Should I Buy The Paint Myself Before Hiring A Painting Contractor?

Should I Buy The Paint Myself Before Hiring A Painting Contractor?

When it comes to painting a home, the best option is to hire a professional, even if you have prior experience in house painting. Professionals have the experience, expertise, and equipment to complete the job quickly and without compromising on quality or creating a mess. However, even if you have hired a painting contractor, there is still one decision which you have to make: do you buy the paint yourself or ask the contractor to arrange for it.

Naturally, because you are paying the contractor, you would be better off asking him to get the paint based on your preferences and requirements. That being said, there are a number of advantages you gain if you buy the paint yourself before hiring the contractor. These include:

  • You will have the freedom to choose whichever color and finish you like for each room. The contractor will provide his input and there is a chance he might not agree with what you are looking for. So, if you buy the paint beforehand, you simply have to tell the contractor what you want and they will get the job done.
  • You will retain some control over the whole process. Once the work starts, the contractor will be in charge, and while your input will be heard, you will not be actively involved in the project.
  • You can avail discounts and coupon deals to get paint at a discounted price. You can go online and look for affordable paint that suits your needs, rather than having to go with whatever brand the contractor suggests.
  • Last, but not the least, you can get ample information online to choose the right paint and in the appropriate quantity. You might have some paint lying around in your garage and you can factor that in when buying paint.

So, as you can see, buying the paint yourself before you hire a painting contractor does have its advantages. You can have the paint ready before the contractor actually comes to your home.

On the other hand, you can leave this task up to the contractor. This can also prove beneficial, as:

  • You don’t have to bear the hassle of looking for the right paint color and finish. Painting contractors know the ins and outs of home painting and for them, procuring the right quantity of paint won’t be a problem. You can sit back and relax.
  • Painting contractors use their expertise and experience to suggest alternate options in terms of brand, quality, and finish of the paint color you choose. This might mean better results once the job is completed.
  • The contractor might have some contacts in the market, enabling him to get paint for you at a lower rate.

So, as you can see, there are benefits of each option. At the end of the day, it comes down to whichever option you are more comfortable with. Rest assured, you won’t face any hassle.

A Guide to Selecting the Best Painting Contractor

A Guide to Selecting the Best Painting Contractor

In the fast-paced world we live in today, it can become extremely hard for people to find spare time to indulge in DIY activities. In such a situation, it can be difficult to handle important jobs like painting your home. In fact, such an activity may seem unthinkable or perhaps too far-fetched. This is why many homeowners have begun opting for painting contractors.

If you think things over, the money that you will pay to a painting contractor will be far less than your cost of time and effort. And that is because on your part you won’t only be working on the actual painting, but will also spend time learning the ropes. The end result may turn out to be really good or extremely bad, depending on how accurately you followed each step.

The question is: why let yourself go through so much hassle, when you can hire an experienced contractor to do it for you? Seems sensible right! But how can you select the right painting contractor? Well, take a look at these tips below to find out:

Ask for Referrals

When it comes to selecting the right painting contractor, consider asking your co-workers, family members, or friends for referrals. They may have hired one previously. Make sure to mention that you are looking for hassle-free and beyond satisfactory services.

Search Online

If you can’t find appropriate referrals, you can always take your research online. Search for the best painting contractors in your area and take a look at their websites. Also don’t hesitate on checking out their reviews and testimonials from their customers.

Shortlist 3 or 4

After taking a look at the websites of different contractors, shortlist the ones you deem best. Get in touch with at least 3 or 4 contractors and get estimates in writing. Also, don’t hesitate to ask about the level of experience they have and how many projects they have handled in the past.

Be Specific

Bear in mind it’s important to be specific in this phase of the research. Tell the potential contractors exactly what you are looking for. Each requirement and specifications must be communicated transparently. For instance, you may require repainting a single room, so you should receive a price quote accordingly. Also make it clear as to which finishes or colors you want on your walls and whether or not the trims, moldings, and ceilings have to be painted too.

Quality Paint

Ask the hiring contractor regarding the type of primer and paints they will be using for your project. Also discuss how they will protect the furniture inside your rooms and handle all your furniture.

Warranty

Make sure to ask each contractor about their warranty. Does it include only paint, or paint and labor? How long is the warranty good for?

Finalize the Deal

Get the painting contractors to give an approximation of when the job will start, when it would be completed, and how many technicians will be needed.

Throughout your interaction with the contractors, observe how professional they are in communicating and responding to your inquiries. This can help you get a better idea on whether or not a particular contractor should be trusted for more additional services.

Choosing A Type Of Paint Finish For Your Space

Choosing A Type Of Paint Finish For Your Space

A space’s paint finish has to do with how much sheen the paint on your wall has when it dries. The types of  paint finishes range from being flat or matte to high-gloss. In between we have eggshell, satin and semi-gloss. These options can get a little overwhelming, so here are some things to consider while choosing a type of paint finish for your space.

Durability

The more sheen a paint finish gives you, the more expensive it can be. Sometimes, investing the extra bucks can also mean the paint is of better quality. Putting on a high-gloss coat ensures that you don’t have to worry about paint chipping off in just a year or two. If you feel that it’s too expensive, you can lower the sheen and choose an eggshell or satin finish. This finish won’t provide as much protection, but will fall into a more an affordable price range.

