black box?”

“And my husband I were both affected by it…the yellow kitchen, that moronic maroon dining room and definitely the orange everywhere in our bedroom. My husband was a caring, loving, attentive partner. But all of sudden he just zoned out. He stopped talking. He stopped caring. He was traumatized. And that absurd orange in our bedroom. It's like that Seinfeld episode when the Kenny Rogers Chicken opened outside Kramer’s bedroom. It was so bright, so constant, so graphic. It was like we were on stage. I can’t love on stage!”

The husband did not testify and was not required to. Defense attorney attempted to introduce evidence to demonstrate the marriage was troubled prior to the paint job, but the judge disallowed it. “I have text messages between the husband and a friend, I’ll call her, and those are just as damaging as those crazy texts from the painter whining about paint colors,” the defense attorney said.

Again, the contractor is appealing the decision and his attorney is confident the various legal doctrines were misapplied in this case. However, the attorney is also aware of the risk moving forward and hopes only for another bench trial, refusing to face a jury. “In no scenario do I want this going to a jury. If APC readers can’t even figure out this entire story is an April Fool’s joke, I can’t trust a jury to save my client.”


Lisa Dunn (not verified)

This is absolutely unbelievable. When are people going to take responsibility for their actions. They approved the colors. The painter is not to blame. This decision disgusts me. I am a color consultant and painter and if this is an indication of the future I need to retire.

Sat, 04/01/2023 - 09:03 Permalink
Nick May (not verified)

OMG. SO good. Thanks guys. Most people most likely don't even read to the end, so many will just have the highlights of this and spread the tale. I know I did this morning before just finishing it now.

Sat, 04/01/2023 - 20:44 Permalink
I'll sue APC (not verified)

As a painting contractor, I was so traumatized by this April Fool's joke that I saw tension-induced spots before my eyes that were various colors such as black, phosphorescent canary, incandescent orange, and ponderous burgundy. I was also bothered by moronic texting and explosive diarrhea.
Attorney John Colorconsult warned of legal action. "APC may find this pranking to be off-color humor, but my Client paints a picture of mental suffering, anguish, and explosive diarrhea.

Sat, 04/01/2023 - 23:12 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

One of the best April fools pranks I've ever seen or heard. What a relief it was all in good humor. ???

Tue, 04/11/2023 - 17:47 Permalink

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Does your company own at least one AED/Automated External Defibrillator?


Did you attend any in-person paint industry events in 2023?


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