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Residential Painting: Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional Painter?

It’s time to make some updates to the home. One of them is tackling some painting projects inside as well as outside. Now is the time to ask yourself if you’re up to those tasks or if you should hire a professional painter. The answer that you come up with matters, especially since house painting involves more than grabbing a brush and dipping it into a bucket of paint.

Before you make a decision, it’s important to take stock of what needs to be done. You want to weigh that against your skillset and the sets of anyone who might lend a helping hand. Compare what you are capable of doing with what the professional can manage. If you’re like most property owners, hiring a professional will end up being the way to go. Here are some of the key points that you should consider.

Think About What Needs to be Done With the Walls 

Wall preparation before painting is essential to enjoying positive results. In order to know what needs to be done, it’s necessary to inspect the walls thoroughly. This will help identify any blemishes and other issues that may be present. Until the imperfections are resolved, there’s no point in beginning the painting. That’s true for the walls inside the home as well as the outside walls.

The reality is that you may or may not be able to readily identify everything that needs to be done before the painting begins. There may be minor imperfections in the interior sheetrock or the outdoor stucco that must be addressed first. Even if you do manage to spot all of the issues, do you know what sort of supplies and equipment it will take to repair those walls? The odds are that you don’t, but a professional painter will know exactly what resources are needed. 

If you hire a pro to take care of the painting, you can bet that the wall preparation will be completed first. That means taking care of cracks, reinforcing weak spots, and in general ensuring the surfaces are clean, smooth, and ready for fresh paint. A professional will only move forward with the priming and ultimately the coats of paint when the walls are in proper condition.


Making Sure the Advance Work is Done Responsibly

While you have many talents, wall preparation is not among them. Now is not the time to try to learn as you go. If you really want things to go properly, it’s best to hire a professional for the work.

Why does this matter? Painting is a costly project under any circumstances. It stands to reason that you want the best possible results so you enjoy more benefits from the effort. Poor preparation means the overall quality of the paint job will be lessened. Do you really want to settle for a mediocre result or would you like for it to be a great one?
Never fret because you don’t have the skills needed to manage the preparation properly or responsibly. Instead, turn to a professional who knows what to do and how to do it. This solution means that those tiny cracks found in the dining room walls will be filled in and smoothed properly. When the pro is done, it will be impossible to see where those imperfections once existed. What you will see is a wall that looks brand new. While you know what a difference the expert work made, no one else ever has to know what those walls looked like before.

Comparing Different Options for the Paint and Choosing the Best One 

You’ve already settled on the colors for the new paint job. That takes care of the paint, right? No, there’s more to it than that. The fact is there will be more than one type of paint that will work in each setting. Even so, there’s likely one, in particular, that’s best for your purposes. 

Think about some of the characteristics that set different paint options apart. First, there’s paint made for indoor rather than outdoor use. There are also different options for finishes. A flat finish may be fine, but a glossy one or maybe some kind of semi-gloss might be better. Don’t overlook how the composition of the paint ingredients can impact how the paint holds up to different types of weather, affects the color depth, and even how well the paint job resists cracking or peeling over time.

You may feel a little overwhelmed by all of the choices, but a professional will be right at home with them. By moving through the options systematically, it’s easier to settle on the paint that has all of the qualities needed to produce excellent results. With the answers to a few simple questions plus the experience that the painter brings to the table, it won’t take long to identify the solution that’s best. This is true for interior as well as exterior paint jobs.


More Than a Brush: Securing Everything Needed for the Paint Job 

With the choice of paint settled, there are still more factors to address. Specifically, there’s the need to gather everything that you will need during the setup and the actual painting. You’ll also need to think about what sort of supplies and equipment may be needed once the painting is done.

If you’ve ever done any type of painting, you’ll be aware of some of the things that must be on hand. That includes drop cloths, painter’s tape to go around window and door casings, and brushes in more than one size. There are other things that may not come to your mind immediately, but will definitely be on the professional painter’s list; they include resources like ladders, paint sprayers, scaffolding, and rollers. 

Since you don’t do painting often, it’s a given that not many of the essentials will be tucked away in the garage. If you want to try your hand at doing the painting yourself, that means those supplies have to be bought or rented. Along with the time involved going all over town to find what you need, there’s also the expense. You’ll also have to figure out what to do with the things you bought once the painting is finished. 

There’s an easier way. Hire a professional painter and all you’ll have to worry about buying is the paint and the primer. A professional will have all the other supplies and equipment on hand. There will be no need for you to spend hours finding the things that you need or figuring out where to store them when the job is complete. You won’t even have to worry about how to set them up. The professional takes care of all that. 

