Painting a House- Should you do it yourself?

So you are thinking about painting your house?

Doing it yourself may be a good idea, or it may not. You should know in advance what to expect and how to do the work so you are proud of the results. Painting a house is not for everyone. This guide will help you decide if painting a house is something you want to do. If it isn't then you'll know that hiring a professional is the best idea.

Initial considerations when deciding if painting a house is right for you.


Most homes can be painted by a pro is 4-8 days depending on the size of the home and the amount of painting to be done. Usually, a crew of 3-4 will arrive to do the work. If your crew consists of just you, or you and a spouse or friend, the number of hours you will need for painting a house will be much greater. A crew of 3 working an 8 hour day is equal to 32 total hours per day. A 4-day job, usually the minimum needed to paint a small to medium size house, is a total of 96 hours.

Divide that by the number of people you have working to figure out home many hours you will need to do the job. Remember that you probably won't be able to work as fast as professionals that paint every day, or have the professional equipment that speeds things up considerably, so add 20% just to be safe.

If we take the painting job we've been using as an example, that requires 96 hours for a group of pros, you can figure 110 hours for you. With two people working you will need 55 hours of time on the painting job. If you can devote a full 8 hour days to the project you would need 7 days to complete the paint job. Doing it nights and weekends could mean the project could last a month. If that sounds like more time that you want to devote to painting a house, maybe hiring a pro is the best option. If the time doesn't scare you than saving money by painting yourself may be the right choice

Equipment and Safety When Painting

When painting a house certain equipment is required to do the job. Most people have small step ladders, and brushes and rollers can be picked up at the paint store. But how do you get to the high and hard to reach parts of your home and stay safe while doing it? Extension ladders are must when working on two-story houses, and scaffolding is preferred by many people because of the additional safety.

While not often used, safety harnesses are a good idea to keep you safe should you fall. Every year people are killed falling off ladders because they reached a little too far and didn't have the safety equipment to protect them. The choices in how you paint your own home are up to you, and the risks you take are your decisions to make. Just remember that once you are 6 ft off the ground, any fall has the potential to kill or seriously injure.

Extension ladders can be bought for around $300 or rented for $50 per day. You may well be better off buying them because the rental costs will probably me as much as buying. You'll also have them for when you need to paint again in 5-6 years. Scaffolding is usually rented and can be delivered and set up by the rental company. Plan on $200-300 dollars a day for a small setup that can be rolled along as you go. When painting a house, invest in buying or renting a safety harness. Be sure to learn how to properly anchor it. They are about $100 but are well worth it when you consider the alternative of working without one.

How to Paint Right So You Don't Have To Do It So Often

Most people like to save time. I certainly do. The paint industry has responded with “paint and primer in one” products that they say do not require a separate primer. This sounds like a great idea and a big time saver, but it isn't. Paint is too thin and prone to cracking to provide protection against moisture. Primer seals the wood and protects it from decay. No paint additive can do that. By skipping the primer coat moisture will penetrate the wood and lead to paint failure. This means you'll have to paint sooner and that the wood will need to be repaired or replaced prematurely.

So don't skip the primer. It means another coat and more time but its worth it.

Before the primer goes on, you'll have to prep the surface. Power washing is a good start but hand scraping is also needed. Most good painters will tell you that a job is only as good as the prep work. Most DIY painters don't do nearly enough to prep the surface but that reduces the life of the paint job significantly. You don't need much equipment to do this, just a lot of time. Most DIY painters say that they cut the prep short because it is tedious work.

If Painting Yourself Isn't Right for You, Consider Rhino Shield

A Rhino Shield Paint job is guaranteed for 25 years. This means that while you are painting again and again with regular paint, Rhino Shield is done permanently. For the cost of a couple of professional paint jobs, Rhino Shield give you permanent protection and beauty. If that sounds like a good idea, we would love to show you what we can do for you. An assessment takes less time than you think, and we'll give you a price on the spot. That way you'll know for sure if it is the best option for you. If you do decide to do it yourself, remember, be safe.

If Rhino Shield sounds like an option you'd like to know more about, give us a call at 1-717-638-4100. You can also click to get a free estimate today.

You'll be glad you did.

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