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Special Report 27: How to paint your house like a professional - Electronic Edition

Special Report 27: How to paint your house like a professional - Electronic Edition
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Author: Mark A. Smith
[This is the Special Report 27 in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Our electronic products download immediately to your computer upon purchase.]

We saved $8,500 painting the inside of our house, but we learned the hard way that it can take a great deal of time. Here are the steps to follow, and the materials and tools to buy to do it efficiently. Six pages revised and updated with new reader tips, web links and comments.

Topics include:

  • Supplies and equipment rentals
  • Prep work
  • Effects of spray painting
  • Safety precautions
  • 80% DIY savings
  • Immaculate surface preparation and cleaning
  • Day labor for unskilled tasks
  • Synthetic stucco
  • Prefinished HardiPanels

Excerpt from Report:

"...Big Savings

Like any of the trades we performed ourselves on the Riverbottoms House, we were driven to painting the house by financial necessity. Estimates for painting a 3,500 square foot custom home were running around $10,000 when we built. We thought we could do the job for a thousand or two. Altogether we spent about $1,500 on materials, tools, rental, and professional help. The $8,500 we saved is a source of pride and made a big difference in our construction budget.

We also felt that we got good quality by doing it ourselves. For instance, we used Benjamin Moore high gloss paint for our woodwork, possibly the best trim paint money can buy. We not only sprayed, we rolled most of our house, creating generally better saturation and durability in wall coverage. We went to extra trouble, applying three tones of paint, flat ceilings, eggshell walls, and glossy trim. We even three-toned the entire garage.

We would do it again, (especially now that we own all the tools) but we warn the first-timer that it's much more work than we realized. It took us 650 hours to do the job. Much of the work was sheer drudgery. For instance, we found that our finish carpenters had set their nail gun improperly, and we had to set all the finish nails by hand, tapping them in deeper and spackling the hole. There must have been 10,000 of those nails! All of that meant sanding and smoothing until our fingers were raw.

The goopy, messy job of caulking is substantial as well. We used about 20 tubes of painter's caulk filling in cracks, seams, and irregularities. We got on our backs and caulked up under the trim beneath each windowsill, for instance. It takes hours, and many times we had to redo our spackle or caulk to get it right.

When you are in the midst of a construction project with a deadline, and with the interest clock ticking on your loan, it is hard to fit in 650 hours of work. If you knock yourself out and work 65 hours a week, it still takes 10 weeks to get it done. The $8,500 savings was important to us, but dear bought..."

Sample Reader Tip Excerpts:

“My mom’s house is 934 s.f. with a full basement. We built it for $80,000 or $85 a foot. We only did staining and painting, cleanup, dealing with the bank, purchasing, and running errands. As much as you can do, i.e. sanding, painting, plastering, taping, drywalling, finishing your own floors, will save you a bundle. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to do these things; you just need the will to save money. It wasn’t long ago, within the last 100 years, where you had to have these skills or you slept in a cave. Besides, you’ll really feel good about yourself when it’s all done!”
Phillip & Cindy S.
Spencer, NY

“We hired a painter, but he was too busy, so he sent over two guys, probably in the process of getting their license, who agreed to the work, and a max. of hours at $8 an hour. Total job $1,200 for labor, and they buy the paint, while estimates to paint ran about $10,000 for the same house.”
Thomas & Joanie L.
Heber City, UT

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