Read the story, from Paint-Prep to the Final Topcoat: CraftPro Painting of a Morristown NJ Home with High Ceilings & Windows in a Stairwell with Wainscoting. The Open First Floor Living-Dining Room & Kitchen were also Painted, stained Shoe Molding was Primed and Painted to Match the Base Molding, plus More Renovations.
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Interior Home Painting, Morristown NJ 07960: High Ceilings in an Open Floor Plan & Stairwell with Wainscoting
This interior painting project, like all of our house painting renovations, was performed to the highest standards of quality and durability. We provided a comprehensive warranty against normal wear-and-tear for FIVE long years. These Morristown homeowners know that, for the next half of a decade, if any part of our paint job doesn’t hold up then they can call us and we will come back and fix it for free. We’re sure that our paint job will last longer than five years because we know how to perform paint jobs that last: we pay attention to details, we perform thorough preparatory work and we don’t cut corners (click here for more about our house painting practices).
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Table of Contents: Job Description & Photos
- Preparatory Work: Spackle, Sanding, Caulk, etc.
- Paint Brands, Colors & Finishes Used
- Painting Process, Our Techniques, etc.
- Photo Gallery: Before and Afters
- Do You Need a Professional House Painter?
Planning the Paint Job
Before we got started, this Morristown NJ home had one bold color painted on two walls in the kitchen area of the open-concept floorplan. That accent color works beautifully with the furniture, cabinets and other features of the home. But the rest of the common living areas throughout the home were in need of a fresh paint job. The walls throughout the living room, dining room and the two-story stairwell had an off-white/cream paint that was not appealing to the homeowners. They wanted to add some color to the rest of their home. Beyond that, the walls also had a few imperfections: some damage to the drywall that needed repair, as well as some scuffs and a couple stains. The long stairwell, with its high ceilings and tall walls, is accented with beautiful white wainscoting (wood paneling and molding) which also needed some caulking and touchup painting. The walls in the stairwell were in the same semi-worn condition and the same color as the main floor walls. The plan was to apply a paint color on the walls in the stairwell that would create more of a contrast with the bright white wainscoting. Finally, the basemolding throughout the first floor needed painting. The molding was white, while the shoe-molding (that’s the small piece of quarter-round trim installed on the wood floors at the bottom of the base-molding) was stained wood. For a more uniform look, the homeowners wanted the shoe-molding and the base-molding to be the painted the same white color. Below is a list of the steps we took to prepare walls, ceilings and woodwork (molding, casing around doors and windows, etc.) for painting.
Interior House Painting Work in Morris County
Our Painting Techniques and Why They Lead to Durable and Beautiful Paint Jobs
Our Meticulous Interior Home Painting Prep & Surface Repair Practices
The most important part of achieving beautiful and durable painting projects is performing thorough preparatory work, and we meticulously prepared every surface of this home before touching a can of paint. To learn more, read my “how-to” for interior house painting preparatory work. In this painting project we prepared by:
- Sanding: We used coarse sandpaper (100-grit) and scraping tools to sand and scrape every square inch of the walls and ceilings to remove dirt and contaminants, smooth the existing paint, and reveal any wall damage. Sanding also provides “tooth”, meaning that it scuffs the surface and makes new primer and/or paint adhere better. Sanding the trim is important because glossy paint finishes (like Satin, Pearl, Semi-Gloss, etc.) need to be scuffed and dulled before being painted. In this paint job we had to sand the stained-wood shoe-molding to remove as much of the clear-coat and stain as possible before applying primer.
- Spackling: After sanding all the walls and ceilings we noticed all the dents, scratches, holes and bumps from popped drywall nails and raised drywall seams. We fixed all major imperfections and sanded all spackle in an effort to achieve glass-smooth walls and ceilings.
- Caulking: After we cleaned the dust from the sanding we applied acrylic latex caulk around all the molding, wainscoting, and trim (doors, windows, base-molding, etc.). We didn’t only apply it where cracks were visible, we applied it to every seam. Over time, hairline cracks occur in the seams so caulking them prevents these cracks from forming for years to come.
