Frequently Asked Questions
Q. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPAINT MY HOME?
A. There are many factors that affect how often you may need to repaint; including paint quality and shade, environment/climate, exposure to sunlight, siding material, and more. In general, you should plan to repaint the exterior of your home every 5-7 years; although harsh weather conditions can cause wear and damage faster, and top quality paint can sometimes last for up to ten years in ideal climates.
Q. WHAT KIND OF PAINT SHOULD I USE ON MY HOME?
A. Unless your house has previously received an oil-based treatment, water-based acrylic paints are generally the first choice by homeowners for both exterior and interior work. They have greater flexibility, less odor, and tend to be more durable in the tougher weather.
Q. HOW DO I PICK PAINT COLORS FOR MY HOME?
A. This is the really hard part – and it’s basically up to you! Paint companies and even home improvement stores now have thousands of different options for you to consider. Color matching can also be done based upon your furniture, old paint samples, or even a previous coat that has begun to fade. The latest technology can create practically any color you can imagine, the trick is finding one that you’ll like for the next five years!
Q. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BEFORE I START PAINTING?
A. Aside from the selection and purchase of the actual paint, the biggest pre-painting task is the preparation work. This entails the washing, scraping, and sanding down of the surfaces intended for paint, and the masking and covering of the areas you’d like to keep clean.
Q. HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE THE RIGHT PAINTING CONTRACTOR?
A. We certainly believe that each 1-800-HOUSE-PAINTER local, independent contractor is the best choice. The will give you a fair price and complete the work as promised, on time. But you can also ask a couple of key questions that tell you if they knows their stuff. One suggestion is to ask about the quality of paint they use. It should be a brand name you know and trust. Another key question is to ask any painter you are considering using how important they feel pre-painting preparation is before they start painting. In all jobs, whether new construction or existing building, the preparation makes the job. In fact, the preparation is almost always more time consuming than the actual painting. So ask anyone you talk with to explain in detail how they feel about preparation and exactly what they intend to do before they start painting.
Q. WHAT KINDS OF EQUIPMENT ARE NEEDED?
A. Rollers, sprayers, and brushes are the main tools needed to apply paint. Sponges, rags, stencils, and other accessories are often used to apply texture and enhance aesthetics. If you are doing exterior work, a pressure washer is the best way to properly clean your siding and walls. You’ll also likely want scrapers and a power sander, although regular sandpaper will get the job done. On top of all this, you’ll likely want caulk and a caulking gun, masking tape and paper, drop cloths to protect any floors, and a trusty ladder.
Q. WHEN SHOULD I HAVE MY HOUSE PAINTED?
A. Certain paints are dependent on temperature, and require several hours or even days of weather above 50 degrees in order for fresh coats to properly cure and set. Homeowners who face tough winters will likely find that mid-late spring is an optimal time for repainting, when the weather is nice and a whole summer of outdoor admiration is ahead!
Q. HOW MANY COATS OF PAINT WILL I NEED?
A. This will depend on the surface. If you are applying a water-based paint over an older oil-based coat, you will need a layer of primer and likely one to two coats of the new finish. For darker colors, you should always plan on multiple coats, in order to get a deep level of saturation. Different paint brands and wood stains will call for different procedures for different materials. So if you’re unsure, it’s best to talk to a professional.
Q. WHAT KINDS OF SURFACES CAN BE PAINTED?
A. Almost any surface material can be painted, from wood to stone to steel. Drywall is perhaps the most common interior surface, with vinyl and Masonite siding being very common exterior materials. Paint is available for almost any project imaginable, but it is best to check what type of stain or finish is best suited for your particular job.
Q. WHEN DO I NEED TO USE A PRIMER?
A. The most important time to use a primer is when applying a fresh coat of water-based paint to a preexisting alkyd (or oil-based) finish. In this case, the primer is necessary in order for the new paint to properly set, bond, and take hold. In other cases, a primer might be desirable in order to elicit proper color, normalize surface texture, or enhance the final sheen.
Q. WHEN DO I NEED TO USE A SEALANT?
A. Sealants are used to create a stronger barrier and prevent the penetration of water, dust, and other undesirables into your home. A sealant coat can be added to a paint job to give it that extra level of protection against weather corrosion and water, dust, and insect damage. A common addition to decks and other woodwork, a sealant may be a good option for your home depending on surface materials – it is always best to check with a local expert.
Q. CAN I PAINT IN BAD WEATHER?
A. The short answer is “no”. Rain, heavy wind, and extreme temperatures are all likely to have a negative effect on your home’s new paint job. While a little precipitation isn’t the end of the world, it does make the job harder, and makes an uneven dry much more likely. Also, you do not want your newly applied paint to get too cold too quick, so it’s best to block out a week or so around any planned paintings where the weather is expected to stay above fifty degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent the cracking, splitting, and peeling damage that can often occur in extreme temperatures.
Q. WHAT IS “FAUX PAINTING”?
A. “Faux Painting” is a categorical name for several texturing and design techniques that can be applied to paint treatments. Graining and marbleizing are the most popular, and they provide finished surfaces with the textured look of wood and marble respectively. These and other techniques can generally be applied by your local paint contractor and are a great way to enhance the style of your home.
Q. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO PAINT MY HOUSE?
A. A gallon of paint can run anywhere from $25 to $100, and you will likely need at least 15 gallons for a larger home. On top of that, you have the rental costs of machines like a pressure washer and paint sprayer (if you won’t be rolling), and any brushes, ladders, drop cloths, or other equipment you don’t already have. Painting your home is a several thousand dollar job.
Q. WHY SHOULD I PAY A CONTRACTOR TO PAINT MY HOUSE FOR ME?
A. By paying a private contractor, or your home painter and decorator, you are likely to pay a very similar price as you would yourself (what with all that equipment to buy and time to set aside), and you are saving yourself energy and stress. Also, although there is some intrinsic reward from maintaining your own home, hiring a professional will mean a better job that is done quickly and without hassle.