by Gerald Vander Pyl
For the Calgary Herald
Painting is one of the most basic ways to spruce up your home, but it can actually make a bigger difference in the look and feel of a home than many, much more expensive, renovation projects.
Art Hassenrueck, owner of Pro Works Painting in Calgary, says real estate agents agree painting is one area where you will really get your money back in terms of added value to a home.
Hassenrueck says many basic homes have off-white paint on all the walls, which looks drab compared to the beautiful paint tones that are often found in better-quality homes.
He says a good paint job shows pride of ownership, and can also give the owner’s spirits a lift each time they come home.
While some people have the skills and time needed to do a quality paint job, others would be better off leaving it up to a professional.
Hassenrueck says hiring a painting company can save you considerable time, since most do-it-yourselfers will need to do a lot of research on what type of paints they need for different areas of a home, and also what kind of equipment to buy.
He says even the painting process itself can be lengthy for someone who is not experienced. In most cases a room that might take a team of professionals a couple of hours to paint could take a homeowner up to eight hours.
Hassenrueck says rather than spend your own valuable time trying to save a few dollars, it might be better to head off to work and let the pros do their job in your absence.
He says a painting company can also offer guidance in choosing paints and colours, and can do things such as paint a test patch on a wall in your home before you decide to go with a particular paint. And since paint companies buy their supplies wholesale and in large quantities, they also can get paint at prices that a regular person can’t.
If you do decide to tackle the job of painting your home, whether it’s a single room or the entire interior, it’s a good idea to deal with a paint supply outlet that has knowledgeable staff.
Merrill Grant, owner of Paint Direct Inc., says many do-ityourselfers don’t really know where to begin when it comes to achieving a quality paint job, and that’s where an experienced sales person can help.
Grant says the key is proper preparation of the surface to be painted, and a good sales person can give advice depending on where you will be painting, and also recommend the proper paint for various rooms in your house.
He says dealing with a company that carries several brands of paint is also a good idea, since that gives you a lot more choices so you don’t need to go to several different locations to buy all the paint you need.
A one-stop paint store should also be able to sell you all the equipment you need for your paint project, along with advice on its proper use.
For example, he says, while there are many painting gadgets on the market for things like painting along ceilings and around doors and windows, a quality brush with good technique should be all a person needs.
With many people concerned about the environment these days, the use of green renovation products is gaining popularity.
Lindsay Brandon with Riva’s — The Eco Store says there is a real trend toward using green products such as paints when completing a house renovation.
Brandon says just as some people choose to eat healthier organic foods, there is growing demand for paints that don’t emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. She says you can now buy a variety of non-VOC paints that include ones that can be colour matched just like regular paints, so all you need to do is bring in a colour swatch.
Some of the latest non-VOC oil-based paints use natural oils and don’t give off that headache-inducing smell.