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.
House painting is often an important step of the moving process. If your home or rental property is in need of a fresh coat (or two) of paint, you’ll have to decide how you want to proceed. Do you hire a professional painter or break out the ladder and purchase the exterior house paint yourself? Depending on the scale of the project, your time frame, and whether it’s an exterior or interior house painting job, the answer might be different. Read up on our house painting tips and tricks to see what choice is the best for you.
The following guidelines will set you up for success. First, start at the top and work down. Second, paint out of the sun’s glare, since the sun will cause the paint to dry too quickly and flake or blister. To avoid marks, try to brush from one wet surface onto another. If you do have to paint onto a dry surface, overlap the wet paint onto the dry surface by several inches.
Choose the best quality paint you can afford; it lasts longer. Experts estimate that the outside of a house should be painted every 5-7 years, but less-expensive paint may start peeling or fading in 4 years or less while really high-quality paint will hold up a bit longer. Better Homes & Gardens[1] describes and compares the different types of exterior paint while FastFacts.com[2] reviews specific brands.
Some basic interior paints are sold in bulk, often in neutral colors such as white or beige. These can be very economical if the home’s color scheme is not a major consideration. However, many homeowners prefer to apply customized colors to match the furnishings or create a specific ambience for each room. Because of advancements in the industry, many manufacturers now offer a dizzying array of colors, from cool pastels to bold metallics.
BEHR Premium Cabinet and Trim Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel BEHR Premium Cabinet and Trim Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel offers excellent flow and leveling and dries to a hard, durable finish. Its outstanding block resistance allows for quick return to service, making it ideal for use on cabinets, trim, doors, windows, shutters and woodwork. This product can also be used on other properly prepared and primed substrates, such as drywall, masonry and metal.  More + Product Details Close
Power washing – $0.42–$1.40/sq. ft.. You might think you can save some money by power washing the exterior yourself, but homeowners can get a bit trigger-happy with a power washer in their hands. The pressure from the washer can take them unawares, breaking windows, leaking water into window frames and siding joints, and gouging wood. It’s probably wiser to use a hose and scrubbing brush. Rinse off any cleaning solutions thoroughly.
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.

Even if you hire a professional, you may need to play a small role in your house painting process. This could be anything from moving your furniture to the center of the room to removing switch plates and outlet covers. Ask your painter how much prep work is expected of you before hiring. The amount of work you’re willing to do could help you narrow down the right painter for the job.
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.

A. Many homeowners purchase small sample cans of interior paint at a local home improvement store and apply each one to a different section of the wall. You should look at each color under different lighting conditions, such as natural daylight and nighttime lighting. You'll also want to consider the general color scheme of the furnishings, artwork and flooring that will be in that space.

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.


Begin prepping your walls by removing any outlet covers or lighting fixtures (if possible). Next, inspect your walls for any defects. If you encounter cracks, dents, or holes in your walls, simply fill them in with caulk or spackling compound. There are also a number of DIY tips to fill nail holes. Once your repairs dry, smooth them down with sandpaper and wipe the walls down with a damp sponge.
Staining a deck costs $540 to $1,000. Covered porches might hit $2,000. Consider negotiating the price a bit lower by combining it with a full exterior job. Painting handrails can run anywhere from $1 to $2 per linear foot, depending on whether it’s wood, metal or some other material. Although you might think this is an easy $30 to $100 job, most painters charge a minimum fee regardless of the size of the project. You’ll probably end up paying at least $150.
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