When to Hire a Painter

When to Hire a Painter via MakelyHome.com

One of the easiest ways to have the biggest change in a room is to paint the walls.  You’ve heard that time and time again – and it’s mostly true.  I say mostly, because even though I am a huge proponent of DIY work around the house, there are simply times when it is a better idea to leave the painting to the professionals.

Yeah, I know some of you are happy to hear that.

As I’ve shown you before, I have a two-story living room – with a vaulted ceiling.  It was beige from ceiling to carpet.  And it was the bane of my existence.  I threw some stuff up on the walls when we moved into the house almost 6 years ago, and I pretty much left it at that.

I finally decided that enough was enough.  My husband, Tom, and I looked into renting scaffolding, but that kind of scared me.  And if we were to paint this beige area ourselves, it was going to honestly take us weeks…and might end in divorce.  We were looking at painting the living room, the wall going up our staircase, the two-story entry way and the ceilings to boot.  It was a lot of work.

I had been saving some money, and I decided that I had to spend it on a painter.  I got several different bids from local painters, and I ended up using Brent from Anybody’s Painting (Austin locals – I totally recommend him!).

A two person crew got all of that work finished in 2 1/2 days.  TWO AND A HALF DAYS, y’all.  I’m not ready to show you pictures of the rooms yet because I haven’t started decorating in there, but this gives you a sneak peek.  Yep, I was sitting there watching him paint, trying to learn some things.  I’m sure he thought I was crazy.

When to Hire a Painter via MakelyHome.com

And aren’t you glad this wasn’t me up there!

But through this process, I did a lot of thinking on when you should hire a professional painter.  Sure, most of us are DIYers and we could do it ourselves, but we don’t always have to.  Did you hear that?  You don’t always have to.

Here’s when I think you should allow yourself to hire out:

1.  Time is Money – How long does it take a typical DIYer to paint an average bedroom.  A few days?  What if I told you that a professional painter can do it in a few hours.  I know a painter here in Austin that charges between $80-$100 for an average sized bedroom.  So if you worked 16 hours on painting that room and paid yourself instead of a painter, you’d be making about $5/hour for it to only cost you $80 (does that make sense?).  That is hard, physical labor for $5 an hour, and the pro can complete the job much more quickly than you likely can.  If you have the money to hire a painter and are just doing something simple, like painting all four walls the same color, then don’t forget that your time has value.

2.  Heights are Scary – As I mentioned, the thought of being on top of the scaffolding really freaked me out.  Look at how high he is on the third level of that scaffolding!  My paint job cost me more than a regular job because of the height of my walls, but it was well worth it to have a professional on top of the scaffolding instead of me.

3.  Whole House Painting – I know a lot of people choose to paint their whole house – or large sections of their house – in the same color.  My parents have actually done that with their last two homes.  That’s a great way to do it if you don’t want to devote tons of time to picking out paint colors or want to keep your walls neutral.  It’s also a ton of work, which may mean that a professional could complete the job faster than you could yourself.

4.  Let’s Get Physical – Painting seems like an easy task, but it’s back breaking work.  Sometimes you might be ill or have an injury that keeps you from breaking out your rollers.  I couldn’t believe how the painting crew in my house worked so hard for so long.  They are much better shape than me!  I just kept thinking how I wouldn’t be able to move if I had been doing all of that painting myself.

Have you ever hired a professional painter?  What was your reason?  Please share below in the comments!

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Real Life with Lindsay

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. When to hire a painter? Anytime. My home was done by both myself and a pro. Huge difference. You don’t even think about the ‘paint’ when you see their work. Crisp, even, flawless. And they knew how to handle wall imperfections to minimize noticing them.

  2. I have hired a painter to do the outside of our house. He’s fantastic, does beautiful work, and charges a beyond reasonable rate. I’m about to have him back for the same reason you hired out above: twenty foot ceilings and walls in the living room!

