When you like to change colours as often as I do in my home decor, it pays to do a little homework in deciding whether you will do the job yourself, or hire the professional. Trust me, I’m sure my husband would growl if I hired a pro every time I changed wall colour (who am I kidding……he does growl)!
Ten years ago we added a large addition to our Cape Cod home, which houses two bathrooms and a kitchen. Although it was not factory finished, the craftsmen did a great job in construction and painting. It has only required a few touch ups on a handful of doors that get a lot of abuse in the kitchen. This year it was time to do a proper full paint refreshening. I do most of the painting jobs in our home, could I possibly do this large job myself?
Five Factors to Consider:
- Money – DIY will inevitably be the less expensive option. Consider your budget, and whether you need to take time off work. Get a quote from a professional.
- Quality – A professional finish will usually be the best option, especially in high use areas in your home. Are you able to pay attention to details, or will you rush to get the job done? And how important is longevity and durability, and do you want to have to revisit the job in a few years?
- Time – Consider whether you will do the project in evenings and weekends or if you will take time off from work. How long the project will take you and how many other projects get put off while tackling the painting. Maybe the satisfaction of your own sweat going into the job outweighs the time.
- Disruption – Do you mind having workers in your home each day? Do you have a place to sleep or prepare meals? If you’re doing the project over evenings and weekends then the house might be disrupted longer. Disruption is inevitable, but one type might be preferable for your family.
- Work space – Do you have the workspace to properly do the job, like a garage to lay out your doors for painting and drying? Or will you be painting a few doors at a time?
This past winter I was contemplating a wall colour change in the master bathroom,and although the cabinets were in great shape, the tub surround needed a touch up after some maintenance on the jet tub. This was my chance to change the colour of the whole room, including the built in cabinetry. I knew I could tackle this on my own, with some prior research, so I wouldn’t totally botch the job.
At the time I was not blogging myself, but as a Pinterest junkie I found several blogs on painting cabinets, which I read through for tips. I decided to implement tips from several blogs, and I was off to the paint store! All surfaces were painted in this project, starting with the ceiling, my least favourite painting job. After the ceiling was done, I carefully washed all surfaces with Natura Safe Prep which I purchased at my local hardware store, on the recommendation of the staff. Start with a clean surface for the best finish!
The freshly clean surfaces were then primed, no sanding required. I used a primer as I was applying a water based paint, and I wasn’t 100% certain if it was oil paint on there. Make sure you read the instructions on your primer, as the instructions may vary. Next came the paint, and I am a believer in using the best quality paint, especially on cabinets. I have always liked Benjamin Moore products. I have used a few other products over the years, but I always return to BM. I used the Advance line for the cabinets, and rolled it on with a small roller, after cutting in with a one-inch slanted brush.
After each coat was thoroughly dried, I used a fine sanding block to lightly sand the surface, and then used a tack cloth to wipe the surface again. To get the best finish, I did three coats, each coat drying over night, so this project takes time!
In between coats of the cabinets, I managed to get the walls started. But I admit, I was getting tired of painting, and I did make a few “mistakes.” You can read some of my paint mistakes here.
I will say that overall, I was pleased with the results. The project did take me close to two weeks, as I do work part time as well. So I was living with paint cans and roller trays for a period of time. Within the first week, my fingernail made a small scratch in my drawer, but other than that, four months later it is holding up well.
When I decided to repaint the kitchen cabinets, I wrestled with the idea of doing it myself. I was hesitant for several reasons, one of which is time. If my bathroom took me two weeks, the kitchen, family room and mud room built ins would take me two months!
Quality and durability was also a big factor to consider. Spraying would surely hold up better, and they have more experience! My professional also used a paint that is only available to professionals, a much higher quality paint.
So a call was made to Jonathan, my Tall Guy Painter. Yes, he is tall, and he knows his paint. He carefully composed a quote for the large job, and I knew my kitchen would be better off than having me take on the project. Now I just had to wait for him to fit me in to his schedule, perfect time to finalize the colour!
I started my research into paint colours, which you can read about here. After painting a storage unit in my mud room, I thought I had nailed down the colour. After dragging the unit into my kitchen, where the lighting is significantly different, I thought the colour was great, but something was holding me back. So I bought another sample, and painted it on my kitchen cupboards, right beside colour choice #1. I immediately knew that colour #2 was a better option. So glad I took the time and spent a few extra dollars to discover this.
Once Jonathan was ready for my project, he came and removed the doors to spray them off site. Due to some things happening in my house, we lived without doors for a few weeks before they returned to paint the cabinets themselves. We were using our kitchen in our RV parked in our yard for that week, but were able to watch the progress of the job. The colour change was not stark, but instead a refreshing modern update.
After the work was complete, and all the doors were returned, I was extremely pleased. Now I could get down to business and bring out my summer decor!
After a couple of weeks, I did notice a scratch in one of the doors. No paint job is perfect I guess. I honestly did not remember doing this, let’s just blame my husband! I contacted Jonathan, and he quickly asked when he could come by and grab the door to respray. Within 24 hours he had the door, and it was returned and installed within the week. Talk about professional service! Overall I feel he did an excellent job, taking time for the details, which are so important. And he and his staff were very courteous and respectful in our home. It was well worth hiring the pro!
Every person and budget is going to differ. Some people are great at tedious jobs, or prefer not to have painters in their home, disrupting routines. Not everyone has an RV kitchen, but take-out may be a welcome option while the job is being completed. Expectations on finish, and wear and tear from family to family will differ. Weigh out the options for yourself, and ask friends and neighbors for recommendations on local painters. Whichever route you take, the best moment is putting the decor touches back in place!