If you don’t remember the last time you tackled a paint job inside your house, it’s most likely because pushed it out of your memory, as you couldn’t stand the trauma it brought.
It’s perfectly understandable – especially if you’re male – that you wanted to take the task and do it yourself; On the other, no wonder that the endless taping and other prep work involved in the process made your efforts go down the drain.
Given this, even if you are eager to paint your walls instead of hiring a pro, you have to remember that being a penny pincher may backfire after all, so it’s worth to make the extra expense. However, even if you hire a painting contractor, there is still stuff to know in order to make the job go tightly.
Why hire a professional painter
The answer to this question is simple as that: they usually guarantee a higher-quality, quicker and more accurate paint job than you could do yourself. With that said, money spent on the contractor will save you time and soothe your nerves. Furthermore, licensed painters know the best and the fastest ways to prepare walls before painting, i.e. priming, spackling, sanding, refinishing plaster, removing wallpaper etc. Keep in mind that professional painters are more educated about the use of color and the techniques they follow than homeowners.
What qualities to look for
When it comes to hiring a professional contractor, there are two qualities that are of same, paramount importance: his license and insurance. From the very start, you must ask about insurance and bonding as they help you ensure that the painter and his coworkers are covered for any injuries. If the company provides a warranty on its works, it’s all the better. If you’re interested in testimonials, look for at least three references from past customers. Should they all be positive, you can finally make up your mind.
The cost of such investment
A cost estimate should include all working materials and hours, as well as the type of paint that will be used. If there are extra tasks to perform, you ought to estimate the cost’s increase with the extra time required. Apart from that, costs may vary by the size of the project, the amount of details and additional work to be done, and the region, not to mention travel time to the job.
Modern licensed painters measure each room with a laser measure and charges by wall square footage. It helps determine the hours of work, paint quantities and spread rates of paint. When it comes to details, they include factoring in such items as moldings, cabinetry, windows and ceiling time, which are added to a quote.
Medium-to-large interior painting projects are usually worth between $6,000 and $8,000, having considered that the medium size is defined by 1,200 to 1,700 square-foot home with three bedrooms.
In order to get the job done right, it’s best to estimate the general cost range to provide the client with an expectation on price and allow some space for the painter to remote the final prize with so many variables involved, such as stripping paint, removing wallpaper, etc. In the end, there’s no way of knowing your aim until you start since a lot of work will involve only time-and-material basis.
How long will I have to wait?
Frankly saying, everything boils down to size, so you should count on the work taking a couple of days. As far as a three-bedroom interior is concerned, the work may take up to five days, depending on the scope of the project. If you want additional areas of your house painted, i.e. ceilings and trim work, you have to take extra time into account.
There is another factor embracing those buildings that were built before 1978; they can require remediation for lead paint in structures. If lead paint lies on a surface that is going to be scraped or sanded, it’s wise to hire a painting contractor that is experienced in dealing with lead dust.
Developing a vision
Before any thought about hiring a contractor strikes your mind, you have to write down your thoughts on color, including windows, gloss, trim and sunlight while picking the final hue. Here are some useful tips you should have a butcher’s at:
- Dark colors require lots of windows and natural light, so if you don’t have the courtesy of meeting these features, you should go with light colors as they are universal; With that in mind, you may paint your basement deep blue and expect an ocean-like zen space that will, in fact, resemble a dungeon. Or you may paint it with the right tone of white and cherish relaxing moments with your favorite books to the accompaniment of soul lounge tracks to soothe the mind.
- Neutral colors are a great option when it comes to selling a house. If you’re planning to do so, stay with neutrals because they match any decoration or furniture.
- Should you fancy graphic editors, you’re welcome to take photos of your rooms and adjust the hues with the program so that everyone knows how the room will exactly look like.
- Sometimes, it’s all the better if you go wild with colors. Be brave; live a little. If you like bold colors, transfer your ideas onto the wall’s surface. If on the other hand, you dislike the hue, you can change the backdrop to neutral and raise the spirit of your home with some bodacious decor elements.