Would you save any money by trying to acquire everything that’s needed? You may be surprised at how closely hiring a professional and buying the paint compares to attempting to get all the resources and doing the work yourself. When you consider the fact that your efforts are not likely to result in the same quality as those of a professional, and the amount of time you spend trying to buy, rent, and then return things, later on, it becomes a no-brainer to hire the painter.


Dealing With the Issue of Wasting Resources (and Money) 

As a painting novice, you’re likely to make mistakes. Some of them could lead to wasting a fair amount of paint or one of the other resources that you’ve acquired to do the job. That’s not a reflection on you; all it means is that opting for a learn-as-you-go approach will result in using more of just about everything that would otherwise be needed. Along with the waste of resources, it also means that you waste part of the money used to acquire those resources. 

Hiring a painter means having someone on hand who knows how to make the most of every resource. The primer gets applied in an even coat without drips and other issues. The paint goes on smoothly and without the streaks and smears that are common when the work is done by those with less experience. Assuming you chose a standard color for the paint job, that means you may end up with a bucket or two that can be used for touch-ups in the years to come. You may also have buckets of paint that can be returned for refunds. 

With a painter, you can also avoid ordering way more paint and other supplies than needed. Think of how that would play out if you had a special paint color mixed. Should you end up with a lot of extra paint, that’s too bad. Few stores will accept returns on specially mixed paint colors because no one is likely to come in and want it. 

By hiring a painter who can accurately assess how much paint is needed, you may end up with no more than a spare bucket or two. That’s fine, since you will have the perfect color to use for touching up those walls in the future. What you won’t have are several buckets that will never be used and eventually have to be disposed of in some manner. 

Time: That Other Wasted Resource 

Now that you understand how a professional can help prevent the waste of tangible resources, turn your attention to something else that could be wasted if you try to tackle the painting on your own: time. You already know that hiring a pro means you don’t have to go out and find all the resources needed to do the job. That’s only the beginning in terms of making sure no time is wasted.

The fact that you’re having to learn how to prepare and then paint the space even as you do the job, individual tasks will take longer. No one masters the art of taping off casings immediately. There will be some trial and error. The same is true for using drop cloths effectively, filling a paint sprayer, and figuring which brush to use in tight spaces. That all adds up to spending more time on each task than the average professional.

Overall, that means the painter will spend less time managing each task. It also means that the amount of work that the painter can get done in any given hour will be more than you would be able to manage. That shortens the time frame for getting the entire job done, including the cleaning up. 


Those Pesky Detail Jobs

Painting interior and exterior surfaces will involve more than covering wide expanses. There will be tight spots that require attention to detail. That includes areas like where the ceiling meets the wall, the point where the eaves join with an exterior wall and the spaces around window and door casings. Tasks like these, as well as painting the trim work, are not tasks that can be hurried. They also require a close eye and a steady hand.

Clean and straight lines with detailed jobs are harder than most people realize. Those who are untrained in how to manage these tasks will find they take more than time; they also require patients. By the time you finish one small area, you may find that your patience is wearing thin.

By contrast, a professional painter has developed the patience needed to ensure all of these details are managed with care. The fact that the painter knows which resources to use does mean the tasks are likely to move along a little faster. It also means that there will be a lot less frustration. Instead, you get to enjoy the polished look that comes when a pro handles the detail work. 

Then There’s the Cleaning Up After the Painting’s Done

It’s understandable that the actual painting weighs the heaviest on your mind. Most likely, gathering supplies is next in line. What ends up being the afterthought is cleaning up after all the painting is complete.

Make no mistake about it: cleaning up is not fun and games. In fact, it’s hard work. Sprayers must be cleaned, brushes have to be soaked, scaffolding has to be dismantled, and a score of other tasks must be done. When you’re already tired from the painting, the desire to put off the cleanup until tomorrow is strong but must be resisted 

Here’s one of the less-obvious benefits of hiring a professional painter: you don’t have to deal with the cleanup. Just as the painter set up everything prior to beginning the painting, that same professional will remove all the supplies and equipment from the space. At best, you may have to carry a can of spare paint to the garage for storage.

It’s your home and your decision. Will you attempt to manage a painting job of this magnitude for the first time, or will you hire a professional? Consider what you stand to gain in terms of better use of resources, saving money, and having less frustration to deal with if you hire a professional. There’s a good chance that you’ll decide to call a pro, arrange to get a quote and set a date for someone other than yourself to take care of this home improvement task.