Painting My Home … Hiring a Pro?

Going to paint my home and wondering should I hire a professional?

Great question to answer.  I can only assume that you mean a licensed contractor versus a painter without a license.  The answer is YES.  You should hire a professional licensed painting contractor.  Answered by an Arizona Licenced Contractor.

Here are the reasons why.  There are numerous however the main reasons are the licensed painting contractor has documented the experience, insurance, liability and is held responsible for quality performance by the state they are working in.

One of the biggest overlooked issue with hiring a non-licensed painter is that the incredible liability the property owner faces.  If the person you hired uses a worker on your project or home and that person gets injured this liability lands directly on the property owners responsibility to pay the hospital bills.  A non-licensed painter cannot purchase workman’s compensation insurance without being a state licensed contractor.  That is also why their estimate may be a lot lower than a licensed contractor.

I have been in the contracting field for years and sometimes the non-licensed painter is as much a state licensed contractor.  With this scenario “Who is making more money, the licensed contractor paying all the liability and workers compensation insurance or the non-licensed painter”?

All in all the argument might be it’s all the same until someone gets hurt on the job.  Then the story gets really messy.

True story!  Hard one to write about however it is necessary to tell the story.  I knew of a painter (non-licensed) that I suggested that he get his state license.  The biggest reasons were that he had two employees working for him.  Thru the grapevine I heard that tragically one of his employees fell off a two-story roof and broke his neck and was in a coma for months.  That was a medical bill presented directly to the homeowner.  You can only imagine how costly that became for the homeowner.

My sincere suggestion is only to hire state-licensed painting contractors.

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Exterior Siding Bad Shape “Replace or Repair”?

Exterior siding that is in bad shape and should I replace it or can it be repaired?

Siding, for the most part, may have a lot of coats of ‘not so good paint’ applied on it and now it is peeling off in thick pieces.  However not all sides of the house are damaged, it is not peeling everywhere.  Can I still paint this bad looking wood?

YES!  At first look, it seems that it is everywhere however only one or two sides of the house contain most of the damage.

There is a magic product that I have been using for years with extraordinary success.  This product is “Peel Bond” high build primer manufactured by XIM, Rust-Oleum.

This product is amazing.  First, you need to power wash the siding with a fan tip, not a blaster round tip.  The strong round tip may blast faster, however, causes a lot of unnecessary damage.  After blasting with water will leave parts of the paint on the edge curled up and then you need to scrape off the excess loose paint.  Try to scrape as soon as possible while the paint is still wet and soft so as not to cause dust.  Note the age of your home needs to be addressed, 1978 or older.  It is possible that the old paint contains lead.  A booklet for safe handling of lead paint is published in a PDF Lead Booklet about lead handling.  Click on this link to open up this booklet.

Lead Booklet 1978

After reviewing this booklet you may be very frightened or alarmed however in my opinion the biggest danger is the dust caused by the sanding or rubbing of the old lead paint.  If precautions are followed in handling this issue, one can still be safe.

So back to the exterior siding.  After wet scraping the siding you will need to let the surface dry.  Then you can apply one or two coats of Peel Bond to seal up this old siding and even up the surface.  It may not look perfectly smooth however when you apply the finish low sheen water based finish you will see that the siding looks great again.

My northern Arizona paint company deals with these issues and you might want to view the site:


How Many Coats of Paint Is Necessary For A Good Job?

How many coats of paint is necessary for a really good job?

Side note!  This is a question I received in my comments from a viewer. Please send me your questions so I can answer them.  I do not reveal your name and any question is a good question if you want an answer.

Now to the answer.  Let’s speak to outside of the house.   The frank answer is “Only what is necessary to cover the existing sub-straight and make the house look good”.  That may be only one complete coverage.

If there is a drastic color change you might need two coats.  The first paint coat possibly mixed half and half with an exterior primer.  The primer is constructed to cover better in most cases.

There might be a one coat application method often called “Spray and backroll”.  This is where the painter will mask everything off on the house and spray liberally with the paint and then another painter with a roller will then roll the wet surface out even.  This pushes the paint into the nooks and crannies of sometimes very heavy texture or a not so good surface.

This method is often used to make a very porous surface evener.

Especially exterior paint should not be applied in excess because of the buildup that will make paint eventually peel.

As for applying excessive coats on the interior is not quite as much a problem because there are not the extreme temperatures inside as there are outside.  I still do not believe in applying more than the project requires for good coverage.  The same coverage issues apply inside, if the paint doesn’t look like it has covered in the first coat, another coat will be necessary for a professional look.

There are times that “Spot Priming” is used.  This is where there are parts of the paint areas that needed sanding or patching and these areas just need spot priming to allow the one coat finish application.

I have worked in homes that were more than a hundred years old and I looked at a cut profile of the trim molding and discovered the many layers of paint over the years and I am always amazed the surface is still looking perfect.

PS:  I understand about the old enamel paint may have contained lead.  I will answer that in a later blog to you.

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Why is my new enamel paint not sticking?

Why is my new enamel paint not sticking?

Even the best water base enamels today may not stick … “Right Away”.  Because there is a big difference between the condition of drying and curing.

Water base enamels may dry within an hour however it may take thirty days to fully cure.

Let’s take an example:  Painting kitchen cabinets.  You may clean, sand and prime the cabinets and then apply the water-based enamel to the shelves and cupboard doors and in six to eight hours the paint may scratch off.

Here is what is going on!  First, in kitchens and bathrooms, there is very little air circulation.  What makes things worse is sometimes you have taped off windows and doors with plastic for their protection.  This adds to the poor air circulation.

Second, you may have just applied the water base enamel without doing any prep even as little as washing with TSP and rinsing.

Answers:  Water base enamel needs to be prepped efficiently enough to STICK.  That means cleaning the surface, sanding if necessary for an uneven substrate, and possibly priming with a GOOD undercoating paint, appropriate for water base enamel.  With all that accomplished, paint with your water base enamel and after the paint has dried, about one hour, use a circulating fan in the room to accelerate the curing time for proper adhesion.

If you must close the cupboard doors before twenty-four hours use a little ‘Vaseline’ on the door stops.  This will dissipate later without removing it.

PS:  Heating a room to accelerate the drying of water-based enamel doesn’t help and sometimes will create humidity that will slow the curing time.  Proper circulation with a fan will work the best.

Hope this will help you understand water base enamel.  Many times a company selling a good quality water based enamel will get a ‘Bad Rap” for poor paint performance when it is a poor understanding of the proper preparation techniques and curing times.  I sometimes fault the paint companies for not properly explaining this potential adhesion problem to their customers.

Please let me know if you have any paint questions or paint related questions.  Just use the ‘Contact Me’ page to send direct questions to be answered.


How long does it take for paint to dry and cure?

Water-based paint:  Dry time one to two hours and Cure time thirty days.

Oil base paint:  Dry time four to eight hours and Cure time twenty days.

Milk paint and Chalk paint (calcium carbonate):  Dry time thirty minutes and Cure time thirty days.

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