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Lots of us consider painting the easiest and most effective way to spruce up our home. Emphasis on "easy"—it's one of few projects that most homeowners feel comfortable tackling themselves. But just because painting seems like a simple task at first glance doesn't mean it is simple.

There are a lot of things to consider before DIY-ing a paint project. Wondering if it's better to roll up your sleeves and get down to business or hire a professional? Here are some factors to weigh before making your decision.

The Difficulty Level

Most video games give you the choice between easy, medium, and hard modes when you start a new save file. Walls also have difficulty modes. But there's one difference between video games and walls—with walls, you can't freely switch between modes.

A smooth, blemish-free wall is easy mode when it comes to painting. A damaged wall—think chipped paint, scrapes, dents—is hard mode. Even if you're a newbie at painting, giving an easy mode wall a fresh coat shouldn't prove too difficult. Handling a hard mode wall, on the other hand, is likely way outside your skill level.

Always inspect your walls before starting a new paint project and assess whether your current skill level would allow you to paint them correctly.

Health and Safety

The next thing to consider before DIY-ing a paint project is your own health and safety. Painting can prove dangerous if you don't follow the necessary precautions. You face the risk of falling off an unstable ladder, inhaling paint fumes, or even setting your home on fire. Thankfully, you can avoid most of these incidents, but preventing them takes time, money, and care.

You might feel tempted to ignore or modify health and safety protocols to save money and time. But doing so can have serious consequences. If you don't have the supplies or patience to follow these protocols, it's smarter (and safer) to let a professional handle the work instead.

Time Is Money

You can cushion the blow to your wallet by DIY-ing a paint project, but the money you’ll save comes in exchange for your time. If your project is a simple one, this exchange is arguably worthwhile. Losing a couple of hours is better than losing a decent chunk of money. But if your project is more complicated, you could be stuck working on it for weeks or even months depending on the scope and your level of expertise. In cases like these, it's better to preserve time over money and hire a contractor.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.