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.
There are a few ways to prevent your interior house paint from fading — or stop it from getting worse. One simple fix is to install shades or curtains to block incoming sunlight. If you don’t want to shut out the light, you can also tint your windows with a UV protectant. However, fading shouldn’t be much of an issue if you use high-quality interior house paint.
If you are painting for a client, skip the paint in the bucket, and use large trays. For faster completion and still quality results the 5 gallon bucket and strainer work great as well as a wood filler, 5-in-1 tool, screw gun (drill), metal joint compound tray, metal putty knife, wide drywall knife, mini hand-held paint containers (for brushes), and a mini-roller and corresponding nap (for edging, after cutting in with brush on the bottom, top and sides of wall, and the sides of ceilings, so that you don't see brush lines).
Carefully consider the gloss level. The shiny gloss paints are easy to clean, but will make any wall blemish stand out. The flat paints will help disguise wall blemishes, but can be difficult to clean. Generally, you'll want glossier paints where there's lots of steam or cooking (baths and kitchens) and in high-traffic areas. Flatter paints are preferred for large walls and ceilings.
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).
Prep the house. Wash the walls, remove wallpaper, patch, spackle, seal stains, dry and sand before you attempt to paint. Now is also the time to apply painters tape for trimming, lay drop cloths, etc. Remove all outlet and light switch face plates, collecting screws in a zip-top bag (good opportunity to wash the face plates all at once as well).[4] You can also buy your paint at this time. Don't wait until the last minute. It can take hours to mix many gallons of all your colors. Remember that traffic triples at your home-supply and hardware stores on weekends. Buy on a weekday if possible.
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?
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.

According to Craftsman National Estimator, "High time difficulty factors for surface preparation and painting. Painting takes longer when heights exceed 8' above the floor. Productivity is lower when an application requires a roller pole or wand on a spray gun or when work is done from a ladder or scaffold. When painting above 8', apply the following factors:


Plan the schedule. Get a grip on the time it will take to bring the project to fruition. Plan for time to move furniture, wall prep, cut in, the painting itself, eating and breaks, and don't forget cleanup and bringing furniture back in. As you plan, err on the side of prudence. Unforeseen events will slow you down, so allow time for these. Remember, this is a multi-day project. Don't try to fit too much into a day. If you move faster than planned, great!

Paper/poly drop cloths: $2 to $6 for 9x12-feet. The best of both paper and plastic, these cloths are low-cost and disposable. They absorb paint drips while providing more protection for what's underneath. They also provide some protection from slipping. Plus, you can cut paper/poly drop cloths to fit the space. But, like paper, paper/poly drop cloths can rip more easily than plastic or canvas drop cloths.
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.
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.
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.

Repainting is key to maintaining exterior house paint. The material that your home is made of affects how often you should repaint. For instance, wood-paneled homes need to be repainted twice as often as those made of stucco. Environmental factors also play a role in how often you should repaint, since harsh climates can be hard on a home. As a general rule of thumb, homeowners should repaint their home every six to ten years.
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.
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.
Needless to say, an exterior paint job tends to be more complicated. Indoors, you don’t have to deal with the elements. When painting the exterior of a home, however, you have to think about tough to reach places and the unpredictability of the weather. If you just want to repaint your front door, we trust that you’ll be able to do it yourself. Contrarily, a full exterior makeover requires professional help.
Similar to exterior mold, mold is more likely to emerge in warm and humid areas. That being said, rooms like bathrooms and basements are more prone to mold. To preemptively prevent mold, use paints that are mold resistant. Should you find mold on a wall in your home, you can clean it with a simple solution of one part bleach to four parts water. If the area is large, you may want to leave the cleaning to a professional.
The average cost to paint the interior of a house or room is $1 to $3 per square foot. Painters charge $1,200 to $3,900 to paint the walls in a house interior, and the cost to paint a room is $350 to $850. Prices increase when including the ceilings, baseboards, and trim. Get free estimates from interior painters near you or view our cost guide below.
One of the first considerations when it comes to interior house paint is the base. There are two schools of thought, each with their pros and cons. Some brands commonly sold to contractors for commercial projects are oil-based, meaning the chosen pigment is mixed with an oil derivative called alkyd. Oil-based paint provides thorough coverage, and the finished coat resists moisture well. However, oil-based paint releases a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as it dries, and it can only be removed from floors, brushes, and clothing with strong chemical paint thinners. In fact, many states have actually banned the use of oil-based paints because of their VOC levels and hazardous ingredients.
Test different paint swatches. The last thing you want to do is paint a whole room and then decide you despise the color (yes, it happens!). Try out different paint colors on the surface before choosing the paint that you want. Buying sample sizes will help you save money. The caveat: paint color samples are not real paint, so if you try to finish or touch up a project with samples, the paint will fade.
Use semi gloss for hallways because walls there are more likely to be touched, bumped or otherwise marked over time (semi gloss cleans more easily). However, use flat for a living room. Flat will help hide imperfections in the walls. If you want the same color in both the hall and living room, then no problem. Use flat in the living room, semi gloss in the hall, making the threshold the transition point.

Two aesthetic things to consider when selecting a finish are how shiny you'd like the surface to be and whether or not you want to hide any imperfections on the surface to be painted. Generally, higher-gloss paint finishes reflect light better than lower-gloss finishes, like eggshell and matte. That makes them shiny, and also causes them to highlight flaws in walls and ceilings.


Some siding on older homes might need so much repair that it is more cost-effective to replace the siding rather than repair it all and then paint over it. Expect to pay between $1,550 and $3,050 for the removal and disposal of old siding and $4,000 to $14,000 for new siding and installation. Expect to pay more if the wood underneath is wet and rotten and needs structural repair work.
In addition to working on our house, Rome has now done jobs for my in-laws, brother, cousin and even a family friend (so its fair to say that I've seen a variety of his work in person) and all of us have been more than pleased with the finished products! If you're browsing for someone to "get the job done", end your search NOW and give Rome a call, you won't regret it!
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