May 12

Interior Painting: DIY or Hire a Professional?


When you’re ready to update your home’s interior paint, it may be tempting to head to your local hardware store and buy a few gallons of paint and dive right into the painting process. Interior painting requires a great deal of time and patience, and, of course, skill to achieve a professional, high-quality finish. If you are thinking about tackling an interior paint project, following these steps will help ensure good results.

6 Basic Steps for Interior Painting

Preparation is often the most time-consuming part of a paint project, but it is also the most important. The more time you spend preparing your interior surfaces, the better your finished product will be.

1. Clear the Space

The more furniture you can remove from the room you want to paint, the better. It will make cleaning and painting easier. Remove everything from the walls and cover items you can’t remove with a drop cloth, old bed sheet, or even an old shower curtain. 

2. Clean Thoroughly

Dust, dirt, pet hair, lint, and even barely visible grime can ruin a new paint job. All surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned with mild soap and water, rinsed well, and allowed to dry thoroughly. If the surface is greasy or excessively dirty, read these cleaning tips before proceeding.

3. Repair and Sand

Filling and sanding small holes, nicks, and scratches creates a smooth surface and makes it easier to apply paint. Use a small handheld power sander or a sheet of sandpaper to smooth repaired areas. After sanding, thoroughly vacuum and wipe down all surfaces.

4. Tape Around the Edges

Use painter’s tape around trim, windows, edges, outlets, and switches. Make sure to remove the tape before the paint thoroughly dries. Carefully pull the tape off at an angle for a clean paint line.

5. Don’t Skip the Primer

Using a high-quality primer is worth the extra time and effort. Priming is recommended when painting new, bare, or exposed surfaces. If you are applying a light color over a previously dark color, priming will make the paint go on easier and ensure better color accuracy. Surfaces that receive a lot of wear and tear, like cabinets and doors, should always be primed. 

6. Apply the Paint

Apply at least two thin, even coats of paint. When applied at room temperature, most latex paints will be dry to the touch within an hour or less and can be recoated within about four hours. Poor ventilation, extreme temperatures, and high humidity will increase drying times.

DIY or Hire a Professional Painter?

Use the Right Tools

From high-end to budget-friendly, tools range in price, but the key concept to remember is that you get what you pay for and cheap tools will make it harder to achieve a professional looking finish. In addition to primer and paint, you’ll need the following:

  • Spackle or caulk
  • Sandpaper or an electric sander
  • Protective eyewear
  • Rollers and brushes
  • Paint trays
  • An extension pole
  • Painter’s tape
  • Step ladder
  • Tarps or dust covers
  • Rags or old towels for spills

Rollers cover larger surfaces quickly and eliminate the streaks that brushes leave behind. Look for a roller cover with a short nap for painting smooth surfaces like cabinets and doors. Several different size brushes are needed to get into corners, nooks, and crannies. Purchase the highest quality rollers and brushes you can afford.

DIY or Hire a Professional?

Applying a couple of coats of paint in a small bedroom may be a reasonable task for a handy DIYer. Painting an entire home is a project that requires significant time, additional tools and supplies, and experience to complete. Consider the following when deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional for an interior painting project:

  • Safety – High vaulted ceilings are common in many homes and are dangerous for most DIYers to handle on their own. If a room requires extension ladders, scaffolding, and safety equipment, hire a professional painting crew. They’ll have the right training and equipment to complete the job safely.
  • Surface Conditions – If your walls need a lot of scraping, spackling, sanding, and priming, the same-size project may take twice as long for a DIYer. Professional painters are experts at making these repairs and will ensure that surfaces are properly prepped before any paint is applied.
  • Significant Color Changes – If you are changing from a dark color to a light neutral, expect to prime and apply at least two coats of paint. Consult with a professional paint contractor before attempting to make big color changes. They know exactly how to prime and paint to get the best results.
  • Degree of Difficulty – Painting walls with a roller is easy for most DIYers. Ceilings and trim are usually far more difficult and time-consuming. Rooms with wide baseboards, built-in cabinetry, or elaborate trim around windows and ceilings demand more time and expertise. A lot of trim means a lot of meticulous brushwork, and that is best done by professional painters.

Preparation, repairs, and clean-up all take a significant amount of time and energy. The size of the rooms, the condition of the home, and the skill of the people completing the work all impact any DIY project. Professional painters make it look easy because they have the training, experience, and tools to achieve beautiful, long-lasting results.

The most important reason to hire a professional is the results you get. Simply put, professional painters are experts in their field. They know how to prep surfaces so paint lasts longer, and they have the skill to produce clean lines, accurate colors and a perfect finish for both interior and exterior surfaces. A professional paint job can even improve the value of your home when it’s time to sell.

Trust the Local Painting Professionals

The benefits of hiring a professional painter are numerous. You’ll save time, energy, and money. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing the work was done safely and professionally. By hiring local painting professionals, you’ll benefit from their expertise and support your local community at the same time. 

Mr. Mole’s Painting LLC offers a variety of interior and exterior painting services for both commercial and residential properties. We provide in-person and virtual quotes for your convenience. Contact us today at (218) 255-7168 to discuss your needs. We look forward to working with you.


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