10 House Painting Rules You Should Never Break

No home improvement project could make or break the look of a home as quickly as painting. Whether you hire a professional exterior painter or take on the job yourself, there are a few tips you should always adhere to. Here are the 10 house painting rules you should never break, according to the pros.

1. Don’t skimp.

Top quality materials will cost you, but there is a reason they are top. Quality paint not only lasts longer, but will go on easier. Most higher quality paints will also carry a lifetime warranty against defects in the finish you put up. With paint, and other products for the job, you will get what you pay for. Getting cheaper paint could mean painting more often. Expect to pay about $35 per gallon, but up to $70.

2. Plan for Lots of Prep.

To get a good finished product, you will need the surface to be prepared properly. You need to scrape and sand the area to get a flat, clean surface to put paint onto. Professional painters will tell you to plan on twice as long to prepare an area, as actually painting it. You’ll spend a decent amount of time washing, sanding and repairing the project.

3. Avoid Lead Paint.

While it’s not a commonly used paint today, the home you are painting could contain it. If your rooms were painted before 1978, there is a good chance you could run into it. It’s unsafe to sand or work on lead paint on your own. If you are concerned about your house containing these harmful contaminants, contact an EPA certified renovation specialist. They can help you with testing and removal of the lead paint.

4. Don’t skimp on coats.

Using a primer will always yield a better outcome. Some professional painters insist upon tinting the primer as the first coat. You should plan at least two coats of paint after the primer. Be sure to go over your work with a bright light before you clean up. You can touch up any areas that need more coverage.

5. Get the right tools.

Having the right tools for the job creates a good work environment for you to complete the project. Get a high quality roller and brush to do the project.

6. Be realistic.

Painting your house is not for the faint of heart. It’s going to take hard work and more time than you expect. If you’re not up to the task, bring in an expert painter to handle it for you. There is no sense spending the time and money to not love the outcome of the job.

7. Wait for temperate weather.

Painting on hot days is bad for your paint job and your health. The same goes for cold days. When the temperature is high or low, it can affect the viscosity of the paint, which causes the job to suffer. Paint when it’s between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When possible, work in the shade. Too much sun can make the paint dry too quickly, not allowing for the curing process to take place. Low temperatures can hinder adhesion. When possible avoid humidity since dampness or dew can bubble surfaces.

8. Cover everything else.

Paint has a surprisingly big splatter distance. Even with the most careful painters, a rouge splatter can occur. Take the time to cover flooring, hardware, shrubbery, or anything else that could potentially get painted. Cleaning up paint can be a disaster so it’s best to avoid it if possible. If you are using an air sprayer, be very aware of the wind and any overspray that could happen.

9. Paint using pro-recommended techniques.

Start at the top and work down. Start with overhangs. Use a w-shaped painting method. There is no lack of tips on the actual paint technique that you should use. Do your research and find out what the experts recommend for your painting project. You may find some other tips woven into their recommendations as well.

10. If you hire a pro, get bids and references.

Do not have one bid done on your project. Professional quotes can vary more than you’d expect. Having two or three done on the same room can give you piece of mind that you are not over or under paying. If you are still unsure, ask for photos and references from previous clients.

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