House Painting Concord: Compare Quotes Before You Start

Whether you hire a contractor or do the work by yourself, either method of house painting in Concord entails a lot of preparatory work. Neither of them — yes, even hiring a professional house painter — has shortcuts, but all the fuss and preparation will ultimately lead to a perfectly painted home.

If you decide to hire a professional painting contractor, you should realize that you cannot just pick one out of the many available. Choosing a contractor is not at all a simple process, as there are lots of them are vying to win your job. This is something that you should not take lightly.

One of the common mistakes a homeowner makes when hiring a painting contractor is to just invite his/her shortlisted candidates to come over to your home, point to anywhere that needs to be painted and ask them for a quote.

Perhaps the homeowner did not wish to burden the contractors by providing them too many details. Or they assumed that professionals know best, so the homeowners don’t bother telling them what else should be done.

Sure, professional painting contractors provide the best solutions to whatever issues that the homeowner has — fading paint, peeling paint, surface flaws, suggestions for the right interior colors, and so much more. However, it should be also known that the level of experience varies from one contractor to another. If the homeowner doesn’t explain what they specifically want to have done in their home, the quotes they receive from the contractors and everything written in them — price, job specifications, even the scope of work — will appear inconsistent, so comparing one quote from another is almost beyond imaginable.

Example:
– Bidder #1 offers an extra coat of paint,
– Bidder #2 omits the extra coat of paint to outdo the competition
– Bidder #3 offers removal of molds and mildew
– Bidder #4 proposes removal of popcorn ceiling (if your house indeed has one)

As you can see, every job offer from bidding contractors is inconsistent with one another, making all of them almost impossible to compare. When the homeowners realize that what they exactly want is nowhere to be found in the winning proposal, they start the bidding process all over again — and that may be time-consuming.

To prevent this from happening in the first place, the homeowners should provide a clear and detailed description of the project (all aspects of it) to every bidding contractor. The description doesn’t have to be complicated — it can be written or even expressed orally, as long as it is exactly the same.

Below is an example of a homeowner’s description of the project:

Paint living room’s walls on #1 Smith Street. Paint all surfaces including the trim, door and window frames, shelves and baseboards, except the door.

  • Clean the surfaces
  • Fix all flaws (cracks, holes, and fissures) if you find any
  • Apply one coat of primer and one coat of paint
  • Walls should be painted olive green. The trims, baseboards, frames and shelves should be painted white.
  • Use only high-quality paints from “ABC Paints,” latex, VOC-free.

During the bidding process, some contractors may suggest something that you didn’t put in your project description. While the suggestions may sound good and tempting, at this point you should not give in to them, no matter want. You want to be firm in sticking to your job description. After all, it’s your home, and you want it to be painted based on your own preferences. But in case that you find a certain suggestion that appeals most to you — an extra finishing coat, for instance — you should request the bidder to give you an alternate price only for that.

When taking these suggestions, the bidding contractors will be able to give you quotes that are very much consistent. That way, you will be able to compare one quote to another quote. This will help you to choose the bidder who, you think, is the most suitable candidate to do your house painting in Concord job.

House Painting Concord: How Much Cleaning Is Needed?

Cleaning, prepping and painting are always part of interior house painting in Concord. Proper cleaning and prepping of the surface are the keys to a good and professional-looking paint finish.

At one point, you may ask yourself: how much cleaning is needed before you start painting? There is no definite answer to that. It depends on the size of your room, and how much dirt your walls have, and the number of furniture pieces and fixtures as well as the amount of clutter that should be removed.

Of course, the first thing you need to do is to remove as much furniture as possible. If you have any furniture that’s too big or heavy to be moved out of the room, cover them with a plastic or a canvas drop cloth. Take off anything that is attached to the walls and ceilings such as frames, decorations, curtains, lights and mirrors. In removing light and electrical switch plates, loosen them from their fixtures, and wrap the electric components with painter’s tape.

Clean the walls and ceilings thoroughly. People may be too lazy to do a laborious cleaning on the walls, but what they don’t realize is that a thoroughly clean surface is the key to successful adhesion of paint. A dirty surface will not allow the paint to stick well on the surface.

Don’t just use a wet rag and proceed to paint. If you’re cleaning kitchen walls for instance, you may notice oil, grime and smoke stains from cooking. For this, use a small amount of detergent and bleach, or a specially formulated cleaning agent for the kitchen walls. Have two buckets of water — one with the cleaning solution and another one with just water for rinsing the walls. If you want a quicker cleaning job, use warm water and vinegar, then use this solution to clean the walls — no rinsing required.

For more stubborn stains such as pencil or crayon, use a stronger cleaning solution. Use a sandpaper to get rid of any dull glossy marks on the surface to smoothen it out, then sweep off the dusty residue after sanding.

Inspect the walls for any flaws such as cracks, holes or any other crevices. If needed, remove any old, loose plaster cracks from the surface by using a putty knife. Next, fill these gaps and holes with a lightweight spackle or putty.

Check also to see if there is any peeling or cracking paint. If there is any peeling paint, loosen it by again using a putty knife. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface, and then clean the sanding debris from the wall and off the floor.

