Scale has one of the biggest impacts on deciding whether to hire painting help or take matters into your own hands. If you want to paint your home, consider whether or not this is a realistic task to take on yourself. For instance, is your house multiple stories or a townhouse? Do you just want to paint the kitchen or the entire exterior? Once you factor in the time it takes to do the prep work and lay down multiple coats of paint, a DIY paint job can get complicated. If the house painting job is extensive, you may want to leave it to professionals.
If the exterior of your home is unpainted or has been scraped and sanded, you will want to lay down a coat of primer. Make sure that the primer you’re using is right for the surface you’re painting. While most surfaces can be treated with acrylic primer, some surfaces, like cedar and redwood, require oil-based primers. The oil stops the wood tannins from bleeding through the topcoat.
When painting a carpeted room, keep in mind that paint will soak through drop cloths. This is especially true of the cheaper, lightweight cloths. It helps to tape masking paper to all of the base boards before laying the drop cloths. Tuck the edges of the cloth under the paper--this will help keep it clean. You might want to invest in a hand-held masking machine--they make the job go much faster. Even after taking these precautions make sure to clean big drops or spills before they soak through and before you step on them!
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.
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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.
Following the same process as the primer, cut in the walls with your chosen paint. For best results, paint one wall at a time. This makes it easier to spread the paint while it’s still wet. Work from top to bottom, rolling the paint in V or W-shaped strokes. Before applying a second coat, wait two to four hours. Then proceed with the same process used for the first coat.
For trim and doors, start with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of trim paint for every 600 sq feet of floor space. Purchase more at the store if/when needed. Trim is something that is difficult to calculate exactly, and it is more time-efficient to simply start with less than you need, and go buy more after you have used up the first round of paint and determined how much you will need to finish by seeing how much you have painted so far, compared to the gallons used.
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.
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.
Use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. A good method to use is the 'W method'. You start by painting a large 3 foot (0.91 m) square W on the wall. Then, without lifting the roller, you fill in the W. You can paint a wall section-by-section, and do the walls one at a time for best results. It's generally a good idea to use an extension pole for your roller instead of standing on a ladder. Make sure that neither the extension pole nor the roller has plastic handles, as plastic handles are flexible and this makes it difficult to control the painting.
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.
Remove any outlet covers or lighting fixtures (if possible). Then scrutinize the walls for any defects. Simply fill them in with caulk or spackling compound if you encounter cracks, dents, or holes in your walls and trims. There are also tips and tricks for filling nail holes. Once done with the repair, smoothen the wall down with sandpaper and then wipe it with a damp sponge.
It's up to you. Outside is much harder because it requires more prep, patience, time, help, money and of course, effort. I have been painting my own houses and rental properties interiors for 20 years, and I painted the exterior of one, once. I then had it promptly done again by professionals who said it would have been cheaper if they didn't have to undo my work first. My advice is to get pros for the outside because everyone will see it.
Most house painting professionals will agree that two coats of paint are needed on a home. Using one coat of paint may look sufficient, but will not hold up over time. Two coats of paint, on the other hand, provide protection, washability, and help retain the true color of the paint. If you are still toying with the idea of hiring a professional painter, ask if two coats of paint are included in the pricing estimate.
06/14/17: Renato completed an exterior painting project for our relatively large single family home in Stamford, CT last weekend. Project did not begin well especially with the prep, repair/carpentry work, but then Renato took full control and ensured that the work done was to our satisfaction. The final result is outstanding. Minor damage to window screens, gutters and plants. Ensure that your window screens, gutters, and shutters are numbered and stored indoors or if kept outdoor covered properly against the elements. The project can be extensively delayed due to rain and you may find yourself dealing with insects and/or flooding in basement and dirty/bent/ mismatched screens/gutters/shutters. Overall we had a good team working on our project and we are satisfied with the finished product. The house looks great!