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- Painting the House: Should You Hire a Pro?
Painting the House: Should You Hire a Pro?
Have you painted before? Knowledge of painting techniques is important. “People tend to overbrush, extending paint too far and not putting on a thick enough coat,” says Lyster. Sprayers can put on a lot of paint in a hurry but require skill to use. If a house incorporates several colors, that design feature requires more skill in “cutting in,” where the colors butt up against each other, says Seitz.
Do you know your paint needs? Estimating paint needs will be more difficult for a DIYer. Homeowners can use Valspar’s online paint calculator. Experts also suggest talking with knowledgeable paint retailers. They can provide advice for many painting problems or direct you to experienced pros.
Can you physically handle the job? Being able to physically handle the job is a consideration. The mind may be willing, but painting an entire house requires a certain amount of fitness. “It’s physical work and takes arm and upper body strength,” says Lyster. Climbing up and down ladders for prep and painting also figures in.
TIME AND LABOR
Your DIY estimate depends on your skills and experience in assessing the project. For a large project, it also depends on how much reliable, qualified help you have. If enlisting family or friends, learn if they have had previous experience and whether their time restraints could leave you with a project half-finished.
Will you have time for needed prep work? Expect to spend 30–50% of the time on proper prepping. You won’t want to skimp on surface preparation. “Most failures of exterior paint are due to poor surface preparation or structural defects that lead to water damage. Extra time spent on stripping the exterior surface is almost always worth it,” says Minchew. If the house has signs of water damage, the damage must be repaired and the source of the water corrected before painting. Check caulking around windows; replace it if necessary. Check the gutters and roof. Roof leaks, ice dams, and plugged or leaking gutters can lead to moisture problems in the exterior walls that can affect paint.
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