Category: Painting


Why You Should Stock Up for Your Fall Painting Projects Now—and How to Make Every Drop Count

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

increasing paint prices

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With people spending so much more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, home renovation projects have been on the rise. This has caused product shortages and subsequent price increases in a number of industries, including home appliances, stonework, plumbing fixtures, and lumber. The latest victim? Paint. Between an increase in demand and difficulty in sourcing raw materials, paint prices are expected to surge.

Read on to learn more about how the global health crisis is affecting the paint industry, and why you may benefit from buying paint now if there’s a move or renovation in your near future.

RELATED: 10 Design Trends We Didn’t See Coming Before the Pandemic

What is causing paint prices to increase?

Due to public health and safety measures, 2020 forced most of the world to spend more time at home. This led many to focus much more on their immediate surroundings, resulting in an explosion of home renovation projects and an increase in moves with home sales skyrocketing in 2020, marking a 14-year high. During this surge, there has been an increased demand for paint. However, global supply chains have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, causing shortages of certain ingredients. Plus, the winter storm in Texas during February of 2021 put a halt to paint manufacturing at certain plants, which impacted production and delivery that still hasn’t fully resolved.

paint prices on the rise

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RELATED: 10 Things I Learned from Moving During a Pandemic

What do we know about the price increases?

The price for the raw materials needed to produce paint increased by between 5 and 9 percent in February of 2021. As a response to these industry trends, Sherwin-Williams has announced that they’ll be raising their paint prices by 7 percent beginning in August. While other major paint manufacturers have yet to weigh in on whether they’ll be following suit, it’s expected that this increase may become widespread.

Should I stock up on paint now?

If you’re planning on moving, renovating, or redecorating this fall, it may be prudent to purchase paint now before these price increases come into effect. Experts anticipate that demand for decorative paint will remain high in the years to come, so prices likely are at the lowest they will be for the foreseeable future.

how to store paint for future projects

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How should I store paint over the summer?

If you decide to stock up on paint before prices rise, it’s important to consider how you’ll store it—especially over the hot and humid summer months. The good news is that unopened paint cans keep well since they’re tightly sealed when you purchase them. However, if you start any painting projects and end up with half-filled cans of paint, it’s essential to store paint correctly to ensure they last.

Paint shouldn’t be left in a space that experiences extreme heat or cold because the paint will dry out or separate and curdle. So if you live in a warm climate, be sure to keep it in an air-conditioned indoor space rather than a shed or garage. Seal the lids as tightly as possible and make sure to label each can with the brand and color as well as the room in which it was used.


Solved! Can You Paint Over Mold?

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

Paint Over Mold

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Q: I just discovered mold on the walls in my bedroom. What is the best way to get rid of it? Can I paint over mold?

A: Painting over mold may cover up the dark patches where the mold is growing, but it will not eliminate the problem. Mold is a fungus that will thrive where there’s enough moisture to encourage its growth. Using mold-resistant paint works to prevent mold growth, but it won’t kill it once it’s started to grow. You can paint over mold, but it will always reappear if you don’t stop it in its tracks. Mold can cause severe respiratory issues for your family and pets. Before taking steps to clean and kill the mold, identify where the excess moisture is coming from and take steps to treat it. Contact a professional to remediate the mold issue if it’s growing in a continuously wet area or if the mold covers a large area.

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Painting over mold will not destroy mold or prevent it from growing.

Paint Over Mold Will Not Destroy Mold

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If you just paint over mold, you’re not fixing the problem. It’s a quick fix to cover up the ugly stains, but it won’t solve the issue at the source. Painting over mold will cause the paint to chip, peel, and bubble—a sign that the mold is still growing underneath. Painting over it will only prolong the issue and hide it for a short period.

Mold can be a health risk for family members (and pets).

Mold is a fungus that loves moisture. Mold growth commonly appears as gray, brown, or black splotches, but it can also be white, green, orange, or pink. Mold spreads quickly with spores that travel through the air. When humans or animals inhale those spores, they can cause serious respiratory issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold can cause many different health issues. Some symptoms of mold exposure are a stuffy nose, sore throat, skin rash, wheezing, coughing, and burning eyes. Those who are immunocompromised or have allergies or chronic lung diseases are at even greater risk when exposed to mold. This is why it’s essential to understand why mold is growing and get rid of it as quickly as possible.

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Mold-resistant paint and primers only work proactively.

Some paints and primers advertise that they kill mold if you paint over the growth that appears in your home. These paints and primers only prevent mold growth after mold has been successfully cleaned and destroyed to avoid regrowth. Moisture-resistant or mold-resistant primer is important when painting high-moisture areas like bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms. These paints are primers that can also be helpful if you live in a humid climate.

Paint Over Mold Remove the Mold Before Painting

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Remove the mold before painting, and ensure the surface is clean and dry.

When it’s time to treat the mold, make sure to wear protective equipment such as a respirator mask, gloves, and eye protection. Some people prefer to use a mixture of bleach and water to spray on the mold to kill it. This works on the surface, but it doesn’t kill mold growing deep in drywall or wood. Vinegar penetrates deeper than bleach, so it’s a more effective mold killer. Spraying vinegar on mold and saturating the area will treat the root of the issue. Remember never to mix bleach and vinegar since it creates a toxic gas. There are also fungicide products you can purchase and apply to the areas. If the mold patch is extensive or recurring, contact a mold remediation professional.

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Once the mold is removed, use moisture-resistant primer or paint, especially in areas like the bathroom.

Once the mold has been removed, it’s time to choose a high-quality moisture-resistant or mold-resistant primer. These primers are not mold killers, but they will prevent mold growth in the future and prevent any stains from showing through. After applying the primer, paint the area with two coats of semi-gloss or satin paint that repels water. If you feel overwhelmed by the mold in your home, or if you have a pre-existing respiratory or immune issue, call a professional with the experience and knowledge to remove and clean mold.


The Best HVLP Spray Gun to Paint Like the Pros

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option

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Spray guns have a reputation for being tricky to use, but modern HVLP (high volume, low pressure) versions aimed at DIYers and hobbyists are easy to learn how to use and can dramatically reduce the time it takes to stain fences, finish furniture, or paint walls. They also help create a beautiful and even finish without brush marks or widespread splattering that rollers can cause.

With their growing popularity, several different types of HVLP spray guns are now available, so it can be challenging to know which is the right one to buy. To help solve that conundrum, the following is a detailed look at how to choose the best HVLP spray gun for a variety of materials, along with a list of some of the best options on the market, organized by category.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: NEU MASTER 600 Watt High Power HVLP Paint Spray Gun 
  3. BEST COMPACT: REXBETI Ultimate-750 Paint Sprayer, High Power HVLP
  4. BEST PRO: Master Pro 44 Series High Performance HVLP Spray Gun
  5. BEST UPGRADE: Earlex HV5500 HVLP Spray Station Paint Sprayer
The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option

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What to Consider When Buying the Best HVLP Spray Gun

HVLP spray guns fall into several different brackets. These make a considerable difference to their suitability for particular tasks. To help arm you with the information needed when shopping, the following sections include a range of technical and practical aspects, including how each type of HVLP spray gun functions.

Type

HVLP spray guns can be divided into three basic categories: compact models, turbine models, and compressor-driven models.

  • Compact models simply plug in to the nearest power outlet. They have a small onboard pump that provides air to atomize the material being sprayed. They are best for small areas. Cordless HVLP spray guns of this type also are available, though most are very expensive and only run for about a half hour between charges.
  • Turbine models are similar in style to pro tools in that a separate turbine supplies air, making them much more powerful than compact models. The turbine is a relatively lightweight unit, but it can be a larger machine to move around. Turbine HVLP spray guns are great for furniture work, small decks, and siding. They can be used for rooms, but they’re a relatively slow choice for a whole house.
  • Compressor-driven models are full-on professional tools often found in automotive body shops. Because these are “low pressure” spray guns, they don’t need a large compressor and many home users may already own a suitable model. However, even relatively small compressors aren’t particularly portable and need regular maintenance. The big advantages with professional HVLP spray guns are the increased adjustability and long-term durability. They also are fast, so this may be the best choice for regularly painting large areas. They do have more of a learning curve, but the quality of finish can be virtually flawless.

Both turbine and compressor-driven spray guns need a hose to deliver air, but a short hose can prove restrictive. With professional models, it is possible to purchase a longer hose. However, that’s not usually an option with turbine models, so it’s an important feature to check before buying.

Fluid Nozzle

At the business end of a HVLP spray gun, there is the fluid nozzle or air cap with a central hole for the fluid to spray through. It also has two “horns” on either side that force air into the fluid stream and atomize it, turning it into a fine spray.

The size of the central hole is usually measured in millimeters, and it’s extremely important as it determines the kind of material that can be sprayed. To get the best possible finish, it may need to be changed from one project to the next. Every stain, varnish, primer, and paint has its own viscosity, which indicates thickness of the liquid. Low viscosity (thin) materials like wood stain may only need a very small hole, perhaps 1 millimeter. High viscosity (thick) materials like latex paint need a larger hole, around 2 or 2.5 millimeters. Some car body primers need a 3-millimeter nozzle hole.

Some HVLP spray guns come with just a single general-purpose nozzle. While other compatible types are often available at extra cost, there are spray gun kits that include several different nozzles. Professional HVLP spray guns usually have a separate air cap, fluid tip, and fluid needle, which are all interchangeable. These components provide much of their advanced adjustability.

The fluid nozzle also will control the spray pattern. Professional HVLP spray guns have lots of adjustability, whereas DIY models tend to offer a choice of vertical, horizontal, and round patterns.

Adjustable Controls and Ease of Use

While the fluid nozzle controls the shape of the spray pattern, pressure control impacts the size of that pattern. More material is atomized with higher pressure, so a larger area is covered. Compact models often lack variable pressure control.

There’s a second element to consider. If the pressure is raised and the fluid flow stays the same, there will be wider coverage with a thinner coat. To compensate, flow control is required. The flow control is usually on the spray gun, where it is easy to reach for adjustments.

None of these devices require special power considerations. They all can run off a household supply. With compact and turbine models, the wattage of the motor may need to be checked. Anything under 300 watts might struggle to move high viscosity material, and durability would also be a concern.

Noise is another issue. None of these machines are particularly quiet, though actual decibel ratings are seldom provided. Ear protection isn’t necessary, but it is recommended if spraying for extended periods.

Maintenance

Cleaning HVLP spray guns is not a difficult procedure, but it can be time-consuming, as a certain amount of disassembly is necessary. Perhaps not surprisingly, compact models are the simplest to clean, and professional models are more complex to clean.

It’s important that cleaning is done immediately after the spraying is finished. It needs to be done thoroughly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Any material that dries inside the gun, particularly around the fluid nozzle, can cause it to spit or clog. A bristle brush, which is usually included with the spray gun, can help with this. Complete aftermarket HVLP spray gun cleaning kits are readily available and inexpensive.

When not in use, it’s a good idea to store an HVLP spray gun in a cupboard or cabinet where it won’t get dirty or dusty. Gun racks are often used to store spray guns in professional environments, but there’s little chance of dirt buildup problems, as these guns are typically used on a daily basis.

Our Top Picks

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about the various facets that will impact your choice, it’s time to check out some of the best HVLP spray guns on the market. These top picks offer a range of price and performance options, so there’s something here to suit every kind of user. Each model is assigned to a category to help you quickly find the best HVLP spray gun for particular tasks.

Best Overall

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer
Photo: amazon.com

It’s not easy to pick a single best HVLP spray gun, but for its ease of use and all-around performance, versatility, and value, it’s tough to beat this Wagner Spraytech model. It will spray all manner of stain, varnish, and most paints. It comes with a 1.8-millimeter nozzle, so latex may need to be thinned, but larger nozzles are available. It offers horizontal, vertical, and round patterns with easy adjustment of both air pressure and fluid flow.

The Wagner Spraytech comes with 20 feet of hose, so there’s little issue of being cramped or constantly moving the turbine unit around. It only weighs 11 pounds and has a built-in handle, so it’s very portable. Two paint cups are supplied: a metal one that holds 1 quart and a plastic one that holds 1.5 quarts. The Wagner Spraytech is among the quieter HVLP spray guns of its type and is easy to clean.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: NEU MASTER 600 Watt High Power HVLP Paint Spray Gun
Photo: amazon.com

The NEU MASTER HVLP spray gun combines the power advantages of a turbine with the low cost normally associated with compact electrical guns. A 600-watt motor provides good performance and reliability, plus two interchangeable nozzles allowing a wider range of material usage than is usually found on budget spray guns.

