One of the most common home-improvement projects can also be one of the most enjoyable for the entire household. While some aspects of interior room painting, such as masking and “cutting in,” can require some experience and skill, applying a fresh coat of paint to a ceiling or wall or doorway is often a matter of a good brush, a paint tray, and some sweat equity. A coat of fresh paint may be all that’s required to revive a living space that’s faded a bit.
Your homeowner’s association might limit you as to how unique you can be with your exterior paint choices. Check with them first to make sure you don’t have to redo your hot-pink-plus-unicorns murals. It can help to drive around your neighborhood to see what your neighbors have chosen and come up with a color scheme that fits in. If you’re not sure, stores can give you small cans of paint so you can paint patches of color in discrete parts of the exterior to see how they look before purchase.

Having a professional paint your home from top to bottom, inside and outside has a number of advantages. For one thing, it'll save you a ton of time by not having to do the work yourself. In addition, you won't have to be concerned about safety issues, such as climbing a ladder to paint your house's gutters. Best of all, you can expect a clean, attractive finished product from a professional painter.
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.
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.
One important consideration when comparison shopping for interior paint is the manufacturer’s available palette. One brand of latex paint may be significantly less expensive than others, but the tint options can be limited. There can also be a noticeable difference between one manufacturer’s “midnight blue” and another’s “Prussian blue.” There is no universal standard, so this is why sample cards and test paints are so important.

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.
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. 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.
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.

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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.

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.


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.
Whether you decide to do the preparation work yourself or have a professional do it as part of your project, proper preparation makes all the difference in creating a smooth and lasting finish. Do it correctly the first time or you’ll quickly end up spending more to fix peeling and chipping paint. Follow this process before starting on your home's exterior. Keep in mind that the process may vary based on your siding materials:
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