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Information on Interior Painting is brought to you by Andy Thompson
from www.StartAPaintingBusiness.com author of the #1 rated
painting business success system Painting for Profits.

Interior Painting Tips

Updating the look of a room is as easy as applying a fresh coat of paint, but most home owners don’t have the time or patience to do it themselves…  That’s a good thing for us house painters and small painting business owners!

A fresh new coat of paint on the walls is an affordable way for home owners to update their living space and create an entirely new atmosphere to enjoy and they are very happy to hire a polite, professional painter to do the work.

On this interior paint guide page you will learn how to help the home owner choose the best paint for their project.  In addition you will discover how to educate them about the proper process of surface preparation and walk them through the entire process of application techniques.

The more you can educate the home owner about what you do and get them involved in the process ("paint the picture," if you will) the more the home owner feels obligated to choose you as their painter of choice. 

After all building a relationship with the home owner is a vital key to landing the job.  If you just go in, look at the project, give them a price and leave, your chances of landing the job drop considerably. 

Learn as much as you can about the process and products you will use and communicate that to the home owner.  Try and make them visualize the finished room and feel the joy and satisfaction of having the job done by someone who really cares about the project.

What are the two most common types of paint you will use?

  1. Solvent-based paint – these are oil and alkyd paints.
  • Mineral spirits is the liquid solvent used in oil-based paints
  • Oil-based paint dries much slower than latex paint and requires at least 24 hours of dry time to cure properly.
  • And you must use pint thinner or turpentine for clean up.

With the advancement of water based latex paint these days house painters are opting to stay away from oil based paints except in very specific situations… the negative environmental impact of disposing of oil based paint and solvents is another concern.

  1. Water-based (latex)
  • The liquid is water
  • Dries really fast which means you can re-coat the same day
  • And clean up is quick and safe requiring only soap and water

When painting interiors look for a paint specifically designed for “Interior”.  These paints dry quicker and have much less odor than exterior paints.

What are the different sheen levels in interior paint and what surfaces should they be used on?

  • High gloss or Gloss is the strongest finish as well as being the easiest to clean which makes it a great choice for high traffic areas like laundry room walls, but gloss paint is most often used on woodwork, baseboards and trim.
  • Semi-gloss is not as shiny as gloss but it is also very durable and quite easy to clean.  Semi-gloss is commonly used on woodwork, bathroom and kitchen walls or any other high traffic, high-humidity places.
  • Satin is the best of both worlds offering an easy to clean surface and a moderate sheen level making it a perfect choice for just about every room in the house.
  • Eggshell is exactly what it sounds like… the sheen is much like, well an eggshell.  Low-sheen, low reflective and hides imperfections in walls quite well.  Great for living rooms, dinning rooms, bedrooms and offices.
  • Flat has no sheen, is non-reflective and makes a great choice for ceilings and large surface areas.  Flat paint is best for hiding imperfections and it spatters much less than any other type of paint.

Tip: Be sure if you will be painting over a glossy surface regardless if it is oil or latex that you dull the surface by sanding or de-glossing before you paint.  This will keep the new top coat from streaking as well as help it stick to the base cost when drying.

Why is proper surface prep important?

A quality paint job starts with proper surface prep!  I don’t care if you use the best paint on the market, if the surface you are applying it to isn’t prepped properly it’s not going to last.

Tip: Make it a point to explain to the home owner that you always do a thorough job of prepping the surface correctly before you begin to paint.  Let them know that many painters rush through this step because it is labor intensive and time consuming.

Here is a quick rundown of the prep stage of the job.

  • Begin by removing as many pieces of furniture as possible from the room (end tables, lamps, ottomans, etc.).

  • Next, bring the heavier items to the center of the room and cover with plastic or a drop cloth.

  • Use portable lights to improve visibility and to give you a good view of any imperfections on the walls.

  • Remove all the switch plate covers

  • Use spackle to patch any holes or cracks, let dry and then sand smooth

  • Knock down any rough spots with sandpaper, if there is stained or peeling paint that means there may be a moisture problem.  Locate it and fix it.  Depending on the extent of the fix you may need to prime after this step.

  • Wash down all surfaces that will be painted - walls, ceilings, baseboards, windows and moldings with a mixture of vinegar and water.

Here is a simple check list for proper clean-up, storage and disposal of leftover paint.

Clean Up – Clean up frequently.  If you are on a job all day make it a point to clean out your brushes just before lunch so they don’t sit in the paint.  The longer the paint sits the more difficult it is to clean up.

Use a wire brush to remove paint from the lower part of the bristles next to the ferrule and a razor-blade scrapper or five in one tool to remove any dried paint drips.

Be sure to place your brushes back into their protective covers to dry.  This will keep the bristles in line and sharp.  Spin out any excess water or spirits.

Storage – It is best to store opened paint cans upside down.  Be sure the lid is on tight so the paint doesn’t leak out.  Storing them upside down allows the paint to last longer and prevents a skin from forming.

Keep paint at room temperature…  Avoid extreme heat or cold.

Disposalwww.paint.org is a great site with lots of answers about paint disposal.  Because disposal methods very by community you may want to call your local environmental, health and safety office for details.

When painting interior spaces always be sure to provide adequate ventilation… If you are painting an interior space with no ventilation be sure to use a respirator. 

I hope this was informative and helpful.  If you are a house painter or painting business owner looking to start or expand your painting business, if you need a steady stream of new customers calling and want to land a higher percent of your painting estimates be sure to check out Painting for Profits! 

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