Oct 17, 2010

Painting - You or a Pro?

It's time to paint your home. The color on your walls is a bit faded or white, the ceilings look dingy, or you're finally ready to add the colors you love. Is this a job for a professional or can you do it yourself?

One of the main considerations is time; do you have enough? A good paint job starts with good preparation and then patience in applying the paint.  More on prep to follow. The other major consideration is the ability to safely reach all of the areas to be painted; ask yourself if you have any hesitation using ladders or scaffolding.  If you can answer YES to having time and YES to the ability to safely reach all areas, then YES you can do the painting yourself. 

A rich brown top coat over a tinted primer.
Preparation is key to a good paint job. Properly cleaning and priming the surfaces to be painted - walls, trim, doors, ceilings, cabinets, etc..- will ensure that the paint will adhere well. Masking off areas that get different colors or types of paint (windows, trim, etc...) will save you time during the job and eliminate major touch-ups. 

The better your brushes and rollers, the better the paint job will be.  Using the right nap roller, and the correct bristle type, angle, and size of brush WILL give you better application. The same is true for the paint. A good quality paint will apply easily, cover well, and dry to the right color. Selecting the correct product and sheen for the room will make it easy to maintain.

If you elect to hire a professional, be sure that the bid includes the paint you like and not a lower quality brand.  Check licenses and insurance before you start work.  

Color selection can often be challenging. DON'T paint multiple color swatches on your walls. First, the colors you paint side-by-side will affect each other and the final 'read' may not be right. Second, you will need to prime over those swatches so that the final color will be 'true'.  If you have difficulty selecting colors right from fan decks or small swatches,then purchase small amounts of paint (many manufacturers sell a 3 oz size) and paint a piece of drywall or sample board. Pre-cut drywall and paint sample boards are sold at most home improvement stores.  DO carry the sample to different areas of the room since paint colors will change with lighting changes. Once you have selected the color, be sure to ask the paint vendor whether a tinted primer should be applied before the paint.  When in doubt, hire a color specialist who will select the ideal colors for the interior and exterior of your home.

The right shade of rich color adds ambiance to a room.