How long should your interior painting project take in Denver?

Today’s question:  How long should my interior painting project take in Denver?



Nick May from Walls by Design, a paint contractor in Denver, answers today’s question.

Today’s question is all about timing. This person wants to know how long does it take. How long does a paint project take?

That is going to be a factor of several different things on a project. How big is the project? How much stuff is in the house? And how many people are working on a project? The best rule of thumb that we use is we tell folks that our guys can roughly do about $500 worth of production in a day. That’s a team of two. Sometimes if we’re on a bigger project and we got a little bit more time constraints, we can stack our crews. We can’t stack on all projects, just because we don’t want guys tripping over each other and we want to make sure that we keep quality up. As a general rule, about $500 or $2500 worth of production in a week. It really just depends.

Whoever you’re talking to, you want to make sure that you get a really good understanding of how long a paint project is going to take. If the company that you’re talking to has multiple different sizes of crews, it’s really hard for them to give you a good understanding of how long a paint project is going to take. If you’re on a deadline, I highly suggest that you tell the contractor upfront when you have to have the project completed by.

A lot of times, we can pretty much guarantee by a certain date, but we’ve got to know that upfront and for planning because if we want to do, let’s say it’s a $5000 and we only have a week to do it, I need to do it on the frontend so that I can look into our schedule because I’m going to know that I’m going to need two teams on that project and I can’t just rely on one to get it done in your timeframe. Hopefully that helps. Ask lots of questions. Communication is always best.

Refinish hardwoods or paint first?

Today’s question:  Should I have my hardwoods refinished first or paint my walls?  I talk about installing hardwoods as well.


Nick May from Walls by Design, a paint contractor in Denver, answers today’s question.

One of the things that people do a lot of times in conjunction with painting is other kind of remodeling and decorating items. And so today’s question – if I’m getting my hardwoods refinished, should I get them done before or after I paint the house?

I’m going to probably say there’s a lot of things that come into play with getting your hardwood floors refinished. A lot of times people are adding hardwood to different areas. And if you’re adding hardwood, then a lot of times the baseboards are going to be either removed or they’re going to add a quarter round because there’s going to be a gap between the floor and the wall otherwise. From that standpoint, best case scenario is have the hardwoods installed and then any trim that needs to be modify or change should be done. And then we should go in and paint all the walls, because most of the time when you’ve got the hardwoods getting refinished, those are a lot of times in areas where we’ve got to use really high ladders, we’ve got to get high in the ceiling. We’re going to have a lot of equipment in the house. From that standpoint, we are always going to cover them but we want to avoid scratches because if you have brand new hardwood floors, it’s going to be very obvious if we even put one scratch on that floor. We want to paint at that point.

It’s not the end of world if you refinish and then we paint. We just have to take more precautions to protect that floor. But in the perfect world, from a painter’s standpoint, I would paint then refinish the floors, and then just know that your baseboards are going to need to be painted or touched up at a very minimum because they may tape them off and they may say that they’re going to protect them, they’re going to get some stain or some finish on those boards. And so you’re going to want to do that as the last step. Hopefully that helps.

How often should I paint my house?

Today’s question:  How often should I paint my house?

Nick May from Walls by Design, a paint contractor in Denver, answers today’s question.

Today’s question is – how often do I need to paint?

That is all up to you. I have painted for some homeowners after three years or bedrooms after two years. We’ve repainted a whole entire house maybe eight years after doing it the previous time. Interior paint, for the most part, doesn’t necessarily wear out. Now, if you use a very low quality paint, if you use flat, a lot of times there’s no durability on those surfaces, and so it will look dirty and worn out and those kinds of things.

There’s a lot of factors that come into play, but I would say the biggest factor for interior painting on how often you should paint is trends. People get tired…for a long time, here in Denver at least, we were going darker and darker and darker to the point where we got chocolate browns on walls and ceilings, and about two or three years ago we kind of hit the tipping point in switch and now we’re going to light gray, a lot of light colors – off whites, light taupe – so very much more light and bright. That is probably the biggest factor of when to paint, and I would say trends typically stick around for about a decade. So you’re going to get 8, 10, 12 years out of your paint job just from a décor standpoint.

Let me remind you that painting your house is the least expensive thing you can do that transforms a space. Think about it, my average project size is about $3500. Think about other décor things in your house that you can spend on for $3500. You can get a part of a dining room set. You may get a chest of drawers. You can’t really do much in your kitchen. You can repaint your kitchen cabinets but there’s no way you can reface them or change them out. Painting, for the dollar, goes further than anything you can do interior design-wise. So I hope that helps.

Do you need to close your office for the paint contractor?

Today’s Question: If we are painting the office and have employees that are sensitive to the smell, how long do we need to shut down?


Nick May from Walls by Design, a paint contractor in Denver, answers today’s question.

Today’s question is all about painting in an office environment. This person writes in “if I need to get the office painted and my workers are sensitive to the smell of paint, how long should we shut down until the smell is gone?”

Well a couple of things might play into painting an office other than smell, so let’s cover those types of things. A lot of times it’s just difficult to work in and around folks in an office. We’ve worked in several offices and a lot of times there are some common areas – hallways, bathrooms – all of those kinds of things that we can get done during business hours. But then you’ve got some spaces where desks are or a lot of people are, and so we’ll typically come in on the weekends and do those or in the evenings. Paint smell these days is not a huge issue, only because most paints are either a low VOC or  zero VOC. VOC is referring to the particles that are evaporating and going into the air. They’re off-gassing if you will. The best way I can describe this is when you get a new car, people have that new car smell and the funny thing is everyone loves the new car smell because it signifies that you got a new car. However, the new car smell is all the plastics and leathers and all those things off-gassing into the environment and it’s not really good for you.

For most people, unless you’re highly allergic or sensitive to smells, it’s not a big issue when we paint in your office or in your house for that matter. Our guys are rounded every single day of the week, and that’s why we’ve gone to a standard zero VOC paints. So our guys aren’t affected by it. But if you’ve got people in your office or in your house that are highly sensitive, there are paint products out there that they shouldn’t be able to smell at all. In fact, Benjamin Moore has the best product on the market called Natura. It’s a step above what we would normally put in because it’s not only zero VOC but it’s all natural as well. So it’s got a huge high rating for sensitivity. It’s what used in hospitals and those kinds of places. Hopefully that answers the question and you can feel confident. Know that if we come in on the weekends, there’s still maybe a little bit of a smell but it goes away very quickly these days.

How long does paint take to dry?

Today’s question: How long does paint take to dry so we can put our pictures back?


Today’s question is a bit about logistics. How long does paint take to dry until I can hang my pictures back up?

Good question. That depends on a couple of things. Where do you live? How humid is your air typically? Here in Denver, we are a very dry climate. So we’re actually considered high desert. We hardly have any kind of moisture in the air. In the summer time, we get a little bit but even then it’s pretty dry. We like to say in 30 minutes or so, the paint is dry for the most part, unless you’re using an oil-based paint, but most of the paints that we use are a water-based or latex paint, and so those paints typically dry to the touch within 30 minutes. So typically by the time we’re out of your house, you can go ahead and hang pictures up and what not. There is…you can still get a little bit of sticking, so there’s dry to the touch and then there’s cure time.

Manufacturers will typically say that a paint will dry and they’re always going to give the averages so they’re going to say maybe an hour to dry, but then it’s going to take 30 days to cure to reach its full optimum hardness. So if you really want to be scientific about it and say when’s the best time, you can say 30 days. But in my experience, we can hang pictures as soon as dry to the touch and it’s not a big deal. Hopefully that answers your question.