Bread & Butter - Part III: Paint
Virtually every rehab you do will require a large amount of paint. Whether its brand new drywall, trim, ceiling, floors, etc, you will undoubtedly need to include many painting tasks in your project scope.
The good news about paint is that materials are very affordable. You can certainly spend big bucks on top of the line paints, but there is no need to do so. Home Depot and Lowes have an ample selection of quality paints at decent prices. Even the prices at retail outlets like Glidden and Sherwinn-Williams are within reason.
The area where you will find volatility is in labor. There is a wide range of quality of work and price when it comes to painters. The cause of this volatility is that everyone thinks they can paint. In fact, everyone can paint; but not everyone can paint well! Compared to other trades involved in a typical rehab project, painting is one of the least complex and easiest trades to intuitively understand. This leads to laborers who decide to call themselves painters just because they learned how to wet a brush and touch it to the wall. These laborers will often disguise themselves as professional painters and put in a bid to score your large interior paint job.
The fact of the matter is that painting is a difficult trade that takes a great deal of natural skill and years of experience to master. As a real estate investor and rehab project manager, its essential that you train yourself to be able to tell the difference between a real professional painter and a pretender. Your first clew to the quality of your painter’s work is their price. A painter who puts in a low bid is most likely in low demand. That is, they are finding it hard to get jobs and are therefore willing to do your job for a cheap price. On the contrary, quality painters have many job opportunities. They have no reason to lower their price just to get your job. If they don’t get your job, they will simply move on to another opportunity.
At first, you may be tempted to try out the cheaper option. In fact, it might be a good idea to give the cheaper option a try. The upside of this approach is you find a good, cheap painter. The downside is that you need to repaint your house and you’ve learned a valuable lesson about hiring quality contractors. As referenced in You Can’t Cut Corners – 3 Pitfalls to Avoid during your Rehab, you will get burned if you try to cut corners and skimp on contractors.
It may take a few projects to vet through your options for painters, but it will all be worth it. A quality painter will provide a fair price, do a clean job and most of all, deliver a quality end product.
Finding your Bread and Butter while choosing paints is fairly uncomplicated. Initially, we would spend several hours debating color samples and asking the opinions of friends, family, realtors and anyone else who fancied themselves an interior designer. We finally came to the realization that any unique and artsy color combination we come up with has a very low chance of appealing to our potential buyer. Those who value the character of a custom color scheme are likely to prefer to develop there own color pallet.
The most important aspect of your paint job is that it is done completely and correctly. Don’t beat your head into the drywall trying to determine your color scheme. You will save yourself hours and days of anguish by following the guidelines below:
Guidelines for Paint Colors and Finishes
Would it surprise you to learn that we suggest painting every wall in every room the same color? It surprised us at first too! But it works wonders! Using only one color allows you to take advantage of volume pricing by allowing you to purchase in bulk. Gone are the days of half empty 1 gallon containers of every shade of green. You can purchase 5 gallon buckets of paint and move extra paint from property to property.
Color Suggestion: Antique White (Eggshell Finish)
Why Antique White? A white color throughout the house will make your house like bright and open to prospective buyers. Antique white is a slight off white. We suggestion this as opposed to pure white because it allows your walls to contrast slightly with the ceiling and the trim. The eggshell finish provides just enough texture to resist smudges and it cleans off easier.
This one is simple. Paint all ceilings with flat white ceiling paint. Your painter will most likely have a ceiling paint that they prefer.
Trim should be painted with a pure white semi-gloss trim paint. Again, your painter will most likely have a suggestions for a trim paint that they are comfortable using. If you have stained wood, it may make sense to paint the trim white instead of cleaning up and/ or refurbishing the existing wood.
And that’s it! As you can see, painting your paint materials is very simple. The most important aspect of painting your rehabs is hiring the right crew. A solid painting crew becomes part of your Bread & Butter.