DIY vs. Professional Painting: When to Call in the Experts

There’s nothing like a new paint job to make your home feel new and snazzy. If you’ve ever taken a room from plain white walls to a statement color, you know that feeling! Perhaps it’s a deep luxurious red for the bedroom or a fresh pop of green for the kitchen.

Or perhaps you’re reading this blog because your walls have suffered some damage and need a new paint job. Perhaps your toddler took to it with a permanent marker. You may be wondering: do I need to call in the painting pros? Or can I do it myself?

Read on for all the answers and learn how to paint your home’s interior.

What’s Involved with Interior Painting?

Assuming you have furniture and personal belongings in each room, painting can be a tedious chore. You’ll need to move or cover up your stuff to keep it from getting damaged.

Also, paint does tend to release fumes. These can cause respiratory distress, especially if you or a family member has asthma.

So, it’s important to fully prepare for your painting project. Can you move furniture out of the way? Do you have the proper protective gear? How’s your ventilation situation?

That’s one reason many people call on the experts. It’s simply easier to have someone else handle those tedious tasks for you.

But if you decide to DIY it, plan ahead: you’ll need to get protective coverings for your floor, furniture, and yourself! Make sure no one will go into the room while it’s drying — especially dogs or cats who can leave little paw prints everywhere. Be prepared to open windows and doors to vent the fumes.

What Do You Need to Paint a Room Yourself?

Before you even pick up a brush, make sure your walls are (a) clean and (b) free of cracks, holes, and scuffs. You may need to patch the drywall and sand it smooth before painting.

If you want to paint a room yourself, you’ll need some important supplies:

  • Paint trays
  • Brushes of various sizes (e.g. chip brushes for corners and small brushes for decorative trims, etc.)
  • Foam rollers and paint roller frame
  • A paint roller extension pole to reach high parts
  • Painter’s tape
  • Dropcloths
  • A bucket of water for keeping brushes wet
  • Rags (the more, the better)

And of course, you’ll need the paint.

How much paint do I need?

It’s quite easy to under- or overestimate the amount of paint you’ll need. As a rule, one gallon covers about 400 square feet. To calculate your square footage, you just multiply the room’s height by its width.

It gets complicated, though, once you start factoring in doors and windows. A 10-foot wide windowless room takes as much paint as a 15-foot room with four windows. And remember, you’ll need to apply at least two coats of paint. So while one gallon may cover a mid-sized room one time, you don’t want to end up short on paint during your second coat!

What type of paint do I use?

If you’ve ever purchased paint, you’ve likely noticed they come in different finishes: flat, matte, satin, eggshell, glossy, etc. In fact, the more you look, the more complicated it gets. Semi-gloss. High-gloss. Low-lustre. Which is best?

You can rank these finishes from low to high sheen, as below:

  • Flat — no light reflected at all
  • Matte
  • Eggshell
  • Low-lustre
  • Pearl
  • Satin
  • Soft Gloss
  • Semi-Gloss
  • High Gloss — mirror-like reflection

Flat and matte paints are good for hiding flaws in your wall or ceiling; however, they’re more prone to stains and scuffs. High gloss paints are extremely durable but can highlight dents, cracks, and other flaws. The other finishes fall into the middle ground, but the right choice depends on your walls’ quality, lifestyle, lighting, and many other factors.

Most people prefer sheens ranging from eggshell to satin for interior walls. Semi-gloss is great for doors and trim. Flat is an ideal choice for ceilings as no one is likely to kick or scrape the ceiling (cats notwithstanding).

As you see, there’s a lot to think about. Hiring paint professionals can spare you a lot of frustration — and math. Call CorsPaint and let us handle it for you!

Special Considerations for Interior Painting

Painting isn’t always about applying a spiffy new color to your walls. Paint is also a powerful sealant and protectant. For example, many people are now using mold-resistant paint for their bathrooms.

The more you want your paint to do, the more important your prep work is. As we mentioned, higher-sheen paints are typically used for high-traffic areas because they’re more resistant.

Matching Previous Colors

Do you need to paint just one part of your wall, perhaps due to your budding-artist toddler? You may think it’s easier to DIY the repaint job.

Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. When paint is mixed at the store, pigment gets added to a specific base. Even when stored properly, paint oxidizes over time, which can change the color. Plenty of people have opened an old can of paint and discovered it dries a different color than the coat they applied five years ago.

If possible, get a fresh can of the exact same brand and hue you purchased before. If not, consult with an expert to see how you can match the color as closely as possible.

Complementing Colors

Accent walls are all the rage. If you’re craving a deep purple living room wall or a pop of zany color for your kids’ room, remember that color is subjective! How we perceive it depends heavily on the other colors in the room.

Ideally, the accent wall complements the rest of the room. That includes your furniture as well.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. They have an eye-popping effect when paired — hence their popularity for sports team logos.

  • Red and green
  • Yellow and purple
  • Orange and blue
  • Green and magenta

To keep your home from looking like a fan club, use color contrast in your scheme. Contrasting colors have different amounts of tint and shade. For example, bright green may look zany against magenta, but a muted pistachio hue pairs well with it.

Don’t forget that color comes from reflected light. When mixed in light, they cancel each other out. So if you have a bunch of red furniture, a green accent wall may not pop as much as you’d like. The red hues will reflect against it, muting the green color.

Your lighting choices matter, too. If you love those “warm light” bulbs (below 3000 degrees Kelvin), they’re going to make golden walls look more yellowish-green.

If you’re not feeling confident in color theory, fear not: hire the professional painting team at CorsPaint to make your accent wall dream a reality!

Think Before You Paint

Painting seems easy enough, but it takes proper planning to make your home look amazing. Make sure your walls are clean, even, and primed — and taped, so you don’t end up smudging your window frames and appliances!

Before you even purchase paint, decide which sheen level will work best for your needs. You’ll also want to consider your existing colors and lighting to pick the best hue.

So while you can DIY your interior painting project, it will likely save you time and stress to hire professionals. If your walls have experienced a lot of damage or you’re concerned about fumes, definitely reach out to the experts!

The team at CorsPaint is more than happy to help. Schedule a free estimate now.