Don’t Ruin Great Remodel with Bad Painting

The decision to build a home or do a remodel project in your home is a big one. There is a lot of expense involved, and a lot of time and effort on your part. Don’t let a bad paint job ruin the final product.

High priced construction is devalued by poor paint jobs. A kitchen and dining remodel, for instance, will cost tens of thousands of dollars. You will be selecting new cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, flooring and appliances, each of which has their own hefty price tag. Painting of the walls and trim will also need to be done, but the cost of this compared to some of the other items may seem small.

Unfortunately I see it all the time – people think painting is painting, and every paint job is the same. So what do they do? They choose the lowest price. Why not – it’s like buying gas, right? Wrong! Let’s face it, to do it right it takes time, and time costs money. The good news, if you pay to have it done right, you will not have to paint again for a long, long, time!


painting bad

A poor masking job on some nice crown molding isn't doing this homeowner any favors.

On interior painting work my experience is that prep work is the main driver of costs. Filling nail holes, sanding them, priming and doing this a second time is often critical to getting that finish look we demand. Unfortunately that low bidder is not usually prepared to do this. Make sure you know exactly what prep work is being done, and what the final finish to look like. Get it in writing.

As for sheen, on the interior I prefer flat on the ceilings and a velvet or eggshell on the wall. If you are doing a remodel and there are patches in the ceiling don’t consider anything but flat. Flat paint will hide irregularities in the surface, whereas the shinier the surface the more light that will be reflected … and consequently the more irregularities that will be visible. I have had people tell me how they can match the color sheen exactly or that their drywall person can make any ceiling repair match – but I have never actually met the person that can make this happen. Save yourself the trouble, flat paint for ceilings.


On the exterior the application is the main driver of cost. Prep work is important, but the primer and finish coat and how they are applied is the main difference that I see in cost. Are you getting one coat of paint or two? Is it only being sprayed on or is it being back brushed or rolled as well. We always apply two coats of paint and back brush the first. While it takes us about 30% longer to paint the home than the “spray and pray” applications, the paint job lasts at least two to three times as long as the typical spray application. And it looks better immediately.

Back brushing and rolling is especially critical when applying paint to real wood with knots or rough surfaces. Spraying alone just doesn’t work. It does not fill the voids in the surface that brushing and rolling will. And doing this right ultimately leads to a longer life span of the paint job and the home it is protecting. Also, what type of paint is being used and what is the paint guarantee. Get it all in writing!

The sheen for exterior should be satin or velvet for the body, because it adds a nice glow and semi-gloss for the trim to provide some contrast.


One of the true tests of a successful addition to a home is that it looks like it is part of the original structure. Everything inside and out should flow seamlessly from the old into the new. If the exterior painting is not done right, the addition will stand out like a sore thumb to anyone driving by. In some cases a professional painter will be able to match the existing paint to maintain the continuity. But what I find most often true is that if it has been there a few years it will be necessary to repaint the entire house in order to avoid a mismatch in color tone.

Color Selection

For both the interior and the exterior painting of a remodel, color selection is going to be very important. It is very common to choose new color schemes when doing a remodel. Color trends change with time and most homeowners want to update their paint colors along with the other finishes. Painting stores usually have displays and sample boards with some of the latest color combinations. Trust a paint professionals or decorator to give you guidance in this area or read our story on how to choose a home paint color you will love.

There are plenty of ways to save money on your construction project, but cutting corners in the wrong place such as the painting can end up costing you more if it has to re-done.

If you’d like some help with painting or color selections for your interior remodel, let let us know at Fazzolari Custom Homes. Or, if you are painting the exterior of your home, consult the painting professionals at our new company, Salmon Creek Painting, in Vancover WA, and we’ll be happy to make an appointment to assist you. We offer a five year warranty on all our exterior painting, but that is easy to do with the correct application.

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