Buying and owning investment property has been something of a craze in the past decade. But as money got tight, and rental rates dropped, some casual blast-resistant building owners of multi-family residences have decided to save money on re-painting and do it themselves. They may know real estate investing, but do they really know how to paint an apartment building?

Before we discuss interior painting of individual Blast-Resistant Building Rentals units, we’ll look at the exterior portion of the job.

Let’s say you own a four plex. It was last painted 7 years ago. You’re going to do the bulk of your work before you ever put a brush in a bucket of paint.

Stucco demands expert repair. You can do it yourself, but a bad patch job will stick out even when covered with a new coat of paint. If your apartment building is wood, or siding, you have the same issue. It makes no sense to paint over flaws. You may think paint will cover all ills, but it will actually create more. In fact, if you did not own your building the last time it was painted, one reason it may need it now is because the surface had not been properly prepared. Every hole, crack, blister, nick and ding should be repaired. Take the time to pull old caulk and reseal every window sash, door jamb and seam. Think of it this way: doing this paint job increases the value of your property and gives you a return on investment. Investing time and energy into repairs is part of the bottom line.

The surface must be cleaned. For your four-unit building, power washing is really the only choice, and will be a real time saver for you. Pressure washing will blast off peeling paint, as well as dirt and mold or mildew. You can rent one and do it yourself, or you can hire a pressure washing service to do it. The option is climbing ladders and scraping and sanding and then washing with long brushes and a hose.

A key factor in how to paint an apartment building is lead paint. In 2010 an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead based paint rule took effect. It is called “The Renovation, Repair, & Painting Rule”, and requires owners to follow safe work practices when disturbing a lead-paint surface; for instance, sanding, demolition, renovation, or repair. The law applies to housing built before 1978, and any housing in which children live.

The rule changes the way painters and trades do business. They must have specialized training in removal and in working around lead paint. There are strict rules on notifying tenants and disclosing the work that will be done. Some extensive record-keeping is mandated. Ignorance of how to paint apartment buildings that has lead based paint will be no excuse to the feds. These new laws have become a major reason property owners turn to professional painters to handle the work. The training and record keeping alone are prohibitive.

Using a spray painter is the way to paint apartment buildings efficiently. You can rent them. They can be unwieldy on ladders if you aren’t proficient. You need to do an intense amount of masking and tarping of surfaces you want to protect, and that includes greenery. Warn residents and provide them information on where to leave their cars. Spraying is definitely a time saver.