Caption This: A House That Loves Paint

painted house 1

When it comes to Bad MLS photos, I thought I’d seen it all. Then a reader named Jan sent me these. She says that that it started life as a cookie-cutter condo in Des Moines, Iowa. Well, there’s nothing cookie-cutter about it now. There are few surfaces that haven’t been painted here–even the front door has been so camouflaged that it must be difficult for visitors to find the exit.

painted house-kitchen

Apparently the homeowner really loves paint…and Jesus. The rest remains a mystery. (And maybe it’s better that way.)

painted house 2

How would you caption this listing?

If this hasn’t scared you too much, visit my Bad MLS Photos page to see more strange things spotted in the real estate listings.

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  1. Oregonsun says

    All I can say is that I am glad that I don’t live there!

  2. Nancy says

    It’s hard to believe that someone would actually list their condo with it looking like this.

  3. says

    Jesus and the Amazingly Awful Technicolour House of Extreme Horror.

    Really, there are no words to describe this mess.

    I love colour, but there’s such a thing as RESTRAINT people!!!


  4. Leah says

    You know, I don’t think the idea of paining lively swirls of color all over the walls is necessarily bad in itself. I like when people do unusual things with their houses. This fails, imo, because as a whole it is lacking in anchoring, coordination, and neatness.

    Sorry, can’t think of a caption, lol.

  5. Lili says

    I would caption it :Yipes! lol. I mean… I MIGHT buy it for 10 bucks, but by the time you painted…uh…everything…. you would have to sink a good chunk into it. Unbelievable.

  6. Lili says

    Sorry, and as a side note, there are like… 5 different couches, and none of them match each other-or the walls for that matter. And I agree that drugs MAY have had something to do with it…I don’t know where Jesus came in, poor thing. But He loves even the strangest of people.

  7. julienne says

    A home for the frustrated artist!!!!!
    Do you need some colour in your life?
    For when neutrals just don’t cut it
    Worried about the children painting on the walls? Then Don’t here
    A few captions perhaps. I couldn’t live in it but the first two photos have a certain charm!!!!! Julienne

  8. says

    I’ve only had one sip of coffee and just waking up…I believe these pictures have actually given me a headache!! And I only had to look at them for two seconds. To live there would be insane, what are the chances of this selling?! How will you ever top this listing?
    .-= Janell Beals´s last blog ..A Change Of Plans =-.

  9. says

    Looks like a bunch of pre-schoolers were let loose with the finger paints. Yikes! I can’t imagine the stress one would feel standing in the room with all that busyness around them…I’d be sick!!! Thanks for sharing…it gave me a good laugh and encouraged me that my own decorating isn’t quite so bad. =)
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Writer’s Block =-.

  10. Sara says

    Oooooookay then………… The only positive about the paint it that it takes the eye away from those couches….

  11. says

    Wow. That’s something. You know, the first photo kind of puts me in mind of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. But I don’t think this one would be considered a masterpiece. It did occur to me that maybe they wanted to camouflage all that bad 80s furniture…even the green ginger jar lamp and the enormous console TV scream 1980. You just can’t hear them because of the walls!

  12. says

    Oh NO! Was this seriously on the market? For reals? Well, the solution is simple. Take down all the light fixtures, tape off the appliances and flooring and get ten guys in there to spray down the entire place with KILZ and paint! Or, just burn it all down and start over. That may be quicker.
    .-= Sara @ Russet Street Reno´s last blog ..Reader Reno – A Patio from Colorado =-.

  13. Cori Heffernan says

    High ceilings with a lovely loft, open kitchen and the decor? Early American Jesus Country Cottage Crazy. There isn’t enough primer in the world……

  14. says

    I can only imagine the amount of money lost when trying to sell this house. Can you imagine trying to paint over all of that? Painting over it will probably result in uneven walls (not to mention tons of layers of primer and paint to start all over). Even the ceilings would need to be repainted. Nope, I would run away fast if I ever saw this house in person.
    .-= Sarah @ Dream In Domestic´s last blog ..Think About It Thursday: Why Do We Have So Much Stuff? =-.

  15. says

    If I were writing this up, I would say that it is an artists abode, conducive to creativity. I wouldn’t tell the prospective clients that they will be nauseous when they walk in…maybe I would give them sun glasses to wear. Wow, what were those people thinking??
    .-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..DINNER FOR ONE WITH BEATRIX POTTER =-.

  16. greenie says

    “Fully furnished condo for sale. Colorful interiors. Just bring your crack-pipe.”

    In all seriousness, I think their are mental problems involved in this. I mean really…

  17. says

    Thank you, Julie, for this timely post. My house looks glorious today b/c of this post! LMAO I feel so bad for the agent. xoxo
    .-= RLG´s last blog ..Office Space =-.

  18. Jackie W. says

    Lived in Iowa for 3 loooong winters & that is exactly how I felt the whole time !

