Professionals can make painting easy, but homeowners can tackle the job too

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published August 7, 2018

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METRO DETROIT — "Anybody can paint.”

But Dragan Tosic, co-owner of Z-Painting in Farmington with Zeljko Donlic, said that hiring a professional can make the process go much faster and means a lot less stress for the homeowner.

“It’s a quicker job. A lot of times, it’s a better job. Just saving the time and spending it with your family is, I think, more important,” he said. 

Z-Painting, 32425 Grand River Ave. in Farmington, does interior and exterior residential and commercial painting, deck staining, drywall repairs and installation. “Time is money,” Tosic said, and professionals will make sure lines are cut straight and the job is done right the first time.

“Anybody can put a tape down and paint it and hope for the best. When you see a real painter do the job, it’s like artists doing a real painting,” he said. 

Tracy Richardson, owner of Creative Painters Plus in Beverly Hills, said that professional painters also have more specific tools for each job than homeowners might have access to.

“We are connected with the various paint manufacturers; we eliminate the risk of being on tall ladders,” she said. 

Many companies will come out and give proposals or estimates for free, Tosic said, so homeowners can make sure that painting is in line with their budgets.

While most people focus on what color to put on the wall, Tosic said it’s most important to decide on what sheen is most appropriate for the room. Kitchens and bathrooms typically need the glossiest paint so that it is easy to clean and somewhat resistant to water spots, like a semi-gloss, satin or eggshell, he said.

A professional can help make that determination, Richardson said. 

“If I go into a home that has horrible walls, cracks and plaster, obviously, you wouldn’t want to put a sheen on them. You’d want to put flat,” she said, explaining that higher-gloss paints would actually highlight the defects on the wall while a flat paint would mute them.

Color is important, however, and Tosic said that some paint companies, like Sherwin-Williams, will provide services to help homeowners choose what color is right for the space.

“For a relatively cheap amount, they can come out and give you two-hour design help,” he said. “We utilize that with our clients if they are not sure.”

Richardson said that she is a color consultant who can help her clients with the “daunting task” of choosing colors.

“I throw in a complimentary color consultation with 8-by-10 color sheets versus the 2-by-3 swatches from the stores,” she said. “The color consultation is my innate skill.”

She said “greige,” a mix of gray and beige, and other gray tones are in high demand right now. For businesses and anywhere else that productivity needs to be pumped up, she recommends bold colors — “something that keeps people cheery ... keeps them awake.”

There are two reasons to paint a home, Richardson said — if there’s been damage or if they want to change the mood or look of the home.

“Color is the least expensive way to transform the look of a home,” she said. 

Exterior painting can be done once every 15 years, she said, because the quality of exterior paint has “come a long way.”

“They’re incorporating built-in primers; they just last longer,” she said of exterior paints available now.

When making a decision to call a professional painter, the time of year matters only for budgeting purposes, Richardson explained. Because the busiest season for exterior paint is from April through October, that is the most expensive time of year to hire a painter. 

Interior painting can be done all year round, so customers will find the best rates during the winter months. Richardson said customers can save 10 percent or more if they wait until winter to get a job done.

Want to hire a company to do the painting? Richardson said that homeowners should ask if the company is insured; how long painters have been on the team; how long the company has been in business; and if the painters can finish, or make repairs to drywall.

Some companies, she said, will “paint right over the nail holes because they don’t know how to finish,” she said. 

When choosing a paint, it’s good to know how long it will be on the walls. Homeowners who like to repaint every few years don’t have to spend as much money on a durable paint as someone who wants the color to last for more than a decade.

There are plenty of options for homeowners and professionals to choose from as well.

Primer paint combinations don’t mean that primer is actually mixed into the paint. It means that it’s a tighter paint film that is not as porous and seals the surface better on the first coat of paint, said Kevin Westfall, general manager at Teknicolors Paints, which has six locations in metro Detroit. He said it is a popular option for homeowners painting a room themselves.

Teknicolors carries Benjamin Moore paints, which has a new product out called Aura Spa and Bath, a matte-finish bathroom paint that resists moisture and humidity. It eliminates the need to put a glossy paint in the bathroom.

“So many times, people (live in) old homes and they feel they have to put shiny paints in the bathroom. It shows flaws and defects,” he said. The Aura Spa and Bath, having a matte finish, hides those defects.

Another great product, Westfall said, is Scuff-X, a paint that is resistant to marks. He said the paint has been used at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial because it is extremely resistant to any black marks and scuffs from visitors.

Ultra Flat Ceiling Paint is goof-proof, he said, and Advanced Waterborne Trim Paint is a product with no odor that cleans up with soap and water but levels out and lays like an oil-based paint. It’s good for trim work and for painting things like kitchen cabinets, he said.

Residents looking to paint their own home should make sure to grab blue painter’s tape, a good half-inch woven fabric or microfiber roller and good brushes. It’s important to have good, quality tools to paint a room, Westfall said. 

For more information, call Z-Painting at (248) 893-7761, Creative Painters Plus at (248) 499-2040, or visit Teknicolors.com.