- Priming: We applied an oil-based stain-blocking primer on the shoe-molding so we could paint it with latex paint. This is done so that the existing stain on the wood doesn’t rise to the surface and cause discoloration of the topcoat. We also spot-primed some stained areas with the oil primer.
- Walls and ceilings, trim and moldings, wainscoting: sanding, spackling, caulking, priming. This home is now ready to be painted!
Interior Paint Products
Achieving a high quality interior paint job isn’t as simple as brushing and rolling paint onto walls and woodwork. By executing thorough preparatory work we have walls, ceilings and woodwork that are ready to be painted. If we use a quality interior paint then it will adhere very well and last for years and years to come. So using a quality paint product is extremely important. Not all paints are created equal, and we professional painters have a saying: “There’s nothing more expensive than cheap paint”. Inferior paint products don’t cover as well, so you’ll need more of it. They aren’t as durable so you’ll have to repaint sooner than you should. A big part of the reason we warranty our paint jobs for so many years is because we’re confident in the quality of the paint products we use. In this project we used BM’s interior paint “Regal Select” for the walls and woodwork. It just so happens that these homeowners had used that paint before, and they shared my enthusiasm for the product. It’s always easier to work for knowledgeable homeowners.
“Regal Select offers the premium performance and smooth application you’ve come to expect from our classic paint, with the added benefits of cutting-edge new technologies. Thanks to our proprietary waterborne resins and zero VOC colorants, Regal Select is both a paint and primer in one advanced formula.” – Benjamin Moore (Regal Select Info)
All finishes of Regal Select provide a mildew-resistant coating. The trim around the doors and windows, the base-molding and the wainscoting were all painted white in a ‘Pearl’ finish. It has a satin-like sheen and is slightly less shiny than Semi-Gloss. It covers well and it provides a durable finish: it can be washed and cleaned without fading. For the walls we used Regal Select in a ‘Matte’ finish. They chose a popular Benjamin Moore color: Manchester Tan (click to pop-up a small swatch). For the ceilings we used Ricciardi’s brand ceiling paint. Ricciardi’s is a local paint store franchise here in NJ and they manufacture their own line of paints. Their paint formula is very similar Benjamin Moore’s, and so is the quality. As far as ceiling paint goes, Ricciardi’s brand paint has never let us down. Excellent coverage and durability.
Two coats of paint were applied to the walls, ceilings, moldings, trim and casings. It’s always best to use multiple light coats rather than fewer heavy coats: it provides a better-looking as well as a more durable paint finish. We also lightly sand between coats of paint with very fine (220-grit) sandpaper to help with the adhesion and brilliance of the topcoat finish. Painting Technique Tip: Sick of seeing brush strokes? Try three things: a highrt quality brush, slower-drying paint, and using a mini-roller that’s lightly saturated to rolls over your brush strokes. This will ensure that orange-peel finish. If you’ve read this far you deserve a painting trade tip. If you’re like me, seeing visible brush strokes drives you crazy. It disrupts the flow of the finish. There’s a way to eliminate brush strokes. We paint one wall at a time after the ceilings and trim are painted. When we paint the perimeters with a brush (“cutting-in”), we use a small three-inch roller over the brushed paint white it’s still wet. Making sure the roller is lightly saturated with paint, we roll as close to the perimeter as possible. This removes the brush strokes and provides that “orange-peel”-looking finish from corner to corner. Also important to remember: the more shiny the paint finish, the more important it is to keep a wet edge while painting. Letting the paint dry will produce visible lap-marks. For the most brilliant interior painting finishes, paint one wall at a time and always keep a wet edge.
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I’m Richard J. D’Angelo, founding owner-operator of CraftPro Contracting and author of this post. My brother (Michael D’Angelo) and I performed this Morristown NJ house painting project, and we are at every home improvement job every day. We take great pride in serving residents of our community. Check out CraftPro on Google+ and our online community of home improvement, maintenance and renovation professionals to learn more about home improvements, house painting, and more.