In covering floors, it’s highly recommended that you use canvas drop clothes instead of plastic. Plastic is harder to work on as it is slippery, thus it can cause accidents. It may be a cheaper alternative and is also disposable, but think of how much money you could have wasted by throwing away the plastic cover after using it. Canvas drop cloths may cost a bit more, but they are otherwise non-slippery, flexible, and can be stored and used again after any paint drips have dried. They are also safer for the environment.

After cleaning, drying and repairing the surface, it may be time to prime the surface. Actually, priming may not be necessary for brand-new walls, but it is needed especially when your walls are painted with an oil-based paint, or covered with paint with a glossier finish. You can skimp on the priming part by buying a paint which is already mixed with primer. Just one coat of such paint is all you need to cover the surface. Since paints with gloss tend to show more flaws, it is important to take note of the areas where you have applied putty on cracks to be sure the repair isn’t noticeable.

Tape areas where you don’t want to apply paint — adjacent walls, woodwork and electrical switches. Light switch covers, doorknobs and electric plugs can either be covered or removed for a time.

Really, how much cleaning you need depends on how big or small your room is, how much dirt you need to clean off, and how much furniture and fixtures you need to temporarily remove. But regardless of how much cleaning you need, it is still important that proper and thorough cleaning is the secret of a successful finish in house painting in Concord.

House Painting Concord: Compare Rolling, Brushing, and Spraying

Which of the following methods is really the “best” when house painting in Concord: rolling, brushing, or spraying? It depends on how you are comfortable or easy you find each method. Let’s do a comparison on each of these methods.

Brushing is the most common and traditional method. Brushes come in several different shapes, sizes, widths, lengths, type of bristles, quality, and price. Brushes can be wide with a large durable handle which is ideal for painting wide and smooth surfaces, or can be smaller and narrower with more easily maneuvered handle for painting on corners and other smaller, narrower areas with accuracy.

You can even find specialty brushes such as one type with almost no handle which will allow painting confined areas such as the inside a set of rails. There is even a foam paint brush which helps remove the brush strokes that shows up when a corner or a piece of molding has been coated with paint. When a roller cannot cut in the corners, for instance, a brush will be able to do the job. Brushes are the perfect choice for “cut in” work around doors, windows, trims (baseboards and crown molding), soffits, and any other openings. In fact, using a brush will almost be the only method needed when two surfaces meet or on any surface that needs a good edge but doesn’t apply itself to masking.

Rollers are usually ideal for painting large, wide, and flat surfaces. A roller basically has two parts: the roller which has a handle and the moving spindle which carries the roller cover, and the roller cover which holds the paint and applies it to the surface. Rollers can be disposable or reusable, and come in a variety of nap sizes and are made from either natural or synthetic materials. The nap can be either thick and furry or thin. The different types and materials will render the roller to effectively paint on a wide variety of surfaces. The surface as well as the paint being used should be considered when deciding on the thickness of the roller cover nap.

Rollers are also available by width. The wider the roller, the more paint it can hold. A quite wide roller can hold more paint than the widest brush can hold. The advantage of using a wider roller is that it can cover a much larger area without ever having to go back to dip into the paint bucket. Wide rollers can also have very long handles. Extension poles for these rollers are also available for painting high areas (such as ceilings) without needing a ladder. Rollers are generally best suited to paint wide-open surfaces — such as the middle of the wall or a fence — than smaller areas.

Among the three methods, spraying is a relatively new means of applying the paint to the surface. A sprayer is a kind of machine that has a compressor to take paint from any container and spray it out in a fine mist. One of the advantages of using a sprayer is that it can cover larger areas than both a brush and a roller. Another, unlike brushes or even rollers, spraying doesn’t leave any unsightly traces, resulting in a more even painting job.

Sprayers have greatly improved over the years. Even relatively cheaper paint sprayers will still do a good job of evenly painting the surface without having to use a thinner. Sprayers can be adjusted to cover smaller and narrow surfaces; however, fine control and overspray still present some issues. If you have to spray a particular area, it should be carefully masked or covered. When spraying paint, air must be calm and stable, but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen when house painting in Concord.

Apart from the abovementioned disadvantages, sprayers do not come cheap compared to brushes and rollers. If you have to paint different colors but are using just one sprayer, you will have the trouble of taking the sprayer apart and to clean it before pouring the next color of paint into it. There are also issues regarding a sprayer’s ability to cover a certain surface. For instance, spraying is inadequate when trying to cover porous or rough surfaces such as stucco. For this, back-rolling is the next necessary step after spraying paint. Back-rolling is slightly faster than just rolling on the paint to the surface. However, it still does involve going back to cover the entire area again to make sure that the paint is absorbed into every tiny hole of the surface.

So considering the three painting methods, which one is the best? Again, it depends. While seasoned painters can paint accurately and easily with brushes, painting is definitely faster when using rollers. Sprayers are even quicker and can cover large, wide surfaces. But again accuracy, fine detail and coverage problems are still associated with sprayers. Neither spraying or rolling is good enough for covering small spaces, detail and “cut-in” work which brushes are indeed capable of handling with ease. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. So the most likely scenario is that you should use at least two of these methods, depending on a particular project, when house painting in Concord.