Understanding How to Choose a House Painter:
When you request a painting estimate, know that there is often a wide range in painters' ability, skill level and knowledge, pricing and professionalism. Often times people conclude that painter "X" is expensive while painter "Y" is cheap. They make that value determination based solely on price.
Low Cost Painters vs. High Priced Painters:
Often, cheap painters do sloppy, substandard work and use low-grade paints. Don't blame them, they are servicing the low priced market and it is a valid business model. The question is: Do you want this type of work in your house? If you are particular, and the appearance of your house matters to you, consider spending more and having a professional painter make your house beautiful.
Know the type of painter you want before you call people out to your home. If you want an inexpensive paint job, and you can compromise on quality, tell the painters that. If you want a high quality job and are willing to pay a fair price for it, tell the painters that also. Know what you want and be direct with the painters.
If a painter doesn't sound right over the phone, don't invite him over for an estimate. Phone conversations are the first phase of information gathering. Some painters give pricing over the phone, and that saves everyone time.
Just Because your Friend/Neighbor got a "Good" Job, Doesn't Mean the Painter is Good:
Using a referral from a friend is a common way of picking a painter. While this works sometimes; sometimes it doesn't. Your friend may not have had any problems or may not know of any problems they do have. It is fine to consider their recommendation, but make sure you check additional references and use your instincts. Friends and neighbors think they know a good painter from an unskilled painter often because they were happy with what they paid. Experience shows that they don't a good painter from a bad one. They form their opinion on one being a good painter based on if he was cheap and if the house looked good to them when the painter finished. That isn't the way to determine quality house painting.
Important Questions to Ask a House Painter:
1. How many men will work at the house and for how many days?
2. Is the painter licensed and insured?
3. How long have his painters been working with him?
4. What brand of paint will be used? What specific grade level of paint will be used? All manufacturers have many grades of paint. They run from high quality/expensive to low quality/inexpensive
5. What are the bathroom arrangements for the workers?
6. Will you be priming the surfaces before you paint?
7. How many coats will you be applying?
8. Have you included everything in your estimate or could there be additional charges for work?
9. How will you dispose of the trash and old paint?
10. What type of paint is currently on my house? Will the new paint stick to it?
11. How will you clean the house prior to painting?
12. What are the payment arrangements?
13. Is there anything else I haven't asked that you should tell me?
Painting is a cost effective way to beautify and liven up a living space.
Painting it Yourself:
Step #1. Examine the work area.
You can save a considerable amount of time and effort if you plan your paint job intelligently. Also, consider the items that will not be painted or changed such as furniture, art, lighting fixtures, window treatments, carpets and floors. Protect items not being painted from drips and splatters.
Step #2: Color selection, Color Scheme and Paint Sheen.
Be sure the color you choose for your walls, woodwork and ceilings will be compatible or complementary with the items that will not be painted or changed. Select your general color or color scheme first, then pick up color cards from various paint manufacturers which often show color combinations and exact shades of the colors they suggest.
Check the list of the paint companies with color visualizers and their links on our picking your colors page https://allabouthousepainting.com/picking-colors/
Once you have colors in mind, make draw down samples (paint the samples on an 8.5 x 11 piece of cardboard. Take those samples to the room to be painted and look at them in the different lights of the day. Once you are satisfied that you have the right color, you need to calculate how much paint you are going to need. Overbuying paint is wasteful to the environment and your pocketbook. The paint store manager should be able to help you figure out how much paint you need based on the square footage of your room. Also, mention if you are going to be covering over deep colors or if you have a deep color to apply. It takes more coats to cover and paint deep colors.
Sheen is a personal preference, but there are guidelines that will help you choose the right sheen within an acceptable range for a given application. Bathrooms and Kitchens (walls, ceilings and woodwork) traditionally are painted with semi-gloss enamel. Woodwork, windows, doors, and trim are also traditionally painted with semi-gloss enamel. Ceilings in dry rooms (bedrooms, living room, dining room, etc.) are painted with flat paint. Walls in dry rooms are traditionally painted with flat or satin finish. Sheen is a function of the ingredients of the paint and certain properties are built in for a given application.
Step #3: Surface Preparation
You are ready to go to the paint store. In many areas of the country, expect to spend one to three hours at the paint store waiting to be served. A time saving tip is to call the store first and tell the manager you are coming in to get paint. Feel free to ask for personalized service; it can save you hours.
Bring your material checklist: Ask the Paint Store for an in-house checklist. A checklist will be found on the Products and Tools page. For the best looking and lasting paint job, must make sure all surfaces are clean, cracks are filled or caulked. Cracks within the same material are generally patched, cracks between dissimilar materials like wall and floor are generally caulked.
Figure in plenty of time for painting preparation. Good preparation requires as long or longer than the actual paint job.
Note the surfaces you’ll be painting, such as wood, wall board and paneling. Also note the condition they are in –previously painted or new surface. You need to know what types of paints and primers to buy. There is a right paint and primer for almost every surface.
Step #4 How Much Paint to Buy and What Type?
Repair damaged areas and caulk where needed. Most homes have some gaps – between walls and floors, where molding meets walls, floors or ceilings or around door or window frames. Top quality 100% acrylic caulk is the best material to fill these gaps to achieve optimal aesthetics and minimize drafts that reduce your home’s energy efficiency.
