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.
Painting jobs require quite a bit of prep work, and because the Northern Virginia weather can be unpredictable at times, professional painters have the expertise to determine whether an exterior paint job can go on as planned or whether it will need to be delayed. Use a Best Pick painting professional to ensure a top-quality painting job that lasts for years.
Planning Your Project with Painters in Northern Virginia
A painting project requires lots of 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 whether primer is a must-have and how much paint is needed for the space.
Luckily, a professional painting company can 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. Ask your painting contractor if they 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, and the finish you choose will be largely dependent on the area to be painted:
- Flat. Also called matte, this type of paint finish has no shine or reflection. 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 receives. 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.
- Semigloss. Semigloss paint is a little shiny and is easy to clean. Semigloss is often used for doors, trim, cabinets, and furniture.
- Gloss. This type of finish has a high shine, and it’s easy to clean. Like semigloss, this finish is typically used for furniture, trim, and doors.
Professional painters have years of experience guiding homeowners to the best paint choice for their needs. If you’re not sure whether you should opt for satin or semigloss (or something else entirely), ask your painter for a recommendation.
Types of paint
There are two main types of paint: oil-based and water-based.
Oil-based paint has been around for a long time, but for several reasons, it has declined in popularity over the past few decades. Oil-based paints release air-polluting VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and improvements in low- and zero-VOC latex paint technology are making this class of paint less attractive.
When it’s used, oil paint is typically used on doors, trim, and cabinets—areas that see a lot of traffic and activity—since it is very durable 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 low 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 zero-VOC paint.
The Best Picks for Northern Virginia Painters
Best Pick Reports surveys Northern Virginia homeowners each year to pinpoint the most competent, creative, and timely professional painting companies that serve Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties.
We vet all Best Pick companies on an annual basis to ensure their continued high-quality work and outstanding customer service, and we verify all state-required licenses and insurance, too. Our rigorous qualification process means that the companies we recommend truly are the best of the best. We’re proud to present our research findings in a format that is clear and easy to navigate.
Call a Best Pick painting contractor today to get your project started. You’ll be pleased with the experience from beginning to end—we guarantee it!