Painters Can Add Finishing Touches To Your Custom Home

Painters Can Add Finishing Touches To Your Custom Home

Welcome to this edition of the Louisville Custom Home builder podcast series brought to you buy Louisville’s leading luxury construction team, Artisan Signature Homes. I’m Greg, your host, and for today’s episode we are joined by Louisville’s best known and most accomplished custom and luxury home builder, Jason Black. Jason, good to see you. How are you today?

Jason:    I’m doing great. Again, Greg, you make me feel like I’m on such a pedestal with that nice introduction every day.

Greg:    I come back every week and I’m waiting for you to introduce me like that but it never happens. It’s a one say street here.

Jason:    We’re gonna have to do a role reversal next episode.

Greg:    Let’s not. Last week we were talking about another step in the home building process and you were talking about installing tile in some of the custom and luxury homes that you build for your clients and I think if I remember correctly the next step is to have the painters come through.

Jason:    Yeah. Hopefully this episode isn’t like watching paint dry.

Greg:    Let’s hope not.

Jason:    We’ll put a little background into the painting process. Again, the paint is, you’re really starting to get into the fine finishing work of the home and really, again, we’re kind of polishing all of the hard work the trim guys have done and really gonna make them shine, so we’ve primed the walls early on for the trim and so the painter’s gonna come back in. Really, the majority of the trim work is going to be done at this point and the majority of the tile work is done when we come in.

When the painter comes in, we usually like to clear out the house, get rid of all the leftover trim, clean it. Once you start preparing you really don’t want any of that dust particles getting in your trim, so a clean house is extremely important to a successful, good high quality paint finish.

Greg:    On the paint finish, I’m just gonna ask real quick, on the trim, you talked about putting primer down on the drywall. Has the trim been primed at all or is it just sort of the raw wood that I would expect to see at a lumber store but in a really nice patterned design on the wall?

Jason:    Yeah. It’s kind of a hybrid of that. Some of our trim does come pre-primed and other’s is just raw wood, so there’s a mixture of it.

Greg:    Okay.

Jason:    One of the first steps the painter does when he comes into the house is he’s gonna prime all the wood. He’ll come in with his spray gun and he’ll basically coat all the doors, all the trim. The trim around the windows, crown molding, built-ins, anything that’s gonna get a paint finish on it, he will come in with a primer and just prime it all.

Greg:    This is done using a spray?

Jason:    Yeah. The trim finish … There’s different ways you can do it. Some guys like to hand brush everything. Some guys like to spray it. Some will spray and then brush, but we have always liked a high quality, really slick finish so we prefer to spray all of our trim.

Greg:    Okay.

Jason:    The painter’s come in, he’s sprayed in and the primer he’s using to do all that is a pretty good primer. If you think about running your hands down a piece of wood usually you’re thinking about smooth. Once you spray that primer down it almost raises all the grain so it becomes really rough at this point. At that point, the painter comes back in and his crew and they’ll actually come through and sand all the trim down to where it’s almost smooth again.

There’s a couple of different ways to paint trim. We won’t get in to all the specifics of it, but we’ll prime it, sand it down, and then we’ll come in and we’ll put a finish coat on. Sometimes the painter may put two finish coats on it. Most guys just put one finish coat on it. It depends on the level of finish you’re trying to get.

Sand it down, and then we’ll also, we’ll usually shop vac the entire house once again and make sure all the floors are clean, make sure that there’s no heating and air going at this time. Windows are closed because you don’t want any dust being stirred up when you’re spraying that finish coat on the trim. I’ve walked through many of my houses and other houses and that’s one of the things I always do is feel the trim. It’s a builder check. You’re wanting to check out how the trim is.

Greg:    What are you checking for?

Jason:    I’m looking for a slick finish that the painter has done his job prepping because you can come in and spray all the trim in a day but we may spend three or four days sanding an entire floor of a house before we’re spraying. Again, a good quality paint job. You’re gonna spend more time prepping and less time painting to get that finish.

