Interior Painting Tips
Painting is a common home improvement project that can create a dramatic new look and express your personal style. While many homeowners rely upon a professional painting contractor, interior painting is a common DIY project. Whether you plan to tackle a painting project on your own, or are going to call upon a pro, here are a few things you must know.
Planning Your Painting Project
The very first step of your painting project is creating the vision and a plan for your home. Most often, choosing a paint color is one of the first things to consider during this phase. When contemplating color choices, you must think of the home in entirety. For the most cohesive design, multiple elements of your home decor must be considered.
Floor coverings, furnishings, window treatment, and cabinetry are all important factors to consider when selecting colors. Choosing colors that will complement your decor and surrounding rooms is a best practice. Creating a palette of colors that work well with one and other will create the most finished look. If you are only going to paint one or two rooms, at this time, think ahead of potential changes that may impact color selection.
Many people are inspired by images they see online. Paint manufacturers, social media, and other photo sharing websites often have picture galleries that are a great resource for home decor ideas. Color is dynamic and it’s appeara can change greatly based upon lighting and surrounding colors.
As you narrow down color ideas, be sure to obtain several color chips from the paint store or your contractor. These chips should be viewed in your home to see how the colors will look in your environment. It’s very common for a color chip to look great in the store, only to be dissatisfied when reviewing it in your home.
When you have found a few colors that you like, it’s time to obtain paint samples. You can purchase small, pint sized cans of paint or your painter may provide a sample board at a nominal cost. It is best to apply the sample paint colors on a piece of poster board, cardboard, or drywall instead of the walls of your home. Having a “sample board” allows you to move the color samples to different areas in the room to see how the color appears next to different furnishings, under direct sunlight, and in the shadows in the room. Samples painted on the wall can also result in flashing which may show through the finish after the walls are painted. Be sure to look at the samples at different times of the day and under both artificial and natural lighting.
Paints are available in multiple different sheens. Sheen refers to how much light is reflected off of the surface. Paint manufactures alter the sheen by using different polymers and chemical compositions within the product. The sheen of the paint will have a significant impact on the finished look of the project so it is essential to choose the appropriate material for your needs. The sheen level of a paint will affect the perceived color as it is viewed from different angles and under different lighting.
Low sheen paints, such as flat or matte, often have a richer, more velvety appearance. The reduced light reflectivity can help improve visual appearance of the walls and minimize imperfections in the drywall. The potential trade off with choosing a flat paint reduced ability to clean scuffs and abrasions from the surface. Premium quality flat paints are washable and durable, but not quite on the level of a higher sheen counterpart.
Moderate sheen paints such as eggshell, low sheen, and satin have a higher light-reflective characteristics and are a common choice in both residential and commercial applications. Eggshell paints typically offer a good balance of color uniformity, aesthetics, and durability and are suitable for a variety of areas within your home.
Higher sheen paints such as semi gloss and gloss provide the highest level of light reflectivity and feature an almost plastic look and feel. While glossy sheens are not a common selection for a wall finish, their visual impact can be absolutely stunning. For a successful application of a gloss finish, great efforts must be taken to prepare the surface and apply the coatings. With high sheen paints, every imperfection on the wall will be accentuated and degrade the visual appeal.
Most often semi gloss and gloss paints are only utilized on doors, windows, and trim within the home. The higher sheen provides a great contrast to the wall finishes and provides a hard durable finish.
Choose A Great Quality Paint
There are many great paints and coatings to choose from. Different products may be more suitable under different circumstances. Every painter and homeowner has their own favorites... I feel Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams offer the most diverse product line of quality products. The purpose of this article is not to provide specific product recommendations, but to convey the importance of using good materials. This is one area that hiring a professional painter, such as a PDCA member, proves beneficial. Their skills, training, and experience help ensure you get the best products for you project
Don’t Make A Huge Mistake, Painting Is All About The Prep
A successful painting project cannot begin without proper preparation. Improper prep of walls and trim can yield unsatisfactory or even disastrous results. Painting over flaws will not make them go away, surfaces should be clean, smooth, and free of defects. Each home is unique and the individual needs can vary.
If hiring a painter to complete the painting for you, be sure that the estimate clearly indicates what efforts will be made to improve the substrate prior to applying the paint. Thorough repairs and prep work can be time consuming and will add to the project cost. Discuss your goals and budget with the painter so they can deliver a service that meets your expectations and goals.
At minimum, you must be familiar with the following steps before picking up the paint brush.
- If your home was built before 1978, a lead paint test should be completed. They are a simple, inexpensive test available for purchase at you local paint store. Always start with this step before any sanding, patching, or cutting any painted surface. If lead paint is present, or you do not feel comfortable doing the work, please call a certified lead RRP professional.
- Cleaning. Before painting, the surfaces should be dusted and cleaned of any surface contaminants. Kitchens and bathrooms require special attention to ensure there is no grease, hairspray, or other chemicals on the surface.
- Sanding. Surfaces should be lightly sanded to promote adhesion and remove minor surface imperfections. Depending on the conditions of the workspace, sanding may need to be done before or after the initial cleaning.
- Wall repair. Filling nail holes, minor dents, and scuffs can often be completed with a lightweight spackle. Larger holes and cracks should be patched and/or taped, and finished with joint compound.
- Priming. Any wall repairs and patch work should be primed to to minimize flashing. Other situations may require primer to promote adhesion or proper coverage/stain blocking. It is essential that the correct primer is used for the specific application. Primers are not created equal and they are not the same. Also, paint and primer “in one” products are NOT a typical replacement for a primer.
- Protection. Drop cloths, masking products, and plastic should be used to protect millworks and adjacent surfaces. Drips, dropped brushes, or roller splatter can happen to even the best painters. Always protect adjacent surfaces.
Proper application is key to a perfect painting project. While it may take years for a pro painter to polish their skills and technique, an upcoming article will cover the basics on interior painting methods. The article will provide helpful tips to help you get the very best results. If you are looking for a professional painter in the Scranton / Wilkes Barre area, get in touch with us!