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.
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.[6] 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.
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.
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A moisture meter will let your contractor know if there’s moisture in the stucco before starting. The wetter the material, the less ready it is to be sanded, painted, finished or covered. Your contractor will use a premixed stucco repair patch material to fill any small holes and will paint on dry days to avoid sealing in water. Painting rough stucco requires more paint. Brush painting stucco costs $112 per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $55 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting stucco costs $25 per 100 sq. ft.
Supplies and Equipment – Scraping, sanding, and stripping tools and supplies; patching compound; power washer rental; primer; caulk; masking supplies; painters’ tape; ladders and scaffolding; paint pans; brushes, sprayers, and roller brushes all cost money, even if you do it yourself. Consider all of those tools and equipment sitting in your garage for the rest of your life vs. paying an experienced painter to do it all for you at a price that saves you weeks of time. Expect to pay $5–$6 per 100 sq. ft. for supplies and materials.
A moisture meter will let your contractor know if there’s moisture in the stucco before starting. The wetter the material, the less ready it is to be sanded, painted, finished or covered. Your contractor will use a premixed stucco repair patch material to fill any small holes and will paint on dry days to avoid sealing in water. Painting rough stucco requires more paint. Brush painting stucco costs $112 per 100 sq. ft., roll painting costs $55 per 100 sq. ft., and spray painting stucco costs $25 per 100 sq. ft.
Paper drop cloths: $3 to $5 for 9x12-feet. Paper drop cloths provide a cheap way to cover furniture or windows while painting small, indoor jobs, such as touching up window trim. They're absorbent and textured to hold paint. When you're finished, you can just fold them up and throw them away. However, paper cloths are not the best option for protecting floors since they can tear easily.
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.
Supplies and Equipment – Scraping, sanding, and stripping tools and supplies; patching compound; power washer rental; primer; caulk; masking supplies; painters’ tape; ladders and scaffolding; paint pans; brushes, sprayers, and roller brushes all cost money, even if you do it yourself. Consider all of those tools and equipment sitting in your garage for the rest of your life vs. paying an experienced painter to do it all for you at a price that saves you weeks of time. Expect to pay $5–$6 per 100 sq. ft. for supplies and materials.

If you are seeking a few gallons of interior house paint for your home, office, or apartment, read our helpful shopping guide. We have compared dozens of brands of interior house paints currently on the market and have compiled a short list of our favorites. Topping that list is Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Paint, a low-odor, VOC-free formula from one of the most trusted brands in paint.
Painting a brand new house with smooth surfaces dramatically reduces prep work. On the other hand, if you’re painting an old home with peeling walls or siding, it’s going to take a lot longer. When deciding whether to hire house painting professionals or do it yourself, take the current state of the paint into consideration. If you’re not up for the challenge of scraping and sanding for hours, you should hire help to get the best results.

Before hiring a painter, you should get a detailed estimate from them. This should include costs for labor, materials, paint, and the timeframe of the project. Covering details upfront will prevent issues from emerging later on. Ask the painter if they charge for travel time, whether their estimate includes pressure washing and caulking, and any other questions you might have.


Exterior paint averages $25-$40 a gallon, and a 3,000-square-foot home takes 15 or more gallons of paint, or $375-$600 just for the paint. However, really premium paint can cost $50-$100 a gallon, or $750-$1,500 for that large home. Doing it yourself also requires renting a pressure washer or sprayer for $50-$100 a day; extra-long ladders or scaffolding at $20-$75 daily; and a power sprayer for $50-$100 daily, plus masking tape, drop cloths and other supplies. However, it's possible to paint a large, two-story house for materials-only costs of $400-$600.
In addition, paint features such as mold and mildew resistance are important cost factors. Many mold-inhibiting bathroom paints, for instance, cost substantially more than ordinary latex-acrylic paint—sometimes close to twice the cost. Also, paints that come with warranties from the manufacturer may be more expensive depending on the length of the warranty. (A two-year warranty is standard.)
Paint supplies cost anywhere from $10 to $100 or more depending on what you need. Painters will typically provide most of the supplies for a project, but sometimes they will allow you to pay for solely labor if you provide all the materials yourself. You might decide to do a DIY paint job down the road. In which case having these supplies on-hand will save you time and money.
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.
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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.
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