There are three spray patterns: horizontal, vertical, and round. While air pressure is not adjustable, flow control is adjustable. The paint cup holds 30.5 ounces, a fraction under a quart. The 6 feet of hose seems a little restrictive at first, but the compact turbine can be fitted with a shoulder strap for increased mobility. The interesting interlocking head setup makes for easy cleaning.

The NEU MASTER HVLP spray gun is great value for painting and staining furniture, doors, and other medium-size projects, although it is not a tool for fine detailed work.

Best Compact

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: REXBETI Ultimate-750 Paint Sprayer, High Power HVLP
Photo: amazon.com

Compact handheld HVLP spray guns like the Rexbeti are frequently criticized for lack of performance and versatility. That’s not the case here. The 500-watt motor provides plenty of power and a choice of four different fluid nozzles is included, from 1.5 to 3.0 millimeters. The nozzles can cope with anything from thin sealers to thick primers and latex paints (the latter may need to be thinned slightly).

With no turbine or compressor, it is easy to move around, though an extension cord will often be needed. The standard three spray patterns are offered: horizontal, vertical, and round. Compact HVLP spray guns like this never have air pressure control, but material flow is easily adjustable. The 1,000-milliliter paint cup is equivalent to just over a quart.

The Rexbeti sprayer also comes with a viscosity cup for checking material thickness, paint filters, and cleaning tools. It’s a comprehensive and very affordable tool for all kinds of small projects.

Best Pro

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: Master Pro 44 Series High Performance HVLP Spray Gun
Photo: amazon.com

The Master Pro is what’s called a gravity feed HVLP spray gun. The paint flows from a 1-liter (1.05 quart) aluminum cup fitted above the gun. Air comes from a compressor that’s fed up through the handle. Knobs at the back of the spray gun make fine adjustments to air pressure and fluid flow, allowing for precise control of spray pattern size. An air pressure regulator is included to manage air from the compressor.

The Master Pro comes with four needle/fluid tip combinations from 1.3 to 1.8 millimeters. While primarily targeted at automotive paints, a wide range of woodworking stains and finishes can be applied, including thinned latex paint. It’s a gun that has the ability to spray materials over substantial surfaces quickly, or it  can focus on small areas when necessary.

This is not a cheap HVLP spray gun, and the need for a compressor will add to the price. When compared to similar high-performance models, it is very competitive and should provide many years of reliable service.

Best Upgrade

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: Earlex HV5500 HVLP Spray Station Paint Sprayer
Photo: amazon.com

The Earlex HVLP Spray Station is compact, portable, and powerful. The metal gun and 1-quart paint cup offer both excellent durability and more consistent finishing because they aren’t subject to fluctuations in air pressure that can affect plastic. Rather than a single fluid nozzle, this tool employs the fluid tip and needle setup found on professional spray guns. It allows more precise fluid flow control, which is tuned by a knob on the gun and by trigger pressure. 

A 2.0-millimeter multipurpose nozzle is provided, with 1.5- and 2.5-millimeter options available. There’s a 650-watt motor and 13 feet of hose that stores neatly within the unit, as does the power cable. The high-quality spray gun sits on top when not in use, and there’s a convenient carry handle. While more expensive than many rivals, the Earlex HVLP Spray Station offers consistent performance, which makes it easier to achieve a high standard of finish.

FAQs About HVLP Spray Guns

The information provided so far has included details to increase the understanding of the HVLP technology and real-world examples of the best HVLP spray gun for different tasks. However, it’s a complex subject and you may still have questions. The following are answers to some of those questions that crop up frequently.

Q. What’s the difference between an HVLP, a conventional sprayer, and an airless spray gun?

HVLP stands for high volume, low pressure, hence an HVLP spray gun can move a lot of material quickly. Different models run off a pump, turbine, or compressor.

Conventional spray guns use higher pressure and require a dedicated compressor. They are less efficient than HVLPs, so they can waste more material.

An airless spray gun uses a piston to create high pressure. They can be very fast, but fluid control can be difficult. They are OK for spraying a wall, but not for spraying details like window frames.

Q: Can I spray polyurethane with an HVLP gun?

Many HVLP spray guns can spray polyurethanes, but it does depend on the model. It’s important to check the capabilities before buying. If it has a 1.8-millimeter nozzle or larger, it should be OK. Smaller nozzles would struggle with the viscosity, though the polyurethane could be thinned if necessary.

Q: Do I use a compressor with an HVLP paint sprayer?

Professional HVLP spray guns like those found in auto body shops need a separate compressor. Some DIY models come with their own turbine. Small electric models have a built-in pump.

Q: What are the best safety practices for using HVLP spray guns?

Always wear safety glasses and respiratory protection. A good-quality half mask has much better filtration than simple disposable paper masks. It’s a good idea to wear lightweight nitrile gloves and some form of ear protection, especially if you’re going to be spraying for an extended period. Never point the spray gun at people or animals.


How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

Cost To Paint a House

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  • Typical Range: $1,747 to $4,168
  • National Average: $2,957

Painting the exterior of your home will improve the appearance and add to the marketability and resale value. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical cost to paint a house ranges from $1,747 to $4,168, with the national average around $2,957, or from $.50 to $3.50 per square foot. Prices for house painting can vary due to geographic location, the type and condition of the exterior material, and the ease of access. Labor can run from $25 to $75 per hour. Most professional house painters will quote a total price that includes all hours worked. The type of exterior paint you choose also affects the price. Price per gallon of paint ranges from $20 to $80, and professionals usually get a discount of 25 to 50 percent. The cost to paint a house with quality materials and experienced professionals is worth it when it results in an updated exterior that will last 10 to 15 years.

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How to Calculate the Cost to Paint a House

Cost To Paint a House How to Calculate the Cost

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Calculating how much it costs to paint a house will let you know what to expect from a professional estimate and stay on budget. To find out the approximate cost to paint a house, divide the paintable area by the coverage of a gallon of paint. To find the paintable area:

  • Find the finished area. Measure the perimeter of the house and multiply it by the height of the house.
  • Find the paintable area. Subtract the area of doors (a standard door is 21 square feet) and windows (the standard window is 12 square feet) from the finished area total. If there are balconies, gables, or complex and ornate architectural designs, a professional will give you an accurate estimate.

A gallon of paint typically covers between 250 and 400 square feet, or 350 square feet on average, depending on the material. Keep in mind that two coats of paint are needed to paint the exterior of a home. For example, an average 2,500-square-foot home has around 2,100 square feet of paintable area. The formula for calculating the cost to paint a house is:

  • Square feet of paintable area/square feet of paint coverage = gallons of paint x 2 = total gallons of paint needed.
  • For example: 2,100/350 = 6 x 2 = 12
  • 2,100 square feet of paintable area divided by 350 square feet of coverage equals 6 gallons of paint. Double that number since you’ll need two coats. This comes out to 12 gallons of paint.
Cost To Paint a House Factors in Calculating the Cost

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Factors in Calculating Cost to Paint a House

The factors that go into calculating the cost to paint a house include the paintable area, labor, type of paint, the type and condition of the home exterior, geographic location, climate, the age of the house, prep work, paint quality, and permit costs. The typical cost to paint a house ranges from $1,747 to $4,168, with the national average around $2,957, or from $.50 to $3.50 per square foot. This average can vary depending on the geographic location of the house. Being aware of the different factors will help you select the paint and materials suitable for your home.

Labor

The majority of the cost to paint a house comes from labor. Most professionals will charge between $25 and $75 an hour to paint a house, and that price is usually folded into the quote. An experienced house painting contractor will know how long it will take to complete the project and how many painters to use to get the job done right. Regional price differences are related to the overall cost of living in that area.

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Area to Be Painted

The more paintable area, the more expensive the project will be. It costs more to paint a two- or three-story house because of the amount of paint and the extra equipment needed for hard-to-reach areas. This involves more setup and cleanup time. It usually costs from $.50 to $3.50 per square foot to paint a house, and the average cost is $.75 to $2 per square foot for the entire project. A two-story home can cost up to 50 percent more than a one-story home.

Material Type

The exterior material type is a significant factor in calculating the cost to paint a house. Wood and vinyl siding can cost $1 to $2 less per square foot to paint than other materials because it is less porous. The price to paint stucco, concrete, and brick varies due to how much paint and primer are needed to cover the material and how much labor is required. Different materials like metal may require specific types of paint.

Geographic Location and Climate

Weather and climate impact the type of paint needed, and it also determines how often a house will need to be painted. If you live in a hot and sunny climate, direct sunlight may cause the exterior paint to fade. Homes in areas that experience harsh winters or high humidity will need paint that can withstand the elements.

Size, Age, and Condition of Your House

The size of your home will determine how much paint is needed and affect the cost of labor. A home exterior that is in excellent condition will require less paint than an exterior that is damaged. If the exterior of your home is in disrepair, it will need to be improved before priming and painting can even begin.

Prep Work

If the exterior of your home is in bad shape, it will need to be repaired before it can be painted. Prep work might include siding repair, filling holes and cracks, power washing, and sanding. If experienced professionals do the prep work, they can guarantee the project is done right. Some average costs are $.50 to $1.50 per square foot for patching; $.50 to $2.50 per square foot for sanding, scraping, and stripping; $220 to $380 for power washing; and $.50 to $1 per square foot for caulking and masking. On average, the costs for house prep can range from $25 to $50 an hour, depending on the exterior material and the extent of the repairs.

Type and Quality of Paint and Primer

The type and quality of the paint will affect the overall cost of painting a house. Lower-priced paints may need more coats to sufficiently cover a home’s exterior, and more expensive paints may be thicker and provide more coverage. While you may spend more money on upfront costs, going with a higher quality paint will extend the paint job’s life.

The material of the home will determine the type of paint. Water-based latex paint costs between $20 and $50 per gallon. Acrylic latex works well for painting vinyl siding, and it cleans up easily. The cost of oil-based paint ranges from $20 to $70 per gallon. Oil-based paint takes longer to dry and requires mineral spirits for cleanup. It offers better coverage, but it can crack and yellow.

Eggshell is the most common paint finish for home exteriors. It has a slight sheen, and it runs from $30 to $50 per gallon. Flat paint costs from $15 to $40 per gallon, satin paint averages between $30 to $50 per gallon, semi-gloss paint goes for $40 to $60 per gallon, and high-gloss paint can cost from $50 to $70 per gallon.

Unpainted surfaces and surfaces that are being painted a drastically different color need a primer. Primer helps the paint adhere to the surface of the house and makes it last longer. Primer is also required if there is a change of paint type, such as switching from latex to oil-based paint. The price of primers can range from $15 to $80, depending on the kind of primer. Latex-based primers can cost between $20 to $80 per gallon, oil-based primers go for $20 to $50 per gallon, and shellac primers can run between $20 and $60 per gallon.

To extend the life of the paint job, choose the highest quality paint and primer that’s approved for your home’s exterior surface.

Trim

The cost of painting trim is charged by the linear foot, and it usually runs between $1 and $3 per linear foot. If the trim is painted at the same time as the rest of the house, it’s usually calculated with the overall cost of the quote and would not appear as a separate charge.

Permits

Painting the exterior of a house does not require a permit, but a permit may be necessary if siding replacement is needed. Permit costs usually start close to $255. After the replacement is completed, it will need to be inspected, and those costs can range from $100 to $200 depending on the local city regulations.

Cost To Paint a House Additional Costs

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Additional Costs and Considerations

When budgeting for the cost to paint a house, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. Labor costs to paint a house can run from $25 to $75 per hour and can vary due to the size of the house and needed repairs. Some other additional costs are paint stripping, equipment and travel fees, and landscaping.

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Repairs or Upgrades

Some common repairs and upgrades needed before painting a house are repairing or replacing siding, caulking around doors and windows, mold removal, and lead paint inspections and removal (if your home was built before 1978). Lead paint inspections can cost between $200 and $400, and do-it-yourself tests are available for less than $40.

Paint Stripping

If there is peeling or chipped paint, the house may need to have the paint stripped. While it’s not usually necessary to strip the entire house, sections can be stripped using a sander, heat gun, or scraper.

Equipment and Travel Fees

If the house has multiple stories or intricate, hard-to-reach features, extra equipment may be needed. If the ground outside the home is sloped or uneven, painters will need additional ladders and scaffolding. The more lifts, ladders, scaffolds, and planks required, the higher the price for the equipment. Eye protection, masks, tarps, tape, spray equipment, brushes, and rollers are all part of the cost to paint a house. Depending on how far away you live from the contractor, a travel fee may be included. This could be $50 or more.

