New Paint and Flooring: Giving Your House a Fresh look
New paint and restored floors

New Paint and Flooring: Giving Your House a Fresh look

Posted on October 22, 2022 by Hunt Holdridge

New paint and flooring! There’s no better feeling than giving your whole home a facelift, particularly when the weather turns dark and cold. A fresh coat of paint to get rid of those smudges that have built up over the years, getting rid of that old, fading carpet, and refinishing the floors will do wonders!

A contractor with experience and a good track record can help with such a large job, which can take weeks and arduous, sometimes frustrating work. 

The paint job, in particular, can be daunting. You need to move furniture, make sure all valuables are covered or stored elsewhere. All the baseboards, shoe moldings, door frames, window casings—anything you don’t want painted over—needs to be taped. If not done properly, it will be obvious. You also have to ensure all the little holes from all those picture and art frames are spackled over and done right—otherwise, they will be noticeable.

So, it’s better to leave it to the professionals who do this type of work on a daily basis.

But the painting part of the job is what needs to be done first. After all, you don’t want to upgrade your floors first only to have a painting accident. A major spill or a few drops here and there on the new floor could easily ruin your day.  

The painting process

One of the first things you should do is choose the color and type of paint you want. You could consult an interior designer that might cost a little extra but can help you make a decision unless you’ve already decided what color you want. Your contractor might be able to help you find a designer if you don’t have one already.

You also need to choose the finish. The type of paint you want will largely depend on how a particular room will be used and what look you want to achieve. Your contractor can also help you determine which type of paint should go where.

Flat, or matte, paint is the least shiny. You don’t need as many coats, and it will cover imperfections more easily, like those dreaded nail holes, much better. It is best used in areas that are not touched too often and don’t need cleaning or scrubbing because it can be damaged more easily.

Eggshell is one of the more popular finishes because it also achieves more coverage and can hide imperfections. It’s somewhat shiny, so it’s fairly durable and can be used in areas with some traffic.

For high-traffic areas, satin is the preferred and the most popular paint. It has more sheen than eggshell and can be cleaned more easily. Areas like kitchens, kids’ playrooms, and living rooms should be painted with satin. However, you should know that satin reveals more of the imperfections—nail holes, nicks and other marks, and even brush strokes. 

For very high-traffic and humid areas, semi-gloss is the preferred choice. It’s mildew resistant and can be cleaned easily. It’s great for bathrooms and kitchens, as well as trim.

Finally, the most durable type of paint is high-gloss. Extremely durable and washable, high-gloss is the shiniest of all and is usually reserved for trim, cabinetry, doors and other similar areas. 

The paint job itself is pretty straightforward, and your contractor will go over the process with you. They will use canvas or drop cloths over floors, and they could use other types of covers, plastic sheets, for furniture.

They will start with the ceiling, which is always a good idea to include in any indoor paint job. 

The painters will prepare the walls by spackling and caulking holes and other imperfections. After the material dries, they’ll sand and wipe the area to remove any dust particles.

In general, the painters will use a primer, especially if the new color is different from the existing paint. But it might not be necessary if it’s a very similar color. If a primer coat is needed, the contractor will ask the painting store to pre-tint the primer.

Although the paint shop mixed the paint before handing it to the contractor, each can will likely need to be remixed before usage. 

The painters will apply a minimum of two coats, but it might be necessary to use more under certain conditions. Typically, dark colors might require an extra coat. This process could take a few hours because the paint has to dry before another coat is applied. 

Depending on the size of the house, a full paint job can cost an average of about $3.50 per square foot, or about $7,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home.

Carpet or hardwood floors?

Once the paint is dry, the contractors will continue with the floor. What they do here will depend on your preference. Do you want the carpet replaced, or do you prefer to have the hardwood floors beneath restored? 

The first thing the contractor will do is remove the old carpet, followed by a thorough inspection of the floor under it.  

If you decide to put down new carpeting, the job will be pretty straightforward. If there is furniture, it will all have to be moved. The contractors can move most of the furniture, especially things like sofas and coffee tables. However, if you have valuable items—expensive vases or electronics, for example—you should consider moving and storing them yourself. 

The contractors will pull the old carpet and pad and fix any issues with the floor. This can include pet urine damage or squeaky loose boards, which will need to be nailed down. Any wood rot will also need to be addressed.

One thing to keep in mind when installing new carpeting and pad is the thickness. The new materials might be thicker than what was previously there. Doors might not open, or the baseboards might be too low, so the new carpet can’t go under it. These issues will need to be addressed ahead of time. Consult with the contractor about this. 

The contractors will install the pad, followed by the carpet. 

Including labor and material, installing new carpeting can cost several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the house. This will depend on the type of carpet you choose; high-end carpeting can cost up to about $12 per square foot, while a lower-end one could cost less than $1.

If you opted to remove the carpet and restore the hardwood floors, the process could be a little more complex, as there are more things to keep in mind. Newly refinished hardwood floors provide a fresh, classic look to a home.

Your contractor will take you through the process and might suggest that you leave your home while the work is done because of the dust and noise from the sanding and the fumes from the stain and sealant. While they will seal the rooms where the work will be done, dust and fumes will still escape. 

As with carpeting, all the furniture will need to be moved from all the floors that will be restored. 

The contractors will begin by repairing any damaged wood boards. This could include water damage, pet urine stains, or possibly even glue from the carpeting.

They will then sand, vacuum, and dust the floors several times, so they will have pristine wood to work on. 

If you chose to have the reconditioned floors stained, they will do that next. The color you choose will depend on your preferences and the type of look you want to achieve. You should consider how bright your home is—if it’s more on the dark side, choose a lighter stain. A darker color, on the other hand, will give your house a warm, inviting look.

Once the stain is done, the contractors will apply at least a couple of coats of sealant. This will protect the floors from water and scratches. The sealant should take about a day to dry, but it’s best to give it a minimum of three days to let it set completely and before putting the furniture back on the floors.

The benefits of a fresh look

While it might cost a little bit of cash to get this work done, you will be pleased by having a new, fresh look inside your home. 

If you chose to get rid of the carpet and refinish your hardwood floors, the new, timeless look will be noticed by your friends and family. And you can always put down an area rug as a finishing touch for your living room or dining room as part of your decorations. Just make sure it doesn’t clash with your new paint.

And it might also be somewhat inconvenient to have workers inside your home for a few days or to leave your house completely to escape the noise, dust and smells. But in the end, it will all be all worth it. This is especially true if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market.

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