Below are five important things to consider before painting the exterior of your home yourself.
(1) Proper preparation of all surfaces to be painted is paramount. Improper preparation is the main cause of paint failure and/or reduced life of the finish. Surface preparation can take as little as a few hours, while some require days to complete properly. All this time and work and you have yet to open your first can of paint! For some, the time required and the knowledge needed for this step was all they had to hear before calling us in, but not for everyone. Others who completed projects on their own were happy with the outcome for the first few years or so after painting. It wasn’t until the eventual premature failure coupled with the thought of how much time & money they had spent to repaint on their own that they eventually decided to leave it to the professionals the second time around.
(2) It’s not that high… or is it. The height of your home can be a bit deceiving from the ground, and let’s not forget about trying to safely place a ladder on a garage roof to paint the side of the second story. Proper equipment such as the correct ladders and ladder leveling tools required to safely perform the preparation and painting of high reach areas can be very costly. Aside from these costs, if you have a fear of heights, painting a two story home may not be the best choice you make.
(3) Paint is not always paint as some might say. Using a good quality paint is very important for multiple reasons, but let’s look at the two most important to our current and past clients. First and most importantly, using a high grade paint verses a low grade paint will increase the time in between repainting your home, saving you both time and money in the future. Second, and possibly of equal importance to many DIY home painters, higher grade paints provide better coverage per coat reducing the time needed to apply additional material to the surfaces being painted. Time and money, it always seems to come down to these two things. Every paint manufacturer out there has a good, better, best line of paint in their arsenal of coatings. My recommendation is it would be best to steer clear of the lower grade paint options as they will not perform to most peoples expectations. While it may save you a few dollars today, at some point in the near future, you will pay the price both in dollars and time spent repainting before you should have to.
(4) Let’s not forget the physical aspect of this type of project. Applying paint on the exterior of your home can be hard on your body. 100% of all homes that will be repainted will require physical activity. Of this 100%, 100% of these homes will require extended periods of time on ladders (of course, I am not counting any of the dog houses that will be painted!). And furthermore, 100% will also require you to stretch and bend your body in ways you may not of known were possible. While you may be in great shape, the repetitive nature of painting, stretching and climbing up & down ladders will take its toll on you physically. Be honest with yourself when considering your physical fitness level before committing yourself to completing such a major project on your own.
(5) So the above information has not changed your mind and you have decided to do it on your own and skip the services of a professional painting contractor. I applaud your determination and hope everything turns out great for you. So one final friendly word of advise. All those cans of paint you just bought, please, please please… do not use them one at a time. While you may have purchased them all at the same time, if you have like most do, decided on a color other than what the manufacture put in the can originally, it does not match!!!! Purchase a few empty five gallon buckets and “box” the material together to ensure the paint will all match once applied to the surface. “Boxing” paint is to mix it all together. Pour the gallons into one five gallon bucket and then from five to five until all paint has been mixed together thoroughly. This will blend the slight variations in color from can to can and produce a more uniform color for the finish coat.