Landscaping

If there is extensive landscaping, large trees, or sloping terrain that blocks access to the house, house painters will need to use additional specialized equipment. Drop cloths and tarps are also used to protect landscaping from paint splatters and chips.

Cost to Paint a House: Types of Exteriors

The cost to paint a house can vary due to the type of exterior that needs to be painted. Each type has different levels of prep work, potential repairs, coverage needs, and category of paint. To help guide your decision, here are some of the recommended ways to update different types of exteriors.

Cost to Paint Metal or Aluminum Siding

The cost to paint metal or aluminum siding averages between $400 and $3,500. It’s recommended to clean the siding before painting with specialized metal paint. Still, occasionally the old covering will need to be removed, and the material will need to be acid etched. If the siding is damaged, it will need to be repaired or replaced. New metal siding can cost between $4,000 and $13,500.

Cost to Paint Brick

Painting a brick home can run between $3,500 to $10,500, or $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot. Brick is a porous material and requires more paint for proper coverage. A primer is also needed to help the paint adhere to the surface.

Cost to Paint Wood Siding

It costs between $700 to $3,000, or $1 to $3 per square foot, to paint wood siding. While it’s less expensive to paint wood siding, it requires more maintenance since it’s vulnerable to the elements. It’s recommended to paint wood siding every 5 to 10 years or when the paint is visibly in need of a refresh.

Cost to Paint Vinyl Siding

Painting vinyl siding can range from $600 to $3,500, or $1.25 to $3 per square foot. Vinyl is one of the most affordable exteriors to repaint, and changing the siding finish isn’t recommended unless it’s necessary. Vinyl siding needs to be cleaned and repaired before painting.

Cost to Paint Stucco or Plaster Siding

The cost to paint stucco or plaster averages $1,400 to $6,000, or $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. Stucco requires substantial prep work such as cleaning and caulking, and it requires more paint to cover the textured surface adequately. The labor costs may be more expensive because of the extended time needed to do the job right.

Cost to Paint Concrete

Expect to spend between $500 to $3,000, or $1 to $3.50 per square foot, to paint a concrete exterior. Porous concrete typically needs a primer to help the paint adhere, so $2 to $7 per square foot may be a more accurate estimate. If the concrete needs to be stripped, the price per square foot may double. If the concrete needs to be repaired or resurfaced, the price is usually around $300 to $500 per 100 square feet.

Cost To Paint a House Do I Need to Paint My House

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Cost To Paint a House: Do I Need to Paint My House?

A fresh coat of paint can update and improve the curb appeal of your home. Dull, faded, and chipped paint can make a house look run down. Here are a few reasons to paint the exterior of your house.

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Painting the Exterior Refreshes Your Home’s Look

Painting the exterior is a tried-and-true way to refresh your home’s overall look. If you’d like to create a new look for your home without the expense of a significant remodel, choosing a modern paint color scheme is the way to go.

Painting the Exterior Raises Your Home’s Value

Painting the exterior of your home is a relatively budget-friendly way to increase the overall value of your home since a new paint job doesn’t cost as much as new landscaping or a new roof. When you pick the right paint color for your house, it becomes fresh and inviting.

Your Home’s Exterior Is Weathered and Damaged

If the siding material is faded or damaged, it’s time for new paint. Damaged paint can also be a sign of rot or mold. If you live in a hot climate or experience harsh winters, the elements can damage house paint and make it look worn and faded.

The Paint Is Old

Old paint can look discolored, faded, or begin to chip and peel. You can protect the exterior of your home with a fresh coat of paint. If your home was built before 1978, the exterior might contain lead paint.

Cost to Paint a House: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If you have a one-story home, experience painting houses, and a few weeks to set aside, this could be a viable DIY project. Expect to pay between $500 to $1,000 to paint a house and an extra $200 to $300 on materials and equipment, depending on what is needed. Keep in mind that professional house painters can get paint and supplies at a discount.

House painting involves prep work, repairs, and possible material replacement. If mistakes are made, it may cost more to fix the errors than to hire a professional. If your home has multiple floors, irregular shapes, complex architectural features, or extensive damage, a professional may finish the job in less time. While you may save money on labor costs by painting the house yourself, the chances are that it will take more time and create more stress than hiring a professional to complete the project for you. Remember that painting the exterior of your home differs significantly from painting a room and involves a unique skill set.

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How to Save Money on the Cost to Paint a House

Painting a house can be expensive, and the additional costs associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save money on the cost of painting a house is to do it yourself and buy the most inexpensive paint possible, but there are other ways to save money without compromising quality.

  • Choose a new paint color similar to the existing one. This can save money on paint and primer.
  • Avoid dark paint colors. Darker paint colors require more coats to achieve the correct color saturation. They also fade faster than lighter paint colors.
  • Get multiple bids. By getting several competitive painting estimates, you can find the best price for your budget.
  • Do some of the work yourself. You can save some money by completing the prep work on your own. By sanding, scraping, caulking, and repairing what you can, you will save on labor costs.
  • Get a contract. Make sure to get the estimate and work agreement in writing from the contractor. This way, you’ll know what prep they will do and how long it will take to finish the project.
Cost To Paint a House Questions to Ask

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Questions to Ask About Cost to Paint a House

Asking a house painting professional the right questions can help minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask about the cost to paint a house.

  • Do I have to pay for an estimate?
  • How long will it take to paint the exterior of my house?
  • What type of prep will be involved?
  • What is the best paint type and finish for my home?
  • Do you have references?
  • Where can I find reviews of your work?
  • Do you have the addresses of some houses you’ve painted in this area?
  • Does insurance cover your workers?
  • Does your work come with a warranty?

FAQs

Deciding on paint and materials while keeping down the overall cost to paint a house can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about the cost to paint a house to help guide you in your decisions.

Q. How often should I paint my house?

Unfortunately, there is no set timeline for how often a house needs to be painted. On average, wood siding should be painted every 3 to 7 years, metal siding and stucco typically needs a fresh coat every 5 to 6 years, and brick can go as long as every 20 years. New materials such as cement fiberboard should be painted every 10 to 15 years.

Q. What is the best color for painting my house?

It’s recommended to choose lighter or more muted colors for longevity. Darker colors can fade quickly, and more paint is needed when applying the color. If you change your mind and want to change back to a lighter color, more paint is required to cover the dark color, resulting in higher labor costs. It’s helpful to look at home improvement publications to find a color scheme that appeals to you or to find a home in your neighborhood that you admire.

Q. How much does it cost to paint a 2-story house?

A two-story house can cost up to 50 percent more to paint than a one-story building. On average, a two-story home has roughly 1,500 to 2,500 square feet of paintable area. This can run from $3,000 to $6,200 for the cost to paint a two-story house.


Should You DIY or Hire a Pro for Exterior House Painting?

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

Exterior House Painting

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If you’re debating painting your home’s exterior yourself or hiring a professional, there are a number of things to consider before you start sampling color swatches. First, it’s worth examining the scope of the project and evaluating the time and effort it will take to complete. Professional painters usually have top-notch equipment and years of experience to get exterior house painting done fast and done right, which may not be the case for a beginning or intermediate DIYer. Second, consider the budget for this project and what new materials may cost. Ladders, brushes, sprayers, scaffolding, and drop cloths can add up quickly. A third consideration to keep in mind is the potential hazards or roadblocks that may keep you from taking on the job yourself. Water damage, tricky landscaping, and dangerous angles are important elements to keep in mind when deciding whether to hire a professional.

Difficulty: Expert. Exterior house painting requires the proper tools and experience of a professional who will know which type of paint to use, what equipment is required, and how to complete the job quickly and efficiently. An expert will also be skilled in a wide range of painting techniques and finishes to determine what best suits your desired result.

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When to DIY

Exterior House Painting When to DIY

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There’s a time and a place for DIY projects, and if you’ve painted the exterior of a home before, you may want to tackle this task on your own. If your exterior is in mint condition, you’ve set aside the time it takes to paint, and you already own the necessary materials, the job may as well be yours. Taking on exterior home painting yourself will likely save money in the long run and add to your DIY resume. Plus, you won’t have to wait for a professional bid or schedule the job on someone else’s timeline.

You have experience painting a home’s exterior.

Experience is all but everything, especially in the world of home improvement. If you’ve painted the exterior of a home before, chances are you know what to expert in terms of time commitment, prep work, and end results. Prior painting experience is key to producing a job that looks professional without the high costs of labor that are often associated with hiring a pro. If you’ve learned the tricks of the trade and are willing to take on the task, your work will likely pay off in the long run and build your confidence as a seasoned DIYer.

You have enough time to allot to the painting project.

Exterior house painting can be time consuming, especially when you factor in prep work, which can account for 30 to 50 percent of the allotted time. Depending on the size of the exterior, painting may take several days and several coats of paint to complete.

Tack on the extra 24 hours or more it could take for the paint to dry, and it could take an entire weekend to complete this project. If you’ve blocked out the time it will take to prepare and paint the exterior yourself (or maybe you’ve enlisted your own crew for help), it may be time to start sampling those swatches.

You are on a tight budget and already have the necessary tools.

If you already own ladders, scaffolding, a paint sprayer, and other tools, painting the exterior of your home will likely be considerably less expensive than hiring a professional. Assuming the tools are in working condition and are suitable for the size of the paint job, fewer purchases mean you’ll be more likely to adhere to or even stay under your budget.

In this instance, the cost of paint will likely be where the majority of your money is spent. If you’re confident in your DIY skills and have the spare time to dedicate to this project, painting the exterior yourself may make the most sense.

There is no damage to the exterior of your home.

Before committing to such an extensive project, a thorough inspection of the home’s exterior may be necessary to determine whether you should hire a professional. If any signs of water damage are present, those repairs will need to be made before painting begins to ensure the paint holds up over time.

The roof, gutters, and windows should be examined for water leaks. If leaks are present, the source of the water should be identified and corrected before painting begins. If no visible signs of damage exist, this project is one you may be capable of doing solo.

Exterior House Painting When to Hire a Professional

Photo: istockphoto.com

When to Hire a Professional

Several factors can help point you in the direction of a professional if you’re on the fence about painting your home’s exterior. If you lack experience, materials, and skills, hiring the job out may be your best bet. The risks associated with exterior painting alone are enough to call on an expert, especially if you are concerned about your safety when it comes to two-story homes or lead paint. In these instances, consulting a pro can not only relieve any lasting concerns, but also provide reassurance that the job will be done properly.

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You don’t have experience in exterior house painting.

Regardless of how much research or homework you’ve done, the chance of a bad outcome is high for a beginner tackling this type of project.

A quality exterior paint job takes more than just the proper materials and paint color; it also takes technique and skill that only experience can bring. Without experience to fall back on, you risk a paint job that looks amateur, which will then require the help of an expert to fix. If quality curb appeal is your goal, hiring a professional will allow you to achieve it without the risk associated with doing the job yourself.

The area to paint is large, and there’s more than one story to cover.

Exteriors with sizable square footage require more time to paint, which can seem manageable until the project is underway. Chances are you’ll need multiple coats of paint, too, adding to the overall size of the job.

Homes with more than one story can be tricky to paint, especially for DIYers who aren’t comfortable with heights or don’t have the equipment to climb on roofs or scale multiple stories. Expert painters likely encounter homes with these conditions on a daily basis, and they have the skill sets to scale ladders and the manpower to move efficiently, saving you time and potentially scary situations.

Landscaping will get in your way.

Invasive trees, shrubs, or other intrusive landscaping can literally stand in the way of you being able to successfully paint your house’s exterior. If this is the case, calling in a professional painter can help prevent the headaches these elements may cause throughout the project.

Painters often utilize drop cloths to prevent paint from damaging landscaping and know the correct weight of materials to use so fragile plants or bushes won’t succumb to heavy tarps or cloths. Not only will they know how to work around landscaping, but they’ll also have the equipment to help do so without damaging plants that could be expensive to replace.

You are concerned with safety hazards or don’t have the proper safety equipment.

No DIY job is worth risking your well-being, regardless of your confidence level or skill set. If your house presents safety hazards that you haven’t encountered before or aren’t prepared to handle, it’s safe to assume a professional painter will know how to operate around risky conditions.

It’s also likely they’re insured in the case of an accident or injury. Proper safety equipment, such as ladders and scaffolding, are often pricey, and your chances of using them enough to justify the cost are slim. In this case, securing your safety is worth the money you may save in the end.

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Your home’s exterior has intricate details.

