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Do it Yourself House Painting Saves a Bundle


Painting the exterior of your house is not a particularly difficult job, unless your home is in really bad shape. But it is time intensive.

You'll likely save about 80 percent of the cost a contractor would charge if you do it yourself. To paint an average, 2,500-square-foot home, you'd pay a professional about $3,000. Do it yourself, and you'll likely spend well under $1,000, even including the cost of renting a pressure washer for several days.

Most of the time involved in this project you won't actually be painting at'll be prepping to paint. Careful prep work is tedious, but crucial for professional results.

1. Carefully choose colors for siding and trim. Take your time. Use color combinations recommended on paint-swatch cards...professionals have already picked complimentary colors guaranteed to coordinate.

2. Ask our paint professionals for help calculating the quantity of paint you'll need.

3. Clean siding, preferably with a pressure washer, which can be rented or purchased.

4. Inspect siding for problem areas. Some common problems and remedies:

5. Peeling paint: Scrape paint down to bare wood, sand, then prime.

6. Sap from knotholes bleeding through: Bare the wood, then apply sealer before repainting.

7. Rusting nail stains: If there are only a few, pull and replace with aluminum or galvanized nails.

8. If there are too many, sand down to the nail head and seal with shellac.

9. Mildew: Use a solution of bleach and water to remove stains, then paint with mildew-resistant paint.

10. Chalking: Some exterior paints are designed to chalk, so it doesn't mean the previous paint was defective. If you're painting over chalked paint, wash the siding thoroughly and let dry for a day before you repaint.

Remove mailboxes, light fixtures, house numbers, and anything else that might impede painting.

Cut back shrubbery so it's not brushing or blowing against the house. Use drop cloths to protect landscaping.

Oh...and don't forget the last step: Paint! Then sit back and marvel at your resourcefulness, and buy yourself something really nice with all the money you saved.


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