There’s no doubt about it: weather and time can take a toll on a house’s paint job. Sooner or later, most homeowners will need to tackle interior and exterior painting projects. The cost of painting a house will vary depending on many factors. If you have the time and energy, you can save money and paint a house yourself, and you just need to factor in the cost of paint and materials, as well as the value of your time.
As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 50 degrees F two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints. (Latexes like Sherwin-Williams's Duration and Benjamin Moore's MoorGard Low Lustre are formulated to tolerate temps as low as 35 and 40 degrees, respectively.)
Paint made for the exterior of a house is formulated differently from that destined for interior paint jobs. Exterior house paint is blended to withstand rain, wind, and varying temperatures, while interior house paint is formulated to hide minor imperfections such as brush marks, handprints, and scuffs. Interior paints can be made washable for convenience, and doesn’t require exposure to light to cure.
Generally speaking, a gallon of paint will cover about 350 square feet. If this is the first time drywall is painted, it will soak up more paint. And remember to factor in whether your job will require one or two coats of paint. Dark and bright colors will require more coats of paint, as will painting a lighter color over an existing darker color. Divide the paintable wall surface by 350 to determine how many gallons of paint you will need to buy. If there’s an odd number with less than .5 leftover, round down, if it’s over .5 round up.
Painters often tint primer close to the color of the top coat, but Wallis thinks that's a recipe for "holidays," or missed spots. Instead, he tints his primer a contrasting color. "If I can see the color coming through, I know I need to apply more paint," he says. On the cottage shown in this story, he chose a gray-blue primer to go under a peach top coat.
06/14/17: Renato completed an exterior painting project for our relatively large single family home in Stamford, CT last weekend. Project did not begin well especially with the prep, repair/carpentry work, but then Renato took full control and ensured that the work done was to our satisfaction. The final result is outstanding. Minor damage to window screens, gutters and plants. Ensure that your window screens, gutters, and shutters are numbered and stored indoors or if kept outdoor covered properly against the elements. The project can be extensively delayed due to rain and you may find yourself dealing with insects and/or flooding in basement and dirty/bent/ mismatched screens/gutters/shutters. Overall we had a good team working on our project and we are satisfied with the finished product. The house looks great!
When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
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