One thing we at Gruber Painting have learned over the years is that a lot of potential clients ask this question. To be fair, it’s not an entirely unreasonable one. People on HGTV, TikTok, and YouTube make getting the bold look you’re going for seem as easy as slapping on some painter’s tape and making sure you’ve bought the right colors, making lots of people wonder why they shouldn’t just go it alone and handle their painting job themselves. As the days get shorter and cooler, people are going to be spending more time in the house, which means they might well start considering how they can create a better home environment for themselves—which often means new interior paint!
With this in mind, we decided now’s a great time to run through the pros and cons of various aspects of going DIY from start to finish versus hiring professional painting contractors to do the work for you.
While it may seem like a weird flex for a house painting company to go this route, here are some reasons to go DIY with the new paint for your home or business rather than using a residential and commercial painting contractor to get us started!
There are lots of informational videos out there for free that offer professional paint results!
Pro: To be fair, in general, this is quite true. Every DIY prepper site and social media network has tips, tricks, tactics, and hacks that promise great results if you’re willing to put in the time and research required to find them. They don’t cost anything but some time to review, and usually, even the worst ones have at least a couple of good, valid suggestions that you can consider when you go to start planning your painting process, from the front door to the roof gables. Even better, if you don’t like the advice given in one video or by one DIY guru, there’s usually a group of related others you can check out, so you’re not totally stuck following someone whose suggestions you don’t trust for whatever reason.
Con: One of the most obvious concerns is that these videos are almost always done by interior and exterior painting professionals. The videos these pro painters churn out are almost always sanitized and cleaned up, with a lot of editing and very little time spent on the story behind the actual processes. This means you get the start of the existing project, the finished product, and maybe a few seconds of seeing what goes into making walls painting look good. Okay, great—but what about the “blooper reels?” What about when the edge taping peels away because the temperature and humidity are both hovering in the high 90s? What happens when you think you bought high-gloss paint for your interior walls, and instead you find out you got matte-finish exterior paint instead? What’s the quickest and most effective way to clean up an oil-based paint spill versus latex versus water-based paint? How do you know how many coats are required for the best coverage when you’re doing multi-coat painting? What happens if the cat comes in and rubs up against your freshly painted walls? These videos show you the end result—but they almost always make achieving that result look easier than it ever is in real life!
“I saw The Karate Kid, and I took an art class in third grade. I can paint!”
Pro: It’s true that anyone and everyone can learn to be a good painter, with some care and attention to details, like choosing a suitable color to paint the interior walls and creating a harmonious top and bottom border to stand in for crown molding or toe boards. It’s also true that homeowners may often find they get a great sense of accomplishment from doing their own residential painting. Not only can they possibly save some coin on the job, but they have free rein to be as original or conservative as their tastes, and personal standards allow for. This can be a treat for some people who really enjoy DIY projects and are willing to put in the time to do it and do it well.
Con: Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time or feel the obligation to learn to do better than a mediocre job of painting. Their friends may tell them they’re Rembrandt or Picasso at the Saturday night “paint and sip,” but when it comes to residential painting, it quickly becomes clear they’re making a big mistake when they find out just how big the task they’ve decided to undertake actually is. You’d be surprised how many of our clients have contacted us because they start a project and then realize halfway through that it’s a lot harder than they expected. It doesn’t mean they’re not smart, intelligent people—it just means they thought it would be a light, fun project until it wasn’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that! It just means they learned a valuable lesson about why it pays to hire a professional painting contractor!
“Painting our house together will give us a stronger bond!”
Pro: Home improvement projects can lead to couples being more connected and synchronized. If you’ve ever negotiated with a partner or significant other about something like the color of your dining service or the exact shade of your exterior home paint, you know that projects like this can help you take your home and your relationship to another level. Projects like this encourage communication, compromise, and cooperation. In addition, it gives all parties concerned ownership over and responsibility for an outcome that, in the end, exceeded expectations for everyone concerned. There’s an entire cottage industry whose business model revolves around encouraging people in relationships to undertake tasks like exterior residential painting to foster a more powerful bond, making them talk out differences of opinion and settle on mutually acceptable solutions. These companies make a mint every year—so logic dictates there must be something there on which to build!
Con: Several of the same points that fall in the “pro” column would be just as easy to add to the “con” list, depending on the relationship. A surprising number of professional interior painting requests for homes off our past client list got there in the first place because a couple decided to take on some DIY home painting with the idea this project would be quick and easy—only to end up on the verge of a breakup, separation, or outright divorce before they decided it would be better to get painting professional contractor services before their relationship fell below the point of no return. From one party using a specific color in a place other than what the other party expected to concern over how to remove a surprise paint stain, some couples simply shouldn’t try to tackle these projects. It’s not because they’re not bad people, but because opinions and tempers can flare and run high when a project starts to go sideways, which in turn can be a sign pointing to several other related difficulties underlying the relationship, which then can lead to more difficulties being highlighted, to the point where the sheer weight of all the sudden cracks in the foundation stands to topple the dynamic. For these relationships, hiring a professional painting company could easily make the difference between a harmonious home and a house that looks great—but isn’t a home at all.
“We know and love the interior of our house better than anyone else!”
Pro: Yes, it’s true that no one will likely ever love or care for your home the way you do. And why shouldn’t that be true? You saved, worked, borrowed, and strived to be able to earn and enjoy your piece of the American dream! It’s only natural that you’d want to make sure your investment and your safe space are in the best possible hands, and it’s perfectly understandable that you’d feel those hands are your own. In many cases, you might even be right! If you’ve worked as a professional painter and gotten consistently excellent results, then, of course, you wouldn’t necessarily need or want to hire someone to deliver professional interior and exterior painting results you can do yourself. This also has the added bonus of ensuring your vision will be realized to your standards without worry or fear.
