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- Painting the House: Should You Hire a Pro?
Painting the House: Should You Hire a Pro?
Paint applicators. Different sizes of quality brushes are basic, and if you are a typical DIYer, you probably already have several in your workshop. Quality brushes are made for the latex, oil, or varnish paints you will apply. The brush hairs are typically of varying lengths and taper neatly. They have a ferrule, or band, that holds the bristles tightly to the handle. Quality brushes hold more paint, don’t lose bristles, paint more smoothly, and are easier to use than cheaper alternatives. Spray equipment is a possibility if the house has a lot of flat surfaces with few doors or windows. Remember that sprayers require extensive cleaning. Overspray can be a problem, so everything needs to be covered well and you will need to get familiar with the use of a sprayer. Rollers also can be a time saver and are familiar to most DIYers if they have tackled interior paint jobs.
Primer. You will need to prime any new, severely weathered, or problem areas to make sure there will be a proper seal of the surface and a smooth surface for the paint. A primer does not need to be used on a clean, dull, coated surface that is in good condition, according to Seitz. Typically you will want to choose a primer geared specifically for your job. If your paint will be 100% acrylic latex, you will want to use a 100% acrylic resins primer. If there are problem areas, however, consult with your local paint retailer for the best choice.
Paint. For most jobs, you will want 100% acrylic latex paint. “On the inside, you can get by with lesser quality, but you’ll want top-of-the-line for holding up to outside conditions. One hundred percent acrylic latex is everybody’s standard nowadays,” says Lyster. Valspar’s Seitz notes that a quality acrylic paint adheres best and holds its color much better than less expensive paints. If doing it yourself, consult a knowledgeable retailer to get the right products for the project.
ASSESS EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
“If you have never painted before, even an interior surface, an exterior is probably not a good place to start. If you have painted an interior and had many problems or hated doing it, this is probably a good sign to call a pro,” says Carl Minchew, Director of Product Development for Benjamin Moore, a nationally known leader in the paint and coatings industry.
Just like any job, there are techniques and tricks to learn along the way. Lyster compares prep work to being a dental hygienist, carefully cleaning and probing for problems. Once problems are discovered, it’s vital to know or be able to find out how to remedy them. One example would be choosing a caulk and knowing how to apply it. “Put it on too thin and it expands and tears, leaving an opening for water,” says Lyster.
If painting is more your speed than prepping, consider hiring someone for just the prep work. Check for handyman services in your area for someone experienced in such work, or ask local painting contractors if they ever handle just prep work and can provide an estimate.
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