Monday, November 11, 2013

Step 30 - Interior Caulking & Painting

Caulking and painting on the inside follows Step 29 - Interior Trim.  My budget and schedule determines weather I do this scope myself or if I sub it out.  No two jobs are alike for me in any way and Step 30 is the same...sometimes I paint a little and sometimes a lot.

After years working with experienced painters I've learned enough that I can fake it as a painter when necessary.  I can save you a lot of time by passing on what I've learned pretty quickly and you can use these tips as a good starting point if you're new to home renovating.

DAP ALEX PLUS
Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone
White 10.1oz. cartridge

Caulking - Less Is More
Caulk makes the paint job look perfect.  I'm not a master carpenter, but caulk can make me look much more skilled than I actually am.  That's just the way it is.  I always use the DAP Alex Plus shown on the right.  I keep a wet rag hanging over my shoulder as I go and I just do small amounts (not more than 20 ounces) at a time.  You have to be ready to get a little messy when you caulk.  You're going to need to use your finger to push the caulk into the joints and smooth things out before it dries.  The caulk will dry fast enough that you need to keep falling back so it doesn't start to set before you have a chance to neaten it up.

As a rule, I juggle the caulking and painting in Step 30 so I'm working an area I caulked earlier (and preferably the day before) so it's totally dry when I hit the area with the paint. 

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
Primer - Sealer - Stain Killer
Painting - Keep it Simple
I've tried sprayers, rollers, and countless gadgets to help me paint, but I've grown to not make it harder than it needs to be.  I use only a few different sized brushes, painter's tape, and a standard sized roller.  I prefer Zinsser 1-2-3 for primer and for a lot of my white trim.  Like the Alex Caulk, the Z123 is Interior/Exterior and water based...so it's practical.  You may find or have something else you prefer, but if you're looking for a starting point for painting raw wood white, grab up a gallon of the paint shown to the left and get to work.  For me, it's the stuff. 

I always keep the interior wall colors simple - nothing too bright or exotic.  This creates the look I'm after and I find it to be more practical than lots of colors.  With white trim, I like to do a soft beige on the walls and I'm in the habit of using ceiling paint for the closets, pantry, and laundry room. Painters charge more when you use an array of colors and I get why because it adds time and cost in the form of wasted paint. 

Also, as far as paint finish, I use satin.  Eggshell shows marks too easily and glossy is hard to touch up in small sections.  As far as paint manufacturers go, I use Sherman Williams more than anything else.   I have an account there and they give me a little discount, but they have locations all over plus they have a great product and service that I've found, matches their reputation.     

Finally, a paint contractor stressed to me how important clean up is early on in my career.  This advice has served me well.  So in Step 30, I'm in the habit of rinsing out the caulking rag frequently and cleaning my paint brushes and roller tray right after I'm done.  Just get into a groove of keeping your paint gear clean and this will save you a lot of time and money over the course of your rehab.

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