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11 wise steps when getting your Issaquah home ready for interior painting

12 tips for painting your home in Bellevue
April 20, 2016
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May 6, 2016

1. Always make sure all surfaces are completely dry before and during the entire project

Most paints need a dry surface. Some water-based paints might be OK, but you have to ask yourself, why is the wall and/or ceiling wet or damp in the first place. In every case, all surfaces to be painted should be bone dry before beginning.

In the dry season – which is approximately April to September in the Pacific Northwest – it’s usually a question of simply leaving doors and windows all open for a few days before the project begins. If you’re lucky with a few rainless days of low humidity, so much the better. Check the weather forecast for the next week for your area. The drier the better!

For bathrooms in particular, it’s advisable to give the walls a greater opportunity to get and stay dry well before the new painting project begins.

2. All walls, ceilings and other to-be-painted surfaces must be clean

Kitchens are notorious for collecting food stains on the walls, and even ceilings. When my kids were infants, they could get food stains on the ceiling. I never knew for sure how it happened – possibly with a leveraged spoon or fork – but it happened. Before we painted the ceiling year later, I had to scrape some food particles from the ceiling and clean it thoroughly before painting began.

If you are hiring a painting company to do the work, you’ll want to present a home that 100% ready for the painting to begin.

Bathrooms can be prone to black mold. You’ll need time for the bathroom to completely dry out after the black mold is completely removed.

3. Selecting the right paint now can make a huge difference in the long run

You might want the same color for the walls of all rooms in your house, but certain rooms do require a different type of paint, even if the color is the same throughout the house. Bathrooms and kitchens, for example, will need paint that provides splash and damp resistance. Around the food preparation area in the kitchen, for example, where the wall may have to be washed regularly, you will need paint that can take regular washings, and which needs to be 100% waterproof.

Bathroom walls and ceilings need a paint that might have to be mold resistant, as well as washable on occasion. Be sure to ask your paint supplier or painting contractor about how each paint variety will resist black mold, in particular. In the winter of 2015/2016, where there was record levels of rainfall, black mold struck many a bathroom and living space where people did not adequately air the place out regularly.

4. Cover all your belongings that you don’t want to get paint on

Painting contractor companies will always have material to cover what’s valuable, but there are some things in your house that really cannot be repaired or replaced, or even insured to an adequate degree. Best if you can pack away those things that mean a lot to you, so no one has to say sorry later. Take plenty of time ahead of the project to get the house ready. Don’t leave things until the last minute, and you won’t be sorry.

5. Choose a time, if possible, when your family, kids, and pets can be away from the house

It’s usually a bit more expensive to paint a house in peak season (the middle of the summer) but you should be OK if you book ahead. Don’t wait until July to book an August house-painting. You’ll get a much better deal if you book your painting job months in advance. You’ll also get the best weather, and you can take advantage of the dry summer months too!

6. Do all repair work ahead of time

Homes, like anything made by humans, deteriorate with time. It might have been more than a decade since you painted your home last time, so it’s likely there are some minor damages to walls and trim that need to be taken care of before the painting project begins. Every painting contractor will appreciate it, and you won’t be surprised with any “hey, we’ll have to fix this before we paint this wall here” type of thing. That way, there will be no unpleasant surprises in the project price, either.

If you’ve raised kids in the time since the last time you painted your house, now might be the perfect time to take care of those repair jobs. From personal experience, I know just how much of a strain my kids had on the house. Infants gouge walls with forks, and teenagers slam doors. It’s all part of raising kids, of course, but trim can often become misaligned after a few door-slammings, so go over everything long before the painters arrive. Even if you’re doing the paint job yourself, you’ll find the process less onerous if you’re not distracted by having to stop and fix something half way through the painting project.

7. Before you open a can of paint, have all your tools ready and your workspace prepared

In the eagerness to get started, people often open the cans of paint before they are fully ready to start painting. Remember, the clock on the project starts the moment the first can of paint is opened. Once that can is open, evaporation begins, and you need to be in a good position to start painting and continue from that moment.

8. Make sure you are dressed for success. Paint gets everywhere

If you don’t want paint in your hair, you need to cover your hair. Even an old baseball cap is better than nothing, but a shower cap you can throw away after the project is excellent. Some hotels have such disposable shower caps. I don’t know if anyone ever uses them, but if you’re planning a hotel visit soon, you might grab one or two if you can. Also, use an old pair of sneakers or something. Shoes and paint don’t mix, and they will destroy your favorite pair of shoes if you forget this.

9. Have enough paint to finish the job, without having to revisit the store

When you ask the folks at the paint supply store how much paint you need, they will ask you about how much surface area you wish to cover, and they will also need to know what type of surface you plan to paint. Stucco, for example, can soak up paint, while other types of siding may need less paint. There are also indoor paints and outdoor paints. Visit your paint store with the facts so you can choose the optimal amount of paint for the job you are doing.
10. Label and store leftovers for use years from now

If there is paint left over – there always is – write on each can what it walls/rooms/ceilings it was used for, so that you can do patch-up work later as needed.

11. Clean up completely after each day

We’ve all done it one in our lifetime. We’ve forgotten to clean all the brushes and equipment after the first exhausting day of painting, only to be left with destroyed equipment the next morning. Water-based paints can usually be thoroughly washed out with warm water. Other paints may require a solvent of one type or another. When you are purchasing the paint and equipment, be sure to include all necessary solvents and cleaning equipment. Of course, if you use a painting contractor, you won’t have to worry about any of that.

Good luck, and check back next week for more tips!

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