Paint color

It’s a common notion to believe high-gloss is always the best choice. However, just because the wall looks ultra shiny does not mean the sheen is well suited for the color. In fact, darker shades of paint already have a lot of gloss in them, which boosts the sheen. When high-gloss is further applied it might end up highlighting the flaws of the wall, if the surface is not well prepared beforehand.

Movement in the room

Lower sheen can equate to dirty walls, so keep in mind the purpose of the room being painted. In the kitchen we often use a variation of high-gloss to ensure that grease generated while cooking does not stick to the walls, and can be easily cleaned off. Similarly, you can balance out that ultra shine with a flat finish on upper walls and ceilings and low-traffic rooms because less traffic means less dirt accumulation.

Requirements

Before you choose the finish of your wall, consider why you are choosing sheen instead of just regular paint. Sheen can work as a cover up for rough walls. On the other hand, matte can create a sculptural finish on the wall. Choosing a different finish for just one wall in the room can also add to the character of a room without too much effort. Not only that, changing the sheen can also alter the undertone of the color you paint on your walls.

Play with light

Sheen is a great light reflector. Use it to your advantage to brighten up a dark or small space. On the contrary, you can also use matte finish on the walls of a larger space to give off a cozy feel to your otherwise airy space. Given that the paint finish can impact the overall feel of your space, consider all your options.

The finish of your walls can be altered and customized to benefit your needs. It can also be used to enhance or diminish the effect of light, space and color psychology. Plan and paint your walls with a finish that you will enjoy and embrace!

Doug’s Top 10 DIY painting “Do’s & Don’ts”

Doug’s Top 10 DIY painting “Do’s & Don’ts”

1. Not Allowing Enough Time – don’t do this.

This is #1 for a very good reason: WE ALL DO THIS! (including budding professionals). Also # 1 because it causes other mistakes, in fact it is the #1 cause for other mistakes! Not allowing enough time will directly result in any or all of items #2-10 happening to you. Avoiding this mistake means potentially avoiding all the others because you take the time to research your project and after doing so, you may rightly conclude that Saturday morning, before yoga (or golf, or whatever consumes your Saturday mornings), isn’t enough time to paint the powder bath. Now, if you start the Sunday before with surface prep, and do a little bit each – or every other – day, you may be able to apply a coat Saturday morning, before whatever. But don’t assume that getting ready to paint just means a stop at the Benjamin Moore store.

2. Practicing – do this.

#2 because we tend to prioritize household projects, which means when we want to paint the living room – because company is coming – there isn’t time to practice painting in the basement or the spare bedroom closet. Before tackling a high-visibility project, practice on a low visibility project, or two…make your mistakes there. The unique thing about painting (compared to other tradecraft) is that we’ve all done it; think about that – nearly every adult human in this country has painted something – in their life. This makes it uniquely different than any other trade: plumbing, electric, framing, concrete, roofing, cabinetry, flooring, HVAC, etc. What this means is that it is within our reach. Where this causes problems is that not all paint projects are within our grasp, so we bite off a big project and it goes sideways. Practice your technique.

3. Using Cheap Tools & Materials – don’t do this.

#3 because without experience, we are inclined to believe that the $10/gallon paint/primer combo is fine, and saves us $40-50/gallon. If this were true, then we’d see painting professionals, dressed in whites, lined up in big-box stores to get the coupon paint every morning. We don’t see this because there is a difference in performance with high quality paint – just like anything else in life, there are trade-offs to saving money. Remember your first car? How much does it resemble your current car? Steering wheel, door, heater, key…if your first car was anything like mine, that’s about it. Buy the best paint, it will take less time to achieve the result you want, and you can spend that time doing other things. Using Cheap tools – don’t do this. Good tools work better, they leave a better finish, and if you wash them correctly they will last you a lifetime. This includes tape, by the way – buy the best tape – it will save you time in clean-up, and touch-up.

4. Insufficient prep – don’t do this.

Not all jobs require the same surface prep: sometimes you need to prime, sometimes you don’t. Some surfaces require sanding before refinishing, some do not. You may need to clean first, maybe not. There are too many aspects of prep to properly call out each instance, the point is to do a little research. Stop by the paint store some day after work, when they’re not quite as busy. Or call them on the phone, but be sensitive to timing if you call – they’re sometimes very busy and may need to phone you back if they’re helping someone at the counter. One easy way to research is online – numerous resources are available if you just type in your question. But double check, don’t just take one source’ word for it. I remember listening to a DIY radio program a few years ago and a caller asked the host if she needed to prime her bedroom walls before painting, without even asking her any questions about conditions he replied “yes, a couple coats of Kilz should do it”. I wanted to cry, the poor lady probably took a week to paint the bedroom and lost a few square feet in the process because she put so much material on the wall!

