How to Paint Like a Pro



Step 1: What to Paint?

Believe it or not, the first step when it comes to painting like a pro is to decide what needs to be painted. Walls are an obvious choice, but does the ceiling need a fresh coat of paint? How about the baseboards? Knowing what you’ll be painting will make the process smoother. 

Step 2: Choosing your colours

Facing a colour palette with hundreds of colours can be one of the hurdles that prevents people from painting their home. How do you make a decision with so much choice? 

One solution is a colour consultant. We can recommend one for you and for a lot less than you think (often for $200 or so), they’ll walk through the rooms of your house. They’ll listen to you and what you like, rather than doing it their way. 

Sometimes the paint looks different on a chip - paint is a composite of 3-4 colour tints and it might have amber and sienna, yellow and black and you may not see one of them until it’s on your wall.

A good colour consultant can help you pick the right version of the colour. 

Decorating starts from the floor up. Is your flooring neutral? How about your furniture? What sort of a palette do you want? Is the woodwork stained or painted white? What about tile or countertops? 

The answers to these questions will help you decide.

Step 3: The prep.

This is really what differentiates a good paint job from a bad one. 

When we’re about to paint a home that people are currently living in, the first step is to move the furniture into the center of the room, take art objects off the wall including all pictures and paintings and remove light switch and plug covers. We then lay out clean drop cloths on the floor, cover all lighting and furniture with clear plastic and we sometimes use masking tape for fixtures close to the wall like sconces. 

If the walls are dusty, we'll often take a clean damp cloth and wipe them down prior to painting. If we’re painting walls in a kitchen that are greasy, we’ll wash them with TSP and water and rinse them with clean water.

If the baseboards are not being painted, we’ll mask them. Once everything is covered, we look at minor imperfections like nailholes, plaster cracks and gaps which are fixed with caulking , sanding and priming.

We’ll take a pole sander and sand the walls which removes old fibers and nubblies in the wall.
If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is – but taking the time before you start to paint will save you hours in the long run and result in a much better looking paint job. 

Step 4: The paint! 

Now that your rooms have been prepped, you’re now ready to start to paint! You’re always better off starting high. You can define that any way you like, but to me it means going with gravity. We start with the ceiling, then the walls and then the woodwork. 

Starting at the top means that any drips from the ceiling onto the walls aren’t an emergency – they’re quickly wiped away before the walls are painted. Otherwise, you have to drape the walls and it takes a lot more time to prep to paint a ceiling after the walls have been painted.

If you’re doing a dramatic colour change, you’ll want to prime the entire wall and then add two top coats to finish the work off. 

Step 5: The Clean Up

Then the reverse process from the prep is the clean up! Pull up the drop cloths, give the room a good vacuum, screw the light switch and plug covers back on, put the furniture back in place and you have your newly painted room!

Some people like to do the work themselves while many people prefer to leave it to us. If you have any questions about house painting or would like a free quote, please get in touch! 

When is it Time to Paint Your Home?


How do you know when it’s time to paint your house? There are three obvious reasons and two that are not quite as apparent. Read on! 

1 – You’re Looking To Sell Your Home or Condo

Interestingly, the idea of painting to sell a home wouldn’t have been considered ten to fifteen years ago. The difference is that today’s buyers are looking for something turnkey. Not only can a new paint job increase the money your house will sell for, it may sell faster. 

I was recently called to paint a home that had been on the market for five months. In addition to repainting the home a contemporary colour, it was staged with new furniture. Within two weeks, the home sold, and only the paint and furniture had changed.

This is a perfect illustration of how people can be easily distracted by bright colours or chipping paint and can’t see past it to the bones of a house. There is a return on investment with a fresh coat of paint –  neutral colour opens up the market so that more people are interested in your house. 

2 – You’re About to Move and Want to Make it Your Own

So you’ve just bought a new home – congratulations! It’s more than likely the sellers had it repainted in neutral colours before they put it on the market. Now that you’re going to be living there, you want to make it your own. The easiest time to paint is before you’ve moved in, so if you have a few days between closings, use that opportunity! Of course, you can always move furniture to paint, but wouldn’t you rather move into a house that’s ready?

3 - During or After Renovations

Let’s say you have a leak in your bathroom. Not only may this require cutting open walls to find the source of the leak, but you may decide that it’s the perfect time to update your bathroom, which naturally, will involve a new coat of paint.

So the bathroom gets renovated, but the stained ceiling in the dining room also has to be repaired because you don’t want your family worrying that the ceiling will collapse during Thanksgiving dinner.

Now that you see how bright the paint on the ceiling looks, the rest of the room starts to look tired, so perhaps you decide to replace the floor, which you were thinking about doing anyway, and if you’re going that far… you may as well repaint the walls! 

4 – You Can’t Remember When You Last Painted

If you can’t remember when your home was last painted, it’s likely that your colour is out of date. Fifteen years ago, the most popular colour palate was a golden taupe colour. We then went through a white phase, but now people are going a light grey – the colour palates are becoming a little cooler. 
If you want your home to look consistently fresh, it should be painted every four to five years.  It’s not critical, but it will also give you the opportunity to give the place a good clean and fix any nail holes that may be exposed when you moved those living room pictures around!

5 – You Have Painted Exteriors

If you have a home that is at least twenty years old, it should be repainted every 3 to 5 years. This will not only improve it cosmetically but also help protect the wood from weathering. 

If you think it’s time to refresh the paint in your home, please give us a call! 

Give Your Home a Fresh Face

Berkeley Painting & Contracting - Exterior Paint - Give Your Home a Fresh Face


When the warm weather arrives, we find ourselves surveying the exterior of our home. The last of the fall leaves need raking. New soil is bought for the flower beds. Under the warm light of the sun, we can stand back a really get a look at the condition of the front our house.

Paint can fade and become brittle with age. The final stages of its life it begins to peel. Some homes have been scraped and painted so many times that the pillars and fascia appear to take on an alligator hide texture.

Look at the condition of the woodwork. Cracked boards that cannot be repaired may need a carpenter to replace them. Living in a city like Toronto means lots of air pollution, mostly from cars which settles on your house. If you have just purchased a new home, even if the paint is in good condition, you may want to repaint it to your personal taste.

The first step is to choose a good colour. Unless you have an old Victorian home with lots of gingerbread wood trim, a single colour is the best choice.  A good interior designer can help with this. Some paint stores also have in-house designers to assist in colour selection.

Once you have chosen your colour, the proper prep work on the outside begins. I start by hand washing the woodwork with T.S.P. and water with a scrub brush. This removes any environmental pollutants from the surface. If there is any exposed wood from peeled off paint, I give it a couple of days to dry.

Remember, the best time to paint is once the daytime temperatures have reached the twenties. When I return a few days later, I bring any wood with me that I might need for replace old, broken or rotten trim.

Most people tend to leave painting far too long in between coats. It has broken down so much that a coat of primer over the entire surface - not just spot priming - is necessary.  I will often tint the primer to the same colour as the finish coat.

Now the repairs are finished. Old nails are removed and holes filled. It has been washed and fresh coat of primer. All that remains is to paint. When you want to paint the final coats try to pick a warm sunny day. This will make sure your paint cures properly. Paint away from the sun on a shady side.

I move around the house away from the sun. Painting in the sun makes it dry too fast and weakens the cure. Two coats are optimal because the second coat will cover anything the first coat missed.

As you can see, painting the exterior of your house involves a lot more than meets the eye.

If you are considering having the exterior of your house painted, click here to request an estimate.