Since the dawn of time, man has sought to improve his surroundings, and paint has been a crucial component in this mission. As time has evolved, certain tradesmen now specialize in applying paint to homes and other buildings. Known as house painters, these craftspeople now specialize in painting interior walls, ceilings, exteriors, and other facets in the buildings we use each day. While it may seem simple, painting homes and offices requires many years of experience and skill.
Modern paint is most often latex-based and created from polymer and petroleum-linked ingredients. Latex reduces the unpleasant odor associated with oil-based paints and also speeds up the cleaning process once a job has been completed. Today’s paint can be produced for a variety of specialty functions, allowing it to resist color fade over time, chipping as it dries, and the growth of fungus and mold. Today’s paint is also safer for the environment.
Modern House Painting: The Process
Being a house painter requires a knowledge of how certain paints mix, and when to use a thinner or thicker blend for certain jobs. Applying a specialized chemical called primer is also part of the job. Certain surfaces prevent paint from drying correctly, or fast enough. In these instances, a house painter will apply primer to the surface first. This will create a surface that is more conducive to painting, and also reduce the amount of paint needed for the project.
After the primer and paint are applied, a house painter will also need to use a protective finishing agent. This will further prevent fading, and especially for outdoor paint, keep it resistant to weathering, scratching, and chipping.
Additionally, computers can now be used to help analyze the surface of a project to determine the best type and amount of primer to use. Computers will also help painters match and blend colors. Computer modeling can also help painters plan for larger projects, allowing them to preview their work, and better understand certain angles and areas.
With so many chemical and technical nuances, the modern house painter tends to spend a majority of his time working in preparation for a job, rather than actually brushing paint onto a wall.
However, when it is time to paint, house painters use a variety of brushes and rollers to help finish the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Rollers allow paint to added evenly to larger areas of a wall or ceiling. Brushes are generally used for detail work, when precision is necessary. Size and style of brush vary greatly depending on the job. Some brushes are best for painting thin edges, while other are designed to apply primer. Others are wider, covering more area than a fine brush, but with more control than a roller. More recently, aerosol or motorized sprayers will allow a painter to spread a large amount of paint over a wide area much more quickly than traditional methods of the past.
“There are many tools necessary to complete a painting or home remodeling job job correctly. For one, special tape will help a painter create perfectly straight lines, apply paint to tiny edges, and also protect the other portions of the project while a different color of paint is being added. Masking tape, painters tape, and delicate tape are all used. Their main common feature is that they are less adhesive than traditional tape. This allows them to be removed easily from a wall without any damage,” said a spokesperson for Division One, a provider of luxury home remodeling in Denver.
Painters also carry various cloth tarps, a plastic sheets to protect furniture from dripping paint, and to prevent any accidents while a project is under construction. Besides protection, painters also carry a variety of traditional tools like hammers, screw drivers, and sanders, to help them complete their jobs. Though it wasn’t always the case, current house painters are often expected to clean a wall, strip off any old paint, and sand certain areas to make them more smooth. Also, putty may need to be applied to large nail holes, otherwise the paint will not dry evenly and the surface will not look fluid and smooth.
The Dangers of House Painting
Although modern safety devices have greatly improved house painting, certain dangers still exist. Inhalation of harsh chemicals used to strip and prime a wall are a concern, as is long term exposure to the chemicals in the paint itself. Also, many jobs require the use of ladders and other devices that may elevate painters to dangerous heights. While usually stable, accidents can happen, usually at the expense of the house painter.
Most painters now below to unions or other trade associations that protect their rights and regulate their trade to ensure quality workmanship and safety for both customers and painters.