Could I repaint the interior of my home, or is it easy to mess it up?

Asked by Home Owner, San Jose, CA Thu Feb 2, 2012

Should I hire a pro to repaint the interior of my home, which is a 2 story, or do it myself and save some money? I am afraid of messing up my walls and having to do them over.

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Kristian Ale…, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Thu Feb 2, 2012
There are few things in a home that you can do yourself, and interior painting is one of them. I would not suggest you fix your A/C yourself, or fix a leaking roof unless you are handy, but painting is one of the things that anyone can do, even if you are not that handy.

There are few key things to remember when painting your home - if you are reselling the home, try using neutral colors not to deter any potential Buyers. If you are planning on staying in the house for awhile, feel free to use whatever colors you desire, just keep in mind that dark colors make your space look smaller in general, and also there is a difference between a 2" sample color patch and what it looks like once it's all around you on the walls. :)

The best tool for cutting close to your ceiling is the plastic flat piece with two small rollers that Home Depot or any other hardware store sells. You simply glide it along the wall, with the two rollers touching the ceiling and it creates a perfect cut between your wall and your ceiling. You can use the same tool to paint around outlets and etc. so you shouldn't need to use a brush very often. Roll all the walls and make sure you have a plastic down on your floor because rolling tends to splatter paint around as far as 2-3 feet away from the walls.

Make it a fun project - don't be in a hurry, do one room at a time and take your time, get the whole family involved if you have one, painting could actually be a lot of fun. I normally have my wife and kids write fun things on the walls with the future color that will be painted, and take pictures of them before we go over it and paint it with the desired color. It's a lot of fun, and it does save you a ton of money.

Don't fall for the usual scam - "leave it to the professional"... There is no such thing as a professional painter, it is something you can learn in 30 minutes, unless you are planning on painting murals on your walls. :)

Here is the tool you need:…
2 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Mon Feb 13, 2012
Hi Home Owner

I would paint it myself.

At Home Depot there are "how to classes" offered.

Also, all Major Paint stores including Lowes, Home Depot, etc. have Color Strips guidelines
for rooms.

It is hard to go wrong.

Good luck.

Web Reference:
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
With all due respect to my colleagues, neutrals are even harder to work with than primaries and secondaries.

The worst thing about making color selections is that nobody will ever tell you if it looks bad - it's like a haircut. "Oh. Well, that's not how -I- would have done it."
1 vote
Kristina Car…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Painting the interior of your home can be time consuming and it's a large job if your not experienced in painting. Your home is sounds large enough to use an experienced painter. I would get 3 quotes and see which company gives you the best quote and please make sure the company you use is bonded and insured. I have a few painters, please let me know if you need their contact information. Or even friends and family for recommendations.
1 vote
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Hello Home Owner and thanks for your post.

Painting the interior of your home is not only one the EASIEST handyman jobs, but it is also the one that provides the biggest "bang" for your housing renovation dollar! The very best news for you is that you don't have to do this alone or without instruction.

Not only are there free painting workshops at Home Depot and Lowes and OSH and Kelly Moore Paint, but you can also get a lot of great information from sources as close as YouTube. It's amazing how much free information is available out there.

The only really important things to note are:

1. Get advice from the paint experts at the paint store regarding how to cover darker colors--you cannot just put white paint on a dark blue wall--it needs to be primed first.
2. Bring in a small paint chip (use a flat putty knife to remove paint in a seldom seen area such as behind a door) to the paint expert when you are buying paint. This will help the experts choose a good paint formulation for you.
3. Tell the paint expert WHERE the paint will be applied. There is a difference between the type of paint you'd use, for example, in a bathroom versus the one you use in a bedroom.

And, of course, if you're planning to sell, please talk with your Realtor FIRST before painting any of the interior rooms. It just may turn out that your Realtor's painting vendors can do the job more cost efficiently than you can on your own. Also, your Realtor can help you with the color choices that will bring out the very best in your home!

Good luck!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
If you haven't painted before it would be best to read up on the prep work. You can do it yourself, but prepping is so important. If you have very high ceilings I would recommend a professional. They come in and out and are done in two days (usually).

If you need a resource for a painter drop me a note.

