Archive for November, 2014

Interior and Exterior Painting: It’s All in the Prep Work!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


If you’re thinking about painting your house or having it painted, there are a lot of things to think about. What colors do you want? How much paint will you need? Are certain kinds of paint better than others? How long is the job going to take? Will it force you to lose functionality in an important part of your house for the duration of the project?

Here’s the thing that I always tell people about painting in general, regardless of whether the job is inside or outside: actually applying the paint is easy – the hard part is making sure that you prepare the right way. How exactly do you do that?

First, you answer the questions above – and make sure you’re truly happy and sure about those answers. One of the best things you can do if you just can’t come to a solid decision about something on your own is to talk to a professional. They can tell you what will and won’t work well and really help you to streamline options.

But there’s another pre-painting step after you answer those questions and get the right tools: prep work. If you’re not smart about prepping your room and the surface that you’re going to paint, you might as well not even begin the job.

So, how exactly do you prep?

Clear the space. If I’m going to paint in the next day or two, the first thing I do is try to get the space around the painting surface as clear as possible. This means moving away any furniture that’s in the way and, for outdoor jobs, trimming any landscaping to give me more room to work and get to hard-to-reach areas.

Turn off sprinklers. When I’m painting a house, few things annoy me more than getting blasted by a customer’s sprinkler system. I doubt you want to get wet, either, so don’t forget to turn off any automatic watering systems and keep them off until the paint has time to dry.

Make sure outlets work. Sometimes a paint job will entail power tools, and the last thing you want is to start the process only to discover that your outlets don’t have any juice and you’re going to have to have extension cords everywhere.

Clean it up. You never want to paint over an area that’s covered in dust and dirt or lumps and bumps, because the condition of the surface can impact how good the paint job looks and how long it lasts. For best results, I always fill cracks and holes, clean, sand, and dry the surface that I’m going to paint ahead of time. Different surfaces need to be cleaned in different ways, so talk to a professional.

Use a primer. The only time you don’t really need to use a primer is when the surface that you’re repainting is in good condition. Otherwise, I always recommend primers because they do so many beneficial things. A good primer will make topcoating faster; help prevent odors, marks, and stains; keep the paint from peeling; make it easier to touch up problem areas; assist with adhesion; allow you to use fewer coats of paint to get the color you want; and make the surface look more smooth and professional overall when you are done.

Follow this prepping advice and you’ll be more than ready to start painting – and ensure that the surface will look as good as it possibly can when you’re done!

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Have a great Fall!