Welcome class to Painting 101. This will be a primer on what you need to know about paint for your home or office. One of the quickest and cheapest ways to change the look of any room is to paint it. A fresh coat of paint can make a space look cleaner, brighter and more inviting. Painting is one of the top home improvement projects that homeowners seek to have done. Some take this project on themselves because with a steady hand and a low investment in a paint brush, roller, paint holders, a ladder and painter’s tarp; one is ready to tackle most any project around the house.
Whether you are planning to tackle your painting project yourself or hiring it out; make sure these points are addressed so your final product will look great and last like it should.
- Pick A Color of Paint: This may be easy for some, but this can be a daunting task for others. Start by looking around to see what focal points or stationary items that you have that you cannot change or don’t want to change the colors of at his moment (brick fireplace, bathtub, flooring, wood trim, furniture, appliances…etc.). Your color choices must compliment these items. There are many shades of each color. Be careful to notice the different shades each color has; such as a gray paint can be a brownish gray, blueish gray or greenish gray. The wrong shade might not accomplish the look that you were going for.
Choose your color with the lighting the room will have. Different lights at the paint shop will give different looks of the paint at home in your lighting. Finding multiple colors that work well together can be tough. At big box stores and paint shops; they will have sample paint cards with multiple complementary colors on them to help you. If you are unsure about a color; you can buy a small sample of the color and paint it on the wall to help you decide. Another option would be to ask a friend that has an artistic eye or hire an interior designer or an able painting contractor to help with paint color selections.
Don’t be afraid to add accent colors in your paint schemes to showcase your styles. By indulging yourself with a splash of color on a particular wall can drastically change the looks of the room drawing the eye towards it. This accent color can be done on a wall, trim, built in cabinets or even on a unique piece of furniture depending on your desired look that you are trying to achieve.
- Prepping for Paint: This is the most important part of the paint job and takes the most time. If you cut corners in the preparation portion; it will be noticed in the final presentation of the product. Money will be wasted because the paint won’t adhere and last like it should causing you to have to spend the time or pay someone to do it correctly.
Do your sheetrock repairs in the interior of the home to cover cracks and holes. On the exterior, be sure to properly repair any rotted wood (wood rot) on the exterior. Check for water damage on ceilings or on wall and repair the problem and cover the stain. Scrape any loose paint and residual debris embedded in the paint from the last paint job. Fill nail holes with wood filler on trim and fill small holes with spackle on walls. After it dries be sure to sand smooth and remove the dust. Caulk all gaps with a quality painters caulk.
A primer will be needed on new sheetrock, on any repairs and on bare wood or metal so your paint will be able to adhere properly. Dark paint colors might need a primer over them if you are going to paint it a lighter color. Water stains on the ceiling might need an oil-based primer to cover and to seal the stain so it doesn’t bleed through again.
The surface to be painted must be clean, dry and dull. On the exterior of the home, use a brush or carefully use a power washer to remove the chalk, dirt and mold. Use a detergent where needed or even TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove grease and grime. Sand any surfaces that has a shine to it so the paint can adhere. The painting surface must also be dry. This is especially important, if you power washed the exterior. If washed improperly, any bare wood will soak up the moisture. The wood must be completely dry before painting.
Once the surfaces are ready to be painted; be sure to protect everything that you don’t want paint on. Use tarps to cover the flooring and plastic to cover landscapes, cabinets and furniture. Use a low adhesive painters tape to protect trim from splatter or if you need to create a sharp paint line. Use caution when removing the tape. Remove the tape before it dries otherwise you might need to use a knife to cut a line.
- Pick a Paint: Latex paint is usually the go-to paint, because of its easy water cleanup. Choose a good quality. Expect to pay $30 a gallon for interior wall paint and up to $70 for enamel trim paints and exterior paints. Remember, you get what you pay for. Skimping on good quality materials will actually cost you more paint to cover your project properly, more time to install the paint because of the extra coats and the final product won’t be as nice or last as long as it should. One coat can usually cover if the paint is a similar color. Generally, two coats will need to be put on but if painting a light color over a dark color; it might take three or the need to prime first.
Flat paint hides wall imperfections and gives the ability to touch up dings but is not washable. A light sheen like an egg shell has a light shine on the paint which makes it more durable and gives the ability to wash it. Semi-gloss paints are usually for trim and cabinets. This is a durable paint that has a brighter shine on the finish.
Watch the weather when you paint. Avoid painting on days with high humidity. The ideal temperature to paint is between 50-85 degrees. The air temperature could be ideal, but also watch the temperature of what you are painting. Walls in direct summer sunlight or walls that was exposed to cold temperatures all night might not allow the paint to adhere properly. Be sure to allow for proper dry times before applying the next coat for best results.
Generally, when you paint; you start at the top and work your way down. Paint the ceiling first. Walls second. Trim third. Cabinets and doors last. If you have the ability to spray the paint. The ceiling can be painted first and then spray the trim, cabinets and doors. Give enough time for drying and then roll the walls.
- Choose Who’s Going to Paint: Painting is an easy project for most homeowners. Just decide if you have the skill set and the time to tackle this project. Money can be saved by doing it yourself unless it hinders with your ability to create money for yourself. Sometimes it is actually cheaper and easier to just hire a professional to paint your home. Hiring someone can help you get it done quicker and hopefully, better than you could do by yourself, plus they can help you in choosing the right color and paint for the project.
There is a low barrier to entry in the painting business since there are only a few tools that you need. Be cautious of hiring an inexperienced handyman for your painting project. Only hire local licensed and insured contractors so you get the best value for your money.
Hopefully, Painting 101 was helpful for you to make wise decisions on your paint and color selections. Also, having the proper prep work and having the right person painting will help in creating the final product that you are after. If these points are carefully considered before painting your home or office; your final product will look great and last like it should so you get the best value for your money.
Dream Home Enterprises has been serving the Kansas City area since 2003. We are a licensed General Contractor with a passion for building, remodeling, renovating, repairing, and maintaining residential and commercial properties.
DHE is known as a construction expert that uses in-house trained employees and proven service providers who want to excel as a craftsman, so you get a professional result. We can work with your design team and construct your remodel accordingly or we can design a unique space for you; then professionally build it.
We provide a full-service DRAMA FREE REMODELING PACKAGE from Design to Completion. This frees you up so you can sit back and enjoy time with your family.
By Brian Hill
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