Enjoy your new look.
Web Reference:
1 vote
Sam Shueh, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Jan 7, 2016
Go to you tube watch a couple modules.
One thing about interior wall, if you mess it up you can go over.

Use water solvable type....

Good luck
Sam Shueh Realtor
0 votes
Arpad Racz, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Jan 5, 2016

You could get the guidance of someone who has done this before, and they can help you make the right decision.

All the best,

0 votes
Info, Home Buyer, San Jose, CA
Tue Jan 5, 2016
Hello Home Owner,

I am a professional with Pure Painting in Ocala, FL. Painting is simple enough with the right know how. The biggest difference between a professional and a novice is simply the knowledge of the products. The actual work is the easy part. Here are a few pointers to help you out:

1. Make sure that what you are painting is clean. Remove any dirt, grease, or chipping paint.
2. If painting over a glossy finish make sure to scratch it up with sandpaper first.
3. If painting over bare drywall or wood make sure to use a primer first. (Some paint has primer in it.)
4. Apply your paint too thin and you will have to do additional coats. Too thick and you will get runs.
5. Have fun and get creative! If you are inexperienced then you may be at it a while. Turn the music on and enjoy it. If you would like to browse for ideas, visit

Most paint stores will answer any questions you have about your specific needs. Good luck!
0 votes
Pat Kapowich, Agent, Sunnyvale, CA
Fri Apr 17, 2015
In Silicon Valley, I always recommend a pro. Yes. Always hire a pro when planning to sell or rent your property. The painters also have the latest tips and trends that are happening in your marketplace. Paying for pros, tips and trends will result in dividends you would not have relieved on your own.

Award Winning Real Estate Agent Pat Kapowich

A Trusted Name in Silicon Valley since 1960.
A Respected Name in Real Estate since 1988.
0 votes
Huey Nguyen, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue May 20, 2014
Hello Home Owner,

It depends on what you are planning to paint and how detailed the work is going to be. To start off, you might consider look into painting classes at Home Depot, Lowe's, OSH, or other stores. I have received some great tips from the good people at Sherwin-Williams and Kelly Moore as well.

If you are unsure what color to paint, I would look into purchasing some samples of the colors you are considering and painting the sample on the wall/surface to see how it looks. Be sure to paint areas in the shade, in sunlight, and under the regular room lights to see how the color looks. Even then, a small square of paint may not be the same as seeing the same color on an entire wall or in a large room. It has always worked for me so far, though! :)

Good luck on your project! Have fun!

Best regards,

Huey Nguyen
0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Mar 19, 2012
The first time I tried to paint my own home, it was a disaster! I do not recommend it, unless you really know what you are doing. It is wise to hire professionals, I know a lot of times college students pay their tuition painting professionally...
0 votes
Business Text…, Both Buyer And Seller, Naples, FL
Mon Mar 19, 2012
Paint it yourself, it's easy!
0 votes
Bart Marchio…, Agent, Mountain View, CA
Mon Feb 13, 2012
If you're considering going the pro route, I have an fantastic painter who I've used for many years. He's painted my own house on several occasions, and he does the painting at all my properties for sale. I have no financial interest in recommending him, I just think he does great work, in a short amount of time, and is very reasonably priced. If you'd like his contact information, just shoot me an email.

Best regards,

Bart Marchioni
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Fri Feb 3, 2012
Dear Questions,
You should repaint the home before listing it. If you cannot do a professional job it would be in your best interest to hire a professional to take care of it.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Feb 3, 2012
As usual, Mack nailed it and with good humor!

If you don't feel confident, hire someone to do the job. Paint is the least expensive, biggest impact improvement. Get it right and enjoy the outcome.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes
Monica Goyal…, , Cupertino, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
If you need help finding some good painter, please let me know.
0 votes
Monica Goyal…, , Cupertino, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Hi Homeowner,

Sounds like you have not painted the house before, while it is a fun and easy thing to do, it can become overwhelming. I know because I have painted my house a few times. While rolling the brush is easy and fun, preparing the walls for the paint and cleaning afterwards is cumbersome and tiring. It is difficult to get straight lines at wall and ceiling juncture.

