Chip and Joanna Reveal Their First Big Renovation Failure

The Gaines make mistakes, just like the rest of us. 

Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines sure look like they have it all together. The Texas couple has a hit TV show, a lifestyle brand, and a Waco retail location that brings crowds to their hometown. Just when we thought these home improvement rock stars could do no wrong, they filled us in on a major mishap at the beginning of their careers.

After successfully establishing a business refurbishing homes for Baylor University students, the Gaines were delighted to finally get their first project in Waco’s historic Castle Heights neighborhood.

“Were talkin' a couple of poor kids from the wrong side of the tracks finally getting our chance,” Chip said. “And boy we were really excited to be invited to this party.”

Finally having a significant budget for paint, Joanna dreamed up a soft buttercream exterior with white trim and black accents. Sounds gorgeous, right?

With a rushed timeline and just one day to choose paint, they ran to the store only to find hundreds of yellows. Joanna selected her best guess, gave it to the painters, and left town for a few days praying that it would all work out.

Much to the surprise of the residents of Castle Heights, the house did not match the image in Joanna’s head.

“I could see this house as soon as we pull into the neighborhood,” Joanna said. “It was a highlighter yellow.”

In the moment, she declared that she would never use yellow paint on an exterior again.

“Something about the pressure of it all and the fact that we failed so miserably right off the bat was a real humbling deal,” Chip said.

It’s relatable stories like this that have viewers falling for the Gaines family every Tuesday night.

Fast forward and it seems that Chip and Joanna have nailed down the whole renovation thing, paint colors and all. They not only flip houses on national TV, but Joanna even has her own line of interior paint. The Magnolia Home collection features 10 colors in the yellow/gold family, none of which are anything near a highlighter shade.

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