Measure the room or rooms you’ll be painting, you don't have to be exact, just close. Most regular sized bedrooms will take two gallons just for the walls. You want to buy slightly more than you need to ensure you’ll have enough and that you’ll have some left over for touch up.
Make sure to box all your colors. It means that if you have three cans of the same color, empty and mix them all together in a bucket before you apply them to a wall. No matter what kind of paint you choose, you’ll find a variety of prices and a wide range of quality. Lower quality paints cost less, but don’t let that fool you. You generally get more for your money, and a much better value, with a higher quality paint.
High Quality Paint Means better product:
A good quality paint goes on faster, easier and gives better coverage. Good hiding and flow means the paint will go on with less brushing and give an attractive uniform appearance. For exterior work, the cost per year is lower with a top quality paint. If the surface is properly prepared and you use the right tools, you’ll need to repaint less often and there will be less maintenance. You probably won’t have mildew to remove, nor should you have to worry about chalking, cracking, etc.
For interior work, you should expect a top quality paint to last longer and give you more value. A quality paint resists dirt and staining better and stands up to repeated cleaning better than an "economy" paint. High quality exterior paints have more durable pigments that resist chalking and fading better than lower quality paints and "bind" the pigment into a tough, continuous film and help the paint adhere to the surface.
Many top quality exterior latex paints are called "100% acrylic" and give maximum adhesion when wet for resistance to blistering and peeling and resistance to mildew and dirt. Most manufacturers offer a wide variety of paint products, from cheap to expensive. Just because you are buying a "big name" paint doesn't mean you aren't buying their best paint. You have to ask what is their highest quality paint. Expect to pay between $50 -$110 per gallon for the good stuff.
Step #5 Painting
The trend in paint these days is to use water/latex or acrylic based paints. Water based paints are now longer lasting and more durable than oil based paints. Oil/solvent based paints are being phased out of use in the United States. When possible, choose to use water based paints.
Here are some useful tips about ladders that apply to both interior and exterior use:
•Check your ladders before use. Make sure that the rungs are connected and free of dirt and paint buildup that could interfere with footing.
•When extending or retracting an extension ladder, pay close attention to what you are doing and hold the pulley rope firmly; if the rope is released, the upper section could drop on your fingers, arms or feet.
•Obey the "four contact" rule: When using an extension ladder, make sure that the tops of both rails make solid contact with walls, and that both legs make solid contact with the floor or ground.
•Never stand higher than the third-highest rung on a ladder. Make sure that the ladder reaches at least three feet higher than the highest level you need to stand.•Place foam protectors or wads of cloth on the tops of extension ladders, to prevent them from scratching the walls.
•On a A-frame stepladder, make sure the spreader bar is fully extended and locked in place.
•With a straight or extension ladder, make sure that the base is one foot away from the wall for every three feet of height.•Make sure your pockets are empty of knives, scissors or other pointed tools before climbing any ladder.
•When on the ladder, keep your hips between the rails for good balance.
•Do not push or pull too hard with a scraper or other tools while balanced on the ladder.
•Always wear rubber-soled or another type of non-slip shoe on a ladder.
Dealing with Lead in Paint
Lead hasn't been used in American paint since 1978. Houses painted before 1978 may contain lead. States like New York and Ohio have the highest percentages of houses with lead. If you are not sure if your work will release lead dust, test the surface prior to disturbing it.
If you suspect the presence of old paint containing lead, do not sand the area. Contact a local Environmental Protection Agency office or health department for instructions on how to proceed. (Lead paint is most likely to be found in buildings that were build prior to 1978.) Sources of Lead Paint: Lead carbonate was used prior to World War II. A white powder, it was used as a primary white pigment in oil-based paints. During the 1940's and early `50s, "white lead" was replaced by titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is more efficient in providing whiteness and hiding. In the early 1970s, the use of lead compounds began to be phased out. In 1978, legislation eliminated them altogether. All interior and exterior house paints and primers are now made without lead. Some buildings, especially those built before this legislation was enacted, may contain lead paint.
A booklet entitled "Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home" (Publication No. EPA 747-R-94-002) has been produced by the Environmental Protection Agency. It provides information concerning:
•Testing for the presence of lead paint.
•Steps to take to minimize exposure to lead where lead-containing paint may be present.
•Removal and in-place management of lead-containing paint.
Personal Protective Equipment
Painting isn't an inherently dangerous activity, but it's always best to follow good safety practices. Carelessness is the quickest way to get injured or into trouble when doing any project, and painting is no exception. Personal Protective Equipment: Good painting practice dictates that the skin, eyes, and lungs be protected. This can be accomplished by purchasing GLOVES, SAFETY GOGGLES and a DUST MASK or RESPIRATOR. Everyone should read and be familiar with safety protocol.
EYE PROTECTION is recommended when wire-brushing, scraping, sanding or painting. SAFETY GOGGLES are a must when handling acids, bleach or other chemicals.
It is also a good idea to wear a proper DUST MASK when sanding.
Brushes and Rollers
Latex Paint -The best practice is to clean your brushes and rollers after each use. If you have used latex paint, rinse your brush
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