Prime. Dark colors, stains (once sealed), and previously unpainted surfaces (drywall, spackle, etc.) will need a primer coat, usually white. NOTE: most paint stores & home improvement centers will now tint primer (at no charge) to match fairly close to the color of the finished coat, that way two coats of primer need not be applied. Although not all surfaces need a prime coat, skip this step at your peril! Dark colors will likely show through the first -- or even the first couple-- topcoats of paint. Sealants and unpainted surfaces like spackle patches will absorb or repel moisture in a topcoat at a different level than the areas surrounding them. Applying a good primer coat will help even out these differences. Primer equalizes a wall to a uniform surface. It's like erasing a canvas before drawing a new picture. Although some will argue the point, you generally don't need to spend a great deal on primer or buy special primer. A cheap, 5 gallon (18.9 L) bucket of plain, flat white paint will usually do the trick and cover a large area. Give your primer at least 24 hours to dry (follow its instructions) before applying a topcoat.
For trim and doors, start with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of trim paint for every 600 sq feet of floor space. Purchase more at the store if/when needed. Trim is something that is difficult to calculate exactly, and it is more time-efficient to simply start with less than you need, and go buy more after you have used up the first round of paint and determined how much you will need to finish by seeing how much you have painted so far, compared to the gallons used.
Prep work should include removing all loose paint, either with a pressure washer or by scraping; removing any trace of mildew using bleach and water or a commercial solution, and sealing or covering dark stains; caulking all seams, corners and around windows or trim; applying epoxy filler to repair serious woodwork problems; covering dark stains; sanding all rough surfaces, and priming the bare wood with a bonding primer.
While many professionals use paint sprayers, they can leave drips and uneven coatings in the hands of an inexperienced user. If you’re set on DIY house painting but don’t have much practice, you may want to stick to rollers and brushes. Brushes are great for edges and smaller areas, while rollers can be used to paint large and long surfaces like siding and trim.
Specialty painting, like murals and trompe l’oeil, costs $40 to $50 per hour. Paint might range between $75 to $90. The professional’s skill and experience are also determining factors. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some might also charge $60 or more for a consultation.
Priming is compulsory if you're painting over a darker color, or on a new drywall, but it's a good idea to include this step before any paint job. A primer is necessary because it blocks any stains from bleeding through. It is also important because it prevents any blisters and paint-peeling by improving paint adhesion. Lastly, primer is a good idea as it allows complete single-coat coverage of the walls. If you want a better appearance, you can tint your primer with the final color you intend on using on the walls. Most paints today come with inbuilt primers, but an old school primer is still a better option. Before you start painting, remember to use painter's tape to cover your door frames, window sills, and any switches on the wall.
It’ll cost anywhere from $200 to $6,000 to hire a painter. Expect small jobs, like kitchen cabinets or trim, to run $200 to $2,000. Larger projects, like your home’s exterior, range from $1,000 to $6,000. To estimate your needs, figure paying $2 to $6 per square foot or $20 to $50 per hour. Actual costs vary considerably depending on coverage area, type of work and regional cost of living differences.
For walls, measure the linear feet of wall space (measuring along the baseboards) for the areas to be painted (using a tape measure, laser, or both). Then multiply this by the ceiling height (usually it is 7.5 or 8). If there are 2 story areas, measure them separately, and multiply them by double the regular wall height. Then multiply the total number by 2 (for 2 coats).
Expect to pay between $600 to $3,500 or $1.25 to $3 per square foot to coat vinyl, with prices likely increasing for the finish. It is one of the more inexpensive siding materials to have repainted, especially with recent innovations in materials. Changing the finish on your siding is not recommended unless it's completely degraded and worn away by the weather. You can save nearly half the vinyl siding installation cost of $4 per square foot by painting rather than replacing. Before adding a new coat to vinyl siding,