Tips before painting a home
It really is amazing what a fresh coat of paint or a splash of new paint colour can do to transform your property and instantly add value.
Whether you are giving your long-term family home a refresh, bringing a property you’ve just purchased a much-needed upgrade or doing some much-needed maintenance on an investment, painting your property is a big undertaking.
So it goes without saying that before you run to your nearest hardware store and stock up on paint and rollers, there are a few things you’ll need to prepare first.
At Hunter Coast Painting, we know a thing or two about what it takes to get a good paint job done efficiently and cost-effectively, so here are our top seven tips to prepare for your next paint job.
Pick your colours
Painting’s easy, right?
Buy a couple of cans, slap them on a roller and start rolling.
Whether your project is a DIY or you’re looking to hire a professional for the job, there’s a lot to think about before you get started.
Perhaps the most important choices you’re going to make, however, is about colours.
The last thing you want is to rush into a colour, spend hours painting or paying someone to do it for you and then being left unsatisfied with the end product.
Picking colours is often a highly personal choice, but it’s worth considering the reason you are painting.
If that’s the case, then you might want to take your personal feelings out of the equation and focus more on what is going to appeal to a broader market.
If you’re painting your home, then feel free to go nuts with colour!
A good point to remember is that home is home for a long time, and you’re going to spend a lot of time living with the choices you make.
Unless you have a lot of cash and time on the sidelines ready to be burned on a re-do, you’ll want to make sure you’re happy with your colours before you get started.
If you’re painting multiple rooms, consider how the colour in one room is going to transition into the next.
To help you make your decision, get colour swatches from your local hardware store, hold them against the surface you’re going to paint in a variety of different light
If you have the budget, you might even want to look at engaging an interior stylist to help you with your choices.
What to do with the furniture?
It goes without saying that you are going to need to take things like curtains, TVs and artwork down from the interior walls, but what about the rest of the furniture?
The clearer your room, the easier it’s going to be to paint.
Not painting every room in the house? Move smaller and easily moved pieces, such as coffee tables, bedside tables and ottomans into the rooms that aren’t being touched.
Move bigger pieces away from the surfaces you’re going to paint and into the middle of the room, ensuring plenty of space for people and equipment to move around.
If you can move them out of the room, even better, but this isn’t always practical and without a lot of help can be more tiring than doing the painting itself!
Make sure any furniture you leave in the room is properly covered and protected with appropriate drop sheets.
You only need to paint interior walls and ceilings, so no need to paint the couch!
Clean the surfaces before you paint
There’s nothing worse than prepping your paint, getting the drop sheets ready and getting the roller covered before realising the walls are filthy.
If you’re hiring someone to do the painting for you, dirty walls are going to cost you time and money. Ensure surfaces are clean and dry a few days before painting begins.
Sugar soap sprays or wipes are great at cutting through dust and grime to leave your walls nice and clean and ready for your new coat of paint.
Start applying the soap from the top of the wall and work your way down, especially if you’re using a spray.
Once the soap has been on the wall for the right amount of time (check the product you’re using for more information), wipe the walls clean with a wet sponge and make sure it is dry with a cleaning rag before you start painting.
Wherever possible, make sure there is some ventilation in every room you paint in.
You really don’t want to be stuck in a stuffy room without any fresh air when you’re painting.
If it’s nice outside, open a window.
This will help the paint dry and will give you some nice breathing space as well.
Here are some tips for healthy indoor painting:
Schedule painting for dry periods of the year that aren’t too hot (think spring or autumn)
Keep windows open after painting to avoid ongoing exposure to paint vapours
Use fans to extract air, if possible
Take frequent breaks. Step outside and get some fresh air
Whilst it’s important to try and ensure your room is well ventilated, it’s also important to check that it’s not too humid when painting, as this can affect how effectively the paint (depending on its quality) adheres to the surface.
A long dry time can mean dirt builds up in the wet paint.
Get the Gear
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘All the gear, but no idea’….
Hopefully this article gives you a bit of an idea about how to go about your next paint job, but you need to check you’ve got the gear, too!
Here’s a good little checklist of tools you’re probably going to need to get the job done properly:
Extension pole for paint rollers
Paint brushes (for areas that need a bit more attention)
Ladder (if required)
This is a typical list for painting the interior of a property.
Exterior paint jobs can be much trickier and might even require scaffolding.
If you’re not sure, speak to a professional about your job for some advice on any other pieces of equipment you might need.
Now that you’ve got the gear, that takes us to our next point…
Test Your Equipment
Going it alone?
Don’t fall into the trap of not checking your equipment.
This is especially important if you’re painting an area with a high ceiling or hard to reach surfaces.
The name of the game of any good paint job is ensuring you apply paint evenly and consistently and to achieve that sort of precision you need to be able to reach every inch of every surface you’re painting.
Do your rollers comfortably reach the top of the wall without having to stretch?
Are you able to reach those hard to reach places on your ladder without risking your safety?
Are your rollers clean?
You don’t want to start painting before you’ve checked all the equipment and paint and ensured you can reach everything you need to reach without any issues.
As soon as you’re stretching your arms or reaching on your tippie-toes, you’re probably not able to apply even pressure and achieve the consistency required to finish the job well.
This is a lesson much better learned before you start painting. Trust us!
BONUS TIP: Check how much paint you need!
When you’re buying paint, speak to a professional about the area you’re painting and make sure you know which colour is going where.
They should be able to help you estimate how much paint you need. Remember, it’s always better to have a bit more than you need for any touch ups that might be required down the track.
Plan your workload
If this is a DIY project, make sure you plan your attack.
You want to minimise the need to walk through corridors and/or hallways with wet paint and ensure you’re not moving in and out of rooms more often than you need to.
Paint can dry very quickly, depending on the paint you’re using and the weather while you’re painting, so working efficiently is key to ensuring a nice even coat.
If you’re moving through the house to paint several rooms, start at the back of the house and work your way to the front.
If you have some help, make sure that while one person is putting the finishing touches on one room, the other is getting the next space ready.
When you’re done, clear your paint from one room and take only what you need to the next.
Clutter is your number one enemy when you’re painting a house, whether interior or exterior.
A professional painter, like those in our team at Hunter Coast Painting, will look after this stuff for you.
Final bits and bobs
Ready to get started?
If you’re looking to complete the work yourself, here are some handy hints and tips you might find useful along the way…
Take off light switch plates
Light up your space (especially if you’re painting into the night)
Calling it a night? Soak the roller in wet paint and wrap it airtight in plastic to save time and paint before you hit the sack and get straight back into it in the morning.
Of course, if you need help with your next painting project, Hunter Coast Painting is just a phone call away.
Gavin, is the founder and director of Hunter Coast Painting. Combining 10 years experience in the industry and having worked on multi-million dollar homes in Europe and Australia, Gavin is able to provide a wealth of knowledge and experience.