In Part 1 I talked about why painting a wall or a room yourself may not be as easy as we are often led to believe and the many things to consider before picking up that paint brush. In Part 2 I’m sharing the reasons why it may not be as cheap or quick as we think either.
(Image Source: Studio McGee)
We usually take on DIY, or in this case PIY, projects because we either really love the idea of getting our hands dirty and injecting our labor and a piece of ourselves into our homes, or we want to save money. When it comes to painting, however, it’s worth having a second thought about whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. If it’s savings you’re looking for, you may not actually save enough to make it worth your while. We all have different thresholds for what makes a project worthwhile. Read on for some of the potential costs of painting that you may not have accounted for and decide for yourself.
- Paint samples – Depending on how many colors and shades you need to make a decision these could quickly add up.
- Primer – If you have another color on the wall that is darker than the new paint color you’ll want to prime. Even if it’s lighter, it’s a good idea to prime for best results, both from a color and an adhesive standpoint.
- Paint – You may need more than one gallon of paint. If so, you’ve just doubled or tripled your paint cost. Consider how much surface area you are covering and how many coats you will need. The worst is to run out of paint halfway through a project. Paints do vary in their quality and coverage. They also vary in price.
If you’re painting for the first time and you don’t already have supplies then you’ll probably also have to get:
- Paint brushes – One or more brushes depending on how many helping hands you have. My husband and I usually split cutting in and paint rolling duty so we have one of each. Don’t skimp on the brush. Think of it this way, would an artist buy the cheapest brush to create their masterpiece?
- Paint rollers – Not all rollers are created equal. They are made for different types of paint and wall textures. Check the labels. There are also mini rollers for smaller areas.
- Paint roller frames – Roller and the holder usually are sold separately. If you are painting ceilings or high walls, you might need an extension pole.
- Paint tray – For dipping the rollers in paint. You can’t dip the roller into the paint pail that it comes in.
- Paint tray liners – These are thin plastic tray liners that make clean up really easy and make your tray reusable.
- Paint cup – For holding paint in hand for your brush when you’re not rolling. Don’t try to dip the brush straight into the paint pail. Pour paint out into the tray or cup and put the lid back on the pail. This can get fancy. There are cups with handles and even liners for the cups. It adds up. To save, we use empty large yogurt containers, or red solo cups always come in handy. These are just lighter weight so be careful they don’t tip over.
- Paint edgers – These are special tools to help you paint straight edges or into corners of walls where you might only be painting one side of the wall. We’ve tried a couple different types and didn’t have too much success. Paint would still bleed under or the tool was hard to use. I think blue tape is still the best for the job.
- Floor protection – You can be tempted, or overwhelmed, by all the options in store. It can really add up. Options to cover floors and furniture are:
- Plastic sheets – There are different sizes and thicknesses. I recommend getting a bigger size than you think you need because it’s better to have extra than for your coverage to be just short, leaving you with exposed flooring or furniture. Thin plastic sheets do the job as long as you don’t tear them. They are inherently just more flimsy.
- Canvas drop cloths – Professional and heavy duty, but also expensive. Probably not worth the expense unless you plan to paint more than once.
- Heavy duty paper in rolls – Paper is nice because it will soak up the drips of paint and dry up. On plastic the paint tends to stay wet and then you end up stepping on it and tracking it around.
- Masking paper or film – This is a thinner, more narrow paper or plastic generally used with painters tape that you can run across your baseboards and cover long but narrow areas. There is a special tool for applying the paper that I can never get to work well so it becomes a manual process to tape the paper down inch by inch. Plastic versions that have the tape built in are probably more user friendly.
- I usually do a combination of the thin plastic sheet with the masking paper and blue tape and it’s been working for me.
- Painters tape – Though the branded, quality stuff can be expensive I highly recommend good painters tape. It’s good for protecting what you don’t want painted as well as for clean lines and painted designs. Plus, I find that I use painters tape around the house all the time for non-paint jobs. It doesn’t leave the sticky residue that regular or masking tape does so I use it on everything: labeling bins, holding small, loose hardware together like nails or batteries, etc.
- Don’t forget to pick up a few stir sticks and the paint lid opener – usually free!
- Ladder or stepstool depending on how high you need to be
- Tools for removing window treatments, outlet covers, and other items mounted on your wall like screwdrivers and hammer to remove nails.
- Tools for patching holes in the wall like spackle and sandpaper.
- Lunch or dinner for a friend if they are offering their help!
- The clothes that you ruin
- Finally, take into consideration your time. Time is money after all!
Add all this up and we’re talking hundreds of dollars to complete the project! It’s not just the cost of a can of paint!
(Image Source: Stylizimo)
The third truth to PIY is that it may not be as quick as it’s made out to be. I always end up underestimating how long it will take to complete a painting project. It might be because:
- Of the amount of time it takes you to finally decide on a color, after painting 8 samples on your wall and leaving it there for 2 months.
- You’re painting in the middle of summer in a humid place and the paint is not drying in the time the directions said it would.
- You’re having to paint 2 coats of primer over the dark red that was there and another 2-3 coats of paint because it’s not covering the way you thought it would.
- You find you didn’t buy all the supplies you needed on the first trip to the store and now you have to make multiple trips to the store. Here’s where making a shopping list is a good idea (like the one above)!
- You realize you can’t roll all the way to the edges of the wall or ceiling with a roller but instead have to painstakingly tape off or cut in the room before you can roll.
All this said, I would still take on painting a room because it can be high impact, it’s a great way to completely change the look of a room, and it can make a design statement. Now you’ll just be better prepared to take on that painting project!
What’s your experience with painting? Quick and cheap? Not so much? Tell us below!