So try out a small room, make sure you tape everything well, cover the floors and fixtures. If not satisfied, get someone to do it.

Happy painting!

Monica Goyal
DRE 01781926
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
I couldn't do it, Questions. It would look terrible, and I would have to pay a professional extra to undo my bad work!

Most paint stores will provide the services of a color consultant or designer at minimal charge who can help you select a palette that will really make you happy.

All the best,
0 votes
Diane Riel, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Lots of sound advice is already posted about using a professional versus do it yourself. If you are repainting for resale, would recommend neutral and/or light colors to make the home appear spacious. In the past, I have helped clients with my staging expertise pick paint and flooring colors for their improvements. All the same color or color family makes your floor plan flow. I've had some buyers like a brightly colored or dark wall and other buyers were distracted by a color that was not their favorite. Light, bright, clean and fresh sells. Some paints are not formulated with low or no odor.
Diane RIel, Broker/Owner
Realty World - The Sterling Group, San Jose, CA
(408) 718-8485 cell
0 votes
John Walin, Agent, Libertyville, IL
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Painting is the easy part. the hard and time consuming part is prep work and cutting the ceiling edges and not painting porcelein outlets. Plus a crew of four or five guys get a whole interior done in two days. Rather than over 6 consecutive weekends.
0 votes
Erica Glessi…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
If you are focused on re-sale potential, I recommend a very professional job. Home buyers look for cues on home maintenance, and the little things add up in sum to big dollars.

When a buyer sees a bunch of little cut corners, things that don't look like they were done "right" they are going to offer less. They are going to think of how much they might need to pay to get the home feeling like it was professionally upgraded!

So, if you are in doubt, paint one room and then get feedback from someone you consider to have high standards. This should help you know.

I know that I would need to hire a professional! I tried painting my daughter's room (she chose turquoise) and please don't come in with a critical eye. It's very much done by a novice, LOL.


Erica Glessing Nelson
DRE 01425475
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Hi HomeOwner,

If you have no experience painting, you may want to go to sites like youtube, the home channel (online), this old house (online), etc., where you can acquire an abundance of tips on how to paint your home.

Once you have all the tips, try painting a small room in your home. If the results come out to your liking, then do so with the rest of the home. If you dont like the results or if it was too much work for you, then hire a contractor.

I have a contractor that is inexpensive but gets the job done right. Cost will depend on the size of your home. Call me at 408-316-0793 or email me at for the size of your home and I can ask my contractor to give you a quote.

Thanks, hope that helps.
0 votes
Gabriel Nguy…, , Campbell, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
It's totally up to you. You can hire a professional painter to help you out and leaving no mess or you can do it yourself which might take you longer than pro.

Also, my advice to you is please do not use bright paint colour to pain your interior. Use something natural color so when you sell your home, potential buyer(s) can accept it and your house can sell quicker. That is from my experience. If you need a referrence painter, let me know.

Take care.

Gabriel Nguyen
1-STOP Realty Group
900 E. Hamilton Ave. #100
campbell, CA 95008
408-426-1441 direct

Web Reference:
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
I have painted many of my rooms in two different houses over the years. It is a bit tricky and hard work but can be done. If you are inclined to hard labor, go for it - just be careful and read the internet for tips before you get started. A good start is and there are other Do-it-yourself sites you can find. If you have high ceilings you are going to need a very tall ladder and not be afraid of heights. Otherwise, you might want to hire a professional for that portion of the work.
0 votes
charles butt…, Agent, san jose, CA
Thu Feb 2, 2012
Thank you Homeowner:

Grace Morioka and Teri Velios gave you excellent answers. I gave them thumbs up for their answers.

I would like to add that the quality of the paint is also very important. The discount store paints are often of poor quality and it can be very difficult to produce a good result with a poor quality paint. Also you need to know whether the existing paint on the woodwork was oil base, or water base. I do not recommend putting a water base paint over oil base or oil base over a water base paint.

I have found that a good source of painting is the Kelly Moore paint stores, and I have found that Kelly Moore paints are of excellent quality. I recommend that you talk with the people at a Kelly Moore paint store. You will get a much better result when you paint.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address:
0 votes
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