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PAINTING 101: WHEN TO DIY, WHEN TO CALL A PRO

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August 24, 20223 min read

There are times when the color on your walls just doesn’t work. Paint can become dated, dirty, or scuffed — scratched beyond a simple touch-up. Whatever the reason, there are few projects that have as great an impact on your home’s aesthetic appeal as re-painting.

But should you paint your house yourself? There are several factors that go into that answer. Keep reading to learn when it’s okay to grab a brush and when a professional is a must.

EXTERIOR

Exterior painting is almost always best left to the pros. Professional painters will know which type of paint is best and have the equipment necessary to prep the home for painting. Zillow explains that exterior painting is a labor-intensive job; it’s a big project that will also pay off in the long run if you plan to sell your home. Your painters can even help you choose a color scheme that works with your home’s style and neighborhood and a brand that will hold up against the weather. HGTV offers a few ideas on color palettes to get you started.

The greatest risk you face painting outside is falling from a ladder. Another area of concern outdoors is how the elements have affected the surface to be painted. A pro will know what to look for and can replace damaged or rotted wood. Painting over damaged wood will only slightly prolong the amount of time before it has to be fixed and might leave your home susceptible to even further damage from rain or animal infestation.

INTERIOR

If you only want to paint one small room, such as the guest bathroom, laundry room, or mudroom, you can probably tackle that yourself. These are areas that don’t get much traffic and likely won’t have to handle regular cleaning. Make sure to use a quality paint and paintbrush, and carefully cover any surfaces you don’t want dotted with paint drips. The rest of the house is a different story, especially if you’ve never painted before or are uncomfortable on a ladder.

If you have high ceilings, DIY-ing your paint job leaves you at risk of falls; this risk is even greater if you want to paint an interior stairwell, which can be many times higher than your home’s first-floor ceiling and requires balancing a ladder on an uneven surface. Another downfall to do-it-yourself interior painting is the prep work. While not as important as exterior painting prep, there is still plenty of work to be done before the first coat of paint hits the wall, especially in the kitchen where grease build-up can affect your paint job.

POST-PAINT TIPS

Once the painting is complete, you’ll want to keep it looking new as long as possible. Thankfully, if you’ve hired a pro, your home will have high-quality paint that can withstand even crayon-on-the-wall level cleanups. Wait two weeks for the paint to cure completely, then wipe each wall down once a week with a mild detergent. Use only gentle pressure and avoid harsh chemicals, which may damage the paint. Touch-ups may be completed using the original paint.

Before hiring a painting contractor, ask them for a quote in writing and for a list of local, recent references. Also, ask about insurance and their timeline. In some cases, you may be better off working with a handyman service rather than painting contractors, particularly if a job is relatively small and includes some minor repair work. Compare reviews and ratings through sites like Angi.com, and look for Chicago professionals that offer the services you’re looking for. With careful consideration, you may even find a pro with an advertised special.

While it might cost a little more, going pro for your painting projects will keep you safe so you can tackle other DIY endeavors.

Author: Cindy Aldrich

InlandRe

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