17 Painting & Staining


This list of selections serves as a supplement to the Construction Documents (CD’s). Some of the selections below may be difficult to find or omitted on the CD’s. Check the CD’s for consistency with this list. Clarify with your contractor which document takes precedence for any inconsistencies.

Paint Schedule

Make a list of all rooms in your house. Indicate the paint brand, color, sheen and number of coats for walls, ceilings and moldings in each room. This list will help avoid miscommunication with your painter.

Priming & Sealing Coat

For new drywall, before you apply a coat of paint, one coat of primer/sealer is typically applied. The primer component will fill in depressions and smooth out the surface. The sealer component will even out the rate of absorption of the paint (joint compound absorbs paint faster than the paper surface of the drywall). For existing painted drywall, the color will affect whether you need a primer coat. For bare wood, a primer coat is recommended prior to the paint coat.

Number Of Paint Coats

For new drywall and moldings, two paint coats are recommended in most cases over the primer/sealer coat. For existing painted drywall the color will affect how many paint coats are required.

Sheen of Paint Coat

The sheen of the paint refers to the gloss level. The higher the gloss level, the shinier it appears and the easier it is to scrub. Flat is at the lowest end of the spectrum for gloss. Satin and eggshell are terms given to a relatively low gloss level. Satin and eggshell are often used at living rooms and bedrooms. Semi-gloss is a term given to a relatively high gloss level. Semi-gloss is often used on bathroom ceilings, moldings and doors. High Goss is at the highest end of the gloss level. High gloss can be used at moldings and even ceilings or walls in rooms where you want the unique look of high gloss.

Color Of Paint

Spend time looking at colors from at least one color wheel. Consider painting a small sample area before making a final color selection, preferably with the final lighting in place. The lighting can significantly alter the appearance of your paint color.

Feature Walls

A feature wall, or accent wall, is a wall that is different from other walls in the room. Often, a pattern, stencil or image is prominently featured. Determine which walls and rooms will include a feature wall and discuss with your contractor.

Exterior Painting

Exterior painting of doors, window trim, and siding requires a paint specifically made to resist fading from direct sunlight. An exterior paint is also designed to resist the affects of mildew and direct rain. Review good, better and best exterior paints and make an educated selection. The most expensive exterior paints will likely last longer.

Staining Natural Wood

First you need to determine if you want the natural color of the wood or if you want to stain the wood before applying a finish. There are many different stain colors to choose from. Review as large a sample as possible of your selected stain color on your wood species before making a final selection. Keep in mind that one stain color will not look the same on two different wood species.

There are several different products to choose from for the final protective coat, whether it is over bare wood or stained wood. Discuss these options with an experienced contractor.

Select from the following for all your wood finishes:

__ Varnish __ Polyurethane __ Shellac __ Lacquer


It is customary to apply the sealer/primer coat to ceilings and walls immediately following completion of drywall. It is also common to apply two coats of paint to the ceilings once the primer and drywall is complete and satisfactory. The first coat of paint should be applied to the walls once most of the lights are installed. The lighting can significantly affect the paint color.  The final (second) coat of paint at the walls is often applied after stairs, interior doors, moldings, flooring and wall tile are installed.


Review Scope Of Work with your Painter / Stainer

  1. Determine if the painter will need to provide temporary artificial lighting or if sufficient artificial lighting is already installed to properly apply paint.
  2. Review paint schedule, see selections.
  3. Determine which rooms, if any, you want a sample portion of one wall painted prior to approving the color. The time of the day and the type of artificial light will impact the appearance of the paint color.
  4. Determine if any mechanical registers or grills in the floors or walls shall be painted.
  5. Determine which doors shall be painted.


Organization of Materials & Delivery Dates

  1. Consider applying prime coat and first paint coat to moldings prior to install. Final (second) paint coat should be applied after install to cover nail holes.
  2. Determine the timeframe for completion of the work. Avoid scheduling other trades while the painter is working.


Inspect Completed Paint / Stain Work

  1. Make sure nail holes at moldings are sealed prior to final (second) paint coat.
  2. Ensure paintable sealer is applied to gaps between moldings and drywall.
  3. Use painters tape to mark any spots where you see imperfections such as drips, chips, dents, dings, blisters etc.
  4. Check that wall paint does not overlap moldings.
  5. Ensure stained wood is uniform in appearance.
  6. Ensure stained wood is sealed.
  7. Use painters tape to mark imperfections at stained wood such as drips, flaking, bare spots, excess stain, etc.