  19. Janelle says

    “Jackson Pollack ain’t got nothin’ on this guy!”

    Wouldn’t that be like living inside a headache?

  20. Vickie says

    FOR SALE: Tweakers Paradise! Perfect for ex Hippies with flashback disorder or family with budding graffiti artists!

  21. Nathan says

    Oh my Geeze. That is so hideous. Minus the (ugly, but in tact) furniture, it looks like one of those condemned houses that are taken over by street people and gangs and stuff. I didn’t even realize the furnishings in the living room at first. All I could see was the paint job. Yikes. How many coats of primer/paint do you think it would take to cover this completely? lol

  22. greenie says

    oops…”there” not “their”…typo…can’t believe i did that..

  23. says

    This is a bad advertisement for crayola, that’s for sure. All I could say was “GOOD HEAVENS”. I mean really, professional paint crew needed. :)
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Outdoor Fun =-.

  24. says

    Wow. I’m kind of in awe of that person’s willingness to just go for it… and almost in love with the ceiling in the first pic. I want to meet the person who did it and get a peek into his/her brain for a few minutes. (only for a few minutes because I fear they might be scary and insane, but interesting nonetheless)
    I would not want to be their realtor though! I wonder how many turned down the listing before one finally took it on as a “unique property” with “great bones” and “potential for transformation”.
    .-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..A Few More City Farmhouses, Jill Brinson and 21 Things You Need =-.

  25. Kelly R. says

    I’m pretty sure that this is what schizophrenia looks like.

  26. Cathryn says

    “Sybill kept coloring the inside of the condo she was trapped in, although she never did find the purple crayon.”
    “The great 2009 Thanksgiving broo-haha had actually begun two weeks earlier when Ethel’s mother-in-law remarked that she might have taken her ‘test new wall colors by using paint samples’ too far. Again.”
    “Unknown to the general public, Ringling Bros. had established a Clown Safe House to help Midwesterner youths who needed more color in their lives. Running away to the circus had just gotten a little easier.”

  27. Cathryn says

    Oh, how inconsistent! They didn’t paint the loft railing. It throws the whole room off balance.

  28. says

    Oh my goodness. This is something else. I don’t even know what to say except that there is no way that I could ever really relax in that house.
    .-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..Thanks, Mom =-.

  29. Darla says

    Or they committed a mass murder and couldn’t get it cleaned up.

  30. Carol says

    I would caption this one “I still think I’m living in my parents basement”.

  31. says

    Seeing this, I immediately thought of an Art Journaling project gone bad! However, I think this decorating concept (meaning, abstract painting on walls) could possibly work with more restraint (more “subdued,” like the ceiling), better quality, non-glossy, non-textured paints, and with the right kind of furniture…
    .-= Pascale´s last blog ..We found a house…I think (01-19-10) =-.

  32. devil says

    Even Jesus couldn’t forgive this. He wouldn’t live here, either.

    The listing agent must be very desperate, blind or taking the same mind-altering drugs as the owner.

  33. Derek says

    First of all….. MY EYES! MY EYES!

    This house has got to be the home of a graffitti artist with way to much time and money. And has a thing for collecting random sofas and putting them all in the same room.
    Why do I feel like grandma died and left her condo to a teenager, with an acid addiction?

  34. says

    Uh, someone please call Ty Pennington. This condo definitely needs an “extreme makeover”!

    As far as a caption goes, words fail me!
    .-= Cyndi´s last blog ..Thrifting is Good! =-.

  35. Kirk says

    What the —?!?. This has to be indicative of some kind of mental illness. I’m not joking. Really, I’m not. Nobody in their right mind defaces a property like this. Taste is subjective but this isn’t even close to a difference in preference. Something is seriously wrong with the resident of this “home”. Honestly, I think a blind person could get a headache from being in this space. How would I caption it?

    Move in ready – if you are insane!

  36. Laura says

    I am speechless!! It’s… it’s….. oh my heavens it is beyond words.

  37. says

    Ok obviously the person who owned this is manic. I am not being cruel, i just think this is exactly how they see the world in there eyes. And they EXPRESSED it. Now the realtor who took these and listed it , may need to look for a new job…..
    .-= mishelle´s last blog ..AAH MUCH BETTER! =-.

  38. Meg says

    Yikes someone took some hard-core drugs.
    Magical Mystery Flat.

  39. says

    Whoa…I agree. Manic. Definitely manic. And after listing this house like this? The realtor will need help as well…oye!
    .-= Susie Q´s last blog ..Simply Sweet =-.

  40. Kim says

    I think I am going to puke. Maybe this person ended up in a mental institute and that’s why the home is on the market. Makes you wonder what went on behind these closed doors. Not even a ghost would want to dwell here.

