Sunday, September 2, 2012

Adventures in Painting

The kitchen in process

   Most of us have painted the interior of a home from time to time, and know something about the process. However, it has been many years since I assisted in the painting of multiple coats to the interior of an entire house !    My daughter purchased a home in July, and in tandem with her demanding full time job and yes, 3, sketchy part time ones,also,  she has not had a lot of time to work on her new home.   Her father, her brothers, her boyfriend and I have all helped and she has done the more difficult cleaning, removal of the old carpet,  and eventually the drywall repairs, which were quite lengthy, and preparations for actual painting.   One of the reasons this has taken so long is that we were all mindful that the more time you spend in preparation of the area to be painted, the less time you will spend on the actual painting itself.
     The selection of the paint caused some rifts between my husband and my daughter.  My daughter wanted to use something called Zinsser primer because one of the rooms in her house had been painted a deep forest green and another had been painted a deep midnight blue/black    My husband thought a good quality paint in a couple of coats would cover just fine.  The second thing we did was purchase tape to cover lighting fixtures, doorknobs, etc. then brushes and containers of different varieties and then rollers of different sizes.  Because only subflooring was present, and the house was empty, we didn't bother with drop cloths.
     We started with the bathrooms and the oddly colored rooms first.

Visual from:

          Next, I used a brush to cut-in on the walls at the ceiling, around windows, above baseboards at the lowest portion of the wall.  This allowed my daughter to come in with a hand roller and paint the large areas of the walls and ceilings.   Her boyfriend did the tough parts of painting the cathedral ceilings.  We ran into some real challenges in the bathrooms which had sheetrock problems, and needed repetitious repairs before painting could even be comtemplated.  Then, even when these areas were cut in, a normal roller was too large for ceilings or walls. A smaller roller had to be rigged.  When these were finished there was a lot of splatter in tubs and on toilets, and a lot to clean up. Additionally, the paint my husband selected, which was not Zinsser primer, did not cover adequately, and the bathrooms needed almost six coats.   The family room and the kitchen in this house are quite large and reaching the ceilings, even with a roller screwed on to a pole was difficult.  With others doing the tough large area painting, I went on to painting the interior of closets, painting baseboards, door frames, and the six panel doors with a semi-gloss paint and a brush.  In all, there is plenty of work to go around.


            My daughter is a smarter woman that I.  Rather than cleaning the rollers and brushes after each session, she would wet them additionally with the paint which was used on them,  and cover them with an airtight clear bag.  This meant she was spending less time washing up each day and some days could paint early in the morning, and then later in the afternoon also.

             My husband bypassed the Zinsser primer my daughter had requested because he thought it was more expensive.  It turned out that one coat of Zinsser primer would have allowed us to move on faster to the final paint color, and would have been cheaper in the long run.  She used Duron a latex matte paint on most walls.  She chose Valspar brand from Lowe's for the rooms which were becoming a color other than cream or white.  This paint performed well.  We used Sherwin Williams paint on house exterior doors and trim, and on the large outbuilding.    By far, the best paint brushes were the Wooster brand.  We used moderately priced rollers and supplies from Lowes.  Our daughter received a ten percent discount for some of these supplies from a coupon she received from her change of address packet from the post office.

            We also learned something else.  My daughter has been concerned about not using too much in terms of electricity before she is in the house. She had been turning off the air conditioning when we finished painting and were leaving.  She eventually found that this was a bad idea.  In Virginia, the air conditioning is needed in order to not only cool the rooms but to decrease the high humidity here which would allow the paint to dry !  We were surprized when we returned the following day to find the paint not fully dry. We lost a day while she ran the central air to cut all that humidity.

          As we left that day we spied a doe right near the pond who has evolved into being a frequent visitor. We have concluded that she too lives at our daughter's house.

This is help in selecting types of paint:

Other great information on interior house painting:

Our final hints:

Don't be in too much of a rush. More spills and more clean up will take even more time.  Don't overdo. I am not accustomed to having my hands over my head steadying a fairly heavy paint soaked roller painting a ceiling. I pulled muscles in my chest and upper arms and this is slowing down my participation.  Last, remember that any color you select is darker when it's dry and on an entire wall.  Think about getting a paler yellow or a paler gray than you might want in a store that is lit with fluorescent lighting. Last, make it fun. This is not only a lot of work, but it's probably our final step in the "launching" of our daughter. This should be a special memory for her, and for us also. Our princess has her own castle !

     When the painting is done, we move on to wood floors throughout all of the home but the kitchen and bathrooms.


Gorges Smythe said...

I would honestly rather clean out a barn.

JaneofVirginia said...

Gorges, I would honestly rather clean out a barn with you. Painting was fun back when I had my first house. Now, it's just a chore which leaves me achy. I am trying to see this as a positive part of the milestone of my daughter's achievement of getting her own home. Instead, I am seeing this as an indication that my middle age is beginning !