Painting a room may look like an overwhelming task. Among the list of easiest and most widely undertaken home projects is painting walls because you can just get any fresh coat and give your home a new look affordably. It could be that the color is fading, the paint is peeling off, or you just feel the need to change the look of the outside part of your home. You want to know if this project can be done without any issue.
Painting your home by yourself might be a nice way of saving money if you have handled several home renovation projects before. Endeavor to read our guide on how to paint your walls like a professional before you lay your hand on the painting project.
Types of Houses and Features
Majority of houses are not difficult to paint while others are. Determine how easy or difficult painting your house could be before tackling it is advisable. Below are some of the things to consider:
- Determine the height of your home: Mike Lyster Painting and Wall-covering was established by Mike Lyster and started offering exterior painting services for over 28 years in Oshkosh, WI. The founder recommends that older and taller homes should be left to a professional painter. This was agreed to by Dick Seitz, Valspar’s director of communication and training, a leading global coatings manufacturer worldwide. He said a single-story building is easy, while a 3-story building with many dormers is not a joke for DIY.
- Shape: The outside walls of a simple, square-shaped house are relatively easier. On the other hand, a 2-story building that has an irregular shape, with turrets, dormers or gingerbread, for instance, may require the service of a professional, as it will consume much time and it is also complicated.
- Are there intricate designs: There are always issues on accessibility on the more decorative home, such as, the ones with Queen Anne style. You cannot just get to each detailed points through a ladder. You, as the homeowner, would require experience, expertise, and the right equipment to have a proper inspection, solution, and paint for these most challenging areas. Consider the delicate detailing of your first floor (if any), and how ready you are for detail work before you take on the painting job. A first-floor project could be easy for you to handle if you are the patient type. It would be better for those who require broad strokes to leave the job of a professional painter.
- Flat or sloping ground: It is also made known by Seitz that homeowners should determine the finished surface slant of the floor around the house for ladder placement. A flat ground would be nice for ladder positioning as sloppy walkouts would make it hard to place ladders. You should also check for obstacles such as fences, electric wires, trees, decks, vines, or shrubs.
- How much prep-work required: Check your house properly for any problems that may need preparatory work. Seitz made it known that mildew, consistent peeling, wood rot, or flaking are significant examples of siding problems. Others may include loose caulking along with trim, crumbling glaze, cracked walls or windowpanes. Be ready to spend additional days fixing these problems if you have experience on how to provide a solution to the situations. You can also contact an experienced painter to share with you some possible solutions to the problems.
- Do you have lead paint: There are possibilities that the paint used in painting homes before 1978 contains lead. You will need to acquire knowledge on how to work with and/or remove these paintings safely if you are determined to do the painting yourself.
Things You Need to Paint a Room
You will first be required to purchase all the necessary supplies you will need and also figure out the amount of paint to buy. To get an accurate calculation of the footage, begin by taking measurements of the surfaces you want to paint. Just multiply the height by the width to calculate the total surface area of a solid wall. Use the same approach to calculate the door, ceiling, or trim which may include molding and baseboards. If the color you are painting one part is the same as that of your walls, then add those calculated square footage to your overall result. The surface of the walls will also determine how much paints you will need.
According to www.BobVila.com, only the range between 250 and 400 square feet would be covered by a gallon of paint. A smooth surface of about 400 sq-ft would be covered by a gallon of paint, while a lot more may be required to cover a rough, dark-colored or textured wall, or unpainted walls. Also, note that you will generally require beyond a single coat of paint. You may want to purchase beyond the number of paint than you calculate. This will help you make sure you have enough paints, and the remains can be used for touch-ups if required.
Now make comparisons on the price of all you need to buy and rent: you will not only need both primer and paint, but you will also need to acquire the right equipment and tools for the painting job.
If you are keen on painting your house like a pro, the following materials will be required:
- Prep materials: Pails, scrub brushes, a cleaning agent like Trisodium Phosphate, a bleach for mildew, and a hose with spray nozzle are all examples of basic cleaning supplies. You can get a power washer to clean the exterior walls. Seitz also says that they are effective at removing loose paint and dirt on the surface, but are slack in removing heavy chalk created by oxidation of recent coatings. Make sure you check and follow the guidelines for hand and eye protection for these tools.
- Lifts and Ladders: Determine if you need a scaffold, ladders, lifts or planks. Although you may only need a ladder for a single-story building, however, you might need beyond a ladder, maybe a lift, scaffolding or planks for a multi-story building. Determine how comfortable you are working at heights even though you may be able to rent the required equipment.
- Paint removers: You may need to do some scrapping if there are some areas with blisters and peeling paint. If the scrapping involved is not much, you may need just carbide blade scrappers. You can also get rid of dust by using an old and dry paintbrush. Protect your lungs by putting on dust masks. The use of pressure washing to remove paint should be discouraged as it may cause damage to wood siding. You may need to use chemical removers if there is a need to soften the paint to be removed, which is the regular case for older homes with previous coats of paint. Power sanding may also be too dangerous for your surface, as it may release some toxic ingredients into the area. Use sandpaper to feather the edges smoothly after removing the loose paint.
