Nine Myths About Interior Painting

Painting the home interior is one of the most popular projects undertaken by homeowners each year and with good reason! Interior painting helps to transform spaces, giving them a fresh new look that’s both stylish and functional for today’s living situations.
However, many people don’t know how to do it properly, resulting in a subpar job that can actually lead to more work and wasted money in the long run. To help you avoid some common painting mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of 9 myths about interior painting. So read on – your home is about to look amazing!

Common Misconceptions Homeowners Have About Interior Painting

Painting your home can be a daunting task. There are so many things to think about – the type of paint to use, the tools and supplies you need, how to prepare the surface, should you hire professional painters. . . it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this post, we dispel some of the most common misconceptions homeowners have about interior painting. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to tackle your next painting project with confidence.

Myth One: You Must Use a Primer

Despite the paint store clerk suggesting otherwise, you don’t always need to prime. If the surface is relatively clean, previously painted and not very shiny, go ahead and paint with a coat or two of finish paint. Primers are surface problem solvers and unless you have any of those problems, save your money and get better paint instead.

Primers for different purposes
Primers are useful but not always needed.
Red wall painted withoiut a primer
Gray primer would make this job easier.

What type of surfaces need a primer?

  • New drywall, wood or metal
  • Shiny hard surfaces that will stop the finish coat from adhering
  • Porous walls
  • Walls that are getting painted after cleaning mildew
  • Walls with stains such as markers, grease spots and water stains
  • Rust
  • Drastic colour changes and deep colours like red or orange.

Before getting your brush and roller out, thoroughly clean your walls. Wash any greasy areas, stains and scuff marks and thoroughly dust before starting your adventure.

Myth Two: The Builder’s Flat Is a Primer

This is a common misconception with newly built subdivision homes and condos. Homeowners think that the builders’ flat paint can serve as a primer and eliminate the need for two coats. Nothing could be further from the truth. The paint most subdivision builders use is in fact a cheap, chalky and very porous concoction. Ironically the paint itself necessitates the need for a primer and a new paint job.

Builders white flat paint
A builder’s white is not a primer

There are two main reasons for using very flat paint. The main reason is that it costs very little, especially when purchased in large quantities. The other reason is cosmetic. Flat finish paint hides most drywall imperfections and therefore helps reduce the number of callbacks from the residents. The builder’s paint job is not meant to last a long time. If you want your paint job to last a long time, you will need to paint properly soon after.

Myth Three: You Need Two Coats for Better Results

Most of the time (but not always) two coats of paint is adequate and necessary but there are some exceptions:

  • Certain colours like red need multiple coats, sometimes as many as five or six
  • If you are just freshening up with the same colour, one coat is adequate
  • If your new colour is very close to the original and wall condition is good, one coat is enough.
  • You don’t need two coats for ceilings in good condition.
  • If the surface is chalky and very porous a third coat or primer will give you better results.

Myth Four: Masking Tape is for Amateurs

Experienced painters and craftspeople can paint straight lines freehand without the use of masking tape. In recent years masking technology evolved and masking tape is now an important tool in any painters’ toolkit. By using it, anyone can create straight lines between colours and especially between walls and trim.

Painters Masking tape for baseboards
Professional looking job using blue masking tape

Painter’s tape makes any job go smoother by helping you produce clean, sharp lines and professional results. Painting contractors use a lot of masking tape. It saves time and even makes an apprentice paint like a master painter. 

One of the best masking tapes available is FrogTape. FrogTape® painter’s tapes are treated with their patented PaintBlock® Technology, have a super-absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint bleed and creating clean, crisp paint lines.

Myth Five: You Need Glossy Paint in the Bathroom

Common sense in the past dictated that glossier paints were best for humid environments and for years this was a correct assumption. As design trends started focusing on bathroom decor, there was a need for a matte paint tough enough to withstand the everyday busy bathroom. Glossier paints don’t work very well with colour in small spaces afterall, as they reflect a lot of light. When Benjamin Moore introduced their Aura Bath & Spa line, it became the main choice of designers and professionals. Benjamin Moore says that this paint is made for hot, steamy and humid environments. 
Here is a blog on selecting a paint sheen for your home.

This bathroom is painted with matte finish paint
Aura Bath & Spa is expensive paint but designers love it!

Myth Six: You Can’t Paint During the Cold Weather

Yes, you can paint your interior during cold weather. Most heated homes are warm enough at the very least at ten degrees celsius, which is the minimum suggested by most manufacturers. Paints don’t smell as much as they used to and are not as harmful. Additionally because they dry fast, there is no lingering smell just a few hours later. Ventilation is still a good idea but you don’t need to have your windows open for hours. If you have sensitivity to the smell of fresh paint, talk to your retailer or contractor about your product options or wait until the warmer months.

Myth Seven: You Can Do A Better Job Than a Professional

The cold truth is, you can’t do a better job than the pros. Most homeowners lack the experience and don’t own the tools needed to paint professionally – not only that but they also don’t have time. Painting and all the prep before it takes time and a lot of learned skill. But if your goal is something simple like refreshing a room or two or adding some colour, then DIY might work for you; just make sure you gather enough knowledge and equipment to do it well.

Agood masking tape is your friend
Masking tape keeps the paint away
  • Use quality brushes and rollers
  • If you don’t have a steady hand, a good masking tape is your friend
  • Use drop cloths and plastic to protect surfaces
  • Prep and clean very well; this is a skill you likely have
  • Be safe with ladders and read the paint can labels

Myth Eight: You Don’t Need to Paint When Selling Your House

One way to help improve the chances of selling a home is by painting it before putting it on the market. Bright neutral colours will make  your home more appealing and attractive to potential buyers. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
– The property will look appealing to a larger target market.
– Paint will make the home look newer and cleaner-
– Curb appeal and first impressions help with the sale

Painting helps make the sale
Painting helped this old beauty sell very fast in a competitive market!

Although painting your home is a relatively minor investment, it can have a significant impact on its marketability. Selling a home can be difficult, stressful and expensive, so making sure that your house looks inviting to potential buyers is an important part of the process. If you own an older home and are looking at selling it at a good price, painting will help attract buyers who are interested in buying older properties

Myth Nine: If You Are Hiring Painters Go With The Low Estimate

After considering all the above and your time availability, you may decide to hire professional painters. Most homeowners get two or three cost estimates before deciding who the right contractor for the job is. When comparing estimates, don’t make this decision on cost alone. Nobody needs to pay more than necessary to paint their home but the lowest bid may not be the value you are looking for. 
Interview the estimators and ask the right questions. How long will painting the interior take? Do they have experience with a home like yours? Can they provide you with references? What about their reviews? Do they stand behind their workmanship? Do they have their own painters or use sub-contractors? You are most likely hiring professionals for these reasons: value, service, convenience and peace of mind.

So, if you’re considering painting your home’s interior, be sure to read on and avoid making the mistakes and assumptions that so many homeowners before you have made. Maybe you just need to know the cost of hiring a painter for your interior. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’ll be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading!

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