I’ve found over my 30 or so years of homebuilding that finishing a home usually takes more thought and preparation than you think. It’s easy to get excited during the final stages and want to powerhouse through it, but I am taking special care to not rush through important details and make sure each step is done the right way, so that I don’t have to go back and do it again.
Putting a good finish on the interior walls of a home is more than just slapping paint on a wall and calling it a day. Generally when it comes to working out the details of an interior paint job, I like to consult with someone who is knowledgeable about interior paint and make sure that I am doing it the right way. Every home is different, and so is every paint job.
When it came time to start thinking about my paint job for this project, I began by asking myself some simple questions: do I want bright colors, or something a bit more conservative? Do I want the rooms to be contrasty or flat? Shiny or opaque? In other words, how do I want the rooms in my new home to appear once everything is painted and decorated?
A paint job can heavily influence how a space feels once all is said and done. To help answer some of these important questions, there is one person who comes to the forefront of my mind: my brother in-law, Chris McNeil. He owns a company called Fine Painting and Venetian Plaster, and has been working in the field for nearly 30 years.
Here are some key takeaways from my conversation with Chris - I think these items can help any builder or homeowner make good decisions about how to go about painting the interior of their home:
1. Understand the scope of the job. Do you want different colors in each room? Unique sheens on different surfaces? A glossy ceiling? It will take a lot of preparation in advance before you begin painting, so make sure you have the details worked out before you pick up a paint brush.
2. Select the sheen that’s right for you. Most hardware stores have a sheen chart at the counter, or give them away for free. From a flat finish all the way up to a semi-gloss, the type of sheen you choose has a lot to do with the type of structure you’re painting and the quality of the workmanship. For example, you wouldn’t put the same sheen onto the walls of a dentist office that you would onto the walls of a two-story house. Sheen accordingly.
3. There’s no limit to what you can do. Your feature walls might be a different color than the niche wall, the dining room might be a different color or shade than the walls of your kitchen. Again, planning is paramount.
4. Finishing other parts of a room before you paint can help you finish painting faster. If you get the floors done before you begin painting, you can get a better idea of how a room will look once the paint job is complete.
5. Light is a big factor. Whether a wall has direct or indirect light can really make a difference to how a paint job looks in the end. Paint accordingly.
In my home, I’ve tried to build quality into each and every step, including the paint job. To me, quality is cumulative - it wouldn’t be possible for me to have a higher quality paint job if I hadn’t done a good job taping off my sheet rock and sanding down the surfaces.
Do you have any painting tips for us? Join the conversation and let us know!