Home Painting Projects

What is needed to paint a house?

Painting Measurements

Common Interior Painting Measurements: total distance (perimeter) around the room: (10 ft. + 15 ft.) x 2 = 50 ft. Multiply perimeter by ceiling height = total wall area: 50 ft. x 8 ft. = 400 sq. ft. General rule of thumb: 1 gallon of quality paint will cover about 400 square feet.

Painting Contractors

One of the very best ways to add value to your home is by painting it. A freshly painted or properly painted house seems to catch the eye of all “passer-bys.” Your home is basically a reflection of self as it boasts your very own personal style. Also, for those who want to add a bit of curb appeal to the property, painting is a cheaper way to go.

There are a plethora of brand names on the market to choose from as well as shades of colors. Paint can be applied to exterior surfaces, interior surfaces, walls, posts, ceilings, cabinets and more. Welcome to the residential home painting contractor guide. This material is designed for you, the homeowner, to help you effectively navigate through the painting process for different types of surfaces. There are many positive/negative factors that go into painting different surfaces.

The Importance of Hiring a Paint Contractor

When it comes to painting, especially for large projects, the best route to go is with a professional contractor. Large projects would be for the exterior of your home, outdoor sheds or the interior walls. Painting seems to be very easy, but there are many factors that come into play.

Here are some tips for acquiring a good painting contractor:

Research you’re area for (professional) contractors instead of hiring your friend who’s only completed a few projects.
After narrowing down the list, do your “due diligence” on the contractors and make sure they’re reliable and certified.
Compare rates among your top picks and ask/look for any hidden fees.
If possible, try and get details about the painting contractor employees. This can be for experience or skill level.
Don’t be in a rush to find a painting contractor. Weighing your options is far better getting stuck with unqualified painters.

These are some of the top factors for homeowners to abide by when dealing with this process. Further down in the article will show you the benefits of choosing a painting contractor rather than doing it yourself.

Hidden Factors

The Weather.
The weather, your region’s climate and the types of primers can all affect the paint, and the surface of interest. A very high percentage of houses are constructed with some type of wood. One of the main things about wood is that it’s always in motion. Depending on the climate, time of year or humidity levels, wood naturally has the ability to either shrink or expand.

That’s right! Ever hear the old saying, “the house is settling in?” Those slight creeks and cracking sounds are coming from the wooden structure of the dwelling. Lets start from the initial stage, which is one of the most important steps of the entire process.


Exterior Surfaces:
Whether you’re taking this challenge head-on or you’re hiring a painting contractor, go ahead and choose your colors. How much of your home’s exterior are you planning on painting? Make sure the surface of the house is clean and dry even if you hire a professional. There shouldn’t be any dirt, mildew etc.

Once the surface is clean, you should scrape away any peeling or fractured paint. Most exterior paints won’t adhere well enough if there’s chipping and peeling of old paint residue already present. The next preparation step would be to sand and prime. This ensures you of a smooth and even finish.

* Depending on your location, make sure to paint your house in a color tone that similarly match other homes in the neighborhood. For those living in certain gated communities or sub-divisions, there may be regulations for exterior surface colors.*


Interior Surfaces.

Indoor painting can be tricky so start by cleaning the walls and ceiling with either soap and water or (TSP). It’s better to do this step one day before the initial painting phase so that the surface will dry out. Next step would be to wipe away any cobwebs and dust. Also don’t forget about the baseboards, crown molding and trim as this is where your painters tape will be applied.

For ceilings, scaffolding is a great tool to utilize. Of course, this is contingent of how high your ceiling are or how tall you may be. There are numerous styles of scaffolding, and they’re fairly cheap to rent. On average, this could be between $15 – $25 a day. Textured ceilings can be a bit tricky to paint since they tend to have grooves and depressions. Try using a (thick-nap roller), as it will give better coverage by filling in the irregularities. Standard (short-nap rollers) can be used for smooth flat surfaces like drywall or sheet rock.

Brush Types & Different Style of Paints

Paint Brushes

Paint Brushes are crucial for providing a great finish. A good high quality brush will cover more surface area, applies the paint more evenly, and it will require less effort. Yes, painting can be a chore in itself and cheaper, lower quality brushes can potentially make the job much harder. Using the correct brush for a specific area provides better quality of work.

Brushes for windows and trim can range between 1″to 2″ inches while brushes for wide flat surfaces generally range at about 4″ inches. Indoor painting can be done by amateur painters, but if you want a more professional look, trained specialists can help you out dramatically.

Check out the differences in brush styles below:
Square Trim Brush: The end bristles are cut more in a square shape, which makes it ideal for large flat surfaces.

Chisel Trim Brush: Great for trimming edges and corners as the bristles are slanted, which also produces straight lines.

Angled Brush: Has cut-bristles, which makes it a bit more easy to apply paint to window trim and hard-to-reach areas.