5. Clean your cover (break it in) – do this.

Roller covers will shed the first time they’re used – cheap covers will shed every time they’re used. You will notice this when the paint is dry and you swipe your hand across the wall, you’ll feel things in the dried paint; look closely and you’ll see little fibers from the roller cover. So, wash it thoroughly, spin it dry with a cover spinner (these tools also cut in half the time required to clean). Or better yet, clean it, then paint something you don’t care too much about (I don’t want to make any suggestions here…except maybe the utility room?). The point is, clean it and/or use it first, then wash it well – until the water runs clean – let it dry and it is now a broken in. If you’re stuck in #1 and you end up with roller fuzz on your walls, let the paint dry overnight, then pole-sand the walls, this should remove the fuzz, then apply another coat with the roller that is now well broken-in.

6. Shortcut #1: applying 1 heavy coat instead of 2 regular coats – don’t do this.

Paint is designed to be applied within a range of mil thicknesses. Follow the guidelines on the can, or on the website. Buy a mil-thickness gauge and use it. If the paint is too thick it won’t dry properly, may alligator, may delaminate, sag, run or curtain. Plus, the time you think you’re saving will be spent hand-wringing about why the paint isn’t drying.

7. Shortcut #2: applying 2 coats back to back – don’t do this.

Read and follow the instructions on the can, if it says recoat in 4 hours then that’s the best thing to do. You can accelerate this by using a fan (make sure your area is dust free before turning the fan onto your wet paint). If using primer, allow it to dry fully, according to instruction, before applying top coats.

8. Shortcut #3: roll 2 coats, cut in 1 – don’t do this.

This saves time yes, but results in “hat-banding”, you’ll wish you spent the time to cut in twice.

9. “block” your gallons together – do this.

If your project requires more than 1 gallon, buy a 5 gallon bucket and combine/mix your gallons in it first, the pour out your working material, cover the remainder. This avoids minute differences in mixing that sometimes occur at the paint store, and can cause problems later with the 2nd coat, or with touch up in the future.

10. Managing materials – do’s & don’ts.

Don’t use old paint, get new paint; if your touching up from a year ago, no problem, but if you have a 5 gallon bucket from when your home was built ten years ago and there’s a gallon or two, just bring that bucket in to your Ben Moore store and let them remake it, and manage the bucket too. Don’t throw away an empty gallon can if it’s the last one, save it because you won’t remember the color. Label the cans; location & date. Close it properly; put a rag over the can and gently hammer the lid around the edge so it is closed, this will preserve the material for touch ups. Don’t throw paint cans in the garbage, bring them to any paint store (at least in Colorado) and they’ll be properly recycled.

Why Should You Choose A Glossy Paint Finish?

Why Should You Choose A Glossy Paint Finish?

After you have chosen the interior color of your choice, it is important for you to choose the type of paint finish. While choosing a paint finish you can pick from a matte, satin or glossy finish. Although each type of finish has its own set of pros and cons, a glossy paint finish gives noticeably better results and is more long lasting in comparison to other paint finish. Still wondering why should you choose a glossy paint finish? Here are a few compelling reasons:

Moisture Resistant

Paints that result in a glossy finish are a harder and tougher in texture than paints with a matte or satin finish. So, these paints will ensure that the painted surface is moisture resistant and will prevent cracks on the paint that are triggered from humidity trappings or pipe leakages within the walls.

Durable and easy maintenance

Not only do they prevent severe chippings but also their sheen and ultra- shiny exterior, make it user friendly and easy to clean. It is the perfect type of finish for houses with messy young children and animals as the cleaning process only requires a cloth and some soap water. In case you’re apprehensive about painting your walls with a glossy finish, here is some good news. It is also the best suited paint for cabinets, doors and edges that are commonly touched and prone to discoloration.  Above all, a glossy paint finish also reflects light off of its surface, giving the room a luminous feel that can brighten the space.

But the main reason why glossy paint finish is the most practical option because it is the one paint job that can give you results that is worth every penny of your spending. Matte finish or flat finish paints get dirty easily and matte surfaces cannot be cleaned with soap and water without ruining the walls and damaging the paint. All of which make a glossy paint finish the most durable and user friendly finish option.

Child friendly

No points for guessing why glossy finish paints are the best option for your kitchen, bathroom and children’s bedrooms. These areas are arguably spaces that are most prone to dirt, grime, mold and grease from grease, humidity and fingertips, respectively. Given that these spaces require extra cleaning a glossy finish is great as it can be cleaned easily until your next paint job.

Variety

Glossy paints come in a variety of glossiness that you can choose from. Full-gloss paints are the most durable and cost effective paints but they do bring out the imperfections on your wall, particularly if you haven’t spent enough time on preparation. Semi-gloss paints manage to provide an easy to clean finish while attracting less attention towards the wall imperfections. While other paint finishes do not have the spectrum to choose from, with glossy finish you have this luxury because you can choose the percentage of sheen based on your preference.

Plus, a glossy paint finish need not be restricted to your walls as they are well suited for wooden furniture, cemented areas and even trims on closets. If you choose to a glossy paint finish for your walls, the extra paint left over from wall painting can be used to paint small pieces of wooden furniture such as side tables and nightstands.

This is why a glossy paint finish could be the best painting investment you make.

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