How Hard is Painting for DIY Home Renovation?

DIY

When we think of remodeling and renovation projects, it’s often on a grand scale. A whole home makeover could add value to your home and have you falling in love with your living spaces all over again. But there are times when just a small touchup is needed, or, maybe you simply want a new color theme to change the mood. Paint is an extremely simple and cost-effective way to update a room. Painting is a home renovation project that is often suited to DIY.

If you’re debating whether to call a Des Moines handyman or start the job alone, this is the guide for you. We’ll explore what goes into painting a room, the tools that are needed, and the steps to get fantastic results. DIY isn’t for everyone, and with the right information, you’ll be able to decide the best way to move forward with a minor home makeover.

The Basic Steps of Painting a Room During Minor Home Renovation

In DIY, people often approach jobs in a way that seems most logical to them. Painting isn’t the best project for improvisation. You will want to have a structured approach, no matter the space you are working in.

The actual process can be broken down into a few unique steps, which should be carried out in the following order:

  • Removing furniture and other items from the room.
  • Prepping walls and performing minor repairs.
  • Taping off trim like baseboards and molding.
  • Painting the walls.

These steps will get you through the most basic makeover in a living room, bedroom, dining room etc. Each step is important and will involve a few sub steps. We’ll dive into details in the following sections, helping you to decide whether you should call Des Moines contractors or get the job done yourself.

Removing Furniture Before Home Renovation Painting

This is the easiest step. It’s also one of the most important. Removing all items from the room will give you more space to work in. If you are in a larger room like a living room, you can move furniture and other items to the center of the room, before covering everything with a heavy duty drop cloth.

Relocating furniture to another room is recommended but it all depends on your situation. If you have a spare bedroom or garage space, then temporarily storing your items won’t be a big deal. If you have a smaller home without a lot of free space, then centering and covering your items will make sense.

During this step you need to ensure that there’s absolutely nothing left on your walls. Nails, picture hangers etc. should all be removed prior to preparation and repairs. This will allow you to get the most consistent finish across the whole wall, and it will help if you ever choose to sell in the future. A room with a perfectly painted wall will look much better than one with odd patches and hangers sticking out.

Don’t forget about curtains and blinds during this step. The room should be bare, sparing minor features like outlet and switch covers. If you have large decorative shades around ceiling lights, these should also be removed during painting.

When the room is emptied or all items are covered, you can move on to your preparation.

Prepping Walls and Performing Minor Repairs

Prepping is all about getting a smooth surface so that the paint adheres well without visible imperfections once the job is done.

If there are holes left from nails and hangers that you won’t be reusing, you will need to fill these ahead of painting. You can purchase spackling paste from your local hardware store. Filling in holes is as simple as applying a small amount of paste, smoothing it with a spatula, and allowing it to dry. This can take up to 24 hours. You can check the spackle with a light finger touch. If it’s hard and there is no fingerprint left behind, you’re ready to start sanding.

The easiest way to do this is with a sanding sponge or 120 grit sandpaper. Most DIY enthusiasts prefer a sponge because it allows for a consistent finish, even without prior experience. Sand the outside of the treated area until the spackle is smooth with the wall, and then lightly sand over the center of the spackle until you can run your fingers smoothly along the surface.

Wipe around the area with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dust leftover, and then allow the area to dry again. Once the area is completely dry, use a brush to apply a light coat of primer. If you don’t prime the spackle, you will end up with an irregular coat once you start painting the rest of the wall.

You can follow these instructions for holes left from screws, nails, and decorative hangers. Even larger holes from mounted shelves and other features can be repaired with spackling paste.

When the walls are fully repaired and sanding is completed, you can start to clean the surfaces. This will remove any gloss from existing paint, as well as imperfections like dust and dirt. A clean cloth or squeegee can be used with a household paint prep cleaner. There are plenty of options on the market, this Chomp cleaner is one of them. Visit your local hardware store and talk to the staff if you’re unsure about what to use. Clean all surfaces and allow time for drying, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

For many people who complete DIY painting, preparation will be the hardest part of the job. If you aren’t confident filling holes and sanding off your repairs, a Des Moines handyman or home renovation company will be your best bet. Try starting small on a minor repair and see how you go. If you aren’t happy with the result, you can always call in the professionals.

Taping Off Your Trim for Home Renovation Painting

If you perform a thorough prep, it could take a full day (with drying time allowed). On the second day you will be able to move on to taping and painting.

