The sad truth is that a lot of homeowners don’t understand what they should be getting when they hire a painting contractor and what to expect in the way of service and quality. They simply don’t know any better and are unaware of the difference between a mediocre and an excellent quality paint job. Unfortunately, there are many low standards set in the industry, this has made inferior work become acceptable. However, once you know what excellent painting looks like any inferior work will become glaringly obvious.
What Should Quality Interior Painting Look Like?
The aesthetics of a paint job are so much more than the color. If the surfaces are not prepared properly and the work was done poorly it’s not going to matter if the paint color is beautiful.
One of the first telltale signs of a bad paint job is the lack of precision in the cut in areas. Cut in lines should be sharp and straight where the walls meets the ceiling and where the walls meet up with the baseboards, door and window frames. This alone can take many years to master. It’s a skill that can be improved upon with practice, but not everyone has the dexterity or the patience to do it well.
The application of paint onto the surfaces should have a consistent smooth and uniform finish. There shouldn’t be streaky brush marks, lap marks, ridges, runs, drips or sagging in the paint. The paint finish should not be full of chunks and bits.
Paint Shouldn’t Be Where It Doesn’t Belong
Wall paint shouldn’t be haphazardly spilling over into the sides of the window or door frames. Most importantly, wall paint should not be up into the ceiling, this has to be the worst of the poor painting techniques. Cabinets, floors, light switches, outlets, electrical fixtures, door hardware and hinges should be free of paint.
It goes without saying that paint should not be on flooring, furniture or personal belongings. This is beyond unskilled painting, it’s just plain careless. The surfaces and items in the painting space should be protected with drop sheets and plastic. There may be items on the surfaces being painted that need to be masked and taped.
Full Paint Coverage
Proper paint coverage means there shouldn’t be any areas of thin coverage or shadowing of the previous paint color coming through. This is an area where we find the homeowner doesn’t know what they don’t know. After years in the industry, it’s easy for us to look at a surface and instantly see that it doesn’t have the full coverage that it should. Quite often we can see the cut in areas that have paint sparsely applied, misses within the rolled areas of the walls, or shadowing of the previous color bleeding through the paint.
Rarely is there a situation where one coat of paint is acceptable no matter how expensive or high quality the paint is. A minimum of two coats of paint is what is required in almost all situations to give adequate and full paint coverage. There are times when more than two coats are required. This is most common when there is a drastic color change, usually applying a very light color over a dark color or when choosing a very vibrant or rich color.
Sanding, Sanding and More Sanding
It’s been said that it would be more accurate to call a painter a professional sander, or at least a good painter. Sanding is one of the most overlooked aspects of painting preparation, it’s a large part of what makes up a quality paint job. Each time a surface is painted without being sanded or sanded properly it adds to the demise of the surface aesthetics. Depending on the circumstances it can also lead to paint failure. By the time a house is ten or twenty years old it can look dreadful if it’s had one bad paint job after another. Sanding the walls, trimming work and doors prior to painting ensures a smooth and uniform finish. Any past drips, runs or sags if there are any present in the painting should be sanding out of the walls, trim work and doors and an overall sanding removes any anomalies and excess texture that may be present in previously applied coatings.
Patching and Caulking
The preparation for painting can take a significant amount of time If the surfaces being painted are in poor condition. The walls should be inspected for nicks, scratches and dings. They should be filled and sanded along with any unwanted nail and screw holes from pictures or artwork that was previously hung.
Poorly done patching can cause more issues than not patching at all. The tendency of an unskilled person is to over apply the patching compound. If these areas are not sanded out properly it leaves behind raised and uneven areas on the wall. It’s not uncommon to find patches like this that get painted over and over with layers of paint without being addressed. When someone finally decides to fix the walls, it can take a lot of sanding and re-patching to get them looking good again.
There can be situations where the walls are in very bad condition and require an extensive amount of patching. It takes time and patience to fill and sand all the imperfections in rooms like the one shown in the photo below. The extra effort is well worth it when you see how much better the walls look after they have been repaired and re-painted.
Caulking is an important part of the painting process and there’s a skill to applying it. It’s used to conceal gaps and cracks and add to the overall quality of the paint job by giving it a seamless finish. There’s no such thing as a good-looking paint job that’s applied over a back caulking application. Caulking is applied within trim work joints and the joints where the walls meet up with the baseboards, the door and window casings and crown moldings. Caulking should be done before the painting, otherwise it can discolor and become a magnet for dirt and dust collection.
Removing Hardware Prior To Painting
Anything that can easily be removed should be switch plates, outlet covers, and doorknobs. Anything that has to be left in place is protected from paint and a good painter knows how to paint around these items without leaving highly visible brush marks.
What Should Quality Interior Painting Look Like?
A professional painter will use high quality paint and materials and make sure the correct product is being used for your particular job. It’s not only important to use high-quality paint but to ensure that the correct type of paint material is being used for the particular situation. The surface may need a paint that is suited to high humidity and have mold or mildew inhibiting properties. A special primer or sealer may be required. The materials used to apply the paint materials all play a part in the final outcome, this includes the brushes, paint rollers, caulking and patching compound.
It’s important to note that all paint is created equal. The painter has a myriad of choices and price levels to choose from. In all company product lines, there are different levels of paint quality. They can range from mediocre to excellent. Even the top well-known paint companies have lower-end products that are not as superior in durability and adhesion. Every company has at least one cheaper paint known as a “builder’s grade”.
Productive painting offers professional power washing and residential, commercial, and industrial interior and exterior painting services to the communities of Wall, NJ and throughout Monmouth County, NJ. Fully licensed and insured, Productive Painting Company is owner operated NJ LICENSE #13VH04439800. Hours of operation Mon to Fri 8 AM to 5 PM and Saturday 8 AM to 1 PM. Closed Sundays.