- Protectors: Areas such as windows require the use of masking tape, rags, or drop cloths. Experts recommend canvas drop cloths as it will not cause any effect on the flowers underneath unlike using plastic.
- Paint applicators: It is common for a typical DIYer to have different sizes of quality painting brushes in their workshop. These brushes are made for oil – the latex of vanish paints to be used. The length of the brush hairs varies and taper nicely. The bristles are held firm to the handle by a band or ferrule. Among the attributes of quality, brushes are that they paint more smoothly, are easier to use compared to cheaper options, and doesn’t lose bristles. If there are many flat surfaces with little windows or doors in the house, spray equipment may be used. Kindly note that using sprayers will bring about more cleaning. There may be a problem from overspray, and for these reasons, you need to cover everything properly and will also need to learn how to use a sprayer. The use of rollers is nothing new among many DIYers, as they have done many interior paint works.
- Caulking: Experts say that this is compulsory to seal up cracks on the doors and windows and also to keep flexibility and adhesion for a long period. Caulks are different from one to another and so the need to have a discussion with your paint retailer on your project. Check for recommended surfaces from the manufacturer’s guide before you purchase any caulk. Ensure the flexibility and ease of painting of the caulk you have selected. For instance, you cannot paint caulks that are silicone.
- Primer: To ensure a right seal of the surface and a smooth surface for the paint, you will be required to prime any severely weathered, new or problem areas. Experts say you do not necessarily need to use a primer on a dull, full coated and clean surface that is in perfect shape. You will typically want to select the primer specifically made for your project. A 100% acrylic resins primer would be required for the painting of 100% acrylic latex. Contact the paint retailer in your area for problem areas in your home.
- Paint: A 100% acrylic latex paint is required for most painting jobs. According to Lyster, you may decide to use a less-quality paint for your interior but will definitely want to use higher quality paint for the exterior of your home and that everybody now uses 100% acrylic latex in this new age. It is also said by Seitz that the best adhesion is from a quality acrylic paint and that it maintains its color much better compared to cheaper paints. To determine the right products for your DIY project, consult an expert retailer in your area.
Painting a House like a Professional
There is much need for patience right from the preparation to the final cleanup. Marchesi suggests that what could take a homeowner all day might take a professional few hours to complete. And that the estimated duration for a homeowner to complete a painting task could be twice as much as it would take a professional. The reason is that homeowners don’t have the required experience and techniques to accomplish the task. You should consider the amount of time you would be investing in the task if you decide to do it yourself purposely to save money. You will be paying for both the time and expertise of a professional if you hire one.
Consider the following tips if you decide to go ahead with your DIY painting task:
- Preparation Stage
The word “prepping” can have several meanings to different professional painters. A few parts of preparations, however, remain unchanged over the industry. Prepping is the process of getting the interior of your home ready for a new painting job, and it involves moving and covering your furniture and other household items and caulking the cracks in your doors, windows, and ceiling. During prep time, do the following:
Plan the Work of Painting
This is one of the most overlooked steps when it comes to prepping, and this process, when skipped later leave homeowners with regrets. Pick a pen and a book and write out the list of tasks to do to maintain a straight mind. You don’t necessarily need to write much note, just the point on what to do on a piece of paper. Write down any repairs or flaking paint you need to work on, make a list of all painting supplies you will need, remember to buy the paint, and also plan your budget for the project.
Do a thorough Visual Inspection and Prep
You will need to sand or scrape any flaking, peeling or cracked area, rinse properly before you apply a new primer and paint to avoid pulling off the old paint lose by the weight of the new coat. According to Tom Lee, a senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Behr, if you don’t correct this thing before you paint, you will end up wasting your money and time. You may also need to wash greasing areas with soap and then rinse with clean water. In the absence of this, you can as well give the surface a quick wipe down with a damp but clean cloth to enable the paint stick to a clean and dust-free wall.
Purchase High-Quality Painting Materials
You would not want to spend on applying the high quality but expensive paint you just purchase. You will get a good and lasting painting result when you use quality materials such as good painting brushes, roller covers, high-end painter’s tape, and so on.
Ask for Large Scale Paint Swatches
Request for large-scale paint swatches because they make it easy for you to have an idea of what the paint will look like after being painted on the wall and they can also be moved from one point to another in the room or away from the walls easily. They are the best option compared with having to purchase sample size paint to swatch on your surface. Ensure your paint swatches are tested in the room to have an idea of how the colors will look like in both daylight and evening when the lights are on. It is normal for the look of the paint color to be affected by artificial lights either by casting a bluer or yellow color to the paint’s color.
Use a pressure washer to remove accumulated dust and dirt to have the best coverage. Start from the top to bottom of your house in a controlled and smooth manner while overlapping the strokes by eight inches.
