Painting is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to refresh a living space, and while it’s one of those projects that looks easy enough to accomplish on your own, it’s an involved and messy process that’s better left to the pros. For both exterior and interior jobs, quite a bit of work needs to be done before the first brush is dipped in the paint, so it’s important to work with an experienced and well-regarded painting contractor. Using a Best Pick painting professional will ensure a top-quality painting job that lasts for years.
Planning Your Painting Project
A painting project requires planning. Most of us can’t just waltz into the home improvement store and make a final decision on a paint color after just a few minutes of browsing through samples. On top of simply choosing the right color, there are other considerations, like primer, how much paint is needed for the space, tape, drop cloths, and more. Luckily, professional painting companies are here to help.
How to pick paint colors
If you’re having a hard time choosing a paint color, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are all sorts of online resources and articles about picking paint colors, and some painting companies offer color consultations.
Start by looking around at the room you’d like to paint. Is there anything—a piece of art or a rug, for instance—that contains a color you really like? Use what you already have in your home for inspiration. Or, if you’re looking for a major change, there are plenty of home decorating blogs that will show you the latest trends in painting.
There are five types of interior paint finishes:
- Flat: Also called matte, this type of paint finish has no shine or reflection to it. It’s commonly used on ceilings. If used on walls, it will show dirt, grime, and fingerprints easily, and it’s harder to clean than other finishes.
- Eggshell: This option is slightly more reflective than flat and is a little easier to clean. It’s a common choice for living rooms and bedrooms, but consider the amount of traffic (and sticky hands) that your space sees. Eggshell is not the best choice if you have kids or pets.
- Satin: Satin finish is a good choice for any wall. It’s fairly easy to clean and has a slight reflective quality.
- Semi-gloss: Like it sounds, semi-gloss paint is a little shiny. Usually, people use semi-gloss paint for doors, trim, cabinets, and furniture, since it’s easy to clean.
- Gloss: This type of finish has a high shine, and it’s easy to clean. Like semi-gloss, this finish is typically used for furniture, trim, and doors.
Choose your finish based on the type of surface you’re painting and the amount of traffic, dirt, grime, and fingerprints the surface is likely to endure. If you’re not sure, ask your Best Pick painting contractor for his or her recommendation.
Types of paint
There are two main types of paint: water-based and oil-based.
Oil-based paint has been around for a long time. It’s increasingly been losing popularity though, because oil-based paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which affects the environment and your family’s health. Oil paint is typically used on doors, trim, and cabinets—areas that see a lot of traffic and activity—since it is very strong when it dries.
Water-based or latex paint has become much more popular in recent years, swiftly replacing oil-based paint as the standard. It has much lower levels of VOCs, it’s easier to clean off of brushes, and it dries faster than oil-based paint.
If you’re especially concerned about VOCs due to health issues or environmental concerns, ask your painting contractor about using low- or no-VOC paint.
In addition to interior and exterior painting, painting companies will often provide wallpaper removal (and wallpapering), drywall repair, and minor carpentry services. If you’re interested in or in need of a service that isn’t strictly paint-related, make sure to ask any painting companies you get a quote from if those services can be provided. Most Best Pick painting contractors can perform the extra work you’re looking for.
Interior painting is a common DIY project for homeowners. And if you’ve ever undertaken this project yourself, you know it’s a lot harder than it seems at first. Picking out the color is only half the battle.
Figuring out how much paint to get, buying the right primer, taping wall edges, moving and covering your furniture, and protecting your floors all takes time, planning, and effort. None of the prep that’s necessary for an interior paint job should be skipped over or done amateurly, either.
Professional painters have the necessary equipment, all the paintbrushes and rollers and drop cloths you could think of, and the expertise to do the job right.
A fresh coat of paint applied to a damaged surface isn’t going to look good, period. Chances are you’ve got some small holes in your walls from nails, or larger dings from furniture, pets, kids, sporting equipment, party guests, etc. Painting companies can repair your drywall before painting begins, so your wall can look like new twice over.
Whether it’s a fresh new door color or an entire repaint, an exterior paint job can bring new life and curb appeal to your home. Even more so than with an interior paint job, your exterior painting project should be handled by professionals. They’re equipped properly and are accustomed to getting up on ladders.
Many painting contractors also offer rotted wood replacement, which is key before an exterior paint job and convenient to get taken care of during this type of project.
The best time to paint the exterior of your house is when temperatures are between 50 and 85 degrees and the forecast shows no wind or storms headed your way. This means that you will want to hire professional painters for an exterior job sometime between May and September.
The Best Picks for Northern Virginia Painters
Best Pick Reports has performed thousands of homeowner interviews in the Northern Virginia area to pinpoint the most competent, creative, and timely professional painting companies that serve Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. We conduct our objective research annually so that we can confidently present to you the best of the best in your neighborhood. All Best Pick companies pledge to deliver high-quality service, so start planning your next painting project today!