The Perfect Paint Job - It’s All About Preparation

Blog Image

Final quality is completely about preparation. That could be said for a test in school, a fabulous meal, the finish on a restored chrome bumper, or in this case, the paint in our homes that we build.

The one striking difference to most people who look through our homes is the paint finish. It’s an immediate realization, and some people can’t quite put their finger on why our homes look so good. Certainly, it’s the assembly of the materials, whether it’s the trim, the shiplap on the walls or ceiling, or the cabinets and crown that are perfectly plumb, level, and fit into the adjacent walls and ceilings. But what really strikes people the most is when they see the paint finish. When they see it for the first time, they touch it because they are a little bit in disbelief that paint can be so smooth and perfect.

When I was visiting a home recently with a client, we toured the foyer and kitchen for at least 30 minutes discussing details and items to coordinate. We started in the foyer, went through a few adjacent rooms, talked for a bit, and then went back to the foyer. The two painters in the photos below were still sanding the same door and casing they were sanding 30 minutes prior.

"It struck all of us how much effort they put into the preparation and sanding before painting."

The filler in the nail holes was imperceptible because it was perfectly sanded into the wood, the joints at the casing were such that each corner seemed like one piece of wood. The orangish color in the paneling of the photo is a level 5 skim that made each panel look perfect – no joints, no wood grain; everything was perfectly smooth. The painter’s hands were completely dusted and callused from the effort; to them, it was a badge of honor. I’m so proud and impressed with their commitment to quality.

Meticulously working on prep before the paint goes on.

Once everything is properly sanded, cleaned, and vacuumed with a HEPA vacuum, they mask it off and spray the trim. Spraying trim is an art. Too much and it will drip, too little and it will feel grainy and rough. They do it perfectly.

So when you go into one of our homes, look at the paint, touch it, stand at an angle, and admire the sheen. This is the way paint should be.