Exterior house painting is more than just slapping product on a brush and calling it a day. Instead, it requires consistent application in every nook and cranny, which can call for a more experienced hand depending on the home’s details.

The more intricate features a house has, the more a professional can help. They’ll know the correct tools to use and lean on the knowledge they’ve gained from past projects to ensure the job is done right the first time. An experienced painter can judge what type of paint to use, whether primer is necessary, and how to make the home’s character stand out.

Your home was built before 1978.

Homes built before 1978 have a higher chance of having paint that contains lead. In this instance, the paint will need to be removed before new coats of paint are put on, which adds to the overall time and expense of painting yourself.

A professional painter will know how to safely remove lead paint from the home’s exterior and will have the tools to do so before new paint goes on. Stripping paint can be messy, time consuming, and dangerous, so the experience of a professional painter is even more valuable in this instance.

Investing in the material and gear needed will exceed your budget.

With interior paint projects, the scale of the job likely requires less equipment than exterior house painting. Items such as ladders, drop cloths, scaffolding, brushes, and sprayers can add up quickly, extending the budget beyond what you might have planned for.

Not only will a professional already own the necessary equipment to complete the job, but they’ll likely have top-of-the-line materials and gear that a beginner might not be able to splurge on. Plus, if you only need to paint your exterior once, you may not have a need for the equipment afterward. In the end, hiring a pro will save you the time and hassle it takes to research the best tools and haul them home.

You have to repair damage before the painting project.

Before painting begins, it’s worth it to carefully inspect your home’s exterior to determine what shape it’s in. If you come across areas affected by water or other conditions, repairs will need to be made prior to painting.

If you’re not equipped to repair the damages yourself, a professional painter will know what repairs need to be made to ensure the exterior is ready for paint. This guarantees the end result looks professional and not like a cover-up, which could be the case if you do it without the help of an expert.

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You’re selling your home.

First impressions are important, and especially so if you plan to put your home on the market. Potential buyers will likely form an opinion on your house before they even step through the front door, which makes the quality of the exterior paint job even more crucial.

In this case, hiring a professional to do the job for you might make the most sense. It will save you time to focus on interior projects that better suit your skill set and improve the home’s curb appeal, potentially earning you more money in the long run if it increases the value or sale of your property.

Exterior House Painting Verdict: Hire a Professional

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Verdict: DIY or Hire a Professional?

Since the exterior of the home is the first impression for visitors or potential buyers, it’s worth it to leave exterior painting to the professionals. An expert painter can produce a quality job that could increase the value of your home and save you the time and money it requires to do it yourself. Their experience and expertise ensure the right painting techniques and formulas are applied, which leads to a thorough, mistake-free job that won’t need to be corrected. Regardless of your skill set, free time, or confidence, the sheer scope of exterior home painting is worth leaving to the pros, who will likely leave your home looking brand new in no time.

Verdict: Hire a professional

Why Skip This DIY Project

Painting the exterior of a home is no small task. It not only takes a lot of time, but there’s a chance the money you thought you’d save by doing it yourself will go toward expert-level materials. Plus, if the paint job doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you’ll spend even more time correcting your mistakes or hiring a professional to make it look presentable. Enlisting the help of a pro will provide peace of mind that the exterior paint job will be done right the first time.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

There are plenty of DIY projects that are perfect for beginner and intermediate DIYers, but exterior house painting isn’t one of them. Instead, it’s a job best handled by a professional due to its level of difficulty. Hiring an expert painter ensures:

  1. The job is done right the first time. Experience and skill set mean less room for error.
  2. The job is done quickly. Professional painters will be able to complete bigger projects in less time.
  3. The job is done well. Skills developed over time lead to a higher-quality outcome.

By letting the experts do the job for you, you’ll be able to increase your home’s value, and hopefully, over time, your pocketbook.

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The Best Brushes for Polyurethane Applications

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

Best Brush For Polyurethane

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Polyurethane is a durable, attractive finish that comes in several different types, including oil-based, water-based, and a water-based and oil-modified formula. It’s typically used to seal wood products, protecting them from moisture, dirt, and damage. Like paint, polyurethane is applied to the material’s surface with a brush.

The best brush for polyurethane differs depending on the intended application. Most smaller projects benefit from a narrow brush, while larger projects can be completed to the same level of quality in a shorter period of time with a wider brush. Read on to learn about the factors to consider as you shop, and then explore some of the top choices for the best brush for polyurethane application.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Wooster Brush 5221-2 1/2 Silver Tip Angle Sash
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Pro Grade – Paint Brushes – 5 Ea – Paint Brush Set
  3. BEST NATURAL BRISTLE: Purdy 144296015 Ox-Hair Angular Trim Paint Brush
  4. BEST SYNTHETIC BRISTLE: Purdy 144152320 XL Series Angular Trim Paint Brush
  5. BEST FOAM BRUSH: Wooster Brush 3103-1 1/2 Foam King Paintbrush
  6. BEST HIGH-COVERAGE: Wooster Brush Q3108-4 Paintbrush Softip, 4-Inch
Best Brush For Polyurethane

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Brush for Polyurethane

Before selecting a brush to apply the polyurethane, consider the size, shape, and design, including the type of bristles, the handle, and the ferrule. Don’t forget to factor in the type of polyurethane and its intended use to achieve the best coverage and finish. Here are several details to keep in mind when choosing the best brush for polyurethane application.

Bristles

Brushes can be made with natural or synthetic bristles. Some forgo the bristles entirely, opting for an angled foam material to spread the polyurethane. The best option for the project depends on the polyurethane base, the size of the project, and the shape of the material.

  • Natural bristle brushes are made with animal hair instead of fabricated materials. Common hair types include boar, badger, and ox. The composition of the animal hair is better for picking up and applying smooth coats of oil-based polyurethane. These brushes come in all sizes for use on small to large projects.
  • Synthetic bristle brushes are the most common option. The bristles are made with synthetic material, like nylon or polyester, which is better for applying water-based polyurethane. These brushes are also frequently used with latex-based paints. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, making them suitable for small to large projects.
  • Foam brushes are a budget-friendly option most appropriate for smaller applications, like applying polyurethane to a birdhouse or a spice rack. Keep in mind that a foam brush applies the polyurethane with a wiping technique instead of a brushing movement.

Width

The brush size you choose should be based on the size of the project or the intended purpose of the brush. Common brush widths are 1-inch, 1.5-inch, 2-inch, 2.5-inch, 3-inch, 3.5-inch, and 4-inch. Brushes that are 2 inches or smaller in width are ideal for applying polyurethane in tight corners or at awkward angles with controlled precision.

Choose a 2- to 3-inch brush for most woodworking projects. These brush widths provide good coverage but can still reach into some smaller spaces. Larger projects, like finishing a table or bed frame, can benefit from a 4-inch brush that quickly covers a lot of surface area.

Ferrule

The ferrule of a brush is the metal part that connects the bristles to the handle. The metal needs to be strong and stable; otherwise, the bristles can bend, break, and detach from the brush. They can become stuck in the can of polyurethane or on the project, leaving an impression in the applied polyurethane that you’ll then need to touch up.

The ferrule is typically made of aluminum or steel intended to support the bristles and keep them together. The high durability and corrosion resistance of both metals helps ensure that the brush and bristles last for more than one use before needing to be replaced.

Handle Design

To maneuver, angle, and direct the brush, you need to grip the handle securely. It’s not impossible to apply polyurethane without a sturdy handle, but it also isn’t easy. For these reasons, don’t ignore handle design when choosing the best brush for polyurethane.

Bristle brushes usually have smooth, flat wooden handles that are easy to grip to accommodate both full strokes and small, precise strokes. Foam brushes may have a narrow wood, plastic, or metal handle extending from the ferrule like a cylindrical rod or stick. This small diameter is more suited for precise strokes than broad application.

Polyurethane Base

Polyurethane-based sealants and finishes are available in either oil-based or water-based options, depending on the desired appearance.

  • Oil-based polyurethane brings out the natural beauty of wood grain with a high-contrast, glossy appearance. Apply it with a natural bristle brush for the best results, though a foam brush is appropriate for smaller projects.
  • Water-based polyurethane gives wood grain a softer, more muted look than an oil-based product, creating a more discreet and subtle appearance. It is best applied with a synthetic bristle brush, though a foam brush is an option for smaller woodworking projects.

Intended Application

Before deciding on the best brush for polyurethane application, consider how and where you’ll use it. Bristle brushes with lower widths and foam brushes are ideal for smaller projects, while larger brushes are better for smooth, broad strokes. If you’re applying polyurethane to a high-traffic object, like a dresser or a closet door, it’s important to use at least four coats of water-based polyurethane or at least three coats of oil-based polyurethane.

Decorative objects purely for display that often sit for weeks or months without being touched only need two to three coats of water-based polyurethane or one to two coats of oil-based polyurethane. Regardless of the material, wait for 2 to 3 hours between applying additional coats.

Our Top Picks

This list includes all three options—natural bristle, synthetic bristle, and foam—to help users find the best brush for polyurethane application. Here’s a look at some of the top products on the market based on the above-mentioned factors.

Best Overall

Best Brush For Polyurethane Option: Wooster Brush 5221-2 1/2 Silver Tip Angle Sash
Photo: amazon.com

This brush from Wooster is an excellent option for applying polyurethane to average-size woodworking projects or furniture due to its 2.5-inch width that’s suitable for both broad and precision strokes. The tapered bristles allow the user to direct the brush tip into corners to ensure that the entire surface is evenly coated.

The brush features a smooth wooden handle that fits comfortably in the user’s hand, providing balanced control over each stroke. Synthetic bristles made of polyester filaments achieve a smooth, soft finish with feather-light strokes. The brushed-steel ferrule is resistant to rust and corrosion, helping to ensure that the bristles remain secure through multiple uses.

Best Bang for the Buck

Best Brush For Polyurethane Option: Pro Grade - Paint Brushes - 5 Ea - Paint Brush Set
Photo: amazon.com

Choose from among five different brushes for polyurethane application in this affordable value pack from Pro Grade. The pack includes a 1-inch flat brush ideal for narrow pieces, odd angles, and small corners and a 1.5-inch tapered brush suitable for crisp, clean corners and angles. Choose the 2-inch tapered brush, 2-inch flat brush, or 2.5-inch tapered brush for broad strokes on standard woodworking projects, like a stool or coffee table.

These synthetic bristle brushes feature a stainless steel ferrule that resists rust and corrosion while tightly holding the polyester filament bristles. Each brush also boasts a smooth and contoured hardwood handle for a comfortable grip.

Best Natural Bristle

Best Brush For Polyurethane Option: Purdy 144296015 Ox-Hair Angular Trim Paint Brush
Photo: amazon.com

The natural bristles on this brush from Purdy are made by blending ox hair with a white China bristle for added resilience and smooth application of oil-based polyurethane. A strong, durable stainless steel ferrule helps to ensure the brush doesn’t lose any bristles while in use. The tapered bristles are 1.5 inches wide, allowing the user to properly coat corners and difficult angles without issue.

Use this brush to apply a variety of oil-based coatings or sealants, including paint, enamel, varnish, polyurethane, and lacquer. It boasts a slim hardwood handle with a hanging hole for easy organization and storage that won’t damage the bristles. The brush is also available with flat bristles and in 2-inch, 2.5-inch, and 3-inch widths.

Best Synthetic Bristle

Best Brush For Polyurethane Option: Purdy 144152320 XL Series Angular Trim Paint Brush
Photo: amazon.com

The synthetic bristles on this brush from Purdy are made with a combination of nylon and polyester that soak up water-based polyurethane, providing a soft, even finish. The smooth hardwood handle is easy to hold and control for precise brushstrokes. The brush also features a brushed copper ferrule with superior rust and corrosion resistance, helping to ensure that the bristles don’t fall out after extended use.

Use this brush for touch-ups on trim or small- to average-size woodworking projects, including window shutters and door molding. The 2-inch width is suitable for long, broad strokes, and the tapered bristles reach narrow corners and tight angles, providing full coverage to the entire project.

Best Foam Brush

Best Brush For Polyurethane Option: Wooster Brush 3103-1 1/2 Foam King Paintbrush
Photo: amazon.com

Don’t fight with fragile bristles that can bend, break, or fall out when this Wooster foam brush is a great alternative for applying polyurethane to smaller projects like a mailbox, bird feeder, or chair legs. The foam brush soaks up water- and oil-based polyurethane and measures 1.5 inches in width for a smooth, controlled application over a small surface.

