Painting the outside walls might seem like a simple and cost-effective way to increase the value of your home. It actually is both of these things, but only when done by a professional painter. When attempted by an enthusiastic amateur, a DIY painting project can be anything but. Obviously, there are some highly-skilled and enthusiastic amateurs out there but have a read of our 5 key reasons to hire a professional painter and see whether any of these might apply to you.
- You get zero kudos for a house painting injury at the pub.
Yes, we all know it’s true. Pain is fleeting, glory is forever and chicks dig scars. This might be true for some types of injuries, but limping into the pub with a gammy back having just fallen from a ladder is more likely to result in widespread mockery than an offer to play doctors and nurses. Painting the outside of your home is actually surprisingly dangerous, even with all the right equipment. Working at height is inherently dangerous, especially if you don’t have access to some scaffolding or someone to help with the ladder. Ladder fall injuries are some of the most common and can be very serious. Many of the paints used for house painting also contain high levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are even less of a good idea to inhale than they sound. Even without any accidents or injuries, it is hard physical labour over a long period of time. It’s almost all upper bodywork as well, so you don’t even have a good excuse to skip leg day at the gym. Overall, painting the outside of your home might be more of a pain (quite literally) than you think. Pain without glory is pointless, so let someone more experienced take the risk.
- It’s surprisingly complicated
It sounds like a really easy task. Just hop outside, stick a load of paint onto your brush and then smear it all over the outside of the house. Repeat for a few hours and it’s job done, time to relax with a beer. We wish it was that easy. Really, we do. But any painter worth working with knows that about half of the job is in the preparation. This means making sure that the surfaces to be painted are in good repair, removing all of the old, flaking paint and making any repairs that you might find. Then you have to choose your paint. There are many different types of paint on the market, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Doing the research to ensure that you are using the right product for your situation can take much longer than you might expect, and you’re still only really able to be guided by the manufacturer’s sales pitch, which rarely highlights the disadvantages of their products. An experienced house painter will know all of these things and will be able to choose the correct product for you. Making a mistake with the equipment and materials you choose can be dangerous (see point 1), expensive (as you may have to buy alternatives and even repaint if you made the wrong choices) or both.
- You probably don’t have the right equipment
For those who have never painted their house before, you might think that it is just a matter of heading down to the hardware store and buying a couple of brushes, a few tins of paint and getting started. Once again, the truth is a little more complex. Do you have a ladder that’s long enough for you to reach comfortably to the very top of your home? If not, you will absolutely need one (or some scaffolding and planks). Standing on tiptoes at the very top of the ladder to try to reach the last few bits is just not an option. For large expanses of wall, a paint sprayer might be the best option, but these are heavy-duty, expensive pieces of kit (and they’re hard to use well). Even simple items such as enough protective sheets to avoid splotches of paint on your patio or driveway (remember, house paint, by definition, shouldn’t wash off) can be tricky to source and more costly than you think. If you’re opting not to use a paint sprayer (definitely the best decision for a beginner), you will need long-handled brushes and rollers suitable for the kind of rough surfaces you will be working on. All of these incidentals add to the cost of painting your own home and will clutter up your shed or garage afterwards. Experienced house painters already have top quality equipment, which allows them to do a first-class job with much less effort.
- It’s really hard to get the finish perfect.
Even with the right equipment, the correct paint for the situation and the most complete preparation in the world, it’s still possible to see a difference in the work of a professional painter compared with someone new to house painting. We know it looks easy. You just want all of the walls to be the same colour. You’re not hoping for the Mona Lisa. How hard can it be? Sadly, the answer is pretty tough. Using too much paint can look as bad as using too little. Getting even coverage each time takes practice. If you are using different tools, such as a roller on the large areas and a brush to ‘cut in’ around the windows and other fiddly bits, you will often be able to see the difference. The outside walls are the first thing anyone will see of your home (well, unless you also have underground tunnel access. But if you do, you’re way too rich and way too cool to bother painting your own home). It’s important that it looks neat and well cared for. A bad paint job can actually detract from the overall value of your home. There is even a pitfall here for the very experienced and meticulous amateur painters. Those of you who are perfectionist enough to do a first-class job will often still see every tiny issue and imperfection, even if no-one else will, and they will drive you crazy. With a high-quality professional house painter, you will get a great finish, adding to the value of your home and no perfectionist regrets.
- You might not even save money in the long term
This is the most compelling argument of them all. Painting your home takes hours upon hours of research, days of preparation and then days and days of painting, as well as a significant expenditure on buying equipment, materials and maybe also hire costs for scaffolding or other specialist gear. The idea that, after all that effort, it might be almost as expensive as having someone else do it for you can be incredibly demoralising. There are three main reasons that you might not save money. The first is the initial outlay for equipment, which professional painters will not have to make. The second is that professional painters will be able to obtain the materials such as paint more cheaply than members of the public like yourself and will often also be able to use less paint to complete the job. Finally, the level of finish you will get from a professional painter will add more value to your home and should come with a significant length of warranty. If you have painted your home yourself, you will often find that it needs to be redone every year or two, rather than the far longer period that you can expect from a painter.
Article kindly provided by Alex from Pro Painters Canberra