San Diego Painters Blog
House Painting: Everything You Need to know
House painting your home or rental property in San Diego? If it’s in need of a fresh coat (or two) of paint, the first question is to decide how you want to proceed. Do you hire a professional painter or break out the ladder and purchase the exterior or interior house paint yourself? Depending on the scale of the project, your time frame, and whether it’s an exterior or interior house painting job, the answer might be different. Read up on our house painting tips and tricks to see what choice is the best for you.
House Painting: Hiring Professionals vs. DIY
When deciding whether to hire help or take on a house painting job yourself, there are a few factors to consider. Depending on your level of ambition, certain circumstances may prompt you to leave house painting up to the professionals. Be realistic as you think about your painting needs, and see how the following situations apply to you.
Start with the scale of your project
Scale has one of the biggest impacts on deciding whether to hire painting help or take matters into your own hands. If you want to paint your home, consider whether or not this is a realistic task to take on yourself. For instance, is your house multiple stories or a townhouse? Do you just want to paint the kitchen or the entire exterior? Once you factor in the time it takes to do the prep work and lay down multiple coats of paint, a DIY paint job can get complicated. If the house painting job is extensive, you may want to leave it to professionals.
Current state of the house paint
Painting a brand new house with smooth surfaces dramatically reduces prep work. On the other hand, if you’re painting an old home with peeling walls or siding, it’s going to take a lot longer. When deciding whether to hire house painting professionals or do it yourself, take the current state of the paint into consideration. If you’re not up for the challenge of scraping and sanding for hours, you should hire help to get the best results.
Home Interior vs. Exterior Painting
Needless to say, an exterior paint job tends to be more complicated. Indoors, you don’t have to deal with the elements. When painting the exterior of a home, however, you have to think about tough to reach places and the unpredictability of the weather. If you just want to repaint your front door, we trust that you’ll be able to do it yourself. Contrarily, a full exterior makeover requires professional help.
While we don’t want to doubt your painting abilities, a complicated paint job will be far more successful if completed by professional painters. Still, there are many painting endeavors that you can do yourself with the proper background knowledge.
Option 1: Hiring Professional Painters
If you’ve determined you don’t have the time or expertise to paint your house yourself, it’s time to hire help. Here’s how to proceed when hiring professional painters:
Get a painting estimate/request references
Before hiring a painting contractor, you should get a detailed estimate from them. This should include costs for labor, materials, paint, and the timeframe of the project. Covering details upfront will prevent issues from emerging later on. Ask the painter if they charge for travel time, whether their estimate includes pressure washing and caulking, and any other questions you might have.
Confirm your painter’s credentials
When looking for someone to do your house painting for you, you’ll want to make sure they have all of the licenses (city and state), insurance, and bond required by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB #806008). You should also ask about a painter’s insurance. If any workers get injured or your personal property gets damaged, you’ll want to make sure your painter’s insurance covers these incidents.
Understand what’s required of you
Even if you hire a professional, you may need to play a small role in your house painting process. This could be anything from moving your furniture to the center of the room to removing switch plates and outlet covers. Ask your painter how much prep work is expected of you before hiring. The amount of work you’re willing to do could help you narrow down the right painter for the job.
Understand and Make a payment plan
In general, you want to avoid any painter who makes you pay in full upfront. While painters may request a down payment of 20% to 30% of a job’s total cost, you typically shouldn’t pay again until the job is done. All terms of the payment should be written out in a contract, detailing the exact cost based on materials and labor.
Option 2: DIY Painting
DIY House Painting
House painting is no easy feat. While you may be tempted to purchase the cheapest kind of paint you can find, remember that you want the paint to look good and last a long time. If you haven’t chosen a color palette, there are a number of painting design apps out there to spark inspiration. Once you’ve decided upon your color scheme, you’ll have to choose what kind of paint you want.
Latex paint refers to water-based paint, the most popular and environmentally friendly paint. Since latex paints provide great color retention, they’re ideal for exterior walls that face a lot of weathering. Latex paints are also a good option for interior walls that are subjected to a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Additionally, latex paints dry faster than oil-based alternatives and produce fewer odors.
Containing either natural oils or a synthetic alkylate, oil-based paints are more durable than latex paints. Oil-based paints should be used on surfaces where you want the finish to last for a long time. While this kind of paint has a stronger odor and takes longer to dry, its durability is unmatchable. The strength of oil-based paints makes them a great choice for moldings and trims.