Taping is especially important because it will allow you to achieve a professional finish. It will also keep your colored paint off molding and baseboards. Don’t rush this step, or you could be disappointed in the results!

Multi-surface painter’s tape will be your best bet. There are countless brands on the market, although it’s always safest to go with a trusted name brand like 3M Scotch or FrogTape.

  • Tape off baseboards and molding completely, especially if you have never painted before. If you have hardwood or solid floors, extend the tape down to the flooring surface. It’s best to be completely safe when performing DIY home renovation.

  • Run your finger along the edge of the tape smoothly and with moderate force to ensure that painted edges are crisp.

  • Cover the rest of your flooring with a canvas drop cloth (for carpet) or rosin paper (for solid flooring). This will eliminate any paint splashes.

  • Tape off light switch covers and outlet covers, as well as any mounted accessories like smart devices or thermostat controllers.

 DIY Painting Your walls

Next comes the most critical and rewarding part of the project. It’s time to paint!

You’ll need to make sure that you’re covered with all the accessories for painting. You can purchase the following from a hardware store or big box home improvement store.

  • Paint – Color is completely up to you. Eggshell paint is a good option for modern homes. It features a semi-matte finish that still provides some luster in the right lighting. Be sure to consider how color will completement your home décor and overall theme.

  • Paint Stirring Stick – You can pick up a stirring stick for free when buying paint at most home improvement and hardware stores. You need to ensure that paint is well mixed before you pour it into your tray and get to work. Up to 30 seconds of stirring is enough for most home renovation If in doubt, follow the manufacturer instructions on the can.

  • Paint Tray – A metal or plastic paint tray will do. If you plan to paint again in the future, a metal tray will be more durable. You can also use a tray liner to make cleanup easier.

  • Brushes – 3” and 4” flat edge brushes are best for wall painting. Aim for mid-range quality. Wooster, Presa, and Purdy are some well-known brands suitable for DIY.

  • Roller Brushes (Covers) and a Roller – Invest in an adjustable telescoping paint roller so that you can easily reach the tops of your walls. A small room could be painted with a single roller brush, but for living areas, it’s best to invest in a kit of roller brushes (at least three). Stanley, Purdy, and Wooster rollers are good choices.

Now comes the painting itself. Most DIY painters will start with brushwork in the corners and around the edges of molding, baseboards, switches, and outlets etc. It helps to have two people working simultaneously, one with the brush, and another with the roller.

The idea is to make smooth and consistent passes and reapply paint to the roller when the coat starts to become thin. Rollers help a lot with spread and consistency, so even if you aren’t a pro, you’ll still get impressive results. If you’re painting a darker color on a lighter wall it will be easy to see exactly which sections are finished.

Here are some simple tips to get the job done:

  • Roll in long vertical strips to distribute paint evenly across the wall. After the initial coat, go back with a second layer (while the paint is still wet) to ensure a uniform finish.

  • Work from edge to edge and don’t leave isolated patches. This could cause you to go back over covered areas, leaving an uneven finish.

  • Don’t dip the roller completely into the paint tray, this will cause drips and gobs down your wall which you will then need to go back over.

  • If you have a spare piece of drywall from an older home renovation, consider practicing on it first. Prime it and then use the roller to paint long, even strips.

  • Work carefully but not so slowly that you will be rolling back over semi-dry and sticky paint.

You can follow these steps and even watch some online tutorials to get an idea of the work involved in painting. While one of the simpler home renovation projects, this can still be quite challenging for first time DIYers.

If you’re not confident at any point of the process, or if you simply don’t have the time, a Des Moines contractor will be able to help.

The Advantages of Working with Des Moines Home Renovation Experts

At HomeWorx Iowa, we’ve seen great results from DIY painting. We’ve also been called in to remedy homes where painting didn’t go according to plan.

Ultimately, deciding on whether you perform DIY painting will depend on your confidence and the time that you have.

  • Do you have the time to get all the tools, paint, and accessories?
  • Do you have a weekend to set aside for painting?
  • Are you confident that you can remain focused throughout the home renovation project?

If you can’t answer yes to all these questions, then a professional home renovation will be the best option for you.

We offer cost-competitive renovation and handyman services for the smaller projects around your home. We can also perform complete home renovation work, so if you have a bigger project in mind, we can offer a free consultation so that you can make the right decision.

