Interior Painting - Bright ideas!
Of all the things you can do to your property to brighten it up and give it its highest value, painting stands head and shoulders above all of the other options. The return on investment from a coat of paint is far greater than anything imaginable. When in doubt, paint!
New carpet and interior paint are the cornerstones to a typical tenant turnover. They do not need to be done on every turnover — usually every 7 to 10 years depending on how the property has been cared for. But a fresh coat of paint can make even the dingiest room come alive and look fresh and clean!!
To roll or spray?
Every 7-10 years it is a good idea to give the whole unit a fresh coat of paint. Depending on the layout of the home, we will often mask everything and use a sprayer to save time and labor. Spraying works particularly well on vacant units, large homes, units that are going to be painted only one color, and/or units that are only partially finished. Spraying reduces the amount of cutting in of paint that is required.
But if it is a smaller job — maybe only 1 or 2 rooms or an apartment unit — then rolling the paint on is often easier and faster. Rolling is more precise, and will usually provide a higher quality end–product. But it is also more labor–intensive and can take longer than spraying.
There are two kinds of primer — latex and oil–based. The latex can be useful for lighter jobs when a primer is still needed to hide a color. But 90% of the time we default to oil—based primer. Oil primer is great for sealing in animal smells on floors or for covering over darkly–painted walls. The latex will require two or more coats whereas the oil is usually done with one coat of primer.
Remember to apply PVA (polyvinyl acetate) primer over new drywall and before texture to seal the drywall. Then you can apply your paint primer over the texture and joints.
Painting can be labor-intensive. One tried-and-true method for reducing cost is to touch up the home rather than give the inside a complete new paint job.
You will need a color card from the paint store to find a shade that most closely matches the existing paint. Be real sure about the match because once you buy specially formulated paint it is yours — no refunds.
The tenant has moved out and left a bunch of small holes in the walls from picture hanging. What is the tempting approach? To fill the holes with spackle and then paint over just the areas where the holes were. Aaarrgggghhhh!!! Don't do it!
That approach — what we call "leopard painting" leaves the wall with lots of spots all over it. It absolutely drives us (and future tenants) crazy! The reason is because the sheen of paint changes with age. As the sun and airborne particles are absorbed by the paint, it changes it sheen. So when you touch it up in this manner it makes the wall look like a leopard as the shiny spots bounce out from the dull background! It may not be immediately noticeable when looking directly at the wall or while the paint is drying. But after the paint has dried look at the wall from a steep angle and you will see the spots easily pop out.
The proper way for toucing up paint is to paint the entire section of wall and end the painting at a natural break point. Break points could be at corners (inside corners or outside), above doorways, or other areas where the difference between old and new paint will not be so noticeable.
Our typical interior paint job
The paint job that we have found over the years that knocks the socks off of just about everyone who sees it is a 2– color paint job with very light tan walls and bright white (glass) trim. This combination works fantastic, and is widely accepted by a large group of renters.
While dark, earth tones are cool around the younger set, they are not as popular across a wide spectrum of populations. Therefore we shy away from dark walls. Besides, they also sometimes make the interior look smaller than it really is. Dark walls are also a pain to paint a different (lighter) color.
Accent walls are fashionable these days. But again, we shy away from fashion because we want to appeal to the largest audience we can.
Why we don't let tenants paint
We often get requests from tenants wanting to paint their own walls. We used to say "Sure!" because we wanted to be that "kinder, more compassionate" landlord. But we have learned we can still be a good landlord and still say no.
The reason we changed our mind is because we have no control over the quality of the paint job. We've seen all kinds of crappy paint jobs and it just isn't worth it anymore. So now we offer to paint for the tenants (for a fee) as long as they understand that they will be responsible for us returning it to its original color. We will occasionally make exceptions to this policy on lower–end rentals, especially if the paint job is poor already and the risk of making it worse is pretty low.
Finally, to get your questions answered feel free to contact us by phone at (206) 900-9006 or email us.