Every neighborhood has its own challenges when it comes to painting, and every home — indeed, every room — can be unique. But there are definitely some important dos and don’ts you can consider, especially in the Kirkland area (or Pacific Northwest in general), where moisture is always a consideration.
It might appear obvious, but you would be surprised how often people are tempted to just start painting a wall, not considering the need that it should be bone dry before the work begins. How do you make sure it’s dry? Well, first of all, there’s a good season and a not so good season to paint an interior wall. This past winter was one of the wettest on record for Puget Sound, and with that came higher than usual internal moisture levels. It takes time for the interior of a house to dry out. The best practice is to keep the windows open and internal doors open for a long period of time, making sure everything in the home has had more than enough time to dry out.
Bathrooms, in particular, are prone to dampness, so airing everything out completely will help there too.
Black mold, candle residue, cigarette residue and plain old dirt can be easily washed from the walls in preparation for painting. I have used the product Mr. Clean to wash the black mold from one room in my home. I then let it dry out completely before I started painting.
In Kirkland and surrounding areas, there are definitely wet times of the year and dry times of the year. If, for example, it’s the middle of August and it hasn’t rained for weeks, and the grass is all baked dry, it might be a great time to take out the paintbrushes. If, on the other hand, it’s the middle of winter, and there’s condensation on the windows, it might be a good time to wait.
Have you ever noticed, for example, in the kitchen area of your rented accomodation, the paint is different to the living area? Kitchens will require a more water-resistant paint than what is required in a living room. You will need it to be washable, and it must be able to be washed many times every year. When you’re selecting the paint for your kitchen, be sure to mention to the sales assistant what you intend to use it for. Often, the same color is used in an eating area right beside a kitchen, so you made need two paint types, but of the same color.
Bathroom wall paint will need to be waterproof, and best if you can choose a paint that is mold resistent. It also must be washable. Pay a little now by choosing a strong bathroom paint, and it will serve you well for years.
There are different paintbrushes for oil-based paint than for water-based paints. And there are certainly many different levels of quality available on the market. Some painters prefer to go for the cheaper variety, with a view to using them only once. I prefer to invest a good set of brushes and keep them very well maintained.
If you plan on painting many times into the future, getting a good set of brushes now, and maintaining them can pay off in the long term. But the key is, to really clean them thoroughly after every day’s work. We’ve all seen those abandoned paintbrushes, where the painter forgot or neglected to finish the day’s work with a through cleanup. I suppose, if you paid a few dollars for the cheapest brushes in your local home services store, you might be happy to throw them away and buy a new set, but high quality brushes also help to do a high quality job, and it may show in your work.
We are all eager to get a project started, but taking steps to protect your furniture, windows, carpets and even people is always a good idea. Despite your best efforts, specks and splashes of paint find their way everwhere during an internal painting project. Cover it unless you want paint on it.
Newspapers or such will likely let you down. If you have carpet you want to protect, you will likely need more than just old newspapers to stop the paint from getting through. If you have a paint spillage, or even a few drops, it can easily seep through paper and soak into your carpet. Paint supply stores can fix you up with what you need. I’ve also seen used painters rugs in thrift stores, so keep your eyes open for that if you’re on a budget.
If only for health and comfort reasons, you need to keep dry air circulating through the room you are painting. What I have used in the past is one of those square fans that fit perfectly into a window pane, or can be made to fit. Use it to push the air out of the room as you paint. Air will then be naturally ‘sucked’ from the rest of the house as you work, making sure no fumes or paint smells waft through your home as you work. Leave the fan running if possible, long after the painting is finished.
If you are using oil-based (or any non-water based) paints, you will need to do the cleanup immediately after you stop for the day. Oil or latex-based paints need to be cleaned completely form your brush and equipment set right after you finish. So have all of that in place, and a place to do the cleanup, all ready to go when you need it.
Painting can be real work, and tiring too. It’s easy to skimp on the cleanup after you’ve exhausted yourself after a long day at work, so having the right cleaning materials/equipment before your start will make the job easier and more enjoyable.