Friday, May 18, 2012

Yuck is not a Martha Stewart color.

Like it or not the aesthetics of a rental property are not primary considerations of whoever is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the home. Even if they were the odds of your choice in wall color being in line with the decision maker are slim to none. I live here in sunny Florida but the chamber of commerce doesn't include rainy Florida in the marketing plan therefore a lot of thought and preparation must go into the re-painting of a typical home here. In this state as in others across the south mildew is the unofficial state flower and I have seen bugs bigger than some of my roommates. These are two maladies that can be addressed in the preparation stages of a paint job. My word of advice to the novice painter is to get the free assistance of a professional at a professional quality paint retailer. The money spent on the right selection of a quality finish properly prepared and applied is money better than well spent because a paint job is the first and last thing you will see every day and botched job will just eat at you till you do it over and you don't want or need to do it over. I can give you the basics but the guy that makes his living making you happy with his paint and tools is an invaluable resource for getting the right solution to any particular problem or situation you find yourself confronted with. A mildewcide can be added directly to the paint in any location where high humidity may be common. Likewise an insecticide. An insecticide will not control any insect problems (especially not the ones big enough to get their own place) but they will keep the cobwebs to a minimum and discourage other bugs from lingering. Proper pest control is the solution to this but that's for another article. Preparation is key to an acceptable paint application so leave the paint in the bucket for awhile and get your walls and trim in shape. Patching and spackling are a must and replace any missing or damaged trim. Scrape loose and peeling paint and putty nail holes in the trim before caulking all the trim and windows. Small defects in a wall or trim piece may not be noticeable under your work light but they will cast shadows that stand out under the everyday lighting or even sunlight coming in a window. They are easiest to handle now so do it now and save some grief. Now let's talk primer. Primer is a must because not a paint around will cover the color yuck in a single coat. Repairs and patches especially need to be primed before painting even if you use one of the preparations of paint and primer in one mixture. A fresh patch will stand out as a flat spot due to it's different absorbency of the fresh paint. If you are not adept with a paintbrush (get a good quality one it makes a difference) you need to get adept with the masking tape. And I'm not talking about dollar store masking tape. The professional grade masking tape is expensive and worth it,don't start cutting corners here you'll regret it. Whew! it's been a lot of work and you haven't even opened the paint yet. Well hold off a little while yet cause you have some clean-up to do. This is one of those jobs where you have to clean before you start to get a good looking finish product. No matter what method you are using to apply your paint you need to clean and dust the entire room. If you are spraying then dust on the floor will get blown up into the wet paint leaving an undesirable granulation in the paint near the floor. If you are brushing the baseboards then dust will get in your brush or interfere with the adhesion of the masking tape so clean-up now. Good luck and happy painting.