Whether you are renting out an apartment or buying a home to flip, your goal is to create an enticing, yet affordable, interior decor that helps a potential tenant or buyer fall in love with your property. Successfully doing so starts with selecting and applying the right paint. So where to begin?
Painting, like most things in life, is significantly easier when you’ve properly prepared. So before you break out the brushes, there a couple of things to do to ensure your fresh paint job looks its best. First, fill in any nail holes or cracks with spackle/joint compound and sand until smooth. Next, be sure to thoroughly dust and clean any surfaces you intend on painting as any buildup of dirt, grit, and oils will keep your new layer of paint from uniformly adhering to your walls. For most rooms, this can be done with a vacuum cleaner and towel but, if you’re painting a kitchen or bathroom, gently wipe down the walls with a solution of three teaspoons laundry detergent to one gallon of water.
As the quality of paint continues to improve, primers are becoming less of a necessity. There are some exceptions, however:
- Unfinished surfaces, such as new drywall, require a primer coat to ensure an even top coat.
- When switching between types of paint (i.e. putting latex paint over an oil based original coat) go with a primer.
- If a wall has significant staining, an oil based primer will help conceal it.
There is no shortage of selection when it comes to interior paints but, for the budget conscious, there is one thing to remember: Even a top-quality, $50 per gallon paint will require a second coat. Therefore, consider purchasing a more moderately priced paint. If done correctly, no one will be the wiser.
As for the sheen of your paint, there’s a number of choices (from low to high sheen: flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, gloss). Obviously, sheen selection is largely a matter of personal style but owners of rental properties, who may prefer not to have to paint a home for every new tenant, may be best served by selecting a semi-gloss. That’s because higher sheen paints offer more protection from dirt and staining (warm, soapy water is often all that’s required to remove any marks and discolorations). Plus, they are mold and mildew resistant.
If you are trying to flip a home, and are not concerned with painting the walls regularly, you should consider an eggshell sheen. Eggshell offers a bit more luster and has a warm, velvety finish that potential buyers will love.
Experimenting with colours and various finishes in your own home can be a lot of fun but, for renters or flippers, it’s best to stick with soft, neutral coloured paints. Lighter beiges and grays, along with off-whites, are popular choices that can make rooms feel large and airy while offering a clean environment for viewers to envision their own designs.