Do I Have The Time To Paint My House Myself?
This is a question that I know a lot of people ask themselves, I even hear it from many friends and past clients. Should I Paint My House Myself? This question rides on a lot of factors. I am going to try to run through all of them without any bias so that you can make an educated decision on painting your own house.
Interior: How Much Time Does It Take To Paint My House?
Using a simple (and not 100% accurate, but close enough) formula we can come pretty close to guessing the total interior wall square footage of a house by taking the floor square footage times 3. So if you have a 2000 square foot home, you would have roughly 6000 square feet of wall space. The average pace for a professional painter is roughly 100 square feet, start to finish, in one hour for interior wall painting. For homeowners I tell them that they can probably expect 50 square feet. For any walls over 9 feet in height you can expect 15-25 square feet per hour.
So if you have a 2000 square foot home and plan on painting all of it, plan on roughly 120 hours (2000 x 3 / 50). So you have to think if painting your house is a project that you have time for or if you would rather spend your spare time doing something else like relaxing, spending time with family or working at your job.
Exterior: How Much Time Does It Take To Paint My House?
For exteriors, painting your house yourself can be even more time consuming. Professional painters are typically able to paint about 75 square feet an hour when painting exteriors and this does not include trim, windows, doors and other intricate areas. Since a lot of exterior work is on ladders and most professional painters are used to working on a ladder, the amount of square feet a typical homeowner can accomplish per hour tends to be about 25. So if your home is going to take a painter 75 hours to paint, you can easily expect 150-225.
For some people, this is still an excellent use of time and well worth saving some money. But for others asking themselves “Should I Paint My House?” this ends the discussion right there.
What Does It Cost To Paint My House Myself Vs. A Painting Contractor?
The cost of painting your own exterior can really vary for different home owners. If you already have some equipment, a sprayer, ladders and brushes, the cost to paint your house may not be too bad. If you currently don’t own any equipment or cannot borrow any, your painting costs are going to be rather large.
First, figure if you are going to need a paint sprayer or not. To rent a nice commercial sprayer is going to cost you $45 a day, while purchasing a very low end sprayer at home depot or lowes will cost you $200 for a one time purchase. Second, will you be needing a ladder or scaffolding? The purchase of a 20’ ladder can easily run $150 while rental can be $15 a day. Next, do you own any of the tools you will need such as brushes, rollers, drop cloths, scrapers, buckets and so on. You can easily find yourself with a cost of $150 when these tools are purchased.
Last is the cost of your consumables such as paint, tape, caulk, glazing and anything else you may need. These expenses will vary based on the quality of the paint that you plan on purchasing. These expenses can range from $500-$1500.
Paint My Home Myself: What Does A Painting Contractor Cost?
We have written extensively on this topic in the past, go to our article on determining paint costs to learn more about the cost of exterior painting by a professional painter.
If you were to compare an average 2000 square foot home, a painting contractor may charge $3000 (give or take depending on different circumstances) while the same paint job may cost a home owner $1500. Keep this in mind when hiring a painter, many times the cost between what they charge and what it will cost you to paint your home yourself may be even closer.
Should I Paint My House Myself – The Quality
The last thing you need to consider when painting your home yourself is are you able accomplish the job with the quality you desire. For most people, accomplishing a quality paint job means taking your time, going slow and paying attention to detail. If you are the type of person who does not like paying attention to detail and taking things slow, then Painting My Home Myself is not somting that you should aspire to.