Many people dismiss painting as one of the easiest parts of building construction. To be fair, it’s not hard to think that as it does not involve that much heavy lifting. However, painting is not as simple as what people make it– it’s not just choosing a color and slapping it on a wall. There are several factors to consider, and improperly doing a paint job will be more trouble than it’s worth.
Factors to Consider Before Painting
These are some questions and elements painting contractors should ask and think about before getting started on the job:
A. Project scale and requirements
● How big are the room or building that will be painted?
● How many rooms will be painted?
● What will be painted? Exterior? Interior? Both?
● What time of access is needed? Would there be a need for scaffolding and safety gear?
● Does the surface require a specific kind of paint or coating?
Most of the time, clients will set a budget for a painting job. But after determining the project’s scale and requirements, you can start estimating and calculating how much is needed. Give them an accurate and realistic cost for the job.
C. Color and Finish
The color and finish are probably the most critical elements to consider as they will need to last a long time and leave a lasting impression. Work closely with the clients to decide on the color and finish.
● What is the purpose of the room?
● What is the weather in the area like?
● Do they want practicality over aesthetics? Or a balance of both?
Dos of Painting in Construction
1. Wear the proper attire
It’s expected for any professional to dress appropriately for their job. They should be equipped with painting overalls or clothes for painters they won’t mind getting dirty because painting is a messy business. Also, wear a mask as inhaling too many paint fumes could lead to some health issues. Plus, painting sometimes involves sanding and you don’t want to inhale that dust.
2. Know what type of paint was used before
If you’re painting an already painted house, you will need to know what’s already on the walls so that you can figure out what kind of primers and paints are compatible with them. It’s also a matter of safety and health, especially if the house has been up for a few years. Have a small sample tested for lead before sanding the paint off.
3. Think about primer
Primer is a painter’s best friend. It helps the paint adhere better to the surface and make the colors pop. But not all instances call for primer.
Primer is necessary when:
● The surface being painted on is porous, such as bare wood, newly installed drywall, bricks, and some other masonry;
● There are heavy stains on the surface;
● A lighter color will be applied over a darker one; or
● The surface is too glossy.
You don’t need primer when:
● The surface is clean, free of stain, and in good condition;
● You’re painting on a similar color; or
● You’re painting a darker color over a lighter one.
4. Take time to prep
Prepping the work area is where the heavy lifting comes in, mainly when working on an already occupied building. While you could simply cover things up, it’s better to remove all the furniture and decor from the room. You would have more space to work and less risk of paint dripping on them.
5. Mask off windows and trim
Plastic and blue painter’s tape work great in protecting the windows from paint. Doing so would save you and homeowners a world of work and headache. If the house is still under construction, suggest painting before installing the windows.
6. Remove switches and sockets.
There will often be times when you will be painting a room with sockets and switches, either because it’s an already lived-in building or the electrician got there before you did. Whatever the case, keep switches and sockets free from paint by simply removing them. Masking with tape is also a viable option, but there would be a chance that the tape would damage the surface already painted or could allow the paint to bleed in.
7. Test colors first
The paint the residents choose will be a color they will have to live with for a very long time. So, make sure that what they decide on is really what they want. Because paint chips don’t always show the accurate color, suggest trying out different colors on the walls or wooden boards in the room under different lighting: night, day, natural, artificial. This will also help decide how many coats are needed.
8. Calculate how much paint and primer is needed
Don’t just guess how much paint the room will need by looking at it. This will only lead to a waste of time, money, and paint if you estimated wrongly. Take time to calculate precisely how much primer and paint are needed.
9. Cut in
Cutting in will help lessen the risk of accidentally getting paint on the “wrong” surface, especially if the walls and ceiling are a different color. Just use a paintbrush to paint corners and hard-to-reach places before going at it with a roller. First, cut in the corners between the ceiling and the walls, then cut corners between walls.
10. Understand paint finishes
Finishes are more than just for how the clients want the room to look. They also serve a purpose.
Glossier finishes are great for highlighting architectural features like mantels and moldings. They are also easy to clean, making them perfect for frequently-used rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. Flat finishes, on the other hand, do well in areas that are not often used.
Don’ts of Painting in Construction
1.Start with the walls.
Thanks to gravity, paint drips down. So, if the clients want a different color for the ceiling than the walls, start with the ceiling. Painting the wall first will just make things harder when you get to the ceiling and see that the paint drips and splatters on the already smooth and painted wall.
2. Paint over active mold or moisture
Stain- or mold-blocking primers only stop the color from bleeding through, not kill live mold. Using these will just stop moisture for a while, but once it starts up again, the mold will just “reactivate.” Before painting, look for the source of moisture and have it fixed, then kill the mold.
3. Forget on imperfections
Although flat finishes can “hide” imperfections, it’s better not to take the risk. Aside from destroying the room’s aesthetic, these imperfections could lead to bigger problems. For example, a dried paint bubble could “pop,” and the paint would start to chip, becoming bigger and bigger as time passes.
Quickly doing a paint job sounds tempting– just pour paint on a tray and go to work. But rushing through a job will not only produce shoddy work but could also hurt your professional reputation. When clients see that you’ve done a poor job, word will spread, and you might lose credibility and potential customers.
5. Apply latex on an oil finish without sanding
Before applying latex on an oil finish or oil on a latex finish, sand down the surface and wipe the dust away with a tack cloth. Also, use a primer with the same composition, either latex or oil, of the desired topcoat.
6. Paint directly over wallpaper
Painting over wallpaper might make the job easier, but the reality is just the opposite. You would need layers and layers of primer and paint to cover it up completely. That’s why it’s better to remove wallpaper before painting, ideally with a steamer or a paint-removing solution. If you’re having trouble taking it off, remove the loose pieces, sand down the remainder, and wipe with a tack cloth. Then, prime and start painting.
7. Close the room
Any work done in a room with poor ventilation is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous. Painting, especially, requires more than adequate ventilation, and closing doors and windows just block that. Exposure to paint fumes can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat. On a more serious scale, prolonged exposure can lead to headaches, dizziness, and even nausea. That’s why you should always have doors and windows wide open for maximized airflow.
8. Put off cleaning tools
Cleaning painting tools can be a task most painters neglect because of laziness. But putting off cleaning your tools may prove to be more of a waste of time. For instance, you finish a paint job this week and “forget” to clean your stuff. Then, a new job comes up the following week and you see that your brushes, rollers, and trays are hard with paint. Instead of heading to work, you spend a copious amount of time washing them– it might even be tough because it’s hard to wash out dried paint. One trick to saving time on cleaning trays is to line it with plastic or foil. When the job is done, just dispose of the lining.
9. Cheap out on material
The client paid you to work, so deliver quality results. To do so, you have to use quality tools and products, besides having the skill. More often than not, cheap paint is hard to work with, doesn’t last as long, and the colors come out dull. This also goes the same for brushes and rollers. Think of your tools as an investment: it may be expensive now but will pay off in the future.