A Lick Of Paint Goes A Long Way
There are endless painting projects you can tackle, but planning is essential, writes Caleb Pearson, of Pearson + Projects
1 October 2022
A fresh lick of paint is guaranteed to transform any property. Repainting completely changes the look and feel of a home, whether it’s inside or outside, because painted surfaces take up such a large proportion of what you see. There are endless painting projects you can tackle, and almost anything can be painted when you have proper preparation and the right paint.
An internal repaint has to be one of the most effective ways to freshen up. You may have tired and dated surfaces, damage, or maintenance needs, or you may want to attract new tenants or make a sale. Whatever the reason, if your property is in need of an internal refresh here are my simple steps to get you going.
Define The Scope
As almost every surface in a home can be painted, start by doing an assessment of your property and defining the scope so you have a clear idea on the work you want done and can communicate clearly exactly what you want painted. It’s also important to address your expectations around preparation and finish. The key areas to focus on inside are:
- Ceilings. Ceilings are an important way to lighten rooms in a house. Use a flat paint so there isn’t reflection or glare off your ceiling, as well as hiding possible imperfections.
- Walls. The largest surface area for painting within a home, check for any damage which may need repairing prior to painting.
- Doors, wooden window joinery, skirtings. These are higher impact surfaces and a semi-gloss finish is preferred over a flat paint, providing a harder wearing surface and some contrast to the walls.
- Wet areas. Be mindful of painted surfaces in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries where there is moisture and more chance of mould and bacteria build-up. Make sure these areas are prepared properly and painted with the right paints to address this.
- Preparation. If there is damage or areas that need more attention than just hole-filler, make sure to address these prior to painting. For general cleaning and preparation, make sure this is included. A quality and lasting paint finish is reliant on good preparation.
If you are having painters through your property consider other surfaces which might benefit from paint as an affordable option to freshen up rather than replacing. Kitchen cabinetry, wallpaper, even light fittings can be painted to modernise and extend their life.
Choose The Colour
Your biggest question when repainting a house may be “What colours should I choose?” There are so many colours to choose from it can be overwhelming. Then there is the question of mixing different tones or colours, adding feature elements, and matching them with remaining finishes on flooring or kitchen cabinetry.
For a rental you want a colour scheme that will have wide appeal. It needs to make the home feel light and bright, and not date any time soon. Neutral colour schemes are the best way forward, with whites being the more popular choice currently over beige, cream and greys. Resene publishes a list of their Top 20 most popular colours, which is a great place to start and pick from.
Investment properties typically get more wear and tear, so pick a durable paint product which is easy to clean. If you have multiple investments, consider picking the same neutral colour scheme on all your properties. Then additional paint can be used when needed on future projects or for touch-ups and maintenance.
While most tenants would appreciate being inside a freshly painted home, the reality is that an internal repaint is quite invasive and best done with empty rooms. I have lived in homes while we repainted, and the result was dramatically extended timeframes as we went room-by-room. There is more chance of paint damage on unwanted surfaces, and there is an impact on living from reduced space and the smell during the job
Establishing The Timing
The ideal time for repainting inside is between tenancies, when you can have the property empty of people and furniture. To minimise vacancy, coordinate the work in advance to get painters in as soon as tenants depart.
Depending on the size of your house, and the crew painting it, an interior repaint will take roughly 1-2 weeks.
If you’re a long-term investor, repainting your investments is a project you will have to address at some point. Plan for it in advance so you are not rushed and get contractors ready to work as soon as it’s empty.
The change from a fresh coat of paint will lift a property and breathe fresh life and many years into it as well as improving the quality of life of those who make it their home.