How to know when to DIY, and when to call in the Pro’s
With the new craze of YouTube tutorials and thrift flips, the DIY trend is bigger than ever! Everyone wants to have a hand in transforming their home. However, when it comes to painting there are some projects that just don’t make sense to tackle yourself. The following list will give you items to consider when trying to decide if you can take on the project, or if you need a professional’s help.
Interior or Exterior
Are you looking to have the interior of your home painted, or the exterior? Interior work can be much simpler to DIY, depending on the size of the home. With Exterior Painting you have to take into consideration the temperature outside, precipitation, and where the sunlight hits. Not to mention Exterior projects usually involve power-washing and extensive priming. This all can be a bit overwhelming for a DIY project, and something that professional painters are completely prepared to tackle.
How big is the area you want painted?
Are you painting one room? Maybe you just want to add an accent wall? Smaller projects like this are very manageable to DIY. Get a friend or two to help, and you can have it completed in one weekend. This is cost and time effective if your project is minimal. However, if you’re thinking about more of a large scale project, it might be time to call a professional. They have the man-power and tools to complete a project that may take you many weeks in only a few days.
One story or multiple?
Depending on how you are with heights, painting one story may be a reasonable task for a confident homeowner. Usually you can reach the ceilings with a normal ladder, whereas two-story projects will require an extension ladder and other equipment that is not a reasonable ask of the average homeowner.
How extensive is the prep work?
If you’re painting over a new surface, the prep work is greatly minimized. This cuts both the time, and expertise needed to complete the project significantly. A little spot priming and one coat of paint should get the project completed to your satisfaction, and most DIY painters can handle that with minimal trouble. However, if you have older siding, rotting wood, dents or holes in drywall, or old paint that needs scraping, your workload can very easily become unmanageable. Find a professional who is equipped to repair and prepare the surface in the correct manner, and you will save yourself quite a big headache.
Is there a possibility of Lead Paint?
If your house was built before 1978, there is a chance that lead paint was used. This situation will always require a professional. Painting companies will have the proper knowledge and equipment to inspect, clean, and seal off the area. They will choose either lead paint removal, or encapsulation. Both of which require experience, and if attempted on your own can be dangerous or ineffective.
Blank slate or detailed work?
What kind of area are you wanting painted? If it’s mostly walls then simply using a roller brush gets the job done quickly and easily. However, if your house has a lot of architectural details such as crown molding, multiple windows, arches, and wooden beams on the ceiling, this requires much more effort and skill. This kind of detailed painting can be tricky for a DIY project, not to mention it takes much more time than rolling a wall. In addition to time and effort, detailed projects like this require more materials as well. This can include more tape and different kinds of brushes.
Do you want to drastically change the color?
Are you painting the surface the same, or a similar, color? If so, a DIY project is definitely possible. Color matching doesn’t require extensive priming, and can usually be completed successfully with one finishing coat. However, if you are changing the color dramatically, such as going from a deep blue to a light grey, this will require a full prime and two coats of premium paint. Projects like these are usually better left to a professional.
How much experience do you have?
Are you an avid “Do it yourself-er” or is this your first attempt? While everyone has to start somewhere, genuinely consider if you have the knowledge or experience to attempt your desired project. Maybe start with something small, like an accent wall, and see how it turns out. This will give you a better idea of the difficulty and time needed to complete a painting project. If you have done your own painting work in the past, are you satisfied with the end result? Would you be happy if this next project turned out the same? If the answer is yes, go for it! However, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, there is no shame in bringing in a pro.