Hiring a Painting Contractor vs DIY Painting

You are about to refurbish your new house, and you want it done well. However, you’re at crossroads: Should you hire someone to do it for you, or maybe you’re thinking of doing it all yourself? You’re definitely not alone; with the onset of DIY videos on Youtube, it may be tempting to take on the work and try a new challenge! 

Knowing what all is entailed when painting the inside or outside of your home is important in order to make an informed decision. The last thing you want is to pay for all the materials (brushes, paint, primer, rollers, painters tape, etc) and get halfway through your project only to realize the actual size of the job you just committed yourself to.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

To get things started, ask yourself a few questions to determine the scope of the project.

Are you painting the interior or the exterior? 

The interior of the home will be an enclosed space, so you can better understand the scope and breadth of the work needed to complete the project. By contrast, the exterior may require a larger area to cover (so much paint!), as well as more work that comes with it, like extensive power washing and priming. Not to mention, you’ll have to time your painting depending on the weather. 

When thinking about your next painting project it is always important to think about the scope of the project.

How many stories of your home need painting? 

This one may be pretty evident; if you’re working with one story, you’re looking at a reasonable height to paint, the walls and the ceilings, which may only require a simple ladder. With multiple stories, like a lofted space or vaulted ceilings, it’s more complicated; you’ll need an extension ladder, which may sound risky or unreasonable to get, as well as other equipment to accommodate the height.

How much prep work is needed before painting?

You need to prep your walls before they undergo actual painting. This usually entails fixing repairing small holes (spackle), sanding down any rough or unwanted texture, and washing. If your walls are in good shape all you need to do is wash them so you are working with a clean surface, and start with primer before painting for optimal application of the paint. 

However, you might be looking at a larger prep time if you have larger holes that require drywall repair, old wallpaper that needs removal, chipping or flaking paint removal, or old water damage to seal up. 

Do You Want to Drastically Change the Color in Your Home?

If you’re looking to recoat with the same paint as your current color, or at least a similar type of color, then you may not even need to prime the walls in the first place! You can get started by reapplying the paint with at least two coats of color. If you’re trying to paint over a dark color with a lighter shade, it might require more than two coats. Using a primer, basic white emulsion, or a paint and primer combo will help you cover the old color with fewer coats.

It is another story altogether if you are looking to completely change the look in a room. If your home currently sports some bold color choices and you are looking for a more neutral color you are likely looking at more work ahead of you than a simple refresh. You will need both a primer coat and anywhere from two to three additional coats of paint in order to cover up the old color. 

One way to shorten your time painting is to invest in quality paint and primer.

It’s important to consider the color choices and your choice in paint before you pick up the paintbrush, the time you take to consider and prepare for your painting project will save you time and money in the long run.

How Much Experience Do You Have in Painting Homes? 

Are you painting for the first time, or have you had any experiences with painting before? If this is your first time, try painting a small section of a room or a single wall to see how it turns out. This will give you an idea of what the process will be like and how the end product will turn out. 

Costs of DIY painting vs Hiring a Contractor

Do-It-Yourself Painting

Painting can be a rewarding way for you to contribute to the style of your home. Watching the old look slowly transform into your new vision is rewarding and a pretty simple update you can spearhead, but there are a few pros and cons that you need to consider before jumping in.


  • It’s less expensive than hiring. You could be looking at thousands of dollars compared to mere hundreds when you buy your own equipment and complete the work yourself.
  • It’s rewarding. You can walk by your newly painted space with pride knowing you completed the job on your own.


  • The final results won’t be as professional. Professionals have the equipment and skillset to complete an expert finish in a much shorter amount of time. You might be able to mimic some of their techniques, but it will take you a lot longer to do so. If you are super particular about straight clean lines around the edges of your paint, then you are in for a frustrating project when you are tackling it on your own.
  • Time-consuming. Sometimes the job can take several days to complete. Painting one or two rooms could end up being a weekend-long project. Not only will you need to prep each room, but you have to wait for coats to dry and you will likely be working on a ladder for part of the day.
  • Not as safe. Remember we mentioned extension ladders? Those can be risky, especially if you have particularly high places to reach. Even regular ladders can require you to take up some considerable height for the completion of your work.  

Hiring a Contractor

If you’re not interested in doing it all yourself, or you’re not confident that your skills match up with the required work, you can also leave the job to professional painters. 


  • Professional. Perhaps the biggest reason why they’re hired is that the paint job is professional and clean. You won’t have to worry about shaky lines or missed spots when a professional is on the job. Smooth clean paint jobs are done best by those who have made it their career.
  • Saves you time. What can take you days, professionals can do in hours, regardless of the size of your project. 


  • It’s normally more expensive. The costs will vary depending on the size of your room and the conditions of your walls. Generally speaking, you can look to pay more to get your home professionally painted than if you did it yourself. Think about it, on your own you are paying for supplies, with professionals you are paying for the supplies, their labor, and their expertise. 

Make the Best Choice for You – DIY Painting or Hiring a Professional Painter

The choice is up to you – paint your home yourself or hire a professional. Do It Yourself painting is a great option for those looking to save money, and if you just follow a few simple tips you can get a quality finish. However, if you are looking for precision and an expert level finish with less time and effort, hiring a professional is the way to go! 
When you want professional painting done right, hire Catalyst Painters for your next home painting project. We are certified painters dedicated to making your house look extraordinary. Give us a call or email us at contact@catalystpainters.com to get your next interior or exterior painting project started.