Frequently asked questions
How do I determine how much paint I will need to purchase before beginning a job?
Although it is best to have a little paint left over for touch ups or nicks, paint can be expensive and home painters often purchase much more than they need when tackling a painting project. All that you need to calculate how much paint you will need is a tape measure. Measure each of the walls in the rooms that you will be painting (or the exterior) and write the numbers down. Next, measure the height of the ceiling or area that you wish to paint.
For each room or exterior, calculate the circumference first (the area around the room or building by adding each wall together) and multiply it by the height. For example, if you have an area with two walls that measure 30 feet and two walls that measure 40 feet, the circumference is 140 feet. Multiply this number by the height of 8 feet and you have your square footage (1,120). When you purchase paint, take a look at the square footage on the paint container. For the most part, a gallon will cover 400 square feet. However, remember that most paint jobs require 2 coats. So, for the example above, you would need about 6 gallons of paint and primer.
What I should use to protect my carpet from paint drips and stains?
Many people take the cheaper route of protecting their carpet with a disposable sheet of plastic. However, the better option is to spend the extra money on a sheet of canvas. Plastic can get slippery and messy when paint drips on it and it is easy to trip over it when it bunches up during your painting job. However, canvas lays flat on the floor and soaks up paint rather than simply lets it slide around. Canvas can also stay in place around corners and in tight spaces where plastic will simply return to its original form. Best of all, you can use the canvas as many times as you like rather than just throwing it away after the job.
What type of brush should I use for painting an interior?
For most rooms, your best bet is to use a fine brush and invest in a paint roller with an extension pole of about 3 feet. However, there are poles available that can extend to as much as 18 feet. This method is much safer than using a ladder and helps to keep the paint job even over the wall and ceiling surfaces. Choose a metal pole rather than a plastic one. Also, try to find one with a non-slip grip to avoid costly slipping accidents that can be a real headache, especially when dealing with a different paint color on the ceiling than the walls.
How do I choose a tasteful paint color for my home or business exterior?
You can choose a great color for your home or business exterior by considering a few elements about the property and how your paint can contribute to them. For example, if your home contains a great deal of brick that are not painting, look closely to find some of the hues in the brick and consider some of those colors. You can also consider the type of property. For example, if it is a Victorian era house, you might choose some colors that were popular in that era to add to the aesthetic appeal of your property. If you want to express a calm and collected environment, choose warm colors. On the other hand, for a bright and busy environment a brighter color might be necessary.
Does paint expire?
Yes, paint does expire eventually. However, the specific life of paint depends on how well you store it, among other factors. When you are ready to store your paint, make sure you thoroughly clean the can's rim so that the lid can form a proper seal. Too much paint around the rim can build up and crack - letting air into the can. If you are using latex paint, you can pour a tiny amount of water around the edge to make sure it seals properly. You can also use plastic wrap over the top of the can before securing the lid. You can then store the can upside down after making sure that it is securely shut. This will almost guarantee a tight seal.
When you take out paint to complete a job, simply use common sense to determine whether it is still good. If it still has that paint smell, it is probably still acceptable. However, if it smells stale or off, it is likely expired. You can also try painting a small test amount on a surface to see how it dries before covering the whole wall. If it looks good when it dries, the paint is likely still acceptable.