Painting Hallways in Apartment Buildings
Painting hallways is usually an afterthought when painting most apartment buildings. It is something that needs to eventually be done but somehow other more pressing needs take over. This is not intentional of course, they are just hallways, they work just fine. The floors are cleaned and anything mechanical is maintained, but what about the condition of the walls? What about the yellowed ceilings, the drywall, the banged up doors? Common areas such as corridors are important to residential apartment buildings. It shows the visitors and residents whether the building is well maintained or neglected. Another deterrent to painting is the inconvenience of having painters working in the hallways. The sooner it gets painted, the better it is for the residents and the Property Management company.
This is where older buildings show their age. There are still apartment buildings with dated (old) wallpaper in their corridors. It must have been practical long time ago, maybe it served it’s purpose of covering wall imperfections. Now you can even see the condition of the plaster, by the bulging showing behind the wallpaper. There is only one way to remedy this situation and that is by removing the wall-covering and repairing the walls.
Removing the wallpaper and painting the walls with a nice neutral colour will improve the look and feel of the building. Newer buildings with drywall are in better condition and repairs are easier and less expensive. Decorating such long areas though can be challenging. That may have been another reason that wallpaper is on the walls. One way of dealing with that problem, is to visually break the length of the hallway into sections. Use a mirror or two or use some inexpensive but tasteful artwork. Another way is to draw attention to the end of the corridors by using darker colours. Darker colours look closer than they are and make hallways look shorter.
This is where buildings saved some money in the past. After all nobody looks at a ceiling right? Older paints did not resist yellowing as much as today’s paints. Water stains and ceiling cracks were unsightly and made a building look neglected.
A bright ceiling can improve the look and feel of a hallway. Painting ceilings is inexpensive and it makes a big difference in the light and brightness of corridors. If pure white does not work well with the wall colour chosen, try using a light off white. Definitely stay away from any white that has a hint of beige as it will look yellowed sooner.
Doors get to see a lot of wear and tear. Shopping bags, furniture, keys can scratch the finish of the doors. Movers and delivery people get furniture through them, protecting them is the last thing on their mind. As a result doors need painting more often than other surfaces. This is what the toughest enamel paints are for. In the old days using oil paint was the only way to go. The smell was unbearable as ventilation of corridors was not the greatest. Drying times of these enamel paints made painting the doors a big hustle. Things have changed for the better. Most manufacturers have water based enamels that are as durable if not more durable than the old paints. Drying time is shorter which reduces the inconvenience to the residents. For all these reasons the doors should be an integral part of painting corridors and hallways.
Durability of Paint
The biggest expense for this type of project is paying for the contractors labour. Hallways and doors do not need a lot of paint. Materials cost for this type of painting project are usually less than 20% of the contract price. It makes financial sense to use the most durable paint that any manufacturer has to offer. For the walls, a low sheen top quality eggshell will be durable and washable. Semigloss is the best finish for the doors and trim. Almost all manufacturers carry a waterbourne alkyd or hybrid enamel paint. This type of product has all the durability benefits of the old oil paints, without the smell and the slow drying times. Depending on what is currently on the doors, it may be a good idea to prime them with a bonding primer first. Painting is the best way to keep hallways looking fresh, clean and maintained.
Ecopainting is a Painting Contractor servicing apartment buildings in the Toronto Area. If you have any painting questions call 416 733-7767. One of our estimators will be in touch to discuss your building’s future painting needs.