Hiring professionals to do your home painting project is ideal to get the great results you are after, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still save on your bottom line budget. There are a number of simple things that you can do ahead of time to help speed up the process for your painters while lessening the overall cost of the job. Doing what you can to save time before the starting gate opens also means that you can move back into and enjoy your freshly painted rooms that much sooner. Here are some helpful hints to outline the best steps to take when preparing for your painter.
5 Hints for Having a Happy Painter
1. The Takedown
It’s only logical that everything, including paintings, photographs, wall hangings and any other artwork and ornaments, need to be removed from the walls prior to home painting. Rather than leave it to the painter, this is certainly an advance task you can do yourself. That way you are responsible for your great-grandmother’s decorative china plate collection, and can pack and tuck it safely out of harm’s way. That takes care of the obvious items, but here’s the important follow-up: if you can, go ahead and remove any hooks, nails and other hanging hardware, as well. Don’t worry about the resulting holes, as they will be filled appropriately by the painters themselves.
2. Remove the Highs and Lows
One of the most helpful things you can to do is to remove the plastic, metal or ceramic plates that surround your light switches and electrical and cable outlets. Scan the rooms to be worked on both at eye level and lower down to be worked on and take note of all plates that will need to be removed to accommodate the painting job. If you’re concerned about mix-ups down the road, secure the individual plates and their accompanying screws in individual sandwich bags that you can label, or jot the plate’s room and exact location on a strip of masking tape before tucking it aside while your home painting is underway.
3. Okay, Maybe Not the Piano
Sometimes it’s not possible to move all furniture items from rooms destined for home painting projects, but whatever you can do on that front is extremely helpful. It’s always possible that you simply may not have sufficient space in other parts of your home to store the more cumbersome pieces, but those can certainly be grouped in the centre of the room where they can be protected by large tarps. A word of warning: if you’re moving a dish or display cabinet or a full bookcase to the centre of the room, it’s tempting to try and simply “shift” it gently without removing the items inside. This is a recipe for disaster, especially for breakables. It’s worth the extra effort to take the objects out first and pack them properly.
4. To Save and Protect
An extra tip about furniture items remaining at the centre of the room during painting: you may want to protect them further with some mover’s padded covers. These are not to shield them from paint splatters, but to keep them safe from being nudged or jostled. Expert painters know how to take care, but in any environment where ladders are being carried from spot to spot, it doesn’t hurt to ensure that antique grandfather clock remains pristine. If you don’t have or want to invest in actual mover’s pads, old quilt and blankets will usually do just as well. Simply secure a layer of padding around the outside of the group of items, which will then be later covered entirely by drop cloths.
5. Who was that Masked Man?
This is more like half a hint, really, as it depends largely on the scope of the home painting project. If the baseboards and/or trim will be painted in addition to the walls, it’s probably best to let your pro painters handle the trickier taping; they’ll have lots of experience at this and their own tried and true methods and materials. If trim and baseboard aren’t going to be done and you’d like to give it a go, be sure to use only proper painter’s tape, which usually comes in a standout shade of green or blue, and avoid run-of-the-mill masking tape, which doesn’t come off as easily and can leave a sticky residue.
“PETER BYRNE is the owner and hands-on manager of Kassel Painting Limited. In the last two decades he has run over 1500 painting projects totaling millions of dollars. There is little that can go right (or wrong) on a job-site he has not seen, solved, and lived to talk about.”
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