The speed with which a painter can complete the job will determine its final cost, but time is difficult to estimate. Some painters have more experience and cover a wall faster, but some are more methodical and take more time. Most painters should be able to cover about 100 to 120 square feet of flat surface in an hour, unless they are working on a very large wall. Wood or plaster might reduce that amount to 80 to 100 square feet. You should also consider the time required for a first coat to dry before a second coat may be applied. This will add time as well -- anywhere from one to 48 hours depending on the paint.
Unless you like textured walls, don't paint over dust. Wash the walls with trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a mild cleaner, like Jasco's TSP No-Rinse Substitute. For smoke-stained walls, Toto uses a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. To clean a wall, use two buckets. Load up your rag or sponge from your cleaning-solution bucket, and scrub. Before redipping, rinse the sponge in a second bucket filled with clean water.
There are permanent features of the home that have their own colors which cannot be changed when painting the exterior of the home but can have a dramatic satisfaction level that is experienced when the painting is completed. Roofing shingles, paving blocks, concrete surfaces, stones and other such features are prime examples of the colors that should be considered when selecting your exterior color scheme for the home. Homeowners can work off of these colors to make a home that looks uniform and luxurious when the exterior painting is complete.
Every home has details that can be accentuated for amazing looking visual appeal and first impressions. The key is to not make the wrong details stand out. Entryways, windows, shutters and other details on the home can be painted to make their design noticeable. However features such as gutters, downspouts, external air conditioning systems, unevenly proportioned windows and protruding garage doors should not be completed to draw attention to them as this will provide a negative results.
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Even if you go it alone, specialize to keep your initial investment low. If you do only interior painting, for example, you might get by with one ladder, a few brushes, rollers, basic hand tools and such, for an investment of less than $300. Again, you can add to your tools as you need to (every job is a bit different), and parlay profits into the equipment necessary for exterior painting or working on large commercial properties.