Our hypothetical, 2 storey 2,000 square foot home is 5 years old and located in the suburbs. The home is lightly furnished and the basement requires no painting. The scope of work includes two coats on the walls of 3 bedrooms, the bathroom & powder room, the stairway and hallways. The main floor has an open space kitchen & a living-dining room with an adjoining family room. The laundry room needs to be painted.
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To get basic measurements, measure the length and width of each wall you want to paint in inches. Multiply the length and height together, and divide by 144. This will give you the square footage for each wall. A gallon of paint typically covers around 400 square feet. In some cases, you may need a primer 2 first, then a single coat of paint, meaning that you may need one gallon of primer and one gallon of paint to cover 400 square feet. However, if the wall requires multiple coats, this will increase the total amount of square footage required, and therefore the amount of paint.
Primer:  While technically not paint or a finish, the use of primer is crucial in interior painting. Failing to use primer on a porous surface, such as wood or concrete, can lead to imperfect paint coatings that could end up peeling away from the walls. Primer is also a must if covering up a darker color, as it will take fewer layers to cover the old paint.
Residential house painters on the Handy platform have used countless gallons of paint and tons of brushes over the years. With a wealth of experience under their belts, they know the best, quickest and most cost-effective ways to get the work done. From how to achieve that perfect glossy finish to ensuring no paint drips onto your crown molding, you might find yourself picking up a few tips!

A textured wall will need more paint than a smooth wall. The texture adds more surface area, even though it doesn't increase square footage. Determining the additional surface area depends on how much texture there is. Painters will probably estimate about 300 to 350 additional square feet of paint to account for texture. Factor additional surface area into your square footage calculations when seeking professional estimates.
Before your painter arrives, remove furniture, belongings, wall hangings and window treatments to make it easier for them to get right to work. Once they arrive, your pro will start preparing the inside of your house. Depending on the condition of your walls and the scope of your project, prep work could range from a simple dusting and washing to spackling, sanding, and minor drywall repairs. Your pro may also fill nail holes, caulk cracks around trim, scrape loose paint, skim coat uneven surfaces, mask trim or other surfaces, and apply a coat or two of primer that is suited to both existing and new paints.

Thanks, all, for your time & efforts adding to the article & comments, especially Dave urging requesting both General Liability AND Worker Compensation insurance certificates to protect from real & fraudulent liability--from my experience especially in California, where insurance fraud is a popular income thief, even causing car collisions to collect.
My experience with Warline Painting and the results they delivered have earned them a very positive review. From the detailed quote I received from Warren to the colour consultation from Heidi (which actually saved me money by changing my mind on the need to change my flooring) right through the professional performance of Matthew and his crew, I felt I received excellent service and value for money spent. When the job was completed, a thorough follow up was done to ensure my satisfaction with the job, and I was left very happy with the entire experience.
Here is where this affects you as a consumer. You select a painter with a contract that says 2 coats, $500 down. You give the company the deposit and pick your colors a couple of days before the project starts. The painter goes to the store with your colors and figures out they are deep base. He (or she) not only needs to charge you more for the paint, but he also needs to charge you for a dark gray primer coat. Ninety nine percent of the time that primer coat is going to be really, really expensive since you already gave a deposit.
Some proposals simply say to paint the walls and ceiling and never specify the number of coats to be applied. If the colors are similar enough, it's possible to get away with one coat of paint and not discount your pricing. No matter how hard you try, tiny, pin-sized air holes will pop exposing the original walls. This may not bother you if you can't notice it, but principally speaking you should have paid your painter less for the work.
Excellent advice because there are many unskilled workers who are "trying to pull the wool over the customers eyes". One has to study about the project for which they are in need. I happen to need dry wall repair and painting done in my home and feel the advice in this article will be a great help to me in hiring someone who is ethical and does good work. Thanks.
This was very helpful. I wonder if i would really follow through and check to see if my painter was cheating me. I used a painter I found on Angie's List. This was 5 years ago. He did a great job. I know he did patching only for about a day and a half. We decided on the kind of paint before he started. that is what he used. I don't know if I could stay on top of him and watch him open every can of paint.

Keep an eye on the new cans as they're being brought in. Make sure they look new and don't have paint in the rim of the can. If it's a five-gallon bucket, check to see whether the lid is still sealed on with the plastic strip. The only time it's acceptable to mix water in the paint is when you're using a deep or ultra deep base paint to reduce its stickiness, which is rare with new paint technology. Dark primary colors are composed almost entirely of tint that makes it very hard to work with without adding water.
The problem with painting along the edge of textured ceilings is that it's almost impossible to get a straight line along the top of the wall without getting paint on the ceiling bumps. Pros have a simple solution. They run a screwdriver along the perimeter of the ceiling to scrape off the texture. "This lets you cut in without getting paint on the ceiling texture," one of our pros says. "The screwdriver creates a tiny ridge in the ceiling, so the tips of your paint bristles naturally go into it. And you'll never even notice the missing texture."
As the homeowner, I've done all of our interior and most of our painting. Whenever you paint, preparation is truly key. Anyone can slap on a coat of paint and call it done. If you want something that looks good and lasts, take the time to clean the walls (also if there is a smoker in the house, nicotine sticks to paint), fill any holes, and take care of any imperfections in the surface. Also, tape off ceilings, door and window frames, and any other place you don't want paint to land. Depending on the size of the room and the number of doors and windows, it might take you 2-3 times the amount of time to prep as to paint. I've never had a contractor paint in my home, but if I did, the first question I'd ask is for a detailed list of how much preparation they would do. If it wouldn't be at least as thorough as mine, I wouldn't hire them. Also, ask about priming before painting, particularly if you're going to cover a darker color with a lighter one. There are now all in one primer/finish paints. If this is not going to be used, ask to have the primer tinted as close to the finish color as you can get.
Plan the schedule. Get a grip on the time it will take to bring the project to fruition. Plan for time to move furniture, wall prep, cut in, the painting itself, eating and breaks, and don't forget cleanup and bringing furniture back in. As you plan, err on the side of prudence. Unforeseen events will slow you down, so allow time for these. Remember, this is a multi-day project. Don't try to fit too much into a day. If you move faster than planned, great!
The actual painting and finishing work went very well, this company hires people who are looking to work for a solid company and it shows. Everyone is a professional and the completed job looks great! Needless to say, we highly recommend Warline for painting and color consulting/decorating services. Thank you to Warren, Heidi and the whole team, this may have been the best choice we made!

