Please Don’t Try This At Home
Let me make one thing perfectly clear up front. I LOVE DIY projects and the folks who attempt to do them. I am aware that this may sound like I am bashing them, and I am NOT. OK, well, some of them; but even then, not really.
Let’s face it, we all have budgets and like to cut our expenses wherever we can. So taking on new skills is a great way to discover the things that we may discover we have an interest in, have a knack for or even have a talent that we did not previously know we had. For myself, I discovered a love of cooking (not just grilling, but actual puttering around the kitchen) years ago during my single years. There are only so many frozen pizzas a guy can handle, and I needed an outlet for my creative side, so I chose cooking.
In my years as a painting contractor, I have come across dozens of Do-it-Yourselfers, many who do work of respectable quality and take great pride in showing off their “craftsmanship”. Yet they readily admit that the one room that took them a whole weekend to paint could have easily been done in far less time by the professionals at Cornerstone. Frankly, I respect that folks want to put their own stamp on their homes and will put in the necessary time to make it look good, even if YouTube is their main source of information……
And Then There Are…
the Do-it-Yourselfers who are absolutely clueless about what it takes to make an interior painting project look credible. These are the folks whose pictures need to be posted in every Big Box store in America with the instructions “Under no circumstance, sell this person anything they will use to screw up their home.” OK, so that may be a bit extreme, but you know the expression of One Bad Apple… Even the good DIY folks would shake their heads in bemused befuddlement, with the likely observation that their six year old could have done better.
Other than giving credit to the painting firm of Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Roy Orbison for paint jobs, as illustrated in the photos herein, I do recognize that walking into a home with this type of shoddy workmanship is actually job security for the painting contractor community. If every DIY person was good, there would be less work out there for us.
The attached photos are of actual jobs we were called in to remedy. Ceilings, door casings, light fixtures, outlet covers, baseboard and tile; all with wall paint on them. All unavoidable.
So What Do You Do?
As you decide what you are going to do about that interior painting project, several factors should be weighed. Cost is typically the first; with basic bedrooms costing hundreds of dollars, depending upon size of room and scope of work (any repairs, making room alterations-crown moulding/chair rail?). What type of paint will you buy? What equipment to use? How much time to budget? What to do if you run into any problems? Are you removing any wallpaper (a typical problem for most homeowners)?
Here’s the best advice I can give: buy the BEST products that your budget will allow. If you skimp on paint, brushes and roller covers, you will get mediocre results no matter how hard you try to make it look right. That $5 brush will leave more obvious brush marks and the $2 roller will leave tons of fibers that shed when you are finished. I have never been a fan of Big Box store paints, regardless of whatever “consumer testing” reports reveal every year. Sherwin-Williams and other credible paint retailers typically have big sales a few times a year; so save up and buy better products for less, you won’t be disappointed. Make sure to have enough plastic, drop cloths and wet rags handy. And above all, use the green Frog Tape. It is by far the best tape out there as you will get nice sharp lines if used properly.
And if you still find yourself in the tall grass, good contractors will find a way to work with you. Perhaps use them to do the repairs, maybe cut in all of your ceiling lines, door and window casings. Happily pay them for the investment on a job well done. You do the rest and will be pleased that you still did most of the work yourself. But please, don’t be another DIY disaster.