Painting has long been one of the most popular DIY projects. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a homeowner who hasn’t painted some portion of their house. And while many homeowners are quick to tackle the project themselves, hiring a pro is the best option to ensure professional results. So, why should you hire a pro and what do you need to know? We’ll tell you.Exterior Painting
If you live in a house long enough you’re going to have to paint its exterior. While a touch up here and there is enough to keep it well maintained, after a while it’s going to need a fresh coat of paint. Most exterior paints are designed to last between eight to ten years, though the lifespan will depend on the quality of the paint and your environment.
Picking the Right Paint
When it comes to paint you’ve got a couple of key decisions to make: what type and what color. Most homeowners start by tackling the toughest question first - picking out the right color. This can be tough because color preference is very subjective. It can also be tough because a color might look good in the store but lousy when applied to a larger area. Our advice is to take a look around your neighborhood and choose a color that blends in. While you might love big, bold colors, you don’t want to be the house on the block that sticks out for all the wrong reasons. This is especially important if you’re thinking about selling your house in a few years.
Next, you need to choose what type of paint to use. Often, what you choose will depend on the type of material the paint is covering, as well as the type of paint previously used. Most pros recommend matching the paint type to the type that’s already been applied, so if you know that the previous paint was latex, choose a latex paint. If you’re not sure what was used, go with an alkyd-based paint. As far as paint types are concerned, your first decision is whether you’re going with a water- or oil-based paint. What’s the difference? Water-based paints such as latex are durable, fast drying, and easy to clean up. On the other hand, oil-based paints have longer drying times and are harder to clean up. However, many pros choose oil-based paints due to its durability.
Hiring a Pro
Painting the exterior of your house is a big, labor-intensive job that requires a significant amount of prep work and the right tools. It’s a job that can quickly consume multiple weekends, especially if you own a multi-level house. It’s no surprise then that many homeowners choose to hire a pro to ensure the job is done right. And while it’s more expensive than doing the job yourself, by the time you factor in the cost of materials and the cost of your free time, you’ll likely find that hiring a pro is the smartest choice. If you’re wondering how much you should expect to pay, our Cost Guide will tell you how much others in your area have paid to have their homes painted by a pro.
There is no hard and fast rule dictating when you should re-paint your home’s interior walls. Given how durable interior paints have become, many homeowners only paint their interior walls when they want to change up their home’s color scheme. That being said, if your walls are looking worn or that color is so last year, it’s probably time to apply a fresh coat of paint.
Picking the Right Paint
If you’re freshening up existing paint with the same paint your decision is pretty easy. However, the decision gets trickier if you’re changing things up and going with a new color. First, you need to choose a new color. While you probably already have a good idea of colors you like and colors you don’t, the room you’re painting will play a large part in the color you choose. Small spaces should be painted with lighter colors to avoid creating a room that feels claustrophobic. Bedrooms should be painted in soft, cool tones to create a sense of relaxation. For kitchens, choose something bright and lively, yet slightly subdued to create a room that buzzes with positive energy. Large common areas can be painted with neutral colors and livened up with bold accent walls.
As far as finish is concerned, that too will be largely dependent on the room you’re painting. Many pros recommend a matte or satin finish for low-traffic rooms such as bedrooms and hallways - these finishes have no sheen (matte) or very little sheen (satin). When it comes to living rooms, kitchens or other high-traffic areas, it’s best to go with a gloss or semi-gloss. That being said, if you prefer a matte finish in your kitchen, there’s no rule that says you can’t use a matte finish in your kitchen or have to use a gloss for trim.
Hiring a Pro
While interior painting is definitely DIY-able, you might want to consider hiring a pro to tackle the project for you. For one, they’ll be able to complete the job much faster than you’d be able to, meaning you don’t have to spend your weekend painting. Second, hiring a pro ensures that the job will be done right and up to your exacting standards. Last but not least, while you might have to spend money hiring a pro, you won’t have to spend it purchasing all the supplies you’ll need for the job, making the job much more affordable than you might think. Check out our Cost Guide to see how much others in your area are spending on their interior painting projects. When you’re ready to get started, we’ll help you find a painter you can trust to get the job done right.