It was time to change our peach colored Tudor-style house to something more traditional. Warren came and provided information, an estimate and addresses of projects that the company had done or were in progress. We visited the projects, beautiful! Heidi discussed color selection and it is very helpful to have another knowledgeable person give suggestions. When it came time to actually have the work done, it was done in an efficient, careful manner with attention to detail. We are very happy with the results and plan to have our interior painting done by Warline.
I hired this person because he was listed on Angie's List. This man claimed he took and passed his contractor's license test after he signed me up for a project (Feb.) that included fixing cracks, painting, repairing a gate, installing a screen door, etc. He said he would charge me the original "handyman" prices. He postponed the start date, brought one worker who fixed a few cracks, repainted the gate terribly, but ruined a dining room ceiling when his worker used silicone in a tube instead of the expansion tape, spray ceiling covering, and paint I had purchased saying this silicone was "better". Then they said they would have to paint the whole ceiling and charge extra. They left holes in the walls and did a sloppy paint job in several places. I just paid them to get them out of my home as I felt intimidated as a senior citizen who is handicapped. I will try to have the main guy come back when I let him know what I need redone. Don't know if he will come back without charging me more.
We hired Warline to refinish and paint all of our kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets. We found their service to be excellent -- professional, clean, unobtrusive, friendly, high-quality, and economical. We are very satisfied with the work they did, and would recommend them to anyone looking to refresh their kitchen. We are very happy with our "new" kitchen and bathrooms!

When coverage is difficult to estimate, add more rather than less. You can always pour the leftover back into cans. For large jobs, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray. It’s much faster to load your roller with the screen than to use a roller pan. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.


Carole, you raise an excellent point that should be included in this list. Any contractor coming on to your property should provide you with a Certificate of Insurance from his agent showing evidence of Commercial General Liability and Workers Comp. Without these protections in place, an attorney for a contractor's worker or a 3rd party injured in the course of the work on your property will name YOU in a lawsuit. It's a minor inconvenience up front to ask for this documentation compared to the cost of litigation when something goes wrong.
If the point of hiring a well established, experienced, reputable painting contractor is to secure the professionalism and trust suggested to be inherent with that choice, then I would EXPECT that professionalism and experience to include the ability to make the proper and correct calculations for labor and materials for a fixed price quote, and there should be NO reason for the contractor to put the cost burden of their miscalculation on the consumer.
I would love to explore installing this system in our home. Sadly, the nearest gas line is just down the hill from us on the cross-street. Quoted price by New England Gas to bring a gas main 300 feet up hill - $25k, and that doesn't bring it to the house, just the street in front of the house. We have municipal electricity, so the price is low currently, but we have an oil furnace for heat & hot water. Neither of these sounds like a cost-effective replacement for gas.
We could not believe that there was no smell at all when we came home after having the inside work completed and no mess! Luke touched up areas on his own on his return visit. Obviously showing he cared about providing the best quality finished product, which impressed us. He took the time to check the quality of the job and correct any issues without us mentioning it. Work was completed quicker than we expected for both the onsite and off site work. Also appreciated how accommodating the company was to booking appointments and working around our schedule.  Thanks for a great job!!

A good paintbrush is key to a professional-looking finish. "A quality brush costs $15 to $25, but you'll discover that pros aren't as talented as you thought," says Doherty. "The equipment has a lot to do with their success." Most of our pros prefer natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints, but they recommend synthetics for all-around use. When choosing a brush, pay attention to the bristles. Synthetic brushes are made of nylon or polyester, or a combination of the two. Poly bristles are stiffer, which makes them good for exterior or textured work, but for fine interior work, Doherty uses softer nylon brushes. Look also for tapered bristles, which can help you work to an edge, and flagged tips, which help spread the finish smoothly and evenly. Brushes are available in 1- to 4-inch widths. Most painters keep an arsenal on hand to match the job. "Use common sense," says Maceyunas. "A smaller brush gives you more control, but no one wants to paint a door with a 1-inch-wide brush." Doherty recommends starting with a 2- or 2-1/2-inch sash brush. The angled brush makes it easier to cut to a line and puts more bristles on the work than a square-tipped brush.

House Interior Painting

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