Bellevue, Washington has exploded in terms of population over the past few decades. What’s more, the rate of investment in single family dwellings has skyrocketed over the same period of time. People are finding the property they bought a few decades ago might today be worth four times what they paid for it originally. So, it makes sense you would want to protect that growing investment by taking care of it physically. Nothing – with the possible exception of a new roof – can protect a house more than the right external paint job. And interior, too, to a degree, although interior paint does not usually take the weathering external paint does.
So let’s talk about getting a paint project done to reflect the real value of your house!
This is mostly about sunlight and shade, and the direction a particular exterior wall faces. If a wall of your house is north-facing, and is heavily shaded, it’s more likely to be impacted by mold and other effects of dampness. For that, you need to consider a paint that resists mold. What’s more, such dark and damp walls tend to become damaged by that mold and damp more easily. Sunlight, as they say, is a wonderful disinfectant, and can ‘bake’ mold and other types of fungus long before it gets a chance to take hold. But that only works when the sun does, in fact, have a chance to shine on a wall. Talk to your paint supplier – or house painting company – about your experiences with mold in the past.
Mold and damp have one effect on a wall, while sunlight can impact it in a different way. Luckily there are paints that fare well when under the harmful effects of UV light, heat and dryness. Exterior wall paint can reach high temperatures during days of the summer months, only to be much cooler during the nights between those hot days. That heating-cooling-heating effect can certainly damage the average paint, so you need to choose one that is flexible and is engineered to take those temperatures and moisture conditions into consideration.
Stucco, for example, tends to ‘soak’ up paint, and can be strengthened by using a type of paint that has some elasticity to it. Some paints now (including those they use on automobiles) are more like plastic than paint. They can offer strength to stucco while at the same time remain flexible enough to expand and contract when under pressure.
There are countless types of siding available – far too many to mention all of them here – but when choosing the paint to use, consider what material you are painting on. If you have a sample piece, take it with you to the paint store, or if you are getting a bid on a painting job for your house, make sure your painting company takes the siding material into consideration.
It’s easy to fall in love with a particular color in a catalog, but one square inch of colored paper can be quite deceiving. One of my neighbors, years ago, chose a light blue color straight from a catalog. When it was done, the house looked terrible. He suffered (well, we all suffered) with the color for about three years before he finally repainted it. Better to take the time on the right color from day one, and not take the risk of choosing the wrong color. Paint a less exposed section of the wall — perhaps under your deck — to try out the paint and how it looks.
Most house painting companies will not paint the exterior of a house in the Pacific Northwest if the temperature comes anywhere near freezing. Neither will they do it if there is even the slightest chance of rain. Rain and low temperatures risk damaging the project.
Inside your house, it’s obviously a different story. Even if it’s raining outside, you can paint the inside, then keep all the windows open while it dries out.
Another great reason to paint your house in the summer time is, you can take your family away while the job is being done. You don’t have to worry about getting in the way, or your kids inhaling paint fumes, safe and all as they have become.
A good house painting company will have plenty of clients, and their summer roster may fill up quickly, so get your house painting project into their calendar long before the painting season begins. You might even save money while the painting company is still hungry to fill their summer roster early.
Many painting companies will do a complete protection job on all of your furniture, windows and so on, but it’s good to make sure you and your painting service provider agree on what’s covered and what it not, both literally and figuratively.
The easier it is for painters to do the painting, the better job they will do. Make it easy for them by getting stuff out of the way.
For exterior painting projects, consider hiring a landscaper to really cut those shrubs way back, especially if they are actually touching walls. Inside the house, it might be enough to move everything to the center of the room, but better if you can clear out the room entirely. Ceiling painting can be done over a kitchen table, of course, but it’s better to have the kitchen mostly empty, so the painters can operate freely.
Long gone are the days of lead in paint, but still, there are better paints out there. If it is possible, for example, an infant might be in a position to gnaw down on the painted surface, ask your painting service provider about ‘food safe’ paint types.
It might appear to be completely dry, but paint can take more time to dry than you might guess. Even with today’s much safer paints, fresh, clean air is always better than air with any kind of particles in it. If you can, leave all the windows open for as long as you can, and don’t re-hang pictures for a while. Let the paint bake dry first.
You’d think painting a house would be straightforward, but attention to detail while doing it can make a huge difference in the long term. You want to get many years out of the painting project you’re paying for, so do your homework early. Ask for references from previous clients and call them. It’s not a totally fool-proof guarantee, but if they cannot provide any, that might be a red flag. Check their website, too, for images of past projects.
Research now, relax later!