Again, clear the house before we spray that final coat and we’re gonna use an oil based trim pain at this time. We like Sherwin Williams. We like Benjamin Moore. A couple of those good quality paint jobs using a high end semi gloss finish. Sometimes we’ll use a gloss very seldom and sometimes we’ll use a matte, but the vast majority we’re using a semi gloss trim. It’s going to be really shiny. It’ll dull down a little bit after a few weeks on but, again, that’s kind of the trim.

Greg:    Okay.

Jason:    Once the trim’s painted, the drywall has already been primed once. At this point we’ll bring in our drywall man because as we talked about in the trim stage, when you’re dealing with those 16 foot pieces of trim dealing in these larger custom homes, going up and down the staircases and whatnot, they knick up the walls and you’ve got the ceilings. We’ll come in with the drywall crew. They’ll bring out a halogen light and we’ll spot sand the entire house, so ceilings, walls, anywhere that’s going to be painted we’ll just go ahead and check that, sand it, refinish it, make sure it’s ready for that final coat of paint.

Greg:    At this point the trim’s been painted but the drywall behind it only has the initial primer on it. Is that correct?

Jason:    Yeah. It has the tinted primer on it.

Greg:    Okay.

Jason:    Once the drywall man’s come back through if there’s some larger spots that have been patched we’ll need to prime those and we’ll come in and we’ll actually prime all the spots again just so when we put that finish coat on you get a consistent finish on the walls.

Greg:    Okay.

Jason:    We do a lot of matte finish or even a slight eggshell on the walls you’ll just need that second coat to really finish it off. Again, maybe sometimes if you get into a satin finish or something a little bit more you might need a third coat on the walls, but usually two coats will do it. The painter comes in, my painter likes to tape off all of the trim so he gets a good clean, crisp line between the trim and the walls.

Greg:    That’s what I was wondering because you do some really complicated trim, so you’re saying the poor painter has to go tape all that off?

Jason:    He does. He does. A lot of times we won’t tape off everything, but we’ll usually tape off the baseboard and casing. Usually the crown mold, the painter can work up there and he can cut that in pretty good and detailed, but anything right there at eye level where he’s going to be working we’ll go ahead and tape that off with some blue painters tape.

Greg:    Okay.

Jason:    Again, we’ll come in, cut in with a brush all the spots around the trim, baseboard, casing, and then we’ll come back in with a roller and put that finish coat on and it’s at this stage that the house, it’s amazing. It really transforms. When you go from that primer coat to that finish coat of trim it’s really solidifying the house and it’s really starting to become a home because it goes from maybe more of a construction site to a home. You’re covering up all those imperfections over time and you’re seeing one solid surface that it’s really starting to look good at this point.

Greg:    I bet you have clients who are ready to go. It seems like you’re done enough. Can I move in yet?

Jason:    Yeah. You would think. Again, we’re not quite there yet.

Greg:    I’m sure.

Jason:    There’s still a little bit more in the process. A little more fuel left in the tank that we gotta go to finish off this baby.

Greg:    Okay. Why don’t you tell us a couple of the next steps. Maybe I can guess one because we haven’t done the kitchen yet.

Jason:    Yeah. The kitchen is going to be next. Once all the trim work is done, all the painting of the walls are done, we’ll bring in the cabinetry. Sometimes we’ll bring in the cabinetry before the final coat goes on the wall. Again, there’s so many moving pieces and schedules and other houses going that you’ve got to juggle these things and there’s some best practices you can follow and there’s some other times that you just have to juggle a little bit. Sometimes we’ll bring in the cabinetry before the final coat goes on the wall. Usually we’ll get that final coat on the wall, final coat on the trim and then it’s ready for cabinets at that point.

Greg:    All right. I guess I have all week to look forward to talking about cabinets and kitchens and I think you talked about some of the tile people coming back around that time to really finish that room off so I am looking forward to next week.

Jason:    Yeah, and then maybe even a little lighting to light up all that freshly painted space. Yeah. Come on back next week and we’ll take you to the next step.

Greg:    Perfect. See you then.

Jason:    Thanks, Greg.

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Louisville Custom Home Builder podcast. If you’re looking to build a home and would like to reach out to Jason with any questions about the process or maybe just your individual needs and desires, please visit the website at We appreciate your time with us today and look forward to bringing you another episode next week.