One of the most frequent upkeep expenses involved in owning a house is painting it. Whether it is indoors or outdoors, there is no way you can escape the burden of having to repaint the house unless you want to live in a shabby way, without a care for maintenance.
Not only does a good paint job make your home look good and raises its property value, it also protects the structure against rain, snow and sunlight. Which is exactly why it is a good idea to repaint right away when you notice a bunch of cracks, blisters and peels. Ignoring them at an early stage only allows them to become much worse, and the task to become much harder and more expensive.
It seems like a laborious burden at first, but painting a house yourself, instead of paying a load of money to someone else, is much easier than it sounds. Not only does it save you a ton of cash, you are also very likely to do a thorough job yourself since it is your own house and you are the one who has to live in it everyday.
Before you rush out and buy yourself a bunch of your favorite colors, there are a few things that you should keep in mind first.
Choosing the right paint
When we say this, we do not mean choosing the right color, but choosing the right kind of paint. For exterior walls, there are essentially two choices- latex paint (water based) or alkyd paint (oil based).
Latex paint is made up of acrylic raisins and is easy to clean up with soap and water. It dries quickly and does not smell much, plus it is flexible and it doesn’t crack easily.
Alkyd paints on the other hand have a strong smell, take longer to dry but on the other hand, they are stain free, very durable and dry without leaving any brush marks. However they cannot be cleaned simply with water and require something like a paint thinner to clean.
There are no do’s and don’t and the final choice is up to you. Especially when you consider the fact that there isn’t much difference between the two different kinds of paints when it comes to price either. It must be noted, however, that expensive paints contain a higher density of pigments than cheaper paints and this allows for a deeper, extra protective and longer lasting coating.
For interior walls, the paint type doesn’t matter much and you can choose from matte, matte enamel, gloss, semi gloss, eggshell and satin types, based on your personal preference.
Don’t start painting just yet
Before you start painting any surface, whether indoors or outdoors, you have to prep it up first. Especially if you intend to paint over an alkyd paint job with latex paint or vice versa.
A previously painted wall will very likely contain dirt, grime or even mildew and will almost always have chalky residue. Were you to paint right over it, it wouldn’t produce very good results.
First of all, wash the wall to clean out any dirt or grease. You can also hand scrub it with a soft bristle brush if it is not too dirty. Then pull out any nails you want to rid off and fill those or any other holes with exterior grade putty. After filling up the gaps and the holes, sand them down so they sit flush with the wall.
If the wall you are painting over is in good condition, then you can start the paint job right away without priming it with a primer/sealer. It is however recommend that you paint the wall first with one coat of the primer and then with one coat of the actual color you want to use. If you do not want to spend extra on a primer then you can simply start by painting two coats of the final color on the wall.
Tape is your best friend
While you are painting, you do not want to worry about getting some of it on to windows, door frames or on to the trim. This is why you must use tape to cover those areas. For this you need painter’s tape and to make the job easier and faster, make sure that you buy a painter’s tape applicator with it.
This lets you do the job in a precise manner by simply rolling the tape along the wall or the molding. To make sure that it has a good bond and is sitting flush horizontally, press down the edge that is closer to the wall and seal it down. A putty knife, driven along the edge of the wall does a great job of this.
Should I use a brush or a roller?
The correct answer to this question is, both! A roller is great for covering a large area in a short time as well as for painting long surfaces however there are surely bound to be areas where it cannot do a precise job. For those areas, likes edges and narrow surfaces, use a brush. Two inch angled brushes work great for this purpose.
Tips on the actual painting process
First of all, estimate the amount of paint that you will need and mix it all together in one go. Otherwise it is very likely that one mix of paint might differ from the other by a shade or two, which will produce uneven results.
When painting the exterior of the house, do so in a season when the weather is not too extreme. Days where no rain and snow are expected and the humidity is low as well are perfect for this.
When painting, start at the top and work your way to the bottom. It is inevitable that paint will drip here and there. When you work top down, you can easily fix the drips that might have found their way to the lower areas.
When you are done for the day, tightly seal the paint buckets so that they do not dry out. Similarly, if you start painting in areas exposed to direct sunlight, the paint there will dry very fast and will be prone to blisters and flaking. That’s why always start painting in the shade.
Lastly, to avoid brush marks (also known as lap marks) brush or roll from one wet painted surface to another. Most of all, be safe. Do not overextend yourself on the ladder and when needed, use an extension pole.