- If two rooms are open to each other, paint them with complementary colors. They work well with open-plan spaces, and you can go for bold contrast e.g. by adding a feature wall to the room.
- Take a fair amount of time to consider the gloss level of your paint. The shiny gloss paints can be easily cleaned, but they may be perceived cheesy by others if too much gloss is added. Flat paints, on the contrary, are way easier to serve as a disguise, but they are harder to clean, so you probably won’t welcome them in your bath or kitchen.
Baby steps first
At the very beginning, you will visit the site of a prospective constructor and have a consultation about the scope and the size of the project, as well as the cost and the amount of time necessary to complete the project. Nevertheless, it is most recommended to invite the potential painter to your house and provide him with a tour around your interior to indicate, which elements of the particular paint must be renovated, such as trims, moldings, walls, and ceilings.
As in every business branch, you have to make everything legal; Thus, you should obtain a written contract that would detail the work that has to be done. Read it carefully – don’t simply skim and scan it, as loopholes are inevitable, especially when money and insurance are concerned.
Choosing the right color
Speaking of choosing colors, a professional, licensed painter should provide you with a fancy deck of swatches so that the customer may speak about his or her picks. On the other hand, if you stand a strong ground in terms of painting your house, you may very well visit a local paint store for a more detailed palette. What you have to keep in mind is the flow of color from room to room; your contractor may direct you on the right path, but it’s essential that you don’t let his opinion obscure your preferences.
To prepare a room for painting, homeowners are asked to remove wall hangings and any other accessories that make it impossible for walls to be covered with paint. The work area should be as clean as possible. However, a reputable pro will always have the necessary toolkit for the prep work, so if you ever get asked about any materials to provide, you can have second thoughts about the choice of the painter.
The main phase of painting
Licensed painting contractors are expected to provide a crew leader to be on the site for the time of the project. A crew leader is supposed to be in constant contact with an operations manager, who holds supervision over job sites. If that is your wish, you can always ask the contractor project manager to be on the site from the beginning to the end of the project. The main role of a project manager is to be accessible for communicating with homeowners for the duration of the project. In person, via email or by phone, it doesn’t matter.
As soon as furnishings and floors are covered and protected, the tape should me used to mask off areas that do not require painting. After that, the painters should repair surface flaws, e.g. any caulking holes and cracks, or dents in the drywall. After that, there comes time for priming, whose aim is to provide a sleek surface for the top layer of paint. The standard is two coats of paint for most interior painting projects. The time, in which standard latex paint dries, is three to six hours. On the other hand, millwork (wood trim around doors, chair rails and windows) dries in approximately 24 hours. Should the painters be finished with the painting, the crew is expected to clean rooms of dust, dirt and debris, and to bring the furniture to their genuine place. These are the key measurements for standard surfaces, The unusual ones, alas, may require additional work. For example, a brick wall has to be primed with a masonry primer.
When to run the project?
There is no ideal season for painting your interiors. Nonetheless, you have to come to terms with the fact that painting contractors may be busy doing homeowners’ exteriors during the summer. Given this, it’s better to place your bet on spring or autumn, as winter is full of other attention-absorbing events.
Brace yourselves – painting is coming!
You already know that hiring a professional is more profitable for your comfort and safety, especially if you are not the handyman type. It is not cheap, yet it is affordable. Moreover, money spent on the project will reduce the stress involved in a DIY painting project.
Nevertheless, before you hire a licensed painter, do the background check on him; look for testimonials, general reputation, and his portfolio. Make sure that everything is legal by signing the written contract; beware the loopholes, as not every contractor respects the fair-play rule.
Take the prospective painter on the tour around your house, where you can indicate your preferences and stand your ground on the color of your choice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; a professional contractor will provide you with the right direction on the design theme, and with necessary technical data.
Be patient, as painting is not an instant process; it requires a professional approach to the issue and the right dose of cautiousness. Don’t hasten the painting crew – they provide you with high-quality service, so you should provide them with respective working conditions.
Take a look at your walls – do they require renovation? If yes, are you still persistent about going DIY, or will you rather place your bet on the help of a professional?