  41. says

    “He realized that perhaps storing his giant aerosol spray paint collection next to the fireplace was a bad idea”

    I can’t explain the rest of the house, however. I have so many questions. What is with all the couches? And the “Jesus” posters? And who would buy this and have to repaint over all of it? (but it WOULD make for some great before and after pictures!)
    .-= Lorissa´s last blog ..Last Week-Unedited =-.

  42. says

    WHOA!!!…Looks like hubbie lost the condo in the divorce and the misses refuses to clean up after him…AGAIN!
    My thought is not how insanely stupid the home owner was to do such a travesty…but does the realtor not have any brains left in his/her head!!!…Go watch Design to Sell!!!
    .-= Tabitha´s last blog ..Sparkling Clean Tub =-.

  43. says

    Goodness, I love Jesus too but for the love of heaven… I guess my listing would read as follows:

    Van Gogh and Polluck lovers; here is a lovely little dwelling ready for those not afraid of color.
    Sorry, sofas not included.
    .-= angela´s last blog ..Follow me on Spitter… =-.

  44. Jane says

    I don’t think that picture on the mantle is Jesus. I think it’s Charles Manson! I wish I was kidding.

    • Jannie says

      That’s exactly what I thought.

      That’s not Jesus…It’s Charles Manson!!

  45. says

    “Perfect for Methodone Clinic; Move-in Ready!”

    Do you notice a continuing theme in my comments? I really don’t do drugs, except for the prescribed ones for post-menopausal, arthritic, anxiety plagued women!
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  46. Country French Judi says

    Disgusting, how the heck could anyone live in that place for one minute! No normal person would EVER do such a thing. Proves the point THAT THERE ARE MORE CRAZY PEOPLE WALKING OUT AND ABOUT THAN IN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not for nothing but I don ‘t think the realtor is the sharpest pencil in the box for accepting it as a listing in that condition, there is more than one loose cannon here.

  47. says

    I spent so much time looking at those walls that it took me a while to realize that even without the crazy painting, this place would be horrible!!! Look at that collection of furniture…

    I can’t think of a caption crazy enough to capture this…
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Soothing rooms all in blue =-.

  48. hookedonhouses says

    Charles Manson seems like a real possibility based on the freakiness of the decor. I assumed it was supposed to be pictures of Jesus, though, based on the “O Magnify the Lord” banner. -Julia

  49. says

    Bahahaha! I really needed a chuckle today and that did it! How would caption that one?? Disturbing! Have a great night!

  50. says

    “After only 28 days, the New Year’s Resolution Diet of Red Bull drinks and Power Bars was starting to take its toll…..”

    This is as scary as ‘Paranormal Activity’.

  51. Luci says

    Yikes – I’m going with manic/depressive, done in the manic state – unfortunately I’ve seen this before as a resident advisor in a college dorm. One of the students went “off meds” on the advice of her boyfriend – she painted EVERY surface in the room – the spines of books on shelves, the comforters on the beds, even the windows. If you feel the need, imagine all that color in a 12×12 room with two twin beds, two dressers, two desk/bookcases and two chairs – and she painted the furniture where it stood. But listing it for sale like that…..what IS the realtor thinking?

  52. Kimberlee J. says

    The old hymn goes like this:
    “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face.
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    in the light of his glory and grace.”

    Looks like they need to look to Jesus for the “dimmer”.

  53. says

    it makes me dizzy! i can’t believe a realtor would post pictures like those… i’d take that house if it was free, but not otherwise. and i’m willing to put up with a big challenge- we bought a house with no kitchen! the vomit paint is too much for me, though.
    thanks for sharing! have a great day-
    .-= rachel @ perfectly imperfect´s last blog… the mostly ‘After’ pictures =-.

  54. Claire says

    “The last thing Suzanna remembered was picking mushrooms in the woods.”

  55. Andrea Zastrow says

    ” After the murder they had cleverly stuffed the body in the striped couch.”

  56. Janelle says

    Haha…I thought of another caption. Sorry if I’m copying anyone — I’m not reading through 97 comments.

    “Damnit, the kids got into the paint again!”

  57. Robin says

    Don’t you all want to get in there and fix it? I do. I feel bad for that house.

  58. j says

    No link to the original MLS? Just wondering if the asking price reflects how much of an overhaul this mess would need.

    • hookedonhouses says

      Sorry, J, I was just sent the photos. No link. No idea how much it costs, but I doubt they can be asking much! -Julia

  59. Teresa says

    WOW! Kinda hard on the eyes! Let me at it with some paint that is easy on the eyes!!

  60. Jawgs says

    I don’t think that’s Jesus in those pictures. I think it’s Charles Manson! Yikes!

  61. says

    I honestly think I know what this house is all about. When I was 16 our church owned a tiny house reserved for the youth group. It was painted fun for teens (like this one). It also held a Foosball table, a tiny mechanical bowling ball game, a stereo system, a popcorn machine and a working kitchen. I think this is a youth group house. Kathi
    .-= Kathi´s last blog ..Black Berry Picking With My Kids =-.