4 Factors To Consider When Painting Your Home

One of the quickest and most effective ways to update your home’s look is giving it a fresh coat of paint. But different rules apply for exterior and interior work, and you want to be careful to do the job right for an even, long-lasting finish. There are 4 main factors to consider when repainting your home: the type of paint, sheen, timing your project, and the necessary tools for the best result.


The Type of Paint Matters

Outdoor paint is designed to be weather-resistant, and it’s a must if you are redoing your home’s exterior. There are two major sub-groups of paint: water-based and oil-based. You can paint over a water-based paint with oil, but you will need a primer when painting a water-based paint over an oil-based.

Water-based paints include latex and acrylic. Latex performs best when applied at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise the end results are streaky and it is less weather-resistant. It is, however, a fast-drying, fragrance-free, and environmentally-friendly paint. 100% Acrylic Latex is the best option for a splatter-proof, evenly applied paint with long-lasting color and sheen. Because it is so flexible, acrylic is a good choice for materials like stucco, siding, and wood that are subject to slight size variations caused by temperature changes.

Alkyd. An oil-based paint, preferred by contractors using a spray-tool because it is weather and stain-resistant, retains color, and has a beautiful finish. However, since it is oil-based, it takes much longer to dry and has a distinct chemical smell. This paint performs better in colder climates, since too much UV compromises the compound. You will need paint thinner when using oil-based paint.

While oil-based paint have the best adhesion, water-based give even the most amateur painters some leeway with touch-ups and coverage. Latex paint is extremely crack-resistant, and a 100% acrylic latex is the most hard-wearing option for typical outdoor surfaces.

Indoor painting is much less dependent on external factors. Water and oil-based paints will both work well, although alkyd paint is better when working on a surface with several layers of previously applied oil-paint.


The Right Sheen Matters

Color is purely a personal choice, but selecting sheen is also a practical matter. There are 5 levels of sheen (gloss) to choose from:

Flat – Matte finish, non-reflective, hides imperfections best, difficult to remove stains

Eggshell – Slightly higher sheen than flat but washable, good for high-traffic areas

Satin – Popular finish, durable, washable, slight gloss

Semi-Gloss – Stain resistant, good option for bathrooms, kitchens, woodwork, and trim

High-Gloss – Most durable, best for trim and cabinets, highlights surface (and imperfections)

Trim work, cabinets, furniture, doors and windows look great with a satin to high-gloss finish which bring attention to beautiful wood grain or paint color while being the most durable and washable sheens. Ceilings are best done in a flat finish, while an eggshell or satin gloss is well suited for living spaces.


When You Paint Matters

The best time to paint the exterior of your house is in good weather conditions and moderate temperatures. For most areas this means in spring or fall, but you are really waiting for the ideal temperature range to stay between 50° to 85° F. This is especially important when working with latex paint, whose protective abilities are compromised when applied in lower temperatures. Oil-based paint already takes longer to dry and will not do well when applied in extremely high temperatures.

Do not paint immediately after rain, before the morning dew has evaporated off, or during a period of extreme humidity. You want the surface to be bone dry before applying paint or it will not adhere well.

Some professional painters will not paint during the winter at all since outdoor conditions are not favorable for the best end result. Consult a local contractor about their schedule if you are not comfortable guessing when to schedule repainting your home’s exterior

Weather is less of a factor when painting inside, although you want to consider drying times and your family’s needs before undertaking certain projects. Oil-based paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which some people have allergies to. Moreover, some paints have fumes that make a room inhabitable until the paint is dry.


The Tools You Use for Painting Matter

Whether inside or outside, you need to prep the surface. For exterior surfaces, the goal is to find and fill any holes, cracks, or rot. Use all-purpose powder filler for masonry and repair rot damage to wooden surfaces with a word filler repair. Use a stiff brush to clean debris, dust, and any growth from the walls. When working with exposed pipes, strip the metal pipe of existing paint before repainting, and apply two coats of primer to plastic pipes before doing a new coat.

Inside, move out furniture and put down drop cloth or some kind of protection for the floors. As with outside, you want to identify and fix holes and cracks. Sand and wipe down the surface to be painted. Tape off sections to protect edges and trim.

You can use a roller brush or spray tool depending on your budget and preference. A ladder is useful for interior and exterior projects. Have several paint trays, roller refills, canvas, and small brushes for detail work on hand.



Painting your house can increase its value, improve your home’s aesthetics, and better protect the house’s walls from damage. You can trust Responsible Contractors to help you find the right contractor for your project. We enthusiastically recommend any one of our professionals found in our directory at: https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/painting_contractor.html/.


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