When it comes to giving your home a fresh paint job, you might be tempted to pull out your roller and do it yourself. But should you? While rolling on a coat of paint or two might seem simple, there are some serious considerations when taking on a project yourself. “It’s really dependent on the skill level of the individual, the tools they have, the detail of the project, and the amount of prep that needs to be done,” says Rick Watson, director of product information and technical services at Sherwin-Williams. So, how exactly do you determine when to do a DIY paint job and when it’s best to hire a pro? Read on for expert-approved tips.
Hire a pro if… You Have High Ceilings
“Safety is something that people often don’t think about,” says Watson. If you can’t comfortably reach what you’re painting with a stepladder, it’s not worth it. Don’t risk straining yourself—or worse, falling—for the sake of a coat of paint. Plus, there’s a high chance of making messy mistakes if you’re struggling to reach your canvas. Watson also adds that you should bring in a pro if your ceiling has any water damage. “If you had a major leak in your ceiling and the texture is coming off, I might call in a drywall company to come in.”
You’re Using a Specialty Finish
Unless you have experience using speciality paints yourself, leave the lacquer and high glosses to the pros. “Lacquers are typically spray applied only,” says Watson. “You don’t even want to go down that road,” he warns. Watson also points out that any high-shine product will be quick to highlight imperfections. Even professionals, he says, should be careful when it comes to applying this sort of paint because of the likelihood of marks. Instead, he suggests opting for flat or matte finish paints. “Those are more forgiving and they don’t telegraph those bumps and dings so much.” Call Professional painting services Ann Arbor to help your problem.
Your Walls Are in Poor Condition
This one’s pretty simple: If it can’t be fixed with a little spackle, hire a professional. “A few little dings and nicks isn’t a big deal,” says Watson. But “when you’re starting to talk about major holes in drywall, that’s something you might want to consider hiring out.”
You Need to Strip Old Paint
If your home was built more than 40 years ago, there’s a chance that your walls could be covered in lead-based paint. If inhaled, it could cause serious health problems, like lead poisoning, giving you all the more reason to bring in the pros. “Any type of sanding or scraping or scuffing could create lead,” he warns. So, why strip old paint anyway? As Watson says, “Paint is only as good as what’s underneath it,” so removing age-old layers of paint is a must. He explains that without suitable prep work, new paint would simply sit atop the old layer—sanding and priming offer something for the paint to adhere to. “You should really strip it down and do it properly—it will last an extended period of time.”
Go Ahead and DIY If…
If your walls are in good condition and you’re just looking for a simple color change, go ahead and DIY. Touching up small spots or repainting a child’s room, for example, don’t necessarily require a pro. “Painting something like a bedroom is as simple as taking your furniture out and getting out a step ladder out. It doesn’t require a lot of time or energy,” Watson says. However, just because you’re not using a pro, doesn’t mean you should skimp on tools. “You spent $70 on a gallon of paint, but you’re going to apply it with a dollar roller?” Watson jokes. “If you’re going to go to a quality level, invest in quality tools. If you use the proper equipment, your result could be just as good as a professional’s work.”