This brush has a white plastic handle that is a part of the hard plastic ferrule. It has a rigid core to keep the handle and ferrule stiff while the foam flexes and bends to achieve the best results. The low price and moderate reusability of this brush make it an excellent option for the casual DIYer.

Best High-Coverage

Best Brush For Polyurethane Option: Wooster Brush Q3108-4 Paintbrush Softip, 4-Inch
Photo: amazon.com

Brushes smaller than 4 inches wide are great for small- to average-size woodworking projects, but they lack the girth of this 4-inch brush from Wooster that can quickly apply a coat of polyurethane to a table, a door, or even a wall. The brush features synthetic bristles made of nylon and polyester for a fine finish with water-based polyurethane.

The flat bristles glide in broad strokes over the material, making it easier to apply the polyurethane in even layers. This produces a soft finish with a balanced color palette instead of splotchy, uneven coats. A solid plastic handle and a brass-plated steel ferrule help secure the bristles and maintain the high durability of the brush.

FAQs About Brushes for Polyurethane

Achieve a smooth, clean finish on your next woodworking project by choosing the most appropriate brush for applying polyurethane. If you still aren’t certain about which bristles are best suited for polyurethane or if a foam brush is a good idea, keep reading for answers to these and several more frequently asked questions about the best brush for polyurethane application.

Q. Can I use a nylon brush with polyurethane?

Nylon and polyester are commonly used to make synthetic bristles. While these materials aren’t suitable for oil-based polyurethane, they are a good option for applying water-based polyurethane.

Q. Is it OK to use a foam brush for polyurethane?

Yes, it is OK to use a foam brush to apply polyurethane. However, it isn’t the best choice for larger projects because the foam doesn’t spread the polyurethane as well as a synthetic or natural brush. Use a foam brush to apply polyurethane to smaller projects, like finishing a birdhouse.

Q. What kind of brush do you use for oil-based polyurethane?

For the best results, choose a natural bristle brush with a durable ferrule and tightly packed bristles to apply oil-based polyurethane.

Q. How do you apply polyurethane without brush marks?

Before using any polyurethane, sand down the material with 220-grit sandpaper to achieve the smoothest possible surface. Then, wipe down the material, removing all dust particles with a clean cloth. Spread the polyurethane, allowing each coat to dry between 2 and 4 hours before applying the next coat. Use sandpaper again to gently remove brush marks from the material’s surface, and consider applying a wood polish for a near-flawless appearance.


The Best Paint for Garage Walls

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

The Best Paint for Garage Walls

Photo: istockphoto.com

Although a garage serves a vital function in a house by providing storage for vehicles, yard equipment, tools, and other belongings, it’s typically the last room on the list when thinking about improving a home’s aesthetics. That’s unfortunate because a simple coat of paint can transform a dingy garage into a welcoming work space.

While there are no specialty garage wall paints, some of the best interior paints are well suited for this space. These high-quality paints include paint and primer combos that require only a single coat, cutting in half the expense of painting a room with a lot of wall space. Many of these paints also have features that are ideal for a garage, including mildewcides that prevent mold growth. They are also available in various neutral tones that pair well with this utilitarian space, though more vibrant colors are also an option.

This guide will explore the important factors to consider when choosing interior paint for the garage and then review some of the best paint for garage walls on the market today.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Glidden Interior Paint + Primer: One Coat, Semi-Gloss
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Paint
  3. BEST FOR MANY SURFACES: Diamond Brite Paint 31200 Oil Base All Purpose Enamel
  4. BEST COVERAGE: KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Matte Paint and Primer in One
  5. BEST PAINT & PRIMER COMBO: Prestige Interior Paint and Primer in One
  6. BEST MOLD-RESISTANT: Rust-Oleum 2774 Zinsser Interior Eggshell
The Best Paint for Garage Walls

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Paint for Garage Walls

When choosing an interior paint that is best suited for a garage, look carefully at the ingredients to determine if the paint is compatible with the wall type and durable enough for a space that typically isn’t climate controlled. Read on to learn about these characteristics and more to help choose the best paint for garage walls.

Base

There are two options when it comes to wall paint for the garage: oil-based and water-based. However, oil-based wall paint is a thing of the past on the interior walls of most homes. The high VOCs (volatile organic compounds), long dry time, comparatively high price, and difficult cleanup make it an unpopular choice.

For a garage, oil-based paint can still be a viable option since there is plenty of ventilation by opening the garage door, which eliminates the high-VOC issue. Some oil-based paint dries to a hard shell, which allows it to better resist scuffs and scratches. This durability makes it ideal for garage walls that can often take a beating.

Water-based wall paint comes in acrylic and latex finishes and uses water as a solvent instead of oil. The result is a paint that dries much more quickly than oil-based paint, has low VOCs, and cleans easily from brushes.

Low VOCs

Short for volatile organic compounds, VOCs are gases emitted into the air from products like paint. Overexposure to VOCs can irritate eyes, nose, and throat, causing headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, and nausea. Prolonged exposure to VOCs can damage organs and the central nervous system. Some VOCs, such as benzene, are even known to cause cancer.

With these dangers in mind, many manufacturers produce low-VOC paint. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies low-VOC paint as containing no more than 250 grams per liter of VOCs for water-based latex paint and below 380 grams per liter for oil-based paint. Paint that is labeled VOC-free can have no more than 5 grams per liter of VOCs.

Durability

A paint’s durability is dependent on the quality and type of ingredients in its makeup. Paint consists of a base, a binder, and pigments.

As mentioned above, both oil- and water-based paints have their benefits for garage walls. Water-based paint forms a film through which water vapor can pass, while oil-based paint traps water vapor, which eventually causes the paint to peel and crack. For this reason, water-based paints are ideal for an unfinished space that sees fluctuations in heat and humidity. On the other hand, oil-based paints dry to a harder shell than water-based paints, making them more resistant to physical damage.

A binder holds the paint’s pigments—the solids that give it color—together and determines how well a paint adheres to surfaces and resists fading. Paints that use 100 percent acrylic binders are the most durable.

High-quality paint has a higher percentage of solids than liquid compared to lower-quality paint. A greater amount of solids makes the paint thicker, providing better coverage, scuff resistance, and color retention. High-quality latex paints with a high percentage of solids are some of the most durable paints on the market.

Surface Suitability

Unlike a home’s interior walls, which might be plaster or drywall, garage walls can have various surfaces ranging from drywall to metal to concrete to cinder block. Different types of paint will naturally adhere to different types of surfaces. While water-based paint is ideal for drywall and concrete, metal typically requires oil-based paint. Most manufacturers list on the can the surfaces to which the paint will best adhere to.

Climate Suitability

Since garages are typically not climate-controlled spaces, they are subject to a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels. A garage may also house wet vehicles and yard equipment, which can transfer moisture onto the walls. Spaces that are not climate controlled can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. All of these factors wreak havoc on certain types of paint. For garages in humid environments, choose a paint with a mildewcide additive that makes it resistant to mold growth.

Finish

Since the best paint for garage walls is essentially standard interior paint that is well suited for garage environments, it is available in the five typical finishes: matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

A matte finish creates a dull look on garage walls as it has a minimal sheen and it absorbs light instead of reflecting it. While matte paint is susceptible to scuffs and marks, it hides bumps and other flaws in the wall.

Satin and eggshell finishes fall between matte and glossy. These finishes have a silky appearance but are not as durable as semi-gloss or gloss. Though not as adept at hiding scuffs and marks as a matte finish, they don’t reflect light as much as semi-gloss or gloss.

Semi-gloss and gloss finishes are harder and more durable paints that better resist scuffs, marks, and moisture. These qualities make them ideal for a garage; however, they also reflect light, making it easier to see imperfections.

Dry Time

Most manufacturers will indicate the dry time and the cure time of the paint directly on the can. Dry time is the time it takes before the paint is dry to the touch, whereas cure time refers to the time for the paint to reach maximum hardness.

Dry times are relatively short. Most latex paints will dry within an hour or two, while oil-based paints may take up to 24 hours. Cure times can take longer. Oil-based paints typically take about 7 days to cure, while latex paints take about 30 days. Since paint isn’t at its hardest until fully cured, make sure to protect the wall until the paint reaches the full cure time.

Surface Prep and Application

For best results, prepare the surface prior to painting. Check for damage and fill any holes or cracks with filler compatible with the wall material. For drywall, wood, and plaster, use a spackling paste to repair holes and cracks.

If a garage wall has exposed drywall or a porous surface, such as concrete or cinder blocks, paint it with a quality primer before applying the finish coats. For a wall with stains and marks, apply a coat of quality primer to prevent them from reappearing through the paint.

The best way to apply most wall paint is with a roller, which creates a smooth, even finish. Use the roller to coat the majority of the wall and a 2-inch paintbrush to finish off the corners and edges. While some thicker paints and paint and primer combos will achieve sufficient coverage in a single coat, the wall may require two coats for an even finish. Even one-coat paints require touch-ups to ensure the wall is fully covered.

Our Top Picks

These top picks take into account the abovementioned considerations to narrow the field of interior paints to some of the best paint for garage walls. All of these paints feature high-quality ingredients that give them superior coverage and durability, making any of them a worthy choice for a garage.

Best Overall

The Best Paint for Garage Walls Option: Glidden Interior Paint Primer One Coat, Semi-Gloss
Photo: amazon.com

The average two-car garage is 18 feet wide by 20 feet deep at a minimum, which adds up to a lot of wall space. That’s a big painting job, which is why Glidden Interior Paint + Primer is ideal for this application. This paint provides unparalleled coverage ability that makes it possible to use just one coat (with a round of touch-ups). While pricier than other products, the water-based paint certainly makes up for it with the ability to cover up to 400 square feet of wall space.

The paint is available in three finishes—eggshell, matte, and semi-gloss—and 19 earth tones that are colors well suited for a garage. What’s more, Glidden Interior Paint + Primer is one of the safer paints with which to work, thanks to its low-VOC formula.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Paint for Garage Walls Option: Montage Signature Interior Exterior Paint
Photo: amazon.com

Most high-quality paints can also have a high price tag. This water-based paint from Montage is an exception. It’s one of the more affordable yet quality paints suitable for garage walls, especially when purchased in a 5-gallon container. With its thick consistency, this paint can cover up to 400 square feet. It is also scrubbable and easy to clean.

The paint is available in a unique low-sheen finish that is glossier than matte while still hiding imperfections. It is also one of the greener paints on the market, being manufactured from recycled latex paints and producing very low VOCs. This paint is available in 18 garage- appropriate earth tones.

Best for Many Surfaces

The Best Paint for Garage Walls Option: Diamond Brite Paint 31200 Oil Base All Purpose Enamel
Photo: amazon.com

With its ability to cover a broad range of surfaces, this Diamond Brite oil-based paint is ideal for garage walls made with a material other than sheetrock. It is suitable for wood, plaster, masonry, hardboard, concrete, and metal. Designed to protect floors and machinery in industrial settings, this paint dries to a hard shell, giving it excellent resistance to scratches and impacts.

The paint is also a solid option for garages prone to mold, thanks to its scrubbable mildew-resistant finish that resists mold growth and is easier to clean than many other interior paints. It is available in 12 garage-friendly colors like gray and white as well as vibrant tones like red and blue. Since this is an oil-based paint, it does produce higher VOCs than water-based paints and has a longer dry time of about 24 hours.

Best Coverage

The Best Paint for Garage Walls Option: KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Matte Paint and Primer in One
Photo: amazon.com

The superior coverage ability of this Kilz Tribute paint makes it an ideal choice for garage walls that may be riddled with scratches, scuffs, and stains from years of abuse or garage walls receiving their first-ever coat of paint. Kilz mixes its well-known primer with paint to create a product with excellent hiding and coverage, eliminating the need to apply numerous coats. While this is one of the more expensive paints on the market, it requires fewer coats, equating to less paint and less labor.

The water-based, low-VOC paint comes in a matte finish, which helps to mask imperfections. Kilz Tribute is available in 26 neutral earth tones that provide a fresh look to a garage and adhere to drywall, masonry, bare wood, and plaster.

Best Paint & Primer Combo

The Best Paint for Garage Walls Option: Prestige Interior Paint and Primer in One
Photo: amazon.com

Considering that an average two-car garage has a significant amount of wall surface area, it’s easy to see how buying and applying a separate primer and paint would involve quite a bit of time and cost. This is why a two-in-one product is such a solid option for a garage. This paint and primer combination from Prestige eliminates the need for two (or more) coats.