Con: Most people have never been in a professional painting company’s employ before. Again, that’s not an insult but a simple function of sheer numbers. When you calculate how many professional painters and contractors there are in the United States (around 223,223 as of September 2022) divided by the estimated number of people (around 332,403,650 as of January 2022), you come up with a percentage result of 0.0067—which is an incredibly small number! Given this, and the fact that most painting companies, like Gruber Painting LLC, are small businesses by definition, it’s not surprising that most people have never needed or even tried to perform pro painting, including concrete and brick painting, having your cabinets painted, and general interior painting before. This means when they’re done with their DIY job, often they’re disappointed that they didn’t get the pro paint results they were hoping for.
When you hire professionals, excellent results should be a given—and, paired with superior customer service, responsiveness, and our industry-leading satisfaction guarantee, they’re what set us apart from other paint companies in the Bay Area.
Gruber Painting is proud to be the locally owned and operated source for all your painting and light renovation needs, including:
- Cabinet refinishing
- Commercial buildings and general commercial painting project execution and management
- Food service
- Industrial painting
- Popcorn ceiling removal
- Power washing
- And much more!
For over a decade, we’ve been serving San Jose painting needs along with the entire Bay Area, including:
- Los Gatos
- Palo Alto
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- San Mateo County
- Santa Clara
- Santa Cruz
- And many more cities, towns, and villages in the Northern California market.
From painters to carpenters, Gruber Painting’s professional staff work hard to execute reasonably priced but outstanding results with the highest level of professionalism, customer care, and environmental stewardship at every step of the project from Day One to Job Done.
That’s why we’re among the Bay Area’s most trusted residential and commercial painting companies. To schedule your free estimate and site walk with no cost or obligation using our hassle-free text scheduling app, click here. And to learn more about why hiring experienced professional residential and commercial contractors for your next painting job is a better investment than DIY, keep reading for our answers to frequently asked questions from homeowners and property managers just like you!
Frequently Asked Questions about Hiring a Professional Painting Company
Gruber Painting is your source for residential and commercial paint jobs that deliver a true WOW factor for less than you might expect!
Question: How does hiring a professional residential and commercial painter save me money in the long run over doing it myself? –Wilbur, Sunnyside, CA
Answer: There are a lot of reasons why it pays to consider hiring skilled, trained residential and commercial painters for your job, but we’re going to focus on just three here!
If you’ve ever done a DIY project and been less than excited about the results, you’ve already seen reason one in action: professionals get professional outcomes! This is because professionals know the best, most efficient methods to deliver the best results even under less-than-ideal circumstances, which gives them a decided edge when it comes to producing a great-looking home. If your lines are crooked, you use too little or too much paint, or you choose a color scheme that doesn’t really work with the feel you’re trying to create and encourage in your space, the mood of the place is going to be thrown off. In many cases, this is subtle, but it can leave your visitors, family, friends, and even yourself feeling slightly uneasy and uncomfortable in your own home. Not a desirable outcome, is it?
Second, professional painters can often access deals on interior and exterior residential, commercial, and industrial paint that may not be available to retail customers.
This means that although you’re paying for labor and materials, you may find the savings on your paint order alone justify the extra expense of bringing in professionals. Gruber Painting only uses paint that has low- or no-VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which is better for your family’s health and the environment as a whole— an added bonus that lets you and your family breathe easier!
Third, some properties demand specialist treatment, such as historic homes and landmarks. In the same way most people wouldn’t dream of trying to touch up a Van Gogh for fear of damaging the painting, painting a historic property incorrectly can harm both the historical and actual value of the location and could result in hefty fines or even lawsuits from historical preservation societies and municipalities. A professional painting company can access the correct permits, experts, and jurisdictional codes to ensure the job is performed in accordance with municipal policy and historic preservation best practices.
Question: Is it safe to have a professional painting contractor in my home? –Lindsey, Mountain View, CA
Answer: All professional painting contractors in the state of California, and most other places across the United States, are required by law to be licensed, insured, and bonded against negligent property damage and theft. They must also run a criminal background check on every prospective employee, and certain offenses on an applicant’s record are automatic no-hires, such as certain kinds of assault and all sex offenses. Because of these screening methods, having a professional painting company’s staff in your home is no riskier than inviting your relatives to visit—and in some cases, even less so!
Gruber Painting takes this a step further. We always use shoe covers, drop cloths, facemasks, and hand sanitizer to keep your home or office clean, safe, sanitary, and mess- and germ-free. At the end of our working day, we remove all our tools and materials, so they’re not underfoot or in your way, and we limit our operations only to the spaces we absolutely must be in at any given time to minimize the impact on you and your family, so you can keep your life running as smoothly and normally as possible. This ensures you get terrific results at a reasonable price with less muss, fuss, and stress. And we don’t just guarantee you’ll get good results—we guarantee the outcomes we deliver will make you say “WOW!” whatever it takes!
Question: Is Gruber Painting a corporate residential and commercial painting company? –Elise, Los Gatos, CA
Answer: Gruber Painting was founded by Joel Gruber in 2010 in San Jose, CA. We are proud to be a locally owned and operated small business, not an offshoot of some faceless megalithic company that took advantage of franchise opportunities. Gruber Painting is proud to be the company that paints industrial, commercial, and residential properties and spaces all over the Bay Area and a good chunk of Northern California. Although we’ve grown over the last decade-plus, we still do business the way Joel started in 2010, with a commitment to treat every job as the most