Dear Angie: How important is it to repair plaster before repainting? Our ceilings have peeling paint that we’re pretty sure was caused by past water damage. Since the water problem is no longer an issue, can we simply repaint the ceilings or should we first repair any underlying plaster damage? – Sara S., Elgin, Illinois
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From low luster to high gloss: Learn how to pick the style of paint that’s perfect for your project.
Dear Angie: We’re having an interior paint job done, and I’m wondering whether to pay when the work is done or as it proceeds. – Sherry S., Crystal Lake, Illinois
Move over, beige. There’s a new neutral in town.
That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.
On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.
A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.
Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.
For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.
That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.
Remember, you not only have to remove the popcorn texture, but also redo the ceiling in some other texture.
Price will depend on several factors:
1) how much the contractor you choose hates removing popcorn or textured ceilings - some charge $1 or so/SF extra just because they hate it. There are even some who bid total drywall replacement cheaper than removing the popcorn, so you have to first find contractors who are happy to do that work, or your prices will be out of the realistic range
2) if the popcorn predates about 1990, then it could likely have asbestos in it, which doubles or triples the price, and in many cases uncapsulating it with a spray coating and then removing the drywall entirely is actually cheaper than all the protective measures necessary if it is scraped off.
3) whether the popcorn is primarily gypsum and vermiculite (comes off REAL easy) or was the plaster of paris variety, which takes a fair amount of soaking to soften it enough to scrape off
4) what type of finish you are replacing it with - if a textured ceiling, slapcoat, knockdown finish or paneling, not real problem. If you want to go with a perfectly smooth ceiling (generally a bad idea as any variations in the drywall on a ceiling surface really shows up dramatically), then it will demand a lot of care in preparing the scraped surface, and a complete surface drywall compound skim coat to smooth out the scrapes and gouges from the removal process.
5) what underlying conditions are - if there is a lot of furniture to move around (should go to adjacent rooms) or cover and work around, high-quality rug or hardwood floor to super-protect or such, will drive cost up.
I have seen costs run from as low as $0.60/SF to $1.25/SF (for removal only). Generally, remove and recoat with a surface texture of some kind (anything but smooth) and paint will run you about $2.50-3.50/SF.
Now the bad news - if asbestos containing, can run from $5-10/SF. Many homeowners in that situation go the other legal route - have it encapsulated with an asbestos-rated sealant by an asbestos contractor, then paint it and leave it for the next homeowner to decide what to do about it. Some contractors encapsulate it and then put a 1/4" thick drywall layer over it - this usually looks like a disaster unless it has a VERY rough textured finish on it, because putting drywall sheet over a rough surface like popcorn invariably means a wavy surface commonly looks like a gently rolling ocean surface.
Our companie's policy is to prime the area with any bonding primer. This will seal the hairspray in and not let it affect the next coat of paint. It would also be a good idea to lightly sand the area first.
Our recommendation for primer would be Zinsser's BIN Spray (red can) and can be bought at most paint stores or home improvement stores. Other than that, any thing that specifically says "bonding" for a primer should be adequate enough.
Some other 1 coat coverage paints you could use would be Sherwin Williams Duration, and Behr Ultra Premium Plus.
Hope this helps!
I have a couple suggestions - My first would have been to contact the paint manufacturer - whether it's sherwin williams, benjamin moore, behr, etc. to see if they would send a rep out to give their recommendation. We have done this before starting a project to get the best possible recommendation for work to be done and have found them to be very helpful in diagnosing what is currently going on and the best way to fix it.
If that doesn't work, I would call either the better business bureau or maybe the local paper if your contractor isn't willing to work through the problem with you. Also, If your contractor warrantied the work I might re-read that to see what they cover if anything.
My guess is that there will have to be some sort of dispute resolution process.
Hope this helps!
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