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Home Painting: Top Things You Need to Know


Home Painting: Top Things You Need to Know

Before you sign an agreement with a painter or general contractor for either external or internal paint jobs, here are some things that you need to know:

  • Wall prepping is key to a beautiful paint job. The real test of a good painter is if he knows how to prep your walls. If you live in an old house or have bad walls, they’ll tell you that you have to prep them first. This involves a lot of sanding, scraping and finishing the wall to be smooth, non-glossy and extremely clean. Any painter who doesn’t meticulously scrape your walls and prep them completely (whether internal or external) is not doing the right job at all.
  • Meticulous masking is needed. Masking is the process of covering fixtures and surfaces that you don’t want to be affected by the paint. Sometimes you’d like a separate colour for certain parts of the room. Good painters use Ziploc bags, newspapers and lots of tape to mask and protect other surfaces.
  • Painting over old paint is never a good idea—especially if it’s peeling off. A good painting job (for both internal and external) can start with removing the old paint with a scraper and some chemicals. The best walls to paint are bare, clean and non-glossy so that the pain will stick and not slough off leaving trails. Have your painter remove the old paint before they get started.
  • The best paint finish for external surfaces or anywhere that gets heavy traffic and usage is semi-gloss. It’s durable and can stand cleaning when it gets marked or scratched. Other pain finishes can flake off if you clean them too vigorously.

So how do you know what paint finish you should choose when you have a painting job on your house? Check these out:


  • Matte – this is the best finish to camouflage walls and surfaces with imperfections that can’t be handled with simple scraping.
  • Flat – Flat enamel is a paint with a durable flat, matte finish. It’s a good choice for powder rooms and halls
  • Eggshell- eggshell finishes can stand up to tough cleaning and simply resemble the finish on an eggshell.
  • Satin – Satin finish paint has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more gloss. It is most often used for windows, doors, trim, or ceilings, but can also be used as wall paint.
  • Semi-gloss – the sturdiest and easiest to clean, this finish doesn’t have the shiny of gloss but just a subtle sheen.
  • Glossy – these paints are highly reflective and add elegance to a room—though they are not that popular because of how they need to be cleaned more frequently. If your bare wall isn’t clean, I will magnify all the imperfections.


  • Flat – just like the interior finish, this can mask the imperfections and surface problems of your walls. This work best for older houses but surfaces that see a lot of traffic and contact only get too dirty and eventually make more imperfections.
  • Satin – Still not good enough for painting doors and windows, satin finishes do give a subtle sheen that raises the beauty of a wall or house. It cleans well with just pressure and doesn’t get dirty as easily as a flat finish.
  • Glossy – this finish is for highlighting windows and doors. Keep in mind that this finish can emphasize flaws so make sure you start with a bare, smooth surface. It’s also the toughest finish and can resist normal dirt and grime. When you do clean it, it stands up well to brushing and pressure.

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