Another bonus that a reputable contractor will offer is free color try-on cans. This allows you to actually see the new paint color dried on your walls before starting the project. If you’re painting the exterior of your house, the contractor should first power wash your home to clean the surface of dirt and grime. If your painter doesn’t include this in his quote, he is skipping a very important preparation step.
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Keep in mind that color can impact the way a room appears in many ways. Light colors may help brighten a darker space. Cool colors will recede visually from the eye, and make a small space appear bigger. Warm colors contract visually, which can make larger spaces appear smaller or more cozy. Combining cool and warm tones in one room - like with accent walls - can visually change the shape of a room, making rectangles look more like squares.
For smoothing the edges of scraped spots here and there, you can wrap a piece of sandpaper around a wood block. For larger areas, it's less tiring and more effective to use an electric orbital sander. Move it up and down or back and forth across the surface to remove old paint and smooth rough edges at the same time. Don't use an electric disc sander or a belt sander. Both can leave swirls or dips in the wood that will show through a new coat of paint.
After getting married and buying a home last year, Rebecca Brown figured her high-school summers painting houses would make her new DIY project a piece of cake. She finished some ceilings, but a few days—and a whole lot of blue tape—later, she realized that she needed help with the walls. “Back when I was painting, we used off-white on everything,” Rebecca says. “I had no experience choosing or working with different colors and sheens.” So she wrote to Ask This Old House. That’s how Mauro Henrique, who has been the painting contractor on about a dozen This Old House TV projects, ended up at her house, coaching her through the steps of refreshing her dining room.