Before we dig into the details, it’s worth pointing out that the fall and winter seasons are actually the best time of the year to get interior painting contracting done simply because the weather has precluded most painting contractors from working outside. Once the dew point leaves moisture on a house, it’s not possible to paint it. A house must be bone dry for the paint to be received properly by the walls and trim. This means painting contractors – for the most part – go into a hibernation of sorts. It’s a great time, therefore, to ask them to fit into your schedule.
This means getting on their schedule well in advance, agreeing on pricing, and knowing exactly when the work will take place so you have plenty of time to prepare your home for the big project.
Strange as it may seem, most people leave color choice to the last minute, but it’s one of the easier and fun ways to increase your chances of a successful project. If you personally do not have a good eye for color, don’t leave it to chance. Hire an interior designer, or work with a painting contractor that includes color choices in their service. (Some charge for that, while others include it in their offering).
With paint types, too, it pays to have your choices squared away well ahead of the project. If you’re doing the work yourself, you might consider buying the paint as you progress, because you might overestimate your needs and buy way too much. A painting contractor, on the other hand, will know how to calculate exactly what is required.
A square inch of paint in a catalog can look a lot different to the same paint covering an entire room. That’s because it is affected not only by the relative area of coverage – a wall covered in the paint is far more imposing than a fingernail sample of the exact same paint – but each room’s lighting can be considered unique. Florescent lighting in a kitchen will make a yellow “colder” while the same color in a full spectrum, well lit bedroom might look warmer. Since you are planning to cover the walls anyway, try a few variations on the room walls before you make the final decision.
Some furniture can be moved easily. Other pieces, not so much. If you are painting the walls, ceilings and trim in a room, you will definitely want to cover your furniture and other valuables completely. Scraping a drop of dried paint off the glass in a window is one thing, but trying to get it off the ivory keys of your grand piano is quite another type of challenge. Some things – like the grand piano – can’t be moved so easily, so other steps are required.
In many cases, it’s just not feasible to move everything to another room. Remember, though, what your painting contractors will be focused on. If they are painting the walls, ceilings, doors and trim, you can move everything to the center of the room, where either you cover it or your contractors uses their cover cloths to do it. Either way, you will want to make the job easier for whoever will be doing the work. You want them focused on the painting work itself, not on your furniture.
This is something you definitely can move to another room. Pack all your pictures away in boxes, well before the job begins.
Depending on what’s being painted, you might want to wash and thoroughly clean some parts of the house before the new paint hits the walls. Kitchen walls are typically subject to grease and food stain accumulation over time, even if you don’t see actual splashes of food or oils, etc.. Kitchen walls around food preparation areas, if they are not actually tiled, will have been painted with kitchen-grade paint , and therefore will be washable. Removing all the grease first will allow the new paint to ‘take’ when the work begins.
Bathrooms are often subject to similar levels of damp, and often mold. You can always paint right over that, which people might be tempted to do if they are selling the house soon, but the right thing to do is to scrub the place before the new painting begins. And by the way, it should be bone dry when the new painting starts. Even the tiniest droplets of moisture under the paint will compromise the quality of the project from the get-go.
Although the winter months are convenient from the point of view of getting on a painting contractor’s schedule, it’s also the time when your family is more likely to be indoors. If it’s the middle of January, you can’t just send your kids to play out on the deck all day. That’s why you might consider the mid-winter break when you might be on vacation with your kids, or find a way for your kids to stay with their friends after school, for the duration of the project.
Before you start, consider setting aside small containers of the exact paint you are planning to use. I prefer to buy one of those tiny containers they sell – presumably with this very action in mind – that you won’t open until you need to do some touching-up five or ten years from now. Make a note of which paint is used in which room, the date of it, then store the paint away in a cool, dry place. In a box in your basement is usually good because it is less likely to get too hot or too cold, but if you have a storage locker well away from your house, that’s the best option. Most paints are flammable and are therefore better not to have near where you live. If there’s ever a fire, you don’t want to added complication of exploding paint containers. I also prefer unused, never opened paint containers for later use. That’s because once a paint container is opened and exposed to the air, it begins to react with that air, and half-empty cans of paint have more air to react with over a long period of time. That’s why I use unopened, never used containers.
It’s the dead of winter and you’d probably prefer to keep the house nice and warm, but this is just a temporary situation. Turn off your heating and open all the windows for the duration of the painting project. Unless it’s minus fifty degrees outside, the clean cool air blowing through your house will be no problem to your painters, and will keep all fumes away from your family. It’s also a good idea of paint fumes not to be sucked into the fans, ducts and filters of your home.