When you have built a new home one of the biggest costs savings you can make is to paint the interior of the house yourself. The amount you will save is dependent on the size of your home and the quality of paint you use, but can be anywhere from $2000 to $6000.
So now that you have decided you are going to paint your new house yourself, how do you go about it?
Step 1: Figure out how much paint you will need
Since your home is freshly built, you will no doubt have access to your house plans. If this is the case you can simply take your plans to your local paint shop and they will be able to figure out the total area for painting.
If you don’t have your house plans then you will need to measure the height and width of the walls in every room that needs painting. You will also need to measure the length and width of the ceiling in every room. You can then input your measurements into this handy paint calculator from Bunnings.
Note that since you are painting porous, previously unpainted walls, you will require 20% more paint than the above calculator suggests.
Step 2: Figure out your paint finish and colours
Colour is a very personal thing and getting it wrong can be an expensive exercise. Make full use of the expertise your local paint store has to offer and when in doubt, use neutral paint colours. You can then brighten up the room with things like cushions, rugs and paintings.
When it comes to paint finishes we generally suggest a satin finish for walls as it is low sheen (doesn’t show little imperfections) but washable. In wet rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms and the laundry we suggest a gloss finish as it is durable, copes well with humidity and is easily washed. For the ceilings you would use a ceiling paint that is flat as it will cover the little lumps and bumps (that ceilings generally have) very nicely.
Step 3: Preparation
This is probably the most important part of the job if a professional standard finish is what you are after. But it is also the step most people usually skimp on. Make sure all little holes and dings in the surface are filled and then sanded smooth.
Once this is done you then need to wash down the walls with a sugar soap solution. A sponge mop allows this job to be done quickly and easily.
Finally, cover your floors with drop sheets (cloth drop sheets are best) and tape up all window and door frames, light switches and power outlets. It is best to use a special painter’s tape for this job to ensure the tape doesn’t take paint with it when peeled off.
Step 4: Priming
Use a good quality primer a shade or two lighter than your final wall colour. The primer will both seal the new surface and allow the final paint colour to stick to the wall better.
Step 5: Painting
Finally we are at the ‘pay-off’ stage of the job, the bit where your rooms will be brought to life and will seem ‘finished’. Bunnings has a great ‘how to paint a wall’ video here that covers the mechanics of actually painting so we thought we’d share our top tips to achieve a professional result with you
- Start at the top – start with ceilings and cornices so that if any paint drips down, it won’t be dripping on the final wall colour
- Try and paint one wall at a time to avoid painting over an area that has already started to dry (as this avoids any obvious overlapping)
- Always do at least two proper coats. Darker colours might need three coats to ensure an even colour is achieved.
- Use good quality paint, brushes and rollers – cheap brushes drop hairs everywhere, cheap rollers don’t give an even finish and cheap paint will not stand the test of time.
- Don’t rush – painting an entire house is a big job so give yourself plenty of time.