Should You DIY or Hire A Professional Painter?

Depending on which side you are, the debate on DIY versus professional painters can be quite a contentious one. Getting someone to paint for you is seen as professionalism because you will enjoy the services of an experienced and skilled painting contractor. However, on the other side, painting yourself is obviously a cost saver and gives you the satisfaction that you have done the job with your own hands.

Looking at both sides of the coin, we can help uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each approach which is critical information for decision making.

The Quality of Results

While it is true that anyone can just pick up a couple of brushes and a can of paint, interior painting is much more than this. The goal is not to change the color only or do a touch up for your scratched or chipped paint, but rather to add value to your home and boost its curb appeal. Unless you are a highly trained DIY, you may not be able to achieve the level of quality a professional would.

Painting Ideas

This is another area where there seems to be much give and take between DIYers and the pros. The argument for the DIY guys is that they know better how their final product should look and as such can do it themselves rather than paying somebody to do the job. It is true that in the course of communication between the homeowner and the professional painter, some information may be lost in between resulting into a less than desirable outcome.

On the flipside, professionals use the latest technology to pick out colors and inspirational interior painting ideas that will leave your house looking and feeling the part.

Time Savings

Anyone can be able to do a job either on the first or subsequent attempts, but this will have huge implications on time. If you have a schedule that is less busy or the painting project is sizeable, you may want to try it yourself. The main advantage with professionals is that they deliver expedited results because they do this job fulltime. As a matter of fact, you can negotiate with them and come up with a deadline on when you want the work finished.

The Right Tools for the Job

It can be quite costly investing in topnotch painting tools and equipment only for you to paint once after so many years. In fact, some of these tools are expensive and meant for people who are in the job fulltime. This is where professionals come in. For them; this is a work-related investment and as such they do not have a problem buying advanced tools to help them deliver quality work.

The Financial Component

This has been the bone of contention between DIY specialists and professional painters. To some extent, the cost element can be influencing because some painters will charge you so much and yet the painting job may not be as extensive. However, if you negotiate well and do a cost-benefit analysis, hiring an expert painter can save you lots of money and money-making opportunities than doing the job yourself.


How to Prepare Your Surfaces for Interior Painting

A paint job is an excellent way to exercise your creativity and skills. No one is perfect, but when you regularly paint surfaces, your level of experience and familiarity with surfaces grows tremendously. Doubts aside, there is nothing that beats a great paint job, particularly the one you do yourself. Remember, DIY approach in painting can save you a lot of money and at the same time put you in the front seat as you paint your spaces just the way you would like them to be.

Success in interior painting requires that you have the right materials and proper tools to get the job done. However, before you start, there are instructions on how to prepare your surface so that the paint can stick well and give you a good end product.

Remove Mold

Irrespective of the season you are in, mold is an eyesore and must be scrubbed off with bleach solution if present. Let the solution remain on your surfaces for about 15 minutes and then wash it away with water. Any stains or residue that remains should be spot treated.

Clean Previously Painted Surfaces

The condition of the previous coating if any will determine to a greater extent the preparation approach required. If the surface in question is in good condition and intact, you can just paint with a little preparation. Matt or low sheen surfaces that are still in good condition can just be cleaned to remove grease, grime or dirt and then painted over. If the surface you are dealing with is timber, just rough it up enough so that the coat of paint will be able to adhere onto the surface.

Remove Wallpaper

Any wallpaper on the surface to be painted must be removed. There are proprietary remover solutions you can go for or use a steaming machine for the job. If your wallpaper is a vinyl covering, you can easily peel it off by hand when it is dry. When you remove the wallpaper, chances are it will leave a backing paper residue. This should not worry you because you can soften those residues by sponging with warm water and then scrubbing them off.

Dealing with Water Stains

Some DIY painters quickly cover water stains when they spot them. However, the best approach is to first identify where it came from because it could be a leak. Once you have contained the stain, you can do an adhesion test just to check the integrity of the paint. If the paint is okay, you can proceed to clean the surface and apply a sealer and undercoat and thereafter a top coat.

Filling and Patching

The scratches, holes and cracks on walls tell a story. Before applying a fresh coat of paint, you will first have to fill them in. Start by cleaning the areas to be filled and then use the appropriate fillers depending on the surface.

To add onto the above, some other preparations include dusting and wiping bear plasterboards, sanding new timber surfaces, and covering bright and dark colors using tinted undercoats. Ensure you always work on clean surfaces.




Understanding the Different Types of Paints and Finishes

If you want to protect or decorate your surfaces, natural wood finishes and paint are among the first line materials you need to gather. This means an understanding of the different types of paints and finishes is important because surfaces differ and so are the paints and finishes. To have a successful project, you need to choose the right products, bring along the right tools and identify the best application technique.

Good planning with reference to how you want to tackle a painting project is also important as you prepare the surfaces to be painted.

Types of Paints

A majority of the paints can be assigned to any of the following categories:

  • Semi-gloss
  • Eggshell
  • Flat
  • Gloss

Depending on the surface to be painted, you may also have to apply first coat or primer. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation when applying paint.


It is essential to use the right basecoat if your decorative finish coat is to look good and last long. Basecoats can be further sub-divided into primers and first coats.

Primers are normally used on new uncoated surfaces. Their main job is to protect the underlying material and offer a good base for additional coats. If you are working on surfaces such as melamine or tiles, there are special primers that go with these surfaces.

A first coat on the other hand is a specially formulated paint useful in building up opacity under finish coats. Experts recommend one or two coats of paint before applying the decorative finish coat. There are water-based and oil-based first coats.

Finish Coats

When you are done applying basecoats, you can then apply the finish or decorative coat. These coats come in different categories as pointed above.

Flat finish coats are latex-based paints which are used for ceilings and walls. They also come in different varieties including matt, dead-flat matt, silk, and a water-based eggshell. Flat is sometimes used on siding materials to enable them cope with moisture.

Eggshell is considered more durable than flat. It is commonly used on interior wooden surfaces as a semi-gloss alternative. Because eggshell is easier to clean, it can also be used on wall surfaces requiring a hardwearing finish.

Gloss and satin is a hardwearing finishing paint mainly used on metallic and wooden surfaces. Latex-based gloss paints are relatively easier to apply unless vulnerable to yellowing, but do not provide a high shine compared to solvent-based paints.

Solvent-Based and Water-Based Paints

Paints are generally composed of a binder and pigment. Water-based paints also known as acrylic or latex use water as their binder while solvent-based paints make use of mineral spirit binders. When using thinner-based or mineral spirit products, you must have a plan on how you will get rid of the excess paint.

Although good quality paints perform exceptionally well in all commercial and domestic situations, sometimes it pays big to use paint that is formulated for a specific task also known as specialty paints. For instance, kitchen or bathroom paints are usually formulated to resist moisture or fungal growth while floor paint is solvent-based and extremely hardwearing.