Improving your home with a new coat of paint

When it comes to home improvement, painting is one of easiest and least expensive ways to dramatically change the look of a room. However, there are many factors that can influence how your project will turn out.

“Recently, we had Pinnacle paint our mantle,” said homeowner Brad Stutler. “Before, it was stained wood. We really thought that was what we wanted when we initially built the house, but we really decided we needed a change so they painted that. It’s been a great difference for our living room.”

Painting is a great way to boost your home’s value and the color can completely change the look of a room. Certain hues are more popular than others.

“We’re seeing a lot of grays and blues, but the grays aren’t traditional grays, they are more kind of earth–toned grays,” painting contractor Sean Eichenberg said. “They’re a little softer than just a steel gray, so it’s a little warmer finish.”

Once you’ve picked the perfect color, you’ll have to decide on what type of finish you want for the space.

“If you have a bathroom that’s a high humidity area, you’d want a higher sheen paint – an eggshell or a satin – and that way it would be moisture resistant and clean up a little bit better,” added Eichenberg.

The key to a great paint job is prepping the areas properly. Fix any imperfections to ensure your paint job holds up well.

“A lot of times people tackle this project themselves, but you need to understand when you’re over your head, because a good paint job is dependent on the prep work,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “If you have walls that need a lot of repair or resurfacing hiring a professional may be well worth the money. Also, if you tricky have trim work, that might not be the room you want to test on.”

“First of all, my wife would never let me paint the house,” Stutler added. “Secondly, it’s a time factor. I’m very busy with my family and just don’t have the time to do it, and I want somebody to do it well and professionally and do a great job.”

Consider these elements when obtaining a painting estimate: the number of coats, square footage, and prep work. Get three bids to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. A good contract will include the type of finishes and colors as well as the number of coats and the pricing for additional coats. Quality products are key, so be sure your contractor is using what you want.