The pros were split on this tip. "Masking tape is problematic," says Mark Dixon, a painter in Missoula, Montana, and author of "House Painting Inside and Out" (Taunton Press, 1997). "Paint can bleed behind the tape, or remove the paint it's stuck to." Another problem is bridging. "Latex paints form a skin," says Dixon. "Removing painted tape can tear the skin, resulting in a ragged rather than a sharp line." Lastly, taping takes time. "Learning how to cut in with a brush takes practice, but if you can do it, you'll leave most tapers in the dust," Dixon says. (Cutting in is painting just the surface you want, not the surface adjacent to it — for example, where a wall meets the ceiling.) On the other hand, "If you can't cut in, you can't beat tape," says Span. The pros we spoke with all recommend painter's (blue) tape because it's easier to remove than masking tape. To prevent bleeding, Span uses a putty knife to bed the tape. After letting the paint dry, he scores the edge of the tape line with a utility knife to avoid tearing the paint.
This all comes down to the rules.....1. references....does the contractor have them??? I ALWAYS furnish all my prospective customers them....no excuses...2. insurance....again, I always furnish proof....3. Read the proposal carefully...I ALWAYS list materials down to tape used, the brand, the grit of sandpaper, the manufacturer, etc....its INEXCUSABLE to not list all of these items....I am a member of the PDCA, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the foremost authority in the coatings industry and they also approve of what I listed....if you do not follow these guidelines, you will NOT get a job reflective of "professional". Look for the PDCA where any painting contractors are, if they are not a member, RUN!
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!
To begin, move everything out of the room. Every painter we spoke with had a horror story about the time he didn't follow Rule No. 1. Bigger pieces of furniture can sometimes be left covered in the center of larger rooms, but if you are repairing drywall, says Chris Span, of Span's Quality Painting in Mobile, Alabama, "Take everything out. Drywall dust goes everywhere." Remove doors, light fixtures and hardware, and label everything with masking tape. Also, invest in drop cloths. "It's surprising how well a few drops of paint can cover a floor," says Rich Maceyunas, of Maceyunas Painting and Wallpaper in Waterbury, Connecticut. Buy high-quality drop cloths, such as canvas or paper-backed plastic. (Paint soaks right through lightweight fabrics and bedsheets.) Plastic sheeting works, but it's very slippery and doesn't absorb drips.
I would not recommend this company for the following reasons:1. Original appointment was very specific to them on what was needed and to take photos for 3 apartment unit plumbing fixture repairs. One unit had a bathroom tub/shower backup.2. No photos taken, 3 trips later and only 1 unit completed to satisfaction. (Backup) 3. Other faucets unable to find on line with their suppliers and repair 4. Had to find another plumbing company to complete the jobs. 5. Invoicing had to be redone as not in detail of job address for tax purposes 6. Bad communication throughout the project process with their internal customer service. Their technician and project manager ordering parts. 7. For the back up. Did not bring out correct snake on both trips and had to replace lines as too small to break through backup. Costing over $800 for 3 trips just to complete that situation out. 8. Ordered the wrong parts when 2nd trip out since no photos taken to confirm what was needed. Very dissatisfied and will never ask them to work in any of our rental properties again.
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.
Heidi's colour consultation was amazing. She worked with me to choose the right tones and when I found a carpet that had more blues than the greens we had started with, she helped me pick a whole new set of colours taking the carpet as the guide. Without her guidance and giant colour samples, I know I would have ended up with very strong and overpowering colours. Instead we have soft relaxing blue shades throughout the house, and everyone who comes in alway comments on how light and breezy the house is. Exactly what I was looking for!
The national average cost for an interior painter ranges between $450 and $900. Interior painters can tackle everything from complete color makeovers in each of your rooms to touching up an accent wall to painting pieces of furniture. The square footage and complexity of the project, along with the materials needed, are the main factors that will affect cost. Other factors include whether you supply the paint yourself or want the painter to do so, whether you move the furniture and do the prep work or ask them to do it, and whether any repair work is needed on the walls. Painting the ceiling and the trim will also have an effect on cost. The type of paint you choose can also raise or lower your house painting cost. A gallon of paint may range from $20 to over $100, depending on quality and brand. Ask your painter if they charge per hour or per square foot, and how much you can save by doing prep work (moving furniture, etc.) yourself.
Stacee, I agree with you completely, from adding water to latex paint to taking whites from job to job. This article makes all painters look like scam artists. You get what you pay for people! There is no denying that there are scammers out there but in my experience, most painters are under paid any ways so if you want a good paint job, you are going to pay for it. If you just want a new color on your walls real quick, and that is what you pay for then that's what you pay for people. Most painters get the crap end of the stick and are left with making an entire house look good when it took a lot more than a painter to build the house in the first place. Good painters do not get enough credit. They are not all scammers who are cutting corners!
Dave, you said it best! Every pro painting contractor truly worth their salt would and should cut and paste exactly what you say here about where customary and legitimate practices and expectations should be in regards to what customers should expect from contractors and how contractors should professionally deal with their customers. By the way, Dave, if you work in the Atlanta area, I would like to hire you! Thank you for your valuable advice!

