Interior painting follows immediately after trim carpentry in the building process. It takes 2-3 days to complete. Don’t expect the walls to remain unblemished to the end of the build. A final touch up will be required toward the end of construction.

The body ( walls and ceilings) will be done first. The painter will typically use a air pressure sprayer on the interior. First, all windows and openings will be protected with tape and paper. Any delivered materials such as cabinets will be protected with plastic. If your cabinets have been delivered early, communicate that to your contractor. Don’t be surprised if there is an additional charge to protect your cabinets. That is extra work that is not incorporated into the bid.

The interior trim is then taped off and sprayed. This includes your casing, crown, shelving ( if not painted the body color of the house), and doors. The doors are taken off the hinges by the painting crews, hinges are taped off, the doors stood up in a room and they are sprayed top to bottom. It is critical that the fully the top and bottom of the doors. Most doors’ warranties depend on this. It protects the doors from warping.

Sprayers wear protective masks and long sleeves when painting an interior. This is a safety issue. Do not go wandering through the house when it is being sprayed. Just like sniffing paint causes a buzz and even worse, the high levels of paint fumes in a house during spraying can be dangerous. Let the painters finish. They will open windows to air out the building when complete. This also means, don’t schedule any other subcontractors to work on the interior that day.

Painting the Base after Flooring Installation

What actually occurs in this situation is that during the first interior paint, your contractor will put plastic down in your garage and spray the base molding while it sits on saw horses. After installation of the base, touch up will be necessary, but not a full respray of the base trim.

Exterior Paint

As with the interior, the exterior paint begins with the spray of the main or “body” color of the house. If the building has a stucco exterior, it is critical to wait until the stucco, a concrete product has cured. Your plaster contractor will wet the stucco a minimum of 3 times before paint is applied. This reduces cracking and helps the curing process. If you paint a stucco building before the moisture is out of the wall, it will bubble up and cause problems for months and sometimes years. Consult with your plaster contractor AND your painting contractor before proceeding with the exterior paint.

The pop outs and fascia are sprayed next. It is important to communicate with your roofing contractor and painter to see if the painter requires the roofing drip edge be in or not before the fascia is painted. The pop outs and openings will be taped off and protected during the body and the body will be taped off during trim painting.

Painting Resource

It is important to note that stucco is not the only exterior siding that goes on homes. Wood cladding or engineered cladding, vinyl siding, shakes and brick are all materials that can be used. Different materials require different paints, stains, methods and care. We have found a fantastic professional resource for all painting knowledge.

Karl Crowder at is the online expert for any question you have related to painting.

Final Touch-Up

After all other interior work is complete and the drywall has repaired any holes, dings and dents that have occurred throughout the build, the painter returns. This is the final touch up. It is really important to insist on booties for your finish contractors at this point. It is especially critical that the painting crews put drop cloth or plastic down to protect carpet and finished floor areas. It won’t matter how beautiful your paint job is if you have paint sprinkles on your brand new carpet.

Selecting a Painting Contractor

It gets repetitious, I know, but go out and see recent work your contractor has completed. Ask to go to jobs that are underway. Seeing how crews conduct themselves onsite is important. Are they wearing their booties in a finished home? Are they keeping the jobsite clean? Are they respecting EPA rules as it relates to Storm Water Pollution Prevention? If they have been washing out their paint buckets in the street, don’t hire that contractor.

Faux Finishing

A good faux finish can add character and age to a regular wall. It can make your standard columns look like solid marble. Doubt me? Joanne Brychel of the Paint & Paper Works, Las Vegas, is amazing. Look at these examples of her work.

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