Getting a fresh coat of paint up on your home is always worth the time, effort and financial investment. Truthfully it doesn’t have to take much of any of those three to end up with a spectacular result, as long as you know what you’re doing. That’s the rub. On one hand painting is easy, and doesn’t take any formal training. On the other there are all sorts of tips and tricks to getting a professional finish that you don’t want to have to learn through trial and error. If you take the time to do a bit of research and plan out your project in advance, your investment will pay off with excellent results you can be proud of for years to come. Here are some tips to help you paint the interior and exterior of your home like a pro.
First off, know the differences in paint types. When it comes to the exterior of your home, you are facing two basic options: oil-based or water-based. The water-based is a latex formulation. It’s quick to dry, doesn’t carry a heavy paint smell, can easily be cleaned off with a bit of soapy water and will stand up to fluctuations in temperature without cracking. The oil-based paints are also known as alkyd. These are incredibly hardy, and will resist most stains. The issue is, if you do end up with dirt and debris caked on there you will only be able to clean it off with paint thinner. In addition, the solvent stench is intense when you are painting, and the fresh coat will take a long time to dry.
So how do you choose the right paint? It’s partly a matter of personal taste. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to go with latex when you previously used alkyd you have to start with a primer. Otherwise the new coat simply won’t stick. It’s also a good idea to spend as much as you can on high quality paint. There isn’t a huge difference between brands, but going with a low end paint will always come back to bite you. The more expensive the can, the better the paint. The pigment will remain ‘true’, the paint will be thicker and more protective of your walls and your work should last longer. Just take the time to read the label on any can you buy. There will be some tips there about preparation and the best temperature for applying the paint to the wall.
Whether you are working on the interior or the exterior, always start off your efforts by thoroughly preparing the surface. That means a complete cleaning of any dirt or residue to be found. On the exterior you should try a power washing, but you can also do it by hand if you’re willing to commit the time. Just make sure the walls are completely dry before you continue. Hammer any visible nail or screw heads into the walls and fill the holes will putty. Sand this work down so the surface is smooth, and don’t forget to prime any wood that hasn’t been painted before.
The approach is also crucial. Ask the pros at Fresh Paint Inc and they’ll tell you the worst thing you can do is to paint surfaces exposed to the sun. You should always start in the shade to keep your work from drying too quickly and flaking off. It’s better to choose a cloudy day if at all possible. And when it comes to the interiors, always paint the ceilings before starting on the walls. This will keep you from having to redo work because of unfortunate drips or streaks.