Properly Painted Walls - What to Look For

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Proper wall painting Kansas City The right materials and technique mean a Properly Painted Surface - consistent sheen and no misses.

As professional painters in Kansas City, we often are asked to repaint walls that were not done especially well in the first place. While it is obvious to us, most homeowners don't know how to determine if a paint job was done well or not. Putting color on the wall is easy- getting a uniform appearance is another matter entirely. Here's what to look for.

No Fuzzies

Proper prep work is key, of course. Let's start with the wall surface itself: it's not uncommon for existing paint to have roller fuzzies, bits of dried paint or other contaminants on the wall surface. The walls should be sanded to remove these imperfections. Careful though - too much sanding will remove roller stipple. Then you'll have a smooth spot in the middle of your otherwise stippled wall.


Next comes holes, chips, wallpaper lines, cracks, etc. This requires a clear conversation with your painter - everybody needs to understand and agree on what the expectations are. This is about balancing time and cost with your expectations. Age matters here, too - 80 year old plaster walls are often held to a different standard than 15 year old drywall.

Once the prep work has been defined and then completed as agreed, it's time to start putting paint on the wall. But how to know what a properly painted surface is? The Painting & Decorating Contractors of America have objective standards for painting work.

...uniform in appearance, color, texture, hiding and sheen. It is also free of foreign material, lumps, skins, runs, sags, holidays, misses or insufficient coverage. It is also a surface free of drips, spatters, spills or over-spray caused by the Painting and Decorating Contractor’s workforce. In order to determine whether a surface has been “properly painted” it shall be examined without magnication at a distance of  thirty-nine (39) inches or one (1) meter, or more, under finished lighting conditions. [PDCA, P1-04]

If you can see:

  • old paint through the new paint
  •  roller marks
  •  runs or drips
  • paint is where it shouldn't be

These are conditions that should be remedied. Clear communication with your painter will go a long way in preventing these situations.

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