Whether it’s DIY or with a Des Moines handyman, you can refinish your living spaces to be brighter, more inviting, and more modern. If you aren’t ready to take on the job of painting and other home improvements, talk to your local professionals at HomeWorx.

Keeping Costs Reasonable When Planning Whole Home Remodeling

Home Remodeling

Outside of labor and contractor fees, material choices will have the biggest impact on your home remodeling budget. Adding value and new beauty to your home doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. Making the right material choices could reduce upfront costs, or, in some cases keep maintenance costs low over the lifetime of your home.

Learn more about cost saving materials and plan your project with HomeWorx.

Low Cost Alternatives That Could Reduce Your Home Remodeling Bill

One of the most effective ways to reduce costs is to look for alternative materials. You can get a premium aesthetic and long-term durability, even with some of the more affordable materials on the market.

Here are some examples that can be used for home remodeling and renovation in Des Moines.

  • Prefabricated Panels and Concrete Sheets: If you are making additions to your home, consider working with prefabricated panels and concrete sheets. These are factory made and ready to be incorporated into your home with minimal labor costs. Talk to your contractor about the suitability of prefabricated structural materials. Depending on the size of the addition, this could work out to be the cheaper option.

  • Stone Cladding Veneer: Homes made with stone masonry give an appearance of quality and prestige. Unfortunately, traditional masonry can be prohibitively expensive if you need to perform remodeling on a strict budget. Instead, you could choose stone cladding, a type of veneer that is lighter and less expensive than a solid stone exterior. With stone cladding you’ll enjoy lower labor costs, faster installation time, and extensive customization options designed to simulate traditional masonry.

  • Laminated Flooring: Laminated wood flooring is an obvious choice if you want the look and feel of hardwood, without the cost. Invest a little more for luxury laminate planks and you could even refinish the floor at least once over its lifetime.

  • Vinyl Flooring: Even luxury vinyl planks are more affordable than timber, and they’re relatively easy to install, which will keep labor costs to a minimum. You can use vinyl throughout the home in living areas, bathrooms, and kitchens. As a home remodeling material, vinyl is a great choice because it resists scratching, staining, and is impervious to moisture.

  • Quartz or Laminate Countertops: Quartz countertops can give you the look of high-end stone and marble for a lower cost. If you’re on a particularly tight budget, consider laminated counters.

  • Vinyl Doors: You can save money on your interior doors by choosing vinyl. This material can simulate the look of wood while providing excellent insulative properties. Best of all, vinyl is affordable and will last for decades.

Choosing Premium Materials to Reduce Maintenance Costs

You can also consider some durable premium materials to provide a better return on your investment. These won’t reduce your remodeling spend, but they will result in lower ongoing maintenance and replacement costs.

  • Choose high quality hardware for kitchens and bathrooms. Stainless steel, brass, and gold-plated hardware could provide decades of usage without wear.

  • In your bathroom, work with glass and tile as much as possible. Tile materials are relatively low in cost, and they could last the lifetime of your home. You could keep the same tiles and clean or replace grout as necessary. For shower and bath enclosures, frameless tempered glass could last a lifetime with maybe one or two hardware refreshes.

  • Choose low maintenance materials if your home remodeling will extend to the exterior. Stone cladding can be pressure washed to keep your home looking great. Vinyl siding is a low-cost option that will last more than 35 years when properly cared for, and color is injected into the material at the factory, so it’s unlikely to fade or stain.

Choose a Contractor That Works to Contain Costs

Even choosing the wrong contractor could have an impact on your final remodeling bill. If a contractor is inexperienced or inefficient, you could pay more for planning and labor on the project. If they don’t have strong industry contacts, then they won’t have access to wholesale pricing on standard materials.

The best contractors use CAD software to design your home improvements and present them to you before a final decision is made. This can help to prevent setbacks and cost overruns. With advanced 3D modeling, you will know exactly what the finished work will look like, and you’ll be less likely to request change orders once work is already underway.

Always choose a reputable home remodeling contractor in Des Moines if you want to keep costs reasonable and within an agreed budget.

A More Meaningful Home with the Help of HomeWorx

At HomeWorx Iowa, we don’t claim to be the cheapest contractors in Des Moines. However, we do make a commitment to provide the most budget-friendly options based on your needs. We don’t cut corners where it could detriment the quality of workmanship or longevity of your investment.

Ultimately, we’ll ensure that you make the best investment for your budget, with long-term added value and functionality. We can provide a professional design service, 3D modeling, general contracting, and project management for whole home remodeling.

