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Living Space: 8 things you should always consider before DIY-ing a paint project

Katie Holdefehr, Tribune Content Agency on

If you’re planning to refresh the paint in your living room or swipe on a new hue in the kitchen, you may be thinking about tackling the project yourself. However, before you pull on overalls and pick up a paintbrush, consider the factors below to help you decide whether or not to call in the pros.

1. Consider the state of your walls.

If you live in a new home with perfectly smooth walls and few nicks, painting your master bath could be a relatively easy project. However, if you’re in an older home that has crumbling plaster and layers of paint, paint-scraping and spackling could turn an otherwise-easy project into one better left to the pros.

Of course, this is a judgment call that should be based on your level of experience and the amount of time and work you’re willing to put in. As a general rule, if you’re not sure you’ll be able to achieve a smooth finish, it’s time to call a professional painter.

2. Take your health (and your back health) into consideration.

You’ll likely need to climb up and down a ladder, wield a roller for several hours and crouch down or stretch up to paint every inch of the molding and trim. If you have back problems, it could be worth it to outsource this project and save yourself the pain.


3. Be realistic about your skill level.

It may sound obvious, but your painting skills will ultimately determine whether you achieve the results you want. The hard part can be admitting to yourself that it might be worth paying a pro in order to be satisfied with your freshly painted room.

4. Think about the ceiling height.

Before you start painting, it’s a good idea to measure your ceilings and take a look at the ladders you might need for the project. If you’re tall and have 8-foot ceilings, a small step ladder might do the trick. If you have high ceilings, you may need to invest in a taller ladder.


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