Paint can be expensive. Buying too much paint is particularly frustrating since paint stores won’t refund an already tinted gallon of paint. That’s why it’s recommended to first buy around 80% of the estimated paint you need and then purchase the remainder when you’re almost finished. Factors such as square footage, surface type, and quality of paint all play into how much paint you’ll need. Paint stores should be able to help you determine how much paint you need for a specific job. If you aren’t sure how much paint to buy, ask a salesperson for advice.
High-gloss paint is the most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens. It's ultra-shiny, light-reflective, and hard (think appliance-paint tough). High-glass paint has too much shine for interior walls; you'd find the reflections and drywall flaws distracting. It is a good choice for areas that sticky fingers touch, though, such as cabinets, trim, and doors.
A gallon of paint costs $15 to $40 and covers about 350 square feet with one coat. Designer varieties can run over $100 per gallon. Your contractor pays 50 percent less than what it runs in a home improvement store. You’ll also need to spend another $20 to $100 on supplies like brushes, rollers, masking paper and plastic. A professional will have these items on-hand.
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.
Determine the coverage area for each color and estimate the number of gallons you'll need for each. For odd walls with angled ceilings, make your best guess. If you're not comfortable doing this, measure the wall at its highest height and multiply that by its width. Now subtract the lowest height from the highest height, multiply that number by the width, cut that answer in half, and finally subtract that new number from the original height by width. That should give you the wall area.
The Cutters. Someone with meticulous attention to detail and a steady hand should be assigned the job of "cutting in," or painting a straight edge where needed, such as along a wall where the ceiling does not get painted. Many products are available to assist, but none work as well as a person who's good at doing it freehand. Ensure this person is skilled (ask them to show you). A poor, jagged, wavy or splotched cutting-in job will jump out at you every time you walk by it. Why more than one cutter? This job is nerve-wracking and painful to hands and arms after a few days. You'll want to give this person a break after a few walls.
Some paints are two-in-one paint and primer products, or so-called "self-priming paints." These paints are designed to seal and cover surfaces in one coat. But, here's the secret: though it's called a paint-and-primer-in-one product, there's actually no primer in the mix—what you're really working with is just a thicker paint that often doesn't perform as well as using separate primer and paint.
The next step up is a semigloss finish, which has the level of reflectivity that makes an impression but can be challenging to apply. Semigloss paint provides great coverage and is easy to clean but is less forgiving when it comes to brushstrokes and overspray. The highest-end finish is full gloss, which looks very luxurious when the job is finished, but requires a surprising amount of prep work and painting experience to apply correctly. It is also on the expensive side, so it is often used sparingly on door frames, window treatments and accent walls.
Practicing ladder safety is key. When using an extension ladder, always test that its resting at the right angle by putting your toes against the feet of the ladder and extend your arms outwards. At the proper angle, you should be able to rest your hands on the rung in front of you comfortably. When on a ladder, you should always keep your hands free and maintain a steady center of gravity.
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.
A more user-friendly option is a water-based “latex” paint, which blends acrylic pigments with a thin base for easy application with a brush or paint sprayer. Although many water-based interior paints are promoted as one-coat wonders, there can still be a need for an initial primer coat followed by one or two coats of latex paint. Water-based paints are very low in VOCs, which means minimal odors during the drying period. Most spills can be wiped away without the need for chemical cleaners, and clothing containing latex paint can be laundered in water and detergent. Water-based paint is a good choice for first-time DIYers and their younger assistants.
Painting exterior windows depend on the size of the window and the number of panes. To calculate the price for windows larger than 15 sq. ft., add 1’ to each side of the window and then multiply width x length. Add two sq. ft. for each window pane for painting the mullions, muntins, and sash and then multiply your total sq. ft. by $84/100 sq. ft. So a 4’ x 4’ window with 4 panes will come to a total of 44 sq. ft. x $84/100 sq. ft. = $37.
Many new homeowners want to change the color scheme of their rooms, either as a way to personalize the space or match the walls with existing furnishings and artwork. Interior house paint is relatively inexpensive, and it doesn’t require complicated machinery or professional-level skills to apply. There are also thousands of customizable colors available, as well as a choice of finishes, such as matte, semigloss, or gloss.
Prepping a house costs anywhere from $0.50 to $2.50 per square foot. This is almost always included in the total project price. However, the DIYer might negotiate some discounts for completing this work on their own. Be warned, proper prep is key to the quality and durability of the finish. If you do this work yourself, the contractor might no guarantee to finished product.