Estimating paint needs
Paint can be expensive. Buying too much paint is particularly frustrating since paint stores won’t refund an already tinted gallon of paint. That’s why it’s recommended to first buy around 80% of the estimated paint you need and then purchase the remainder when you’re almost finished. Factors such as square footage, surface type, and quality of paint all play into how much paint you’ll need. Paint stores should be able to help you determine how much paint you need for a specific job.
From dull to shiny finishes, paint comes in several different lusters. A paint’s luster depends on its mixture of pigment, resin, and additional ingredients. If you’re struggling to decide what finish you want, note that glossier finishes tend to be more durable and washable. Flat paint, on the other hand, is better at hiding surface imperfections. Pearl and eggshell lusters fall somewhere in the middle, as they are more washable than flat paint and partially hide irregularities.
DIY Exterior House Painting
A new coat of paint will immediately transform the exterior of your home. For best results, take the following tips into consideration, keeping in mind that a large-scale, multi-story paint job should be left to the professionals. Should you decide to do a DIY paint job, here’s how to get started.
Plan your paint job
As you can imagine, there are good and bad times of year to paint the exterior of a home. Any expert will agree that inclement or extreme weather is not ideal for house painting. This includes wind, rain, and severe heat, just to name a few conditions. The best time of year to paint your home is when temperatures are between 40° and 90° F — if you’re using oil-based paint. If your exterior house paint is latex, temperatures should be between 50°and 85° F. For the best drying results, relative humidity should be between 40% and 70%.
Remove loose/peeling paint
Before taking a paint scraper to the side of your house, give the outside of your home a quick, but not too forceful, power wash. This will remove any loose dirt or peeling paint. Once the exterior is cleaned off, use a paint scraper, putty knife, or wire brush to remove any additional loose or peeling paint.
Remove or replace any rotten wood
Painting over rotten wood is a recipe for disaster, bound to either prolong or worsen the rotting. Instead, you should immediately replace or repair any rotten boards that you encounter. This will help ensure that your paint job lasts as long as possible.
Sand as required
Using a sander for paint removal is an efficient way to speed up the paint removal process. Determine the right type of sander for the job, and make sure you’re exercising proper safety measures.
Tape and cover doors, windows, and hardware
Nothing’s worse than getting paint where you didn’t want it to go. Prevent house painting mishaps by taping off doors, windows, and any hardware with painter’s tape. For extra precaution, cover hardware such as lighting fixtures with plastic bags. If it’s not too much trouble, you can also remove hardware for the time being.
Prime the surfaces
If the exterior of your home is unpainted or has been scraped and sanded, you will want to lay down a coat of primer. Make sure that the primer you’re using is right for the surface you’re painting. While most surfaces can be treated with acrylic primer, some surfaces, like cedar and redwood, require oil-based primers. The oil stops the wood tannins from bleeding through the topcoat.
Caulk windows and doors
Use paintable exterior caulk to fill any gaps or cracks in your home’s trim. Caulk will prevent air and moisture from getting into the walls of your home. If there is existing caulk on your trim that’s old and cracked, you’ll want to scrape it off before adding more.
Choose the right equipment
While many professionals use paint sprayers, they can leave drips and uneven coatings in the hands of an inexperienced user. If you’re set on DIY house painting but don’t have much practice, you may want to stick to rollers and brushes, which will add additional time to your painting project. Brushes are great for edges and smaller areas, while rollers can be used to paint large and long surfaces like siding and trim.
Practice ladder safety
Practicing ladder safety is key. When using an extension ladder, always test that its resting at the right angle by putting your toes against the feet of the ladder and extend your arms outwards. At the proper angle, you should be able to rest your hands on the rung in front of you comfortably. When on a ladder, you should always keep your hands free and maintain a steady center of gravity.
Procoat Painting Is Here For You!
If this sounds like an overwhelming list, it is for many homeowners and property managers. At Procoat Painting we strive to be the very best painters for your job, and our customers love us because we put our customers first… and it shows!
If you are ready to work with the best painting company in San Diego and one of the best painters in San Diego, California, give us a call to set up a free estimate and painting consultation. 619-259-6706. You can also use our Contact Form to get in touch.
When you take the time to prepare the environment for painting as opposed to just jumping right in, you also have a chance to “clear the slate,” so to speak. You’re working with a totally blank canvas and you can see all of a room, wall, holes, cracks, imperfections, and all.
This is the absolute perfect time to take care of all these imperfections and finally fix those small issues that may have been bugging you for quite some time leaving you with a quality painting project.