Repair Damaged Surfaces
Take a walk around the house and take inventory of damaged surfaces which include metal, wood, stucco, masonry, or siding. Use spackle knife to apply epoxy filler to holes or cracks on the surfaces. Use a medium-grit sanding block to sand the surface once it is dry lightly. It is very important to prepare your walls for painting before you start painting. Use a palette knife or utility knife to apply the sparkling paste to the holes in the walls for filling. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the dried area where the sparkling paste was applied until the surface is smooth, and then, go ahead to sand off all paint bumps on the surfaces.
To prevent having dust stored or stuck to the paint, use a damp clean cloth to wipe down the surfaces. Remove any grease on the walls by using any specially designed wall grease removal to improve adhesion. Ensure you paint a coat of perimeter if you plan to paint on dark surfaces to serve as a guide before you start painting to have a reduction on the number of coats of paint your painting will later require.
Protect anything you don’t want to be painted
The time you spent on covering your household hardware, furniture and floors before you start painting will be appreciated. You will need small-sized and taped plastic bags as well as drop cloths to protect doorknobs. Outlet covers and light switch are to be removed. The temptation to skip this step will arise but make sure you observe the step as it is important.
- Painting Stage
You are now completely ready to start the painting job after you have already decided on the color and also concluded that this is the right step to follow by agreeing with the other parts, and have also moved all the items that might serve as an obstacle while painting. Take note of the following during this stage:
Watch the Weather
Do not paint on a rainy day because there will be slow drying as a result of humidity. However, if there is a need for you to paint while it’s rainy, make sure you correct every error before jumping to the next coat; hence, making the best use of the slow-drying paint.
Paint from Top to Bottom
Starting from the ceiling to the downward direction, apply paint to the wall using your roller after the edges have been cut at the ceiling using a brush. Professionals are known to make adjustments to their mistakes while painting down the surface while amateurs are known for leaving tell-tale drips and spills at the end of a painting job. Avoid touching a drying area. Working on it again might cause some marks and color patterns on the surface of the paint.
If your surface is smooth and clean, then you can use the combination of paint and primer. However, if there is any problem with the surface or the last time you painted it was over 8 years already, you will have to proceed with another primer. Bonding primer such as the one from Waterborne Bonding Primer, Benjamin Moore’s Insl-x Stix, or the one from KILZ is to be used if there is a need to cover a very challenging wall.
Cut in Walls and Ceilings
Make use of a paintbrush to make sure you paint the parts of the surface that are more difficult to paint with a roller such as windows, baseboards, wall corners, and ceiling. Make use of an angled brush to paint the area closer to the ceiling because they are not easily accessible to the roller, and you have to prevent paint from touching the ceiling.
To avoid having roller marks on the wall when painting using a paint roller, roll the paint in a “W” direction. Make sure you buy a paint roller that can be extended or get one that allows you to screw in its handle to the base and attach your broom when necessary so you can reach higher height without having to climb a ladder.
Remove Loose Paint
Take a walk around the painted areas after the exterior is dry to take note of any chipped or loosed paint. Place drop cloths on the floor and use a paint scraper to remove loose paint from the wall.
Use exterior caulk and a caulk gun to trim doors and windows areas and to fill any gaps within the house.
- The Clean-Up Process
There is just little number of things to consider when cleaning up your house after painting.
Number one is to avoid cleaning oil paints in a sink. You will need thinner to clean up your brushes and other tools. This means you will have to clean up your tools in a separate container such as a plastic bucket or any disposable container filled with any preferred cleaning agents such as laundry detergent or soap and water. You cannot dispose of the thinner anyhow. Find out the city or local rules and regulations guiding disposal on painter thinners and where to drop the thinner’s bucket for proper disposal by a professional.
Paint can be disposed through a roadside trash pickup, but you must add a drying agent to the paint before you put it away. You can make use of sand to soak up the excess paint or cat litter as well. You must also remove the paint covers. You will have to wash your brushes in a softener mix as suggested by Ray Wheeler if you would prefer to keep your extra paint and painting supplies. He further explains that you will only mix 2 tablespoons of fabric softener and warm water and leave till the next day to have a dry agent that will dry off the paint to be later scrubbed of. According to Kara, you might want to keep your paint so you can use it on any stains in the future, as the exact color might not be in the market when needed.
If you feel confident after going through this evaluation, then you can be sure to handle a DIY project. When you paint the exterior of your home, you can get the most of your money effectively. “Make sure you take your time and understand everything before you start. In the end, the most important and valuable asset you have is probably your home, and it is best to invest in its protection,” according to Minchew. However, if you are not sure you can handle the project by yourself, “hiring a professional painter might not be as expensive as you think.”
Endeavor to get 2 or 3 bids and make sure you evaluate their confidence as well as their cost. Ask around about them and follow up on the information you gathered. Ask how long it took the professionals to complete the work, how knowledgeable the crew is, their consistency on budget, and their satisfaction on the final results. Together, it is a win-win.