We had a bad experience with an interior painter years ago, with the crux of the problem being him overcharging us at the end for "extra work" he didn't anticipate. One thing I'd strongly recommend is making sure it's in the contract that any additional work or growth work is estimated and communicated to the owner as soon as it is identified, otherwise the owner is not liable to pay it at the end.
Keep in mind the perceived space of the room. Dark colors tend to make a room look smaller, while light colors open up the space. Test drive your color by investing in a quart-sized (or smaller) can of paint in the color you’re thinking of using before you buy a bigger (and more expensive) can. Paint a small portion of your wall and watch the color in different lights throughout the day so you don’t get stuck with a color that only looks how you want it to look in broad daylight. Stick with neutral colors if you’re planning to sell your home. Keep in mind that buyers want to be able to visualize their things in your home.
Instead of using white primer, pros usually have it tinted gray or a color that's similar to the finish paint. Tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint color than plain primer, so your finish coat will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats. This is especially true with colors like red or orange, which could require three or more coats without a primer.

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.
In most cases, you'll be able to remain in your home during a painting project. However, if you are painting multiple rooms or your entire home it may make sense to stay elsewhere for the duration of the job. If your project involves lead abatement or anyone in your family is sensitive to dust or fumes, you should consider leaving the premises until the job is complete.
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used in its construction. Scraping, sanding, or removing old paint can release toxic lead dust which can cause serious illness in children and pregnant women. Special handling is required when working with lead-based paints. If lead paint is present in your home, you will need to hire a lead-certified painting contractor or lead abatement contractor. Before getting started with your interior painting project, consult your local building authority or visit www.epa.gov for more information.
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We don’t believe in handing our customer a roll of tape and asking them to check for deficiencies. That’s our job and we take it seriously. Our quality control is ongoing and done through every step of the project. Our interior painters are constantly checking their own work and our team leaders conduct a full inspection of the job when it’s completed. Our layers of quality control and inspections mean that when we are done, and you do a final walk through, the only thing you should be seeing is a beautiful paint 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.
No need to make special arrangements to check for lead based paint in most instances. Just determine that the paint contractor is a Certified Renovator under the EPA (or state: 10 states so far) Renovation, Repair, and Painting) program. A CR knows how to minimize and contain dust when disturbing lead paint when found. (The CR can also test.) It's usually simple to do so. RRP will add to the cost of the job. The increase is notable for a full exterior paint job if lead based paint found. On interior work, the extra costs are relatively small: a few percent usually. RRP is ONLY about dust from DISTURBING lead based paint.

It pays to be proactive regarding home improvement projects. If you can tackle multiple tasks at once, you end up saving both time & money in the long run. So, before you call the job done, make it a point to inspect your baseboards & molding to see if its time for them to be replaced. Doing this before you tackle the paint on the wall will save you headaches later on & will only add to the facelift you’ve given your home interior.


Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your home's interior a facelift -- and it is one that can produce dramatic results as well. Unfortunately, many homeowners feel overwhelmed when tasked with choosing a lasting color scheme. To avoid getting stuck with a less-than-perfect color choice, they will spend hours studying the subtleties between Smokey Topaz and Roycroft Suede paint swatches, considering the mood they want to create (whimsical? relaxing? modern edge?), and deciding whether to trust their guts or hire an interior decorator to make sure things turn out just right. Fortunately, interior painting doesn't have to be that difficult. Most paint stores offer samples that you can take home for a wall test. With these samples, you can paint a few colors in large swaths on your wall to see the how the paint interacts with the room's natural light. And you can compare it against design elements like pillows or furniture to see whether it will work with your overall decor as well.
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