DIY House painting

Painting Your House: Should you DIY or Hire a Pro?

Painting your home, whether inside or out, is a great option if you want to improve your curb appeal, increase its value, or just freshen it up. But while painting may seem like a simple endeavor at first, there’s a lot that goes into it if you want it done right the first time.

Painting your house is a very long and even complex process, even if you choose to hire a professional. Here are several important factors to consider when you’re considering repainting.

Do-It-Yourself vs. Hiring a Professional

While we’d all probably opt for hiring a professional if we each had copious amounts of money, the reality is many of us may not have the luxury of paying someone else to do all the hard work of painting. An obvious pro to DIY house painting is that it’s going to be a lot cheaper. Another possible pro is that if you’re painting outside, it’ll most certainly be during nice weather and that can be a highly enjoyable endeavor. And if you paint by hand instead of using a sprayer, you have the option of finishing the project over time rather than having to take a whole day or weekend to get the job done.

However, there are also cons to the DIY route. These can include the physical fatigue that comes with a large job, making sure everything is properly prepped (tape, primer, floor and furniture coverings, paint fumes, etc.), and it’s not an easily reversible job if you realize you don’t like the color.

Professionals will cost you more than a DIY job because you’re paying for labor, so this could be a major budgetary con for some. You also have the hassle of making sure you find the best painter for the job if you don’t already have a solid recommendation. However, there are plenty of pros to going with a professional. They typically work on teams, so the job will get done faster. They’ll also most likely have jobs lined up, and this too leads to motivation to finish the job in a timely manner. You’ll most likely cover the cost of paint, but the supplies are usually owned by the company, so this is a great benefit if you have a particularly large or detailed paint job you need done.

Choosing a Color

Let’s be real: this is everyone’s favorite part of the painting process.

If you’re painting your house because you’re planning on selling it, then be sure to choose a color that will appeal to most potential buyers. This usually means a neutral interior color, or an exterior color that fits in with the other houses in your neighborhood.

If the paint job is just for you and your family, you can of course go any route you choose, but try to choose a color that you not only like, but that also fits the overall style of your house.

Either way, buy paint samples (about 1-quart each) and apply it to at least two sides of your house in order to see the colors in different lights.

What About Weather?

If you’re painting outside, you don’t want the weather to be too hot or too cold. Don’t paint on a rainy or snowy day, of course, and don’t paint a wet surface. Don’t paint when the relative humidity level is 50% or higher, as the paint will dry much slower due to the moisture.

Consider temperature as well, as this can affect the curing of the paint. Direct sun, for example, will often create waves and ripples that aren’t appealing. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit will prevent the paint from drying no matter the other weather factors, so never paint at these temperatures. The best time of day to paint the exterior of your home is between the late morning and mid-afternoon. Late spring, summer, and early fall are the best times of the year to paint outside.

Cost

The major cost of any paint job is going to be the paint itself, and there are many factors to consider when purchasing the type and amount of paint, all of which can affect your price. For example, you need to consider texture, trim, windows, and doors when it comes to painting the interior of your home. When it comes to exterior painting, one gallon will usually cover 350 square feet, but keep in mind that not every exterior material is created equally. If you’re painting your home on your own, you’ll also need to purchase tools and supplies, and these can range from the necessities of a brush, pan, and tape to additional items such as rollers, gloves, masks, sheets, and so on. Keep in mind that if you go with a professional, you’ll probably end up spending three times the amount you would if you did the job yourself.