Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Paint Like a Pro--3 Painting Tips Every Property Owner Should Know

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to give your vacation rental a new, clean and exciting look. Hiring painters cost money, but by investing a little time and learning some tricks of the trade, you can do a professional-looking job yourself and save a bundle.

Organize and Prep

Take stock of your existing supplies. Placing them all in the middle of your work area will help you start off right. Gather your brushes, rollers, hammer, screwdrivers, rollers, pans and brushes, drop cloths, paint can opener, trim tape, etc. You'll then know what you need when you go buy your paint. Painting a room is not a one-day job. Plan on leaving enough time to get furniture out of the way, pictures, mirrors and switch plates down, cleaning walls and corners, sanding down glossy finishes, repairing cracks and holes, and taping around the trim. Make sure the surfaces you're painting are clean and smooth. Don't rush this step. You'll want to get to the painting quickly, but resist taking shortcuts on preparation. It's one of the most important steps a professional painter takes, and one of the reasons their services cost more.

Key tip: If it you can remove it, do so. Don't think you'll just paint around a curtain rod. That takes a skilled hand. The extra five or 10 minutes it takes to remove these items will be well worth the effort.


Brushes with synthetic bristles are for water-based or latex paints, though they can also be used with oil-based paint. Brushes with natural bristles should be used with oil-based paints only. Brushes with tapered, densely packed bristles are for cutting in corners and painting a straighter edge. Avoid foam brushes. While they're inexpensive, they're difficult to control and provide an inferior result. Rollers come in a variety of naps, which provide different textures when you apply the paint. The smaller the nap, the smoother the finish. Painting pads are a great way to quickly paint corners. Be careful not to load the pad with too much paint. Otherwise, you'll have unsightly drips.

Paint and Primer

Latex (water-based) paints are the most common. They're environmentally friendly, easy to apply and easy to clean up. Latex paints dry quickly (about an hour). Resist the temptation to apply a second coat too quickly, however. Try to leave enough time to apply the second coat the next day. Oil-based paints are great for trim and cabinets. Today, they're even environmentally friendly and non-toxic. However, drying time is longer, depending on your climate.

Prior to paining, you'll need to apply a coat of primer. Primer blocks stains and other color imperfections, improves adhesion and cuts down on the number of coats of paint you'll need. Key tip: tint the primer with a small amount of the final color.

The key to a professional-looking paint job is taking time to prepare your surfaces and then taking time to apply the paint correctly. Use the right paint and materials, don't rush the job, clean up after your mistakes, and your vacation rentals will look fantastic--for less.

Check out more tips here.