Paints are the actual show piece that receives the attention. There are literally hundreds of color tones to choose from. Many are your standard primary colors, and the others can be exotic blends. Paint sheens, aka paint finishes, come in Satin, Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Flat and Matte. There really isn’t a set (rule of thumb), it’s more so for personal preference.

Each finish has its positives as well as negatives. The process can seem a bit contradicting, but painting different types of surfaces do require specific finishes. Here a great rule of thumb to follow, which will give your project a better overall look.

Gloss Finishes have a hard, shiny finish that is smooth with luster. This is great for wood-trim, doors, cabinets or anything you want highlighted. Gloss is also washable.

Semi-Gloss Finishes are very durable and can be used for areas where you frequently clean such as closet doors, kitchens, bathrooms and utility areas.

Satin Finishes gives you a slight shine while providing imperfection benefits. Small depressions, scuff marks, stains and grooves won’t prominently appear. This finish is great for high traffic areas such as family rooms, foyers, kitchens and most importantly, kids bedrooms.

Matte & Flat Finishes soaks up light instead of reflecting light. Matte Finishes tend to not be as washable as (gloss finishes). These finishes are great for master bedrooms and uneven textured walls.

The Benefits of Cabinet Refinishing: Stains/Finishes

Wood Stains  are the weapon of choice for enhancing the grains in wooden furniture. If you’re new to the “stain game,” seeking professional assistance is a must. These solutions are actually a mixture of dyes and pigments. there are many stains to choose from on the market, and here are a few to better educate you.

Oil Based Wood Stains are great for antique styled wooden furniture. The oils soak into the wood, and it’s very easy to apply. OBS will dry much slower, which allows for numerous applications. Greater depth can be expected.

Penetrating Wood Stains are your more traditional style of stains. It’s an oil based stain, but it offers a translucent appearance. There’s no need for multiple coats here.

Water Based Stains are are also easy to use, but this stain dries extremely fast while leaving less odor. A sealing coat is needed before applying a finish.

Gel Stain is another type of oil based stain, which produces deeper intense tones. Clear Wood Finish should be applied afterwards for any type of oil based stains.

Tips To Consider When Purchasing Paints

Acrylic Paint  drys fast and is more easily obtained. This paint tends to allow the wood’s grain to swell. Make sure the surface area is sanded well also in between coats. Acrylic isn’t good in high humidity areas like bathrooms, and it won’t stick to dirty walls.

Oil-Based Paints are much thicker, which makes it more difficult when spreading. Being so thick, this paint takes a longer time frame to dry. Try using a high quality brush when applying. (OBPs) should be stirred before applied and not shaken. It also tends to produce bubbles and is more prone to mildew growth, so stirring it well is a requirement.

Latex Paint has a thinner solution, and its easier to clean. Absolutely no priming is needed before you begin painting. Latex is water-based, and it’s good for areas that are exposed to the heat and cold.

Painting Contractors vs Do-It-Yourself-ers

Home projects can be some of the most fun activities for a homeowner. Painting is definitely at the pinnacle of the list. Honestly, if you have never had any experience with painting then you’re in for a rude awakening. These are some of the toughest projects to tackle along, which is why hiring a painting contractor is so important.

The advantages of hiring a professional contractor outweighs the expense for service. Contractors will work with you, instead of working for you. This comes in many different forms such as helping you choose the right primary color, helping you coordinate different color schemes that match and most importantly, provide you with a flawless end product.

Homeowners or (do-it-yourself-ers) can do the job, but there will surely be many errors. These errors include streaks, bubbles and smears. If you’re thinking about painting the exterior of your home, and you just happen to be a novice, save yourself the embarrassment. Check out the extra benefits of the pros below.

Saves you time, effort and mistakes

Provides protection for your personal property

Uses the best quality of products and materials for the job

Provides high quality work

Spares you the shame of doing a terrible job

Solutions such as paints, primers and stains can transform your furniture and your home into a work-of-art, if done correctly. Many of these solutions require multiple applications, which can consume large amounts of time. Count on designating a weekend or two of your schedule to complete these tasks or go the professional route for good, fast service.


When you get quotes from multiple contractors and before you schedule an scope of project estimate request. Confirm the following items with the painting contractor:

Research whether your state requires painting contractors to be licensed. If there are they should be bonded, and insured for property damage. Comprehensive Business Liability, which protects your property from damage by the contractor. Workmen’s Compensation, which protects the workers and you (from liability), while they are working on your property.


Inviting a stranger into your home is a big deal and you have the right to feel comfortable.

Can I trust you as well as your crew inside my home?

Are the painters part of the company employment or are they subcontractors?


If you demand and expect your painting contractor to use the highest quality materials then you have the right to ask about it. There can be large differences with coatings like paints and stains. Your painting contractor should know that there are special coatings that should be used for specific purposes.

What kind of paints, stains and materials do you use?


Management is important to know and understand about your painting contractor:

How will my project be managed?

Are your painters trained? 

How have you made sure they understand safety?

Will you provide references with your proposal?