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DIY or Pro Painter? 5 Questions to Ask Before You Decide 

DIY or Pro Painter? 5 Questions to Ask Before You Decide 

DIY or Pro Painter? 5 Questions to Ask Before You Decide 

Have you ever spent an hour watching youtube tutorials, and suddenly you’re an expert? That’s the beauty of the internet. Whether it’s amateur crime-solving, furniture restoration, or auto body repair with ramen noodles and super glue (Seriously, who knew ramen noodles could fix a cracked bumper?!!), you can learn almost anything online. But when it comes to your home, which projects are better in the hands of professionals?

Interior painting is one of those seemingly straightforward home improvement tasks that most of us feel equipped to handle. Select your colors, buy a few rollers, and spend a Saturday transforming your living room. Is it really that simple? Before getting too hyped on every DIY blogger’s “how to paint like a pro” tutorial, consider the following questions: 

How big (or small) is my project?  

If you’re painting one or two bedrooms, you’ll save money doing it yourself. Interior painting can be a fun and meditative project, so enjoy it!  But don’t get too relaxed and fall asleep at the wheel. (The internet is abundant with DIY painting FAIL photos). Perfect technique and precision do not evolve over one weekend. Our Seriously Great professional painters are incredibly skilled at keeping paint on the walls and off of themselves, furniture, and floors. 


If your entire home needs a fresh coat, a painting contractor might be your best bet. Consider the time you’ll spend prepping the space before you open that first can of paint. Nearly 75% of the job is preparation! This involves moving and covering furniture, laying rosin paper and drop cloths, removing light switch plates and outlet covers, taping edges and trim, cleaning surfaces, and patching drywall. Which brings us to the next question…

Do I need to make any repairs?    

You can’t gloss over your wall blemishes—no matter how small. A new layer of paint can often draw more attention to surface damage. Before you apply primer, take special care to fix cracks, patch drywall, fill nail holes, and repair corner beads. Like a surgeon, you’ll need the correct tools:

  • Drywall mesh tape
  • Drywall compound (5-minute mud) 
  • Drywall patch kit
  • Sandpaper/Sanding sponge
  • Spackle 
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Drill 
  • Drywall screws

 This process is labor-intensive, and you’ll need to wait until the surfaces are 100% dry before applying primer/paint. If damp or dirty,  the paint won’t coalesce and bond to the wall. Don’t cut corners--restore them!  

Nail pops are other common imperfections that can occur in older homes. This happens when nails loosen from the drywall, “popping” from the surface to leave an ugly bump or crack. Check out our pro tip on how to repair them: 

At Webfoot, we take drywall repair seriously. Our team of experts is qualified to patch your drywall and match your existing wall textures

Does my project include woodwork?  

What about the scuffed and battered baseboards your toddler repeatedly bashed with wooden baby walkers, toy trains, and miniature metal grocery carts?  Giving the trim a fresh coat of paint can instantly transform your home into a cleaner space.  Be sure to sand and clean those surfaces first. Chair rail molding, crown molding, window casings,  baseboards, and wainscoting all require proper brushwork. If you’re revamping a kitchen, here are some tricks of the trade we’ll gladly share: Kitchen Cabinet Pro Painting Tips

What kind of paint should I use? 

The answer depends on the surface and room. Is it a high-traffic area?  A bathroom or kitchen? Go for a higher sheen, such as semi-gloss, which translates to a higher shine: the glossier the finish, the more durable and easier to clean. 

For a middle-of-the-road finish (between matte and semi-gloss), eggshell is most commonly used for interior walls.  

Want more info? Check out Webfoot’s Paint GLOSSary - the easy guide to selecting the right finish, line, and brand. 

How much will it cost?  

If you’re doing it yourself, estimate that a gallon of paint covers 350-400 square feet. A can of paint (both latex and oil-based) can cost anywhere from $20-$70.  Primer is recommended, as well as two coats of paint for every wall, especially with a dramatic color change. Don’t forget to include the paint needed for any woodwork/trim, and don’t skimp on supplies (see above topics on preparation and repairs). 

It’s cliché, but always true: your time is money, too. With a large-scale repaint, are you willing to sacrifice the next four weekends to your home improvement project? A contractor costs more out of pocket, but an experienced crew can complete a job less than half the time it takes an unseasoned painter. 

Here are some excellent resources to help you understand what impacts price and how to select the right contractor: 

Got painting questions? We have answers!

Contact the Webfoot team today and receive a free estimate. We look forward to chatting with you! 

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