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Painting Your Home: What to Expect During the Renovation Process

While a fresh coat of paint may seem straightforward, properly painting a house involves much more than slapping color on the walls. Careful prep work, cleaning, surface repairs, furniture moving, and post-painting tidying up are key steps to achieve a flawless finish. Knowing what to expect will help homeowners budget appropriately and set realistic timelines.

Estimating Real Costs and Budgeting

Several key factors shape project painting costs:

House Size and Layout

When considering house size and layout, factors like overall square footage, the number of floors, rooms, and the complexity of your home’s layout play a crucial role in determining the time and materials required, particularly for exterior jobs. Engaging with a renovation and painting company brings significant cost-efficient benefits to the process. From accurate project assessments to streamlined material usage, these experts ensure optimal resource utilization. Moreover, the real cost savings lie in the expertise they bring to the table, avoiding potential mistakes and rework that may arise from DIY attempts.

Paint Type, Quality, and Special Finishes

The brand and quality grade of primers, paints, or specialty finishes such as Venetian plaster, trompe l’oeil murals, or faux marbling determines product costs. Choosing flat, eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss also affects pricing. 

Thorough surface preparation is crucial for proper paint adhesion but also takes time. The amount of cleaning, sanding, stripping wallpaper, treating stains, spackling cracks and holes, smoothing textures, and addressing other flaws influences the cost.

Scope of Painting Project

Whether you’re planning to renovate and paint just a few accent walls and trim or tackle your home’s entire interior and exterior perimeter, the amount of time and supplies needed will vary.

Remember to factor the cost of cleanup fees, supplies, potential repairs, and insurance claims support into quotes, too. Vet several legitimate and properly insured painting companies and compare detailed quotes outlining all prep fees, labor charges, paint costs, accessories, number of coats, touch-ups, and final cleanup.

Preparing Your Home for Painting 

Removing Furniture and Protecting Belongings

Clearing room contents fully makes painting easier for professionals while minimizing the risk of spatters, spills, or overspray landing on valuables. Many painting companies offer furniture moving services for an additional fee if you need assistance. Laying tarps and drop cloths to shield floors, baseboards, counters, and electronics is also standard practice.

The Painting Process

Step 1: The painting and renovation company first focuses on any underlying drywall repairs, crack filling and surface preparation the walls need for an optimal base layer.

Step 2: Next comes laying tarps and painter’s tape to mask trims, ceilings, baseboards, and areas not receiving new paint.

Step 3: Priming might happen next, especially for exterior jobs, followed by rolling or spraying on two to three finish coats of top-quality latex or oil-based paints.

Step 4: Depending on the product specifications and weather, adequate drying time between coats helps achieve durable results and allows you to inspect each pass, requesting touch-ups to any missed spots.

Step 5: If spraying, expect some minor lingering paint odor for 48-72 hours after application.

Step 6: Additional coats on higher traffic areas like hallways and trim may also occur.

Step 7: Communicate any strong paint preferences or concerns to the project manager upfront so crews use proper application techniques from the start.

Dealing with Unexpected Issues

Even with extensive planning and preparation, surprises can still pop up, given the variables inherent to any renovation project:

Additional Surface Flaws Uncovered Mid-Project

Once old wallpaper or paint is stripped during preparation, additional cracks, holes, and texture abnormalities can emerge, requiring more extensive spackling, smoothing, and sanding than initially budgeted to restore walls to an optimal base for painting.

Revisions to Project Scope

Tackling additional rooms, accent walls, or specialty finishes beyond the originally requested work may alter project timelines and costs.

Inclement Weather

Exterior house painting can be particularly delayed when unexpected rainy conditions hamper allowing initial paint coats to dry before additional ones are applied fully. Be sure your contract outlines terms for what constitutes weather delays.

An itemized painting contract that clarifies the exact scope of work to be performed, how payments are structured, and policies on addressing additional service fees align expectations on both sides.

Post-Painting Care and Cleanup

While excited to enjoy your refreshed, brighter interior or newly protected exterior spaces, don’t neglect essential post-painting final steps for achieving truly flawless moved-back-in results:

Carefully Inspect Finished Painted Surfaces

Walk through all the painted rooms, carefully checking walls, trim, ceilings, and accent sections from multiple angles to catch any uneven coverage, splatters, drips, or touch-ups needed while the paint is still actively drying and before moving furniture back in. Flag any final concerns for the painters to address.

Tackle Essential Cleaning 

Give painters ample time to handle final cleanup, including proper debris removal and paint can disposal before you start rearranging furniture. Make sure they remove all painter’s tape once coatings have fully dried to avoid ripping up sections of fresh paint. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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