Every region of the country offers its own set of challenges for painting the exterior of a home. Anywhere in the world, exterior painting does require the house to be bone dry and above a certain temperature. So, too, should it not be so hot that the paint is being applied to a hot surface which can cause unpredictable and unintended results. Seattle and most of the Pacific Northwest presents a unique set of challenges, including moisture, damp and the resulting flora that grow on a house for almost half of the entire year.
You can, if you’re desperate to get your house painted, paint the exterior of a home under dew conditions, but it will definitely compromise the paint, and that might not be obvious immediately. Water based paints have a specific fraction of water in them in order to adhere a specific way, most particularly relating to coverage area and ‘curing’. Curing, by the way, is that chemical behavior that occurs once the paint has been applied and begins to dry. With water-based paints, that curing process lasts about two weeks. With non water-based paints, it can continue for several more weeks. To maximize the longevity of your paint project, it’s best to have a perfect curing stage, and that means working with a completely dry surface to begin with.
More often than not, color and paint type choices are left by homeowners until the last minute. And yet, they will live with those choices for many years to come in their home. If you don’t have a natural eye for color choice, consider hiring an interior designer to help you pick them out, or work with your painting contractor to go through this process early. Some painting contractors offer the service for free, and others may charge for it, but will discount that amount from any painting estimate they offer you.
Have your color choices and paint type choices settled weeks before you expect the project to begin.
If you know the walls will be painted anyway, consider testing your paint color choices on a few square feet of the rooms you will paint. Many paints look rather different in the catalog than they do on a wall. It will all be painted over anyway, so why not! Also, looking at the paint after a night’s sleep can give you a different impression of how good the color is.
Not everything can be removed easily from a room, but if you can move everything out, it will make the painting easier, and will ensure no furniture or other things are affected by paint. If, for example, paint gets on the contents of the typical wardrobe, there is likely very little you can do later to clean the clothes that were affected.
This is a tedious part of the prep work, but it is definitely worth it. It’s tempting to think, oh I won’t splash any paint anywhere, but painting is far easier if you don’t have to worry about the occasional drop here and there. If you don’t want paint on it, cover it.
Paints have, I am told, gotten much safer than they used to be a few decades ago, but I take no chances and like to always have plenty of air flow – or at least fully open windows – while the painting is in progress. Your lungs will thank you for it.
You can save a few dollars by buying cheaper paint. And no one will probably notice it right away, but if you want to stay in your home long term, good quality paint from a reputable manufacturer is absolutely worth it. And consider, too, that 80% of the cost of the painting project is labor, so a 10% increase in the price of the paint is immaterial.
Cheap paint will cover more slowly, too, and that will increase the painting time of the project.
Ask your painting contractor or your paint provider about the quality of available paints. You won’t regret going up-market on paint brands.
Many people are in such a rush to complete their painting project and enjoy the results, they will work until one AM in the eagerness. When you get tired, like in most things, you make mistakes. You also risk burning out on your enthusiasm and getting sick of the project because you now associate it with being exhausted.
If you have a full time job during the day, consider doing your paint work in two-hour increments – perhaps 7 to 9 every evening – until your project is complete. The results will be better and you won’t be dragging yourself out of bed the next day.
There are two reasons to consider carpet cleaning right after room painting. The first reason is that you have likely cleared the room of furniture already. That will allow you to clean the carpet easily now, without having to move the furniture just for that reason. The second reason is, once the freshly painted walls are in full view after the great painting work, carpets can often look a little ‘old’ for a while. New paint can often make everything else look a bit shabby, so consider a carpet cleaning too!
It’s hard to expect your teenage kid to suffer fully open windows in the middle of January, but it’s also important to realize that paint is still emitting vapors for weeks after it is dry to the touch. Water based paints are – generally speaking – less toxic than oil based ones, and that curing process should be respected.
Consider getting your interiors painted while you are on vacation. Another method is to leave the room empty for several weeks, by letting whoever’s room it is sleep in another room for the time.
See you next week, I hope!