    I’d add one more to the list of when to hire out for a painter: when the PREP work is more than just patching a few nail holes. You know what I mean. When joint tape is cracking/peeling, etc., especially on the ceiling. Our house is 18 years old and has some of that happening WAY up high. I can patch a hole, I can strip/retape/fill/sand/fill/sand, but sometimes there is so much of that to do (in weird places to boot) that it just doesn’t make sense NOT to hire someone who does it beautifully and twenty million times faster than I could! :)

  3. I’m currently playing with the “if you give a mouse a cookie” syndrome. I have a very open living area that connects the kitchen, dining and living room on a single wall. Plus there is a hallway and an open stairway leading to the upstairs hallway that doesn’t have any good “cut off” points. Basically, I’m looking to have 75% of my home painted something other than the beige it came with. I would REALLY like to have it done by a pro. However, the hubby is also offering to send me and the baby away for a week to visit family, and he promises to do it while I’m gone.

  4. Donna Sullivan says:

    I too have vaulted ceilings, with recessed plant shelves. After 6 years of living with white walls and an accent color on one wall, we are tired of neutral! No way, with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis can I possibly manage the extra tall walls and plant shelves. In addition, the scaffolding costs money too. Thanks for “permission”!!!

  5. We hired a professional to paint all our new doors and trim. We wanted the smooth professional look for the doors, but don’t have a paint sprayer or experience to do that well. We also have 5 small children and I didn’t want the doors out of commission for days while we worked on it ourselves. The pros painted every door & closet door in the house and every door frame and trim in 1.5 days. It would have taken me months to paint all that trim work. It was worth every penny! [Note, we have painted nearly every room and ceiling in our 2500 sq ft house by ourselves, so we’re not afraid of painting.]

  6. All fantastic tips! Great post!

  7. When I finally finished stripping the wallpaper in our master bath and had a baby the next day (12 days before my due date) is when I hired my first painter! Baby #2 and we decided it would get done a lot faster for someone else to do the decent sized bathroom.

    We also hired someone for our entry/hall and stairs of our two story home. It was wallpapered and the ceiling was higher up the stairs and the ceiling also needed to be painted. I did not want to get on a ladder that was resting on the stairs so we hired a painter and also had him remove the wallpaper and the same walls had to be skimmed and sanded so I hired for that as well.

    I totally agree with #1. Your time is money and sometimes I would rather spend the time with my family than try to do some types of house work.


  8. Thanks for the post! That scaffolding looks scary..lol! We have an entry that has stairs and is vaulted to the second story that has been stark white since we moved in 6 years ago. I’ve called one painter and the sticker shock scared me off. It was almost $900 and it really isn’t a very big area. But you are right… It would take hubby and I forever to do not to mention it may lead to divorce…lol. Off to get some more bids, thanks for your advice and reassurance!

  9. I hired a painter to repaint my upstairs stairwell walls. Scaffolding or a leveling attachment for a ladder was needed and I didn’t even want to bother as I had just finished painting the entire downstairs and upstairs hallway one continuous color. It was well worth the $100! The hubs is scared of heights and I was just plain worn out from all the other painting!

  10. This is a great post! It popped up in my Pinterest feed, and I was compelled to click and read. :) We hired a guy to paint all the trim and doors in our whole house plus the walls and ceilings in our MBR and LR. We had started doing it ourselves, and quickly realized it was a way bigger job than we thought. We had originally hired the guy to install flooring, and he mentioned that he had a lot of experience as a painter, so I asked how much he would charge, and he said $500! Granted, that was nearly ten years ago, but still — a steal! We gave him a big tip. :) Now, I’m ready to paint it all again (want to go whiter with the trim), and I know that we would have to hire it out again. I’m thinking we won’t be able to get such a great deal this time, though (the guy has moved away). :)


  1. […] moment that the painters left our house, the carpet cleaners showed up.  I figured that I should go ahead and have the dirty carpet in the […]

  2. […] we had our walls painted white, I vowed to not put the random stuff back on the wall.  But I did decide that I needed something […]

  3. […] didn’t have the painters paint this one Lindsay White because I had other plans for it.  And those plans involved yellow […]