Diamond Certified Experts: Pro Painting Tips

by James Florence


Planning for a painting project? Get a head start with some tips from the pros. Photo: Mike Chavez Painting ©2021

Are you getting ready for a home painting project? Whether you’re choosing a new interior color scheme, repainting the exterior or just making a few touch-ups, you can benefit from professional advice. We asked several Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the painting industry to share their best tips.

Yefim Skomorovsky
Owner, Classic Shades Painting Co.
Choosing a Color Scheme
A common technique for choosing paint colors is using a “monochromatic color scheme,” which consists of various shades of a single hue. To add further intrigue to a monochromatic color scheme, consider introducing a complementary color (a totally different color that pairs nicely with your primary hue).

Mike Chavez
President, Mike Chavez Painting
Touching Up With Leftover Paint
Before using leftover paint to do touch-ups, open the can and inspect it. Stir it up—does it still have a fluid consistency, or does it look lumpy or dried out? Does it smell normal or does it have a foul odor like rotten eggs? If the consistency or smell of the paint is off, you should get a new can.

Cleve Dayton
Owner, The Painting Pros
Painting Your Ceiling
An often-overlooked aspect of painting a room is its “fifth wall”: the ceiling. Typically, it’s best to keep your ceiling color light, as this will make your room appear larger. If you have crown molding, rather than painting your ceiling white, consider doing a half or three-quarters formula of your wall color to add variation.

Daniel Morra
President, Innovation Painting Plus
Paint Additives
When it comes to painting, specific conditions in the home environment may call for additional protection in the form of an additive. For example, if you live in an area that’s prone to mold, you can put an additive in the paint that will make the surface less vulnerable to mold growth.

Shawn Park
General Manager, T & J Painting
Choosing a Paint Sheen
When choosing a paint sheen, remember that some are more maintenance-friendly than others. For example, a flat-sheen surface isn’t very receptive to cleaning and can actually get damaged if you attempt to scrub off stains. In contrast, low-luster sheens like satin and eggshell are both durable and easily washable.

Ken Slosarik
Owner, El Gato Painting & Restoration, Inc.
The Importance of Priming
Primer and paint work as a team: The primer gives the paint a clean, stable surface to stick to, while the paint provides pigment and ultraviolet protection. Before applying primer, prepare the surface by using sandpaper to scrape off any old paint. Once the area is sanded and clean, you’re ready to prime.

Eva Kissova
Owner, Kiss Painting
Paint Color Selection
Even if you choose a simple color scheme for your home, there are ways to give it some unique character. For example, if you’re painting your house green with a cream-colored trim, consider painting the front door an elegant accent color. Small touches like this can allow you to make a statement with your home’s color scheme.

Soumil Amin
Owner, CertaPro Painters of Berkeley
Lead-Safe Paint Preparation
Whenever there’s a chance of lead being present in a home’s existing wall paint, it’s important to take proper precautions before repainting. One critical lead-safe method is called wet-sanding. Using a mister to wet areas prior to sanding them will cause any dust particles to end up on the ground rather than in the air.

Ilan Sigura
Owner, Sigura Pro Painting
Saving Money With House Painting
Time is money when it comes to hiring a painting contractor, which means anything you can do to simplify the job can reduce your final bill. For example, if you take down art and remove furniture from the rooms that are being painted, you’ll save your painters time and keep their services within your budget.

Jared Cuevas
President, Bay-Valley Painting, Inc.
Maintaining Your House Paint
A good way to extend the lifespan of your house paint is to keep it clean. Two proactive measures are keeping your gutters clean in winter and power washing your home exterior once a year. Also, to avoid deterioration, don’t wait too long to repaint. Typically, a home should be repainted every seven to 10 years.

Joe Sabel
Owner, J & J’s Final Coat Painting, Inc.
Choosing a Paint Product
A common misconception about house paint is that quality comes down to brand. However, while major manufacturers like Kelly-Moore and Sherwin-Williams make excellent products, they also make cheap, starter-grade paints that don’t perform as well, so make sure you’re getting a high-grade product.

Lee Dido
Owner, Wine Country Painters, Inc.
Interior Painting Tip
When painting with different colors on neighboring walls and ceilings, a good way to get cleaner lines is with caulking. Applying a bead of caulking into the seam between two sections (for example, where the ceiling meets the wall) provides a smooth surface for cutting in with your paint, resulting in a straight line.

Dean Knecht
Owner, Dean Knecht Painting, Inc.
Painting Your Front Door
When painting your front door, the paint can take a long time to fully dry, which can be a problem if you need to leave your house. Here’s an easy solution: Rub Vaseline® along the edges of the weather stripping that come into contact with the door. When you close the door, this will keep the paint from sticking to these areas.

Jay Furlong
CEO, Stanford Painting, Inc.
Paint Surface Preparation
Before paint can be applied to an exterior surface, it needs to be clean and ready for application. Surface preparation consists of several steps, including treating any mold, mildew or dry rot; power washing the entire structure; scraping off old paint; and power sanding to smooth down the surface.

Joel Gruber
Gruber Painting
Custom Paint Formulation
When choosing paint colors for your home, you don’t have to choose a color that already exists or settle for a shade that doesn’t quite match your existing paint. Visit your local paint store or hire a painting contractor to receive custom color formulation and color matching services. 

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