The excellent coverage makes this paint ideal for covering bare drywall or blocking marks and stains on a painted garage wall. It is available in flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss finishes and comes in 42 color options suitable for a garage. This water-based paint produces low-VOCs, making it safer to work with—and easier to clean up—than oil-based paint.

Best Mold-Resistant

The Best Paint for Garage Walls Option: Rust-Oleum 2774 Zinsser Interior Eggshell
Photo: amazon.com

Garages in humid regions can be prone to mildew and mold. This Rust-Oleum Zinsser interior paint, designed to handle moist bathroom environments, is also well suited for garages. It contains a mildewcide additive, creating a film to protect walls from mold for 5 years. With a scrubbable finish that resists dirt and moisture, the paint is also easy to maintain.

This water-based paint also boasts self-priming characteristics that provide excellent stain blocking ability, making it ideal for bare drywall or stained walls. It is available in tintable white with an eggshell finish.

FAQs About Paint for Garage Walls

Keep reading to learn more about the best kind and color of paint for garage walls and how long you can expect the paint to hold up.

Q. Is interior or exterior paint used for a garage?

Always use interior paint for a garage. Exterior paint is formulated for outdoor use only and releases chemicals that can be harmful if allowed to build up in an indoor space.

Q. What kind of finish should be used for garage wall paint?

The finish is based on preference, but a satin finish is generally the best option for garage walls. It holds up well to scuffs and marks while also hiding inconsistencies.

Q. What is the best paint color for garage walls?

This choice is also a matter of preference, but it’s usually recommended to select a neutral color for a garage, such as beige, tan, or gray. These shades are easier to clean than white but still bright enough that they won’t make the garage feel dark or cave-like.

Q. How long does paint for garage walls last?

Paint on garage walls is susceptible to a significant amount of wear and tear. You’ll likely need to repaint the walls about every 3 to 5 years.

Q. Does paint for garage walls expire?

Paint has a long shelf life. Water-based paints typically last for 10 years, while most oil-based paints will last for 15 years.


The Best Stain for Cedar Siding, Decks, and More

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

The Best Stain For Cedar Option

Photo: istockphoto.com

Cedar is a beautiful building material. While it can last a long time, even without stain or sealer, it can eventually show signs of wear. Whether it’s a new project or an older surface that might do well with a bit of refreshing, protecting and rejuvenating your cedar structures and furniture with some high-quality stain might be a smart move for optimal longevity.

But with so many products on the market, it might seem impossible to figure out which is the best stain for cedar. This guide helps clear up the differences among stains while pointing out some of the top considerations to keep in mind while shopping. Keep reading to learn more and check out some of the best options on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ready Seal 512 Natural Cedar Exterior Stain
  3. BEST CLEAR: DEFY Extreme Crystal Clear Exterior Wood Stain
  4. BEST SEMITRANSPARENT: SaverSystems #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Stain
  5. BEST WATER-BASED: THOMPSONS WATERSEAL Transparent Waterproofing Stain
  6. BEST OIL-BASED: Cabot 140.0003400.005 Natural Australian Timber Oil
The Best Stain For Cedar Option

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Stain for Cedar

Whether the goal is to enhance cedar with a fresh color or to simply protect your investment, there is a stain that’s up to the task. Before selecting the stain, there are a few details to consider when shopping for the right product. The type of stain, the finished look, and the existing coating are all worth keeping in mind. The following sections include these helpful details to make selecting the best stain easier.

Intended Use

Cedar is one of the most flexible and versatile woods available. It does as well outdoors in the elements as it does as a blanket chest or closet lining. As each application encounters different environmental factors, there are different approaches to staining cedar.

For interior projects like hope and blanket chests or dressers, any quality interior stain can do the trick. But for the interiors of those chests, dressers, or closets, it’s best to leave the surface untreated. Cedar is naturally bug repellent, so an unsealed surface will help safeguard blankets and garments stored inside.

When it comes to cedar that’s used outdoors for decks, fences, siding, and furniture, it’s important to use an appropriate stain. These stains are exterior grade, contain sealers, and will protect the wood from decay caused by moisture, UV rays, and fungi.

Base

The best stains for cedar come in a few varieties: water-based, oil-based, and hybrid. These names refer to the liquid base that the stain manufacturer uses for their recipe of pigments and protective particles. It’s important to understand what they are and how they work.

  • Water-based stains use good old-fashioned water as the liquid base. These stains are easy to apply and easy to clean up, requiring just a bit of soap and water. They’re also low-VOC (volatile organic compounds), so they’re less likely to bother the user’s respiratory system during application. But they don’t penetrate very deeply, and they might not last as long.
  • Oil-based stains, such as those that use paraffin-, synthetic-, and plant-based oils, soak into the wood deeply, rejuvenating the fibers and protecting the surface from the inside. They can really improve the grain’s visual “pop,” enhancing the look of the wood. But, they have a much higher VOC content, so they can require a respirator to avoid irritation, even outdoors. Also, cleanup requires mineral spirits.
  • Hybrid stains combine a bit of both worlds. Generally, these stains use water as the main base but also contain penetrating oils to soak into the wood. They’re lower in VOCs than oil-based stains and generally clean up with mineral spirits. However, hybrid stains aren’t wildly popular yet.

Film-Forming vs. Penetrating Stain

Stain products will protect cedar decks, fences, furniture, and siding differently, depending on the type of stain. For instance, a water-based product might create a film or shell over the stain, while an oil-based product might soak into the grain to protect it from within.

  • Penetrating stains work their way into the grain of woods like cedar. While in there, they rejuvenate the wood fibers and strengthen them. They allow moisture from within the wood to escape but keep rain, snow, and other elements from penetrating. They’re long-lasting and may last around 5 years before restaining is necessary. However, they don’t do a great job of hiding damage, blemishes, or mismatched wood.
  • Film-forming stains will create a barrier over the exterior of the cedar, keeping water from passing through. Because they coat the surface of the wood, they can be excellent at covering blemishes and mismatched grain, but they don’t last as long as penetrating stains.

Opacity

Depending on their amount of opacity or transparency, stains have the ability to hide blemishes, enhance grain, or simply protect without drawing attention to themselves. They come in varying levels of transparency.

  • Transparent stains, or clear stains, won’t do much beyond strengthening the wood fibers and protecting the wood against the elements. Many DIYers find this level of transparency perfect for cedar if they want to let the natural silvery color of weathered cedar shine through.
  • Semitransparent stains are mostly clear but often tinted with a pigment or color to enhance the overall look of the surface. These stains don’t hide blemishes or mismatched grain well, but they do offer protection and a bit of rejuvenation for cedar surfaces that are still in good condition.
  • Semisolid stains are all about adding a new hue to the wood while offering protection. These stains also will hide the grain and character of a cedar deck or fence, so they’re generally not preferred for cedar surfaces.
  • Solid stains will hide a wood surface’s grain, blemishes, and knots. They help visually blend repaired boards and other imperfections completely, leaving behind a uniform surface.

Existing Coating

If you’re staining a new deck, new siding, or a freshly erected fence, any exterior stain can be used. But when restaining or refinishing a cedar surface, the previous coating needs to be considered when choosing a product.

If a previously finished cedar surface has an oil-based stain, there’s the choice of using oil-based or water-based stain on top. The oil will be able to penetrate the wood, and water-based stains will adhere to the surface.

But for surfaces already treated with water-based stains, another water-based product needs to be used. Previous water-based stains won’t allow oil-based stains to penetrate, causing them to pool on the surface and offer very little protection.

Added Protection

An exterior stain’s primary purpose is to keep moisture from penetrating wood surfaces and causing damage from swelling, buckling, warping, and more. But some of the best stains for cedar offer more protection.

Cedar is already fairly rot- and mildew-resistant, but using a stain that contains mildewcide will help ensure that cedar surfaces don’t succumb to the damage of fungi.

And while many people probably enjoy using their cedar deck on bright sunshiny days, the sun is not a deck’s best friend. For cedar decks, it’s worth looking for a stain with extra UV protection, as these stains will protect cedar surfaces from the damage caused by intense UV rays.

Application

Applying the best stain for cedar is fairly straightforward, but a little prep work and knowledge can go a long way toward ensuring a quality outcome. Here are some tips to help the job go smoothly:

  • Prepare the surface: Using an exterior wood cleaner and a scrub brush, give the surface a thorough cleaning. Quickly sand off any standing fibers after the deck dries.
  • Apply the stain: Using a roller and brushes, apply the stain to the entire surface. Work in small sections to avoid missing spots or dry edges. If using a sprayer, it’s possible to work in larger sections, but be sure to overlap the edges of each section.
  • Keep a wet edge: As with any stain or paint project, be sure to maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks or dry spots.
  • Apply a second coat if necessary: Wait for the stain to dry before determining if it needs another coat. A sealer can be applied over the top of penetrating stains, but most exterior-grade products already contain sealers.

Our Top Picks

There is a lot to know about choosing the best stain for cedar. To help make the shopping process go as easily as possible, check out the following list. It’s a compilation of some of the best products on the market for staining cedar surfaces.

Best Overall

The Best Stain For Cedar Option: DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
Photo: amazon.com

For cedar decks, fences, siding, or furniture that needs some freshening up or protection, check out DEFY’s Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain. This water-based stain will add a bit of color without blocking out the beauty of the cedar. It comes in seven colors, including Natural Cedar, which is meant to enhance the look of cedar surfaces or allow other wood species to mimic the look.

Not only does DEFY’s Extreme stain enhance cedar surfaces, but it also has some other desirable traits, like UV protection and low-VOC content. The recipe includes zinc, the same ingredient found in sunscreen, to prevent the sun’s UV rays from damaging a cedar surface. This stain is easy to apply with a brush, roller, or sprayer, and its water base makes it easy to clean with soap and water.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Stain For Cedar Option: Ready Seal 512 Natural Cedar Exterior Stain
Photo: amazon.com

Those looking to stretch their cedar staining budget as far as it will go may want to check out Ready Seal’s 512 Natural Cedar Exterior Stain. This bucket offers a lower cost per gallon than other stains with similar features, making it a smart choice for budget shoppers.

Ready Seal is an oil-based stain that penetrates and protects cedar surfaces from within. It comes in nine colors, with a natural cedar variation meant to bring out the beauty of cedar surfaces. It contains UV-protecting particles as well as a mildew-resistant recipe, offering protection against more than just water damage. Users can apply Ready Seal with a brush, roller, or sprayer, though cleaning will likely require mineral spirits.

Best Clear

The Best Stain For Cedar Option: DEFY Extreme Crystal Clear Exterior Wood Stain
Photo: amazon.com

Sometimes it’s best not to mess with a good thing. For those who would prefer to protect their cedar surfaces without detracting from the weathered beauty, DEFY’s Extreme Crystal Clear Exterior Wood Stain might be just the ticket. This water-based stain applies easily and features a low VOC content for safe application.

DEFY’s Crystal Clear formula is environmentally friendly and won’t change the look of the wood underneath. This also features DEFY’s zinc-based UV-protective formula to prevent damage from UV rays. It can be applied with a roller, brush, or sprayer. When working with a sprayer, it can be difficult to see missed spots, so stainers should take their time.

Best Semitransparent

The Best Stain For Cedar Option: SaverSystems #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Stain
Photo: amazon.com

SaverSystems #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain might be the product for anyone looking to protect and add a bit of color to an older cedar fence, deck, or siding surface. Its semitransparent finish won’t hide any of the grain or natural beauty, but it can add a bit of color. And with its water-based formula, it will work over any existing stains.

This stain from SaverSystems protects against fading and graying, and it’s available in five colors to bring a bit of pigment to cedar surfaces. It’s also a naturally mildew-resistant formula, preventing fungi and mold from growing on wood surfaces.

Best Water-Based

The Best Stain For Cedar Option: THOMPSONS WATERSEAL Transparent Waterproofing Stain
Photo: amazon.com

Protecting cedar surfaces with a water-based stain and sealer might not get any better than with a reliable, old-school product like THOMPSONS WATERSEAL. This stain comes in five colors, one of which is meant to mimic the color of natural cedar. It can be a good choice for rejuvenating an older cedar deck, fence, or siding surface.

The THOMPSONS WATERSEAL formula uses a unique recipe to resist color fading, allowing its color to last longer than some other water-based stains. Also, this formula creates a coating that resists mildew and UV damage, preventing graying and fading caused by both of those wood surface enemies.

Best Oil-Based

The Best Stain For Cedar Option: Cabot 140.0003400.005 Natural Australian Timber Oil
Photo: amazon.com

Cedar surface refinishers looking to give their decks, siding, railings, and outdoor furniture a luxurious finish may want to give Cabot Australian Timber Oil some serious consideration. This product features a blend of linseed and tung oil to penetrate deeply into the wood and protect it from within.

