This Painting Tips page is a natural evolution of our Trade Secrets Pages.

Before you can hope to complete a good paint job you really need some basic skills.

If you feel that you have developed these, but need more detailed information about the painting business, then this page may be of some help. 

I reviewed the You Tube videos about this subject, and was surprised at how painting videos are made by people who, either don't have painting skills, or are teaching really bad habits. I covered this subject on our blog, and give a couple of links to videos that were OK. I am realizing that the laughable painting antics that happen on the Home renovation shows are very widespread.

A five year apprenticeship is considered the right amount of time to learn to paint. How is it that people think there is no skill to be learned. My customers know that the painting service that I provide is one that took me many years to master. As an old music teacher said to me "I'd teach you everything I know in one day, if you could learn it". Painting does take time to learn, and it's important to learn the correct way so you practice the good habits and avoid the bad ones.

Estimating how long a paint job will take, and how much paint you are going to use is accessable to everyone who is willing to research. However it is true that some jobs are difficult to estimate and can easily be underestimated.

A general rule is that a door and frame will take 1 hour to fill, sand, and paint one coat of paint. The same is true for a window.

A room measuring 10X12 feet could take about about 2 hours to cut in and 1hour to roll the walls. This is a generous estimate of time because when I used to paint apartments in the early part of my career, we were expected to paint two one bedroom apartments in one 8 hour day. One coat, adequate work, exhausted painter. You can still see this today, but don't expect to much quality.

Usually the room will have one window and one door plus a closet door. So if you're painting everything two coats the room could take you about 10 hours. Don't forget you have to get there, set up and then clean up plus the baseboards have to be painted also.

You must allow time for sundry stuff like moving furniture and washing brushes. The customer would like to avoid paying for this extra work but if you don't put it in the estimate then you are working for free. This, over time will affect your attitude and then your work. 

If you are a beginner in the painting business, exterior painting is a good way to start. I strongly recommend finding a good tradesman and spending as much time as possible working for them. Learning alone will get you reinforcing bad habits and you will never master this craft. Imagine learning the guitar and never hearing anybody else play, same thing.

In september 2010 paint stores will be asked to comply with the next laws concerning low VOC paints.

2012 bring yet another set of laws designed to bring down the amount of VOC's used in paint.

How will this affect you and me? Paint will cost a little more and be different to use. It might not last as long on the exterior but technology is changing at a rapid rate so maybe something better will come out of all this.

I have just completed a job using the new Benjamin Moore "Cabinet Coat" I was not impressed, and found the paints adhesion was not that great and it wasn't as hard as the old Melamine. In fact I had to redo the cabinet doors with Melamine to make sure they would stand up to ordinary use. Iv'e also had issues with so other low VOC paints, I hope the paint companies will address this.

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