Painting and Polishing
PAINTING AND POLISHING
Painting and polishing go hand in hand; so much so that ideally they should be
done by the same contractor. Polish can get on to painted surfaces and paint
can get on to polished surfaces. If you have two contractors, cleaning and
finishing falls between the cracks. We got polishing done before the painting,
but had the polish guy come back for a day or two after painting to touch up
some of the polish that had been covered by paint. But there was a lot of
back and forth about who would do what cleaning; from that perspective its
best to get a single contractor. Also get a painter who will do minor PoP
work too. We had some minor PoP work to do but our painter would not do it and
we could not get a PoP guy to come for such small work. We had to really
convince our painter to do this small work for us, and it is generally the norm
that the painter can do some minor PoP work for last-minute finishing.
Polishing is a major item when you use veneers in your furniture because
the entire furniture piece has to be polished. Since we did not use veneers,
I do not know how much it costs or how long it takes. We just did minor
polishing for the edges of our furniture where they put the wooden lipping patti.
My guess is that this edge-polishing is more costly since it has to be done by
hand whereas they just use spray machines for polishing entire pieces of furniture.
All such polishing is charged on a running-foot basis with the material provided
by the polish fellow. Polishing teams work
like carpenters - long hours. Its best to sync up the carpenters and polishing
teams so that their work can overlap and you can save some time. Without
veneers, our polish work for furniture in about three rooms hardly took a week.
You have to be careful about examining polished work as its very easy to miss
small parts. And choose your colors well. If you are re-using material from old
furniture, lighter polish does not apply well on darker surfaces from an earlier
polishing job. Its best to stick to darker colors as much as possible.
There are three types of polish:
- Natural polish: This will leave the natural color of the wood underneath.
It will not match the laminate color. Its the cheapest option around Rs. 10/r.ft.
- Color polish: As the name suggests, this will match the color of the laminate.
It will cost any where from Rs. 12/r.ft. to Rs. 20/r.ft.
Melamine polish: After the color polish, melamine is sprayed on the surface to make
it last longer. You can get a glossy or a matte finish. This is the most expensive
polish and can cost between Rs. 15/r.ft. and Rs. 25/r.ft. You can do melamine
polishing in the more visible and high-usage areas such as living room pieces and
cupboard doors, and stick to regular color or natural polish on inside surfaces such
as shelves, drawers, etc.
Painting in done in two phases. First the painters will apply the primer and putty.
They will try to fill some of the cracks in the walls and smooth the surfaces.
This step can be done almost at any time after the floor tiling is done. The main
painting is done in the second phase. Here they further open up existing cracks,
fill them up with lambi, do minor PoP finishing, and then do the painting. The actual painting
is done in two coats and does not take very long.
The general trend is to choose a cream or white or a pastel color for the bulk of the
walls, white for the ceiling to get maximum light reflection, and then
highlight one of the walls in the room, typically the TV wall or the bed wall. Note
that this can also be done with wood and laminates, and wallpapers. There is too
much choice in wallpapers which you can find in laminate shops such as Dalal's as
well as specialized wallpaper shops in Timber Market. Selecting paints is tricky. You
get extensive catalogs with hundreds of colors but the colors do not look the same
on the wall as in the catalog. It is pretty difficult to choose highlight colors and
we spent quite some time on it :). Also the sample paints are available in a
minimum quantity of 250 or 500ml so you end up spending quite a bit on every sample
you try. You also get some fancier textures for highlights,
glow-in-the-dark paints, etc. These will cost more and there are limited shade choices
for textures. There are different kinds of paints and textures for outside walls which
are exposed to water. Your painter should be able to recommend the right paint to use.
Navnitlal and sons in Camp area is a good shop to see catalogs for paint choices; they
also have some panels to display different textures, etc. Actual paint can be purchased
at any shop.
Painting is charged on a per sq. ft. basis. The rate is around Rs. 20-25/sq.ft. This
is inclusive of all the material and labor. Ideally the labor has to cover all your
belongings properly but they do not do a very good job and end up spending a lot
of time cleaning up the mess. And they may not do a very good job at the end of it. So be
careful to warn them earlier on to cover your stuff well.
There are two main types of paints:
There are many Indian paint companies such as Nerolac, Dulux, Asian, Berger, and
Jotun. All of them as more or less the same. Dulux pioneered the Luster finish
so if you go with Luster, best to go with Dulux. Of course, none of it really matters
- we got Asian Luster done at our place.
- Luster: This is an oil-based paint so it gives a slightly glossy and bumpy
appearance but the gloss wears off within a month. This paint is easiest to
clean. You can wipe it down with a wet cloth and its very useful with little kids
around the house. Since its oil-based, the paint smells for a couple of weeks
after application which may be bothersome to some folks. Luster is half the price
of Velvet but you need more paint so the final cost is the same. It also takes
longer to dry so the painting work may take a couple of days more.
- Velvet: Velvet is water-based so it gives a much smoother finish, matte effect,
no smell, more expensive but you need less paint for application, dries fast. Its
harder to clean compared to Luster because it is water-based. Asian calls Velvet -