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Freshen up the look of home with a new coat of paint
Experts offer tips on sprucing up inside and outside of house with color
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Kevin Glass of Charles W. Glass Professional Painting work on painting a walkway at the First Baptist Church of Gainesville on Thursday. Preparation is key to a good paint job, from taping and sanding to moving furniture and laying down drop cloths. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Color has the ability to liven up any area of a home, from bedrooms to shutters and every nook in between. However, a poorly done paint job can emphasize imperfections in the home rather than hide them.

Contractor Ed Weiler of Weiler and Morgan Construction and professional painter Charlie Glass, emphasized preparation, patience and paint choice are essential to quality painting indoors and out.

“Good preparation is the foundation to any good paint job,” Glass said. “It also makes it go by easier and quicker.”

Glass said the first step of preparation is picking the ideal paint color. He and Weiler agreed earthtones are the most popular for outdoor painting, while shades resembling nature are frequently chosen indoors.

“Shades of sage and brown are popular in the interior,” Glass said.

The two men also emphasized the advantages of higher-quality paints.

“For indoors, flat finishes are OK because they hide imperfections,” Glass said. “And a flat paint in a high-quality brand will be more durable and washable than even shinier finishes.”

For uneven walls and trim with nail holes, homeowners should steer clear of the eggshell, semi-gloss and gloss finishes. Those paints show any and all imperfections and should be used sparingly, the two men said.

Glass and Weiler also warn against using a flat paint in the bathroom, because it can show water streaks and other stains. Many paint companies make bathroom-specific paints to withstand moisture.

“They make bath and spa paints that are mildew resistant and won’t streak when they get wet,” Glass said.

No matter the finish, however, certain steps should be taken before adding color to a wall to ensure a smooth finish and few imperfections.

“You want to make sure you sand the walls, clean off any residue with a household cleaner like 409, and fill holes and imperfections with drywall compound,” Glass said. “Caulk any cracks and tape around outlets and sockets.”

Once the walls are ready, move the furniture to the center of the room and lay drop cloths on the floor to prevent splatter. Then, select a primer, which even can be tinted to help the new color cover in fewer coats.

“Pick the primer that’s right for the job,” Weiler said.

While Weiler and Glass encouraged selecting a higher-quality product for a good paint job, picking a paint within your budget is all right.

“For kids rooms that get painted once every couple of years, using a cheaper paint is OK because it gets repainted so often,” Glass said.

Finally, select the proper tools for the job.

“Something else that makes a difference are the brushes and rollers you use,” Glass said. “A $13 brush is going to leave a much nicer finish than a $5 brush. The most popular choice is a 3-inch angled brush.”

While painting, open the windows if possible to ventilate the space.

Once the room is painted, wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry and fumes to dissipate before resuming normal activities in the room.

For an outdoor paint job, cleaning and preparing the exterior of the home is just as important.

Weiler explained paint cannot be used as filler for wood or walls, therefore replacing rotted or deteriorated panels, siding or other places is essential before changing the color.

“Paint is not protective,” Weiler said. “Materials that rot can be replaced with 100 percent composite that will last a lifetime. There no reason that anything from doors to windows to siding and trim can’t be composite. It’s expensive, but it will last the life of the home.”

Once exterior problems are resolved, Glass and Weiler said cleaning the surface is crucial.

“People need to not only pressure wash their homes but do so with an approved chemical cleaner,” Weiler said. “Wait at least 24 hours for it to dry. You don’t want to paint over dirt.”

Weiler also noted checking the weather makes a difference in exterior paint jobs. He said homeowners should not paint outside if there is a chance of rain on the day of or the next day.

The professional contractor also warned of the challenges painting in the spring.

“They’re the best temperatures to paint in, but there’s pollen, and you don’t want it to get in the paint,” he said.

Most of the time, Weiler and Glass work together on jobs to ensure the client receive the best quality.

“My crews can handle small paint jobs,” Weiler said. “We use Charlie for any large jobs, and he uses us when the outside needs fixing.”

The pair recommended getting professional help for any lead paint removal or exterior paint jobs on multi-story homes.

“We built a custom scaffolding for a five-story home on the lake,” Weiler said. “We know how to do it safely instead of just climbing a ladder, and professionals can deal with any safety issues that arise.”