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Hire a Painting Contractor or Do-It-Yourself?

Hire a Painting Contractor or Do-It-Yourself?

Published: 31/03/2010 by Patsy Hamilton for

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to hire a painting contractor for any large job inside or out. Unless you really enjoy preparing surfaces, sanding and mixing paint, you can probably find a more valuable use for your time.

Painters are professionals. They know how to prepare different surfaces. They know what kind of primer to use and which kind of paints work best.

If you walk through the paint section of your local home improvement store, you will see that there are dozens of different types to choose from. Flat, semi-gloss, latex, acrylic and oil-based are just a few of the terms you will see.

There are dozens of different kinds of brushes in all shapes and sizes. The bristles are made of different materials. Is a synthetic or natural fiber better?

There are tiny sponges for doing trim work and applying specific kinds of finishes. Is a natural sponge better than a man-made one?

While the companies that make the sponges and the brushes might say something different, it is the experience and the talent of the painter that makes the difference. An experienced painting contractor can use all types of application tools, because they understand the differences.

They have made their mistakes when they were going through their training and apprenticeship. Not only is it a matter of experience. There is some talent involved, too. They might not be landscape artists, but they know how to work with different mediums to give you the look that you want.

You can do small jobs on your own if you have the time. You’ll just want to do a little research about preparing the material.

You can also do your own research about what materials different kinds of paints adhere to best. Drying time is another important consideration.

An experienced painting contractor will know that oil-based paints take close to 24 hours to dry completely. If you are in a hurry to use a room, they might recommend a fast-drying acrylic.

There is also the issue of disposal. If you decide to do the job on your own, you will need to make sure that you are disposing of any leftover paint properly. For example, oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste in most places.

There are regulations concerning its proper disposal. Contractors are aware of and responsible for disposing of any hazardous waste. That takes another burden off of your shoulders.

The only advantage to DIY is that you might save some money. An experienced painting contractor will charge for time and materials.

You would only need to pay for the materials, if you did the work yourself. But what if something goes wrong?

Mistakes are easy to make and they can be costly. If a painter makes a mistake, he will have to correct it and pay for the costs out of his pocket.

If you want to save money, post your project here at Let the contractors compete for your business. You might find that hiring a painting contractor costs less than you thought it would.

Patsy Hamilton is a home improvement journalist at For more great useful home improvement articles please visit

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