Thursday, June 19, 2014

Preparing a wall for red paint, save money by being prepared before hiring a painter

I was hired to paint a couple of bedrooms and have been spending the last couple of weeks trying to get the first room finished. It's taking me awhile since I can't be there everyday and because I'm painting it red (to be explained). This room is 10' x 13' with 8' ceilings and it has taken me 12 hours......12 hours to complete!! Typically, a room this size takes me four hours total, from start to finish, it takes me two hours to paint the first coat, I leave it to dry overnight and return the next day to paint the second coat, which takes me two hours. 

I thought this would be a good post to write to talk about two things......painting a room red, and what to do to make this a pleasant experience for the painter (me) and to save your client a bit of money.

First of all, red is one of the hardest colors to paint. I mean, if you don't prime the walls first you will be painting forever, it is hard to get good coverage if you don't prime first. I am not an expert on paint, but I have been painting for forty years so I think I do know a few things. I told my client to get a primer tinted red, but I did tell her to talk to the clerk at the store to see what they recommend, I wanted to cover my bum:) The clerk told her she needed a gray primer, so she bought the gray primer. Well, two coats of primer and three coats of red paint later, the room is finally finished. Like I said, I'm no expert so if you ever need to paint a room red you need to experiment a little. 

The next thing I want to talk about, how to save money if you are going to hire someone to come in and paint for you. Clear the room, clean dried goo off the walls, fill nail holes, vacuum the floors, dust the baseboards. If your painter has to do these things to get a nice paint job it's going to add to the cost of the job. 

Clear the room: The job goes a lot quicker if the painter doesn't have to constantly move the furniture from side to side to get the ladder to the area to be painted. Less clutter means there will less likely be a terrible accident (spilling paint on the floor because you have to be super careful while navigating through the clutter) If the bed must stay in the room, put it in the center so the painter doesn't have to move it. And please take the bedding off, they would hate to have the roller spatter paint on the bedding.

Clean goo off walls: If there is something spilled on the walls it will show up if it's not cleaned off. You will have a nice big stain on your freshly painted walls.

Fill nail holes: This is the perfect time to fill any holes that you have, you will be glad you did, your walls will look like brand new. I will share in another post how I fill nail holes so you can't see polka dots on your walls:)

Vacuum the floors: I had to paint the baseboards red too and it would be a lot easier to do if the floors were vacuumed. Any fuzz or hair will no doubt get painted right into the woodwork if it's not vacuumed up first.

Dust the baseboards: (See vacuum the floors:)

Please, if you are going to hire someone to paint for you, be courteous and be prepared. And do your homework on primers before you paint a red room. Be prepared to pay a little more for the time it takes to prepare the walls for red paint. And it makes sense to me that if you tinted the primer red, chances are you wouldn't need to paint the room five times! And there is also paint that has primer in it so it would eliminate the primer steps altogether. 


  1. Hope you don't mind a little input on the gray primer as this is what I have learned over the years. In the paint industry it is recommended to prime with gray tinted primer when you are using strong colors. That's what we are taught at our paint seminars.So I understand why the clerk sold your client that. We actually have 3 three formulas of gray--one for lighter strong colors, one for medium strong colors and one for dark like the one you painted.You see to get a red primer==(unless of course there is a pre-mixed red primer available out there somewhere) there is not enough room in the can for all the colorant to make it red-it usually turns out pink of some kind plus the red colorants are the most expensive of all and it is not cost effective. (our red and magenta colorants run close to $50.00 per quart).

    It has been extremely funny in the paint industry for these past years dealing with the paint in the primer issue. Yes they sell it--but even Valspar our paint company isn't thrilled with the idea.(They had to market it to stay competitive with the other paint companies) Usually,straight primer is cheaper to buy than the paint and primer in one (because of the multiple coats required and --also the primers are made specifically for sealing. One thing to consider when using the paint and primer is your final sheen level of your paint. If you are using a higher sheen--you will not acheive that true level with paint and primer in one. It works fine for flat or very low sheen levels of paint plus you do not achieve the level of durability or scrubbability for the higher sheens.

    Over the years I have sold paint I have always made sure my customer knows what to expect with reds, yellows and the paint and primer in one. Being a retailer it is our job to educate them---It is a hard job to do somedays because afterall---paint is just paint right!!! Not! You know that from all your experience over the years and its professionals like yourself that help teach. Keep up the good work!! "keep rolling"!!! LOL

  2. Lol! Deb where have you been all my life and why the heck didn't I talk to YOU about this in the first place! Lol! I did have a red tinted primer when we moved into this house and it was a deep red, and it did a fantastic job under my red paint. I guess that's why I told my client to get a red tinted primer. I knew that gray primer is what is recommended under reds, I had no idea there was a different gray for certain reds. And I have always been leery of the paint/primer combo/ I've used it but not certain if it works any better than just using straight paint. This issue has always confused me, guess I should have talked to you sooner on this matter!! Now I will know what to expect if this happens again:) thank you my friend!

    1. I forgot to add that my contractor ordered my red primer, it was mixed in a 5 gallon bucket so they probably had plenty of room......but that probably cost us a pretty penny! Thanks again Deb, you just educated my readers on primers for red paint!

  3. Anonymous5:53:00 PM

    Jared has one red wall in his bedroom here, Rhonda and Deb. Oh, how I wish I had talked to you before taking that on! I really don't think I'd EVER paint a room a saturated color like that again.
    The room you just finished is gorgeous, Rhonda. I wish you lived closer...boy, would I have a job for you! :)

    1. Red is not my favorite color to paint to say the least! It's a tough color and your painting for an eternity!! Deb is the expert here, her & Randy own hardware stores in Manson and Rockwell City, Iowa. She answered my questions on primer/red paint. Should have asked her BEFORE I painted this room:P


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