You deserve quality. Whether you choose lower cost alternative materials, or premium options, we’ll make your dream home a reality.

Talk to us today to for a no obligation consultation.

Handyman vs. Contractor – Who Should You Call?

Handyman

If you’re planning any kind of home renovation or maintenance, you’ll need to decide whether you call a local handyman or book a specialist renovation contractor.

Both professionals provide essential services, but they cover different jobs around the home. Booking a contractor for smaller jobs would result in cost overruns that aren’t necessary. Calling a Des Moines handyman for large scale renovation wouldn’t be ideal.

Learn the difference between the two and find out who to call for some popular projects around the home.

The Difference Between a Des Moines Contractor and Handyman

This often gets confusing for homeowners, because both handyman services and general contractors often cover the same areas of work.

It can be a struggle to find the right company to call, but there’s actually a simple way to look at it.

  • Most handyman services offer general improvements and fixes around the home. They work on small projects like repairs and maintenance. While you could remodel with a handyman, they would generally only take on small scale jobs that could be completed by a single person.

  • Des Moines contractor services work on large scale projects where specialist machinery and tools would be required. They also handle projects where licensing is required (such as complete rewiring or plumbing installations). If the project will take more than a couple of days or if it requires the work of more than one professional, a contractor would be the best fit.

Think in terms of scope. Small scope fixes and improvements suit a handyman. Anything larger should be referred to a contractor.

Take a look at some examples and you’ll know when to call the right professional for any work around your home.

Call a Des Moines Handyman for These Home Improvements

  • Interior or Exterior Painting – A great paint job can increase the beauty of your home. Whether you need painting performed inside or outside, a handyman should be your first choice. There is an exception if you want to paint your whole home inside or out, which would be better suited to a general contractor

  • Furniture Assembly – If you have just moved into a new home and need to construct furniture and other smaller items around the home, a handyman will be able to complete the work. They have the experience and skills to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

  • Sheetrock Repair and Installation – Sheetrock (drywall, plasterboard etc.) is featured in virtually every modern American home. It’s a cost-effective building material that allows for beautifully smooth walls that will last for many years. If you need to install sheetrock or repair damage in a single room, a handyman will be the best person for the job.

  • Installing Light Fixtures – You don’t have to go with big home renovation projects to get impressive results. If you want to quickly transform the look and feel of a room, consider replacing the light fixtures. A handyman can complete this work in a limited amount of time.

  • Minor Carpentry – If you want to install shelves in your home, repair kitchen or bathroom cabinets, turn a closet into an organized storage space, or even turn a room into a walk-in closet, a handyman will be able to complete the work in most cases.

  • Plumbing Fitting and Minor Repairs – You don’t need to call a general contractor to install a bathroom vanity, repair a leaking faucet, or install a toilet. A handyman can take care of all these tasks relatively quickly and easily.

  • Security Installation – Is it time to upgrade your home security? It has become more affordable to get advanced security around your home. You can install camera systems and sensors that are connected to the internet, allowing you to check your home and receive alerts if suspicious activity is detected. Installing a system can be difficult and time consuming. A handyman could help to mount and connect all your equipment safely.

  • Minor Electrical Work – Short of rewiring your entire home, a handyman service is ideal for minor electrical work. Repairing or installing outlets and switches can be performed by a local handyman.

Call a Contractor for Your Larger Projects

Going back to the concept of scope, it’s easy to see the projects where a general contractor would be a better choice than a Des Moines handyman.

Examples include:

  • Complete flooring replacement and refinishing.
  • Whole home painting (interior and exterior).
  • Complete kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling.
  • Major home additions and finishing projects.
  • Siding or roofing replacement.
  • Deck building or extension.
  • Changes that go beyond cosmetic, e.g. removing a wall or installing interior paneling.
  • Large scale tiling projects.

Anything that would take more than a few days and that would require several talented professionals is best managed by a general contractor in Des Moines.

Talk to HomeWorx for both Handyman and General Contractor Services

If you’re still unsure about some of the projects you have in mind, HomeWorx Iowa can help. We offer home improvement services for any job, big or small. We can provide a local Des Moines handyman service for minor fixes and improvements. Or, you can take advantage of our complete design and general contracting service for whole home renovation and remodeling.

Being able to take care of everything under one company will streamline your next project. If you’re ready to make your home the best it has ever been, talk to the team at HomeWorx today.