This formula from Cabot protects against water damage as well as UV rays, as it contains iron oxide pigments that protect from the sun. This oil-based stain is available in 10 colors, including a natural finish to enhance the look of beautifully weathered cedar. There also are some low VOC variants, which might be preferred for those with particularly sensitive respiratory systems.

FAQs About Stain for Cedar

Even with this extensive background on cedar stains and review of some of the top products, there might be some additional questions. The following is a collection of frequently asked questions about stains for cedar, so an answer to your question may be listed below.

Q. Can cedar be stained easily?

Cedar is a softwood like pine, but it stains very easily and evenly.

Q. Is it better to stain or paint cedar? 

Painting versus staining is a matter of preference, but since most people use cedar because of its natural beauty, painting it or staining with a solid stain will hide its characteristics.

Q. How do you keep cedar looking natural? 

On its own, cedar will last a long time, resisting rot, bugs, and mold. Over time, the color will turn into a pleasant silvery gray. To protect that surface without taking away from its natural beauty, use a clear or transparent stain.

Q. How do you weatherproof cedar? 

Cedar is naturally weather-resistant, but it cannot be weatherproofed. Its water resistance can be enhanced with a stain and sealer to protect it from water penetration.


The Dos and Don’ts of Painting Furniture

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

painting furniture

Photo: istockphoto.com

When it comes to painting furniture, it would be ideal for the finished project to be picture-perfect. However, if you take shortcuts, there’s the risk of it looking sloppy. The paint can look uneven or even start to peel or chip just days later.

It takes patience and a little bit of know-how when it comes to painting furniture the right way. To avoid any snafus, follow these expert furniture painting dos and don’ts.

Related: How To: Paint EVERYTHING

DON’T forget about ventilation.

Since paints contain chemicals that evaporate in the air, they can cause eye, throat, and lung irritation along with headaches, dizziness, and vision problems, so proper ventilation is key. However, since chemicals vary depending on the type of paint you choose, those with no volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs) may not have these effects.

When painting indoors, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends keeping windows wide-open, as weather permits, to avoid unwanted exposure to vapors. Also use window-mounted box fans to exhaust vapors from the work area and take frequent fresh air breaks while painting. An air purifier also may help to keep fumes at bay.

A paint respirator mask or N95 mask, both available at hardware and big box stores, also can help keep fumes from entering lungs. If you experience watering eyes, dizziness, headaches, or breathing difficulty, you should close the paint can and leave the painting area.

DO clean the surface of the furniture and prepare it for painting. 

Prepare furniture for painting by removing any drawers, cushions, hardware, knobs, or other removable pieces. This protects hardware from paint, eliminates the possibility of accidentally painting drawers shut, and reduces the chance of getting paint on fabric cushions. Removing these pieces may take a few extra minutes of prep time, but saves time spent fixing potential headaches down the road.

After the furniture is dismantled, remove any dirt and grime from the furniture’s surfaces to help the paint adhere to the surface. Using a gentle grease remover may be helpful. After all of the grime is gone, follow up with a rinse of fresh water on a damp sponge to make sure the furniture is clear of any remaining cleaner. Make sure everything is completely dry before moving on to the next step. This will help achieve a smooth coat of paint.

Woman is sanding wooden furniture.

Photo: istockphoto.com

DO sand the furniture before applying the paint.

Furniture comes in a variety of materials and nearly all will require some level of sanding to make sure paint adheres to the surface, since it removes any imperfections or dimples. Sanding also ensures an even, smooth finish that will make it less likely to chip or peel.

While hand-sanding takes lots of patience and muscle, it is an option. However, sanding is easier with an orbital sander or finishing sander. A belt sander may be better for large pieces. Start with 80- to 100-grit sandpaper, switch to 150-grit or higher sandpaper to remove any remaining finish, and then smooth out the surface. A sanding block or piece of sandpaper will help get to those hard-to-reach spots.

However, if you plan to use the same type of paint over an existing layer of paint on furniture, sanding could be skipped if the piece isn’t peeling or flaking and already has an even surface.

RELATED: Selecting the Right Sandpaper Grit and Type for Your DIY Job

DO remove dust with a tack cloth after sanding. 

Once sanding is finished, any dust will need to be removed. This will help the paint and primer stick to the surface, instead of the dust particles.

One of the easiest ways to remove dust is with a tack cloth. A tack cloth is like a large piece of loosely woven cheesecloth with beeswax. It can be cut into smaller pieces and is a magnet for collecting dust. Just run the tack cloth over the furniture, including crevices, to collect all dust.

If a tack cloth isn’t handy, just dampen a regular cloth and wipe down the furniture, even in all the crevices. Next, run a dry cloth over the piece to remove any leftover residue. Finally, use a shop vacuum and vacuum the piece and the surrounding work area to remove any other dust that remains.

DON’T start painting if you haven’t applied a primer.

Unless you’re using a paint-and-primer combo product, use a primer before applying the first coat of paint. A layer of primer will not only act as a base coat, but it will seal the surface and improve both the paint’s durability and adhesion to the furniture.

When applying, brush in the direction of the grain. Alternatively, use a spray primer which often gives a neater, thinner coat than a brush-on version. Use at least two thin coats of primer, whether you’re spraying or brushing it on. A general guideline is to let a primer dry for 10 minutes (be sure to check product labels) before applying another coat.

When it comes to primer colors, a gray primer is usually recommended if the furniture will have a darker paint color. White primer works better for lighter paint colors.

Focus on foreground of mature woman painting a chair with white paint while learning a new hobbie during lockdown days at home.

Photo: istockphoto.com

DON’T start painting before testing out the color. 

Before painting, test out the color. Since a piece of furniture is capable of changing the look of a room, check it to be sure it will be the desired color.

One way to check is to take cardboard (this is where those leftover delivery boxes become helpful) and prime and paint the color on an 8×10 piece. If choosing between more than one color, use one piece of cardboard for each color.

Once dry, place the painted cardboard samples in the room where the furniture will be placed. Check what it looks like against other colors in the room during various times of the day, with different lights turned on and alongside other furniture that will be placed in the room.

Alternatively, to test the color on the piece of furniture, paint an inconspicuous area of the furniture, such as the inside of a drawer or backside of the piece to check the color.

Related: 7 Painting Tools You Never Knew You Needed

DO apply multiple coats of paint.

After settling on the color, it’s time to paint.

Paint brush, sponge roller, paints, waxes and other painting or decorating supplies on white wooden planks, top view

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First, be sure to mix the paint well using a paint stirrer or give the can a good shake. Next, brush on a thin first coat. Multiple, thin coats of paint help get a smooth, even finish. Note that several thin coats of paint is better than one thick coat of paint since a thick coat can look clumpy and uneven, plus it’s more likely to drip. In addition, longer strokes will help ensure a smooth finish.

Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for drying time and wait until the surface is dry before starting the next coat.

DON’T forget to apply a protective finish.

When it comes to painting furniture, a topcoat helps protect the furniture and makes it more durable.

There are a few different types of protective finishes to choose from, including varnish, shellac, polyurethane, lacquer, and water-based sealer. The piece of furniture and how it is used will determine what finish works best.

To apply a protective finish, use a brush and apply one to two coats. A mini-roller may work best for bigger pieces. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to drying.

Related: Is Varnish or Polyurethane the Right Finish for You?

painter with paint roller

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FAQs About Painting Furniture

Painting furniture is not as easy as just slapping on a quick coat of paint and waiting for it to dry. Taking time during each step of the process helps ensure a picture-perfect piece worthy of showing off.

What kind of paint do you use on wood furniture?

For seldom-used pieces, try a latex-based paint with a flat to satin sheen which helps mask any surface flaws. For frequently used everyday pieces, try an alkyd-based paint since it dries to a hard layer and makes the pieces less susceptible to dents or scuff marks.

Do you have to sand furniture before painting?

Sanding isn’t always necessary. If you are painting over the same type of paint, sanding isn’t necessary if the furniture is in good condition (not peeling or chipping). However, be sure to wipe any dust or debris from the furniture before painting.

What kind of paint do you use on wood furniture without sanding?

Both chalk and milk paint have bonding agents that allow the paint to adhere to the surface without sanding.


How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Room?

Shortages and surging prices of ingredients are causing the cost of decorative paint to rise.

Cost to Paint a Room

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  • Typical Range: $955 to $2,890
  • National Average: $1,892

Painting is typically one of the easiest ways to freshen up a room with dramatic effect. The average cost to paint a room ranges from $955 to $2,890, with the national average at $1,892. Knowing the costs of hiring professional painters to paint your house interior can help you make the right decisions and manage the overall cost to paint a room. Labor costs range from $170 to $680, and the amount can vary based on the total square footage that needs to be painted or the total square footage of floor space, depending on how a professional painter charges. Some professionals can charge by the hour, which usually runs from $20 to $50 on average, but be prepared for labor costs as high as $75 or more. A good rule of thumb for planning a budget is to allocate 75 to 85 percent of the total bill to labor. The cost to paint a room is also affected by regional wage rates, wall height, actual coverage area, the additional cost of designer paints, and drywall or woodwork repairs.

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How to Calculate the Cost to Paint a Room

Cost to Paint a Room How to Calculate

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According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to paint a room that measures 10 by 12 feet can range from $200 to $800. When estimating the overall cost, professional painters find the coverage area to determine how many gallons of paint are needed. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Find the area of the walls. Add the length of each wall for the perimeter. For a 10-by- 12-foot room, add the four wall lengths: 10 + 12 + 10 + 12 = 44 feet.
  2. Calculate the wall area. Multiply the area of the walls by the height of the room: 44 × 8 = 352 square feet.
  3. Subtract for windows and doors to get the coverage area. Use the same width by length method and subtract that number from the wall area; in this case, 21 square feet for one door and 16 square feet for one window: 352 – 21 – 16 = 315 square feet.
  4. Are ceilings, trim, and baseboards part of the project? If so, add these using the same method for finding the area.
  5. Calculate the cost to hire a painter. Painters charge $1.50 to $4 per square feet of coverage area: 315 x $1.50 = 472.50 or 315 x $4 = $1,260.
  6. Calculate how much paint you need. One gallon of paint tends to cover up to 400 square feet. Professionals recommend using two coats of paint and buying more than you need: (315 / 400) × 2 = 1.6 gallons.

Factors in Calculating the Cost to Paint a Room

The factors that go into calculating the cost to paint a room include the size of the room, wall height, trim, baseboards, ceilings, room type, geographic location, paint type, paint color, and paint finish. The average cost to paint a room can range from $955 to $2,890 with the national average at $1,892. There are many options available when choosing how to paint a room. Being aware of the differences can help keep your budget on track.

Size of the Room

The cost to paint an average 10-by-12-foot room ranges from $200 to $800. The most important factor is area, and the size of the room determines the overall cost of the supplies. So how much does a gallon of paint cover? One gallon of paint covers approximately 400 square feet, and it’s recommended that each room gets two coats of paint. To receive accurate quotes from professional painters, you may want to have the room measurements handy when you contact them.

Wall Height

Walls taller than 10 feet can significantly increase the cost per square foot since higher walls increase the paintable area. Adding additional square footage will boost the overall cost to paint a room.

Trim, Baseboards, and Ceilings

The average cost to paint a house interior ranges from $2 to $6 per square foot with an average of $3.30 per square foot. Painting woodwork and ceilings adds to the cost to paint a room.

Room Type

Painting a bedroom costs roughly $300 to $750 for a standard 10-by-12-foot room. This size room will typically need 2 gallons of paint and a primer, if you decide to cover a darker wall. Bathrooms usually run between $150 and $350. A bathroom doesn’t have much area to paint due to tubs, cabinets, and showers. A larger master bathroom will cost more to paint. The cost to paint a living room runs from $900 to $2,000 for an average 330-square-foot room. The overall cost will increase if there are high ceilings or you decide to add an accent wall with a different paint color. Kitchens usually cost up to 50 percent less than other rooms due to cabinets. Painting kitchen cabinets averages around $30 to $60 per linear foot, or close to $1,000.

Geographic Location

Painters in different parts of the country have different rates. Expect to pay more in areas with a higher cost of living. The best way to find out how much a professional will charge is to search for “painters near me” and compare rates.

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Paint Type

Paint will cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per gallon, but keep in mind that a professional can buy paint for up to 50 percent less than a homeowner. The average cost to paint a house can range from $1,000 to $11,000. Prices will vary depending on what type of paint, primer, or level of gloss you choose.

Paint Choice and Color

The average home needs approximately 6 gallons of paint per coat. At two coats, the cost difference can skyrocket if you choose a more expensive paint. The average price of a gallon of paint can range from $20 to $100 or more per gallon, depending on the brand. At two coats per room, the cost difference to use a designer brand of paint could add up to $1,000 or more. Deciding to have each room be a different color will also cost more. Having the same color in multiple rooms will help save money.

Paint Gloss or Finish

Different gloss levels have different prices. The glossier the paint, the higher the price will be. Actual pricing differs from brand to brand, and paint comes in a few standard finishes:

  • Flat or matte: This type of paint is best for rooms with lower levels of humidity. Flat or matte paint is not as easy to clean as other finishes, but it doesn’t reflect light.
  • Eggshell or satin: This paint is well suited for all rooms, even high-traffic areas. It’s easy to clean, and many people will use this for children’s rooms.
  • Semi-gloss: Semi-gloss paint is stain resistant, easy to clean, and works well in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • High-gloss: High-gloss paint is typically used for doors and cabinets. It’s extremely durable and easy to clean.

Primer

Some wall painting projects will require a primer—especially if you decide to go from a dark wall color to a lighter one—and a can of primer can cost between $10 and $20. Primer helps with paint adherence for long-lasting paint color. Some brands offer an all-in-one “paint plus primer.” These are recommended for small areas and touch-ups.

Cost to Paint a Room Additional Costs

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Additional Costs and Considerations

When budgeting for the cost of painting a room, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. Labor costs can run from $170 to $680 and can vary due to how labor is estimated: by the square foot of coverage area at $2 to $6 per square foot for labor and materials, or for labor alone at around $1.50 to $4 per square foot. Labor can also be charged by the square foot of floor space at around $5 to $10, and some professionals charge by the hour at around $20 to $50 an hour to upward of $75 per hour. Additional costs can include supplies, moving furniture, wall preparation, repairs, customization, the addition of wall textures or accents, testing for lead or asbestos, and cleanup.

Paint Supplies

Depending on what’s needed, paint supplies can cost from $10 to $100 or more. Professional painters will typically provide most of their own supplies, but some will discount the price if you provide all the materials yourself. If you know how to paint and decide to save on the cost to paint a room and do it yourself, there are a few supplies that will help along the way.

  • Brushes. Brushes can run from $3 to $20 each. A good brush will make a world of difference to a painting project. Trim and sash brushes work well for smaller areas and intricate work, while beaver-tail-handle brushes are good for painting large areas.
  • Tape. The price of painter’s tape can range from $3 to $10 per roll. Painter’s tape protects trim and ceilings from stray drops of paint.
  • Drop cloth. Even if you think you’re being careful, paint will always drip onto the floor. A drop cloth will protect flooring and furniture.
  • Paint tray. Paint trays cost around $2 to $5 and allow you to use only the amount of paint you need, without having the paint can open and drying out.
  • Rollers. Paint rollers average from $10 up to $100. A paint roller is a quick and easy way to cover a large area.
  • Ladder. A ladder is a necessary piece of equipment to reach those high areas. Don’t use a chair!
  • Painting kits. Painting kits can range from $10 to $20 each. These kits include trays, brushes, and roller heads and are a good way to save some money on supplies.

Moving Furniture

Some companies may charge extra for moving furniture. A good way to save money from this potential additional charge is to move the furniture out of the room or to the center of the room yourself.

Wall Condition, Preparation, or Repairs

Prepping the space and repairing cracks in the drywall or damage to the trim will increase the cost to paint a room. You may have to pay an additional $1 to $5 per square foot for repairs and updates. Painting a room is a good time to upgrade or repair any issues with molding, trim, and baseboards.

Labor Cost

Labor costs can run from $170 to $680 and can vary due to how labor is estimated: by the square foot of coverage area at $2 to $6 per square foot for labor and materials, or for labor alone at around $1.50 to $4 per square foot. Labor can also be charged by the square foot of floor space at around $5 to $10, and some professionals charge by the hour at around $20 to $50 an hour to upward of $75 per hour. Most professionals charge by the area, not by the hour.

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Time of Year

The time of year you choose to paint a room can have a significant effect on the project price. Scheduling a time during the fall and winter months can save on the cost to paint a room. Painting companies are typically slower from November to February due to fewer exterior painting jobs. This results in more competitive price quotes for interior painting.

Installations or Upgrades

Professionals can usually repair or replace trim, baseboards, or molding for an affordable rate, and some may bundle the price of repairs with the cost of painting the room. The average price of installing trim is between $600 and $1,900, and the price of drywall repair can run from $250 to $800. If you’re considering new window installation, that can range from $2,500 to $8,000.

Customizations, Textures, and Accents

Accent walls can cost up to 20 or 30 percent more than other walls. The price variation has to do with the change in paint color. Specialty work is more expensive, and the addition of murals and trompe l’oeils can run from $800 to $1,700. Textured walls are also an additional expense of up to 50 percent more. The price increase is from the added surface area of the wall since texture adds more surface area, not square footage. If you estimate that a gallon of paint can cover 400 square feet of smooth wall, you may get only 250 square feet of coverage on a textured wall.

Lead or Asbestos Testing

Older houses may contain traces of lead paint or asbestos. A professional lead testing and removal contractor will need to be consulted for paint testing and removal. The average cost for an inspection is $100 to $190. Asbestos removal should only be done by a professional, and the average cost to have this done is around $65 to $240 per room.

Cleanup

A major advantage of hiring a painting professional is that the cleanup is part of the cost. A professional will ensure that your home remains as clean as possible during the painting project. Unless otherwise noted, the painting professional will clean up after the painting project is complete and dispose of any debris and waste. An extra charge of $20 to $50 per ton for dumping in a landfill may be added to the overall cost.

Cost to Paint a Room Types of Paint

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Cost to Paint a Room: Types of Paint

Interior paints are usually classified in two ways: oil-based paint or latex-based. Here are some qualities of each type.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is more durable than latex paint, even though it takes longer to dry. It goes on smoothly and provides better coverage with just one coat. Many people like oil-based paint because it has superior adhesion and good stain resistance. Oil-based paint works well on walls, woodwork, trim, doors, and windows, even though it’s not very resistant to fading and chalking when exposed to direct sunlight. Keep in mind that mineral spirits are needed for cleanup, and special procedures are needed for disposal.

Latex-Based Paint

Latex-based paint provides a long-lasting finish and gloss retention. It’s easy to use, it dries quickly, and it resists chalking, fading, and yellowing due to sun exposure. Compared to oil-based paint, it has fewer fumes and can be easily cleaned up with soap and water. If you’re interested in using latex paint to cover up a surface that was previously painted with oil-based paint, it can be a bit difficult for it to adhere. Latex paint is also absorbed into wood surfaces, causing the wood to swell and requiring sanding between coats.

Cost to Paint a Room: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Homeowners can buy paint and supplies for around $200 to $300. Depending on the size of the room and how much assistance you have, a painting project could take a few hours or a few days. It usually takes DIYers two to three times as long to paint a room as it would take a professional. Most professionals cover about 100 to 120 square feet per hour, unless they’re working on a very large wall. Textured walls, wood surfaces, or rough plaster may reduce that amount to 80 or 100 square feet per hour. The pros to painting a room yourself are that it’s less expensive and it gives you a sense of control: You can paint when you want and apply as many coats as you want. The cons would be that it’s hard to reproduce the look that a professional painter gets, there is a high risk of making mistakes, it will take more time than you think, and there is the potential for injury from climbing ladders to reach the ceiling. While it is more expensive to hire professionals, the end result will be a professional-looking appearance, time saved, and risk of personal injury averted.

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Cost to Paint a Room: How to Paint a Room Yourself

For about $200 to $300, a homeowner can buy paint and materials; there’s more to the cost of painting a room than just the price of paint. Consider the following steps if you decide to tackle a painting project yourself.

  1. Decide on paint colors. Neutral colors and earthy tones will cover up scratches, marks, and handprints.
  2. Buy supplies. Purchase paint, primer, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, and other materials (see above).
  3. Remove or cover furniture. If possible, remove the furniture from the room, or move it to the center of the room and cover with drop cloths to avoid paint drips.
  4. Clean the walls. Wipe away dirt and dust with detergent and water. For stains, use trisodium phosphate.
  5. Remove outlet covers and light switch plates. For safety, turn off the electricity to the room to avoid accidental shocks.
  6. Outline. Apply painter’s tape over baseboards, trim, and edging to avoid drips or accidental brush strokes.
  7. Apply the first coat. Wait until it is completely dry before moving on.
  8. Apply the second coat.
  9. Touch up. Reapply paint to any needed areas on the baseboards, ceiling, trim, or walls.

Cost to Paint a Room: Do I Need to Paint a Room?

There are many reasons to paint a room: It’s a quick and easy way to update and refresh, and painting provides an immediate change to the atmosphere of a room. It can also increase property value and boost the general health and well-being of your family. Here are some of the top reasons you should paint your home.

Increases Property Value

Painting your home helps boost property value and aids with resale by adding a fresh and updated look.

Promotes Better Indoor Air Quality

You and your family can have healthier indoor air quality by painting the interior of your home with zero-VOC or low-VOC paints.

Hides Stains and Marks

Difficult-to-remove stains or marks on the walls can be painted over to provide a clean surface.

Improves Overall Interior Look

A new coat of paint is a relatively inexpensive way to update the look of your home without extensive and invasive remodeling. Changing the colors that surround you every day can boost mood and energy.

Protects Interior Surfaces

Painting indoor surfaces helps to resist wear and tear and protects walls and trim from moisture and marks.

How to Save Money on the Cost to Paint a Room

The cost to paint a room can be expensive, and the additional costs associated with a painting project can quickly add up. One way to save money is to buy the most inexpensive paint, but there are other ways to save money without compromising on the quality and type of paint you really want.

  • Share supplies. Painting materials like brushes, rollers, drop cloths, and ladders can be reused. Find the supplies from the last time you painted, or ask family members or friends if you can borrow their supplies. If borrowing isn’t an option, there are painting kits that include the majority of the needed materials at a discounted price.
  • Correctly calculate wall space. Having some leftover paint will come in handy if you need to touch up a scratch or ding, but having gallons left over is a waste of money.
  • Invest in good paint. Buying the cheapest paint will save money up front, but low-quality paint can be thin and require more coats to properly cover a wall. Look for paint that has a high-quality rating and boasts good coverage.
  • Use a primer only if necessary. If you’re painting over a dark-colored wall with lighter paint, then you’ll need a primer. Using light-colored paint over a previously painted light wall doesn’t require the use of a primer.
  • Reuse colors. You probably don’t want every room in your house to be the same color, but reusing the same color in different areas of your home will help cut down on costs.
  • Prep correctly. Cleaning the walls, using painter’s tape, covering furniture and floors, and removing outlet covers and switch plates will save time and money. Getting paint where it doesn’t belong will tack on additional time for cleanup or add an extra expense if furniture or hardware need to be replaced.
  • Do some of the work yourself. If you’re hiring professionals to paint a room, you can save on labor costs by moving and covering the furniture and cleaning the walls yourself.
Cost to Paint a Room Questions to Ask

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Questions to Ask About the Cost to Paint a Room

Asking a painting professional the right questions will help minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask about the cost to paint a room.

  • How should I prepare the room for painting?
  • How long will the painting project take?
  • How long does interior paint last?
  • Which paint is best?
  • How much will it cost to paint a room?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • Do you have references, previous reviews, or accreditations?
  • What’s the difference between an estimate and a quote?

FAQs

Deciding on paint color, whether to hire a professional, and how to keep the overall cost to paint a room budget-friendly can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about the cost to paint a room to help guide you in your decision.

Q. How long does it take to paint a room?

It usually takes anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to paint a single room. The time it takes depends on how much experience the person painting the room has. Professionals usually take a few hours, and a DIYer will likely take two to three times as long.

Q. What needs to be done before painting a room?

In addition to buying supplies, furniture needs to be removed from the room or placed in the center of the room and covered. Any damaged walls may need sanding, patching, taping, and repairing. Trim or baseboards may need to be installed or repaired, and wallpaper removal or window replacement may need to be factored in, too. Don’t forget to remove any artwork, mirrors, or clocks off the walls.

Q. How far can a gallon of paint go?

One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet.

Q. How much does it cost to paint a 12-by-12-foot room?

You can expect to pay approximately $400 to $900 to paint a 12-by-12-foot room.