Whether you decide to do the preparation work yourself or have a professional do it as part of your project, proper preparation makes all the difference in creating a smooth and lasting finish. Do it correctly the first time or you’ll quickly end up spending more to fix peeling and chipping paint. Follow this process before starting on your home's exterior. Keep in mind that the process may vary based on your siding materials:
Rome came to our house to take a look around back in May and promised me a quote by the end of the day-unlike other workers that we've had in the past, Rome stuck by his word and had it to me via email by dinnertime....something that reinforced the initial positive feeling that I had about him as he surveyed our home and listened to my ideas. We hired Rome and he and his crew began working on our home within the following couple weeks. Something we love about Rome is how knowledgable he is when it comes to the range of paint products and colors (we had a general idea that we wanted a light neutral color with a little tint of green and the easiest way for me was to have Rome narrow it down to 2-3 colors), for whatever advice or guidance we needed, he was always (and is always) a phone call away!
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).
An example of the wall measurement would be: 40 linear feet of bedroom space, x 8 wall height, =  320, x 2 = 640. Minus 1 door (60) and 2 windows (80) = 500 sq feet being painted. Then divide the 500 by 400 (sq feet per gallon), and you get 1.25 gallons (4.73 L) needed for that room. For this, you'd need 1 gallon (3.8 L) and 1 US-quart (950 ml). If the amount it comes out to is over 1.3, we recommend just getting 2 gallons (7.6 L) so that you have leftovers if needed, since 2 US quarts (2,000 ml) costs essentially the same as a gallon in most stores.
After you’ve bought your materials, prepare by removing all the furniture from the room. Next you can wash the walls and fill in any holes with spackle. Make sure to lay drop cloths or old sheets on the ground to protect the floor from paint. When you’re ready to paint, start with a layer of primer to cover all the walls. Once that has dried, you can paint with color. Use small brushes to paint edges and large rollers to cover the rest. For tips on choosing the perfect colors for your home, read on!
Give your fireplace mantle an accent paint color, as this adds a quick update without having to tear anything out. In the kitchen, give your cabinets a new look with a douse of kitchen cabinet paint for an affordable and satisfying update. Countertop paint makes kitchen countertops look new again. You can do it yourself with a countertop paint kit in less than a weekend. A worn-out bathtub can look new with a coating of bathtub paint. Even your tiles can get a refresh or touch up, try tile paint on your backsplash or shower. Pro-tip: Use semi-gloss paint for kitchens and bathrooms as they wipe down easily.
Oil-based paint is commonly used for high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, and floors, trims, and moldings, since these areas take more abuse over time than walls do. Typically oil-based paints are less expensive than latex paints, take longer to dry, can create bad odor while drying, and contain more volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which essentially means they're less environmentally friendly.

Latex paint refers to water-based paint, the most popular and environmentally friendly paint. Since latex paints provide great color retention, they’re ideal for exterior walls that face a lot of weathering. Latex paints are also a good option for interior walls that are subjected to a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Additionally, latex paints dry faster than oil-based alternatives and produce fewer odors.
Summer is the busiest time of the year for painters, with some booked up to six months ahead of time, so book well in advance. Homebuyers getting VA loans have run into difficulties with this, so if you’re getting a VA renovation/rehabilitation loan, get all your painting and inspection estimates and work dates booked before you fill out any paperwork with a closing date, or the house will not be move-in ready in time.
Compare offers. The painter offering the lowest rate may not always be the best painter for the job. Indeed, the total cost isn't the only factor to consider when choosing between multiple bids. You'll want to look at contracts side by side to ensure you're making an apples-to-apples comparison. Are the same materials being used? Are the same services included? Does the painter provide a warranty?
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.
While some professional painters will charge a flat fee for a painting project, most charge an hourly rate—about $25 to $100 per hour on average. Most painters will charge more for last-minute jobs (think 48 hours' notice or less), travel costs (if you live far away, the painter may want extra money for gas), or intensive prep work (e.g., removing mold or stains before painting). Also, depending on the painter, the rate may or may not include the cost of paint materials such as paint, primer, and supplies.
Get estimates from several contractors, request and contact references, search for complaints at the Better Business Bureau[12] and check that the company is properly bonded and insured, as well as licensed in your state[13] . Only pay a small deposit, and don't pay the entire amount until the job is finished to your complete satisfaction (both painting and cleanup).

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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.
Painting interior walls does not require professional aptitude, but it is still a skill that arrives with a learning curve. The most challenging part of any interior painting project is the prep work, which often involves cleaning the walls, masking off windows, doorways and baseboards, then carefully “cutting in” the paint around the edges. Once the masking and cutting in are finished, volunteers with handheld or roller brushes can usually fill in the rest of the space with little trouble.
While you may choose to paint a door, ground-level window trim and other parts of your house’s exterior, it’s really a job best left to the professionals. One of the main reasons is experience. An experienced painter knows how to handle the prep work, spot problems and identify sources of future trouble, all while getting the job done more efficiently. They are also experienced with spending long hours on tall ladders. If you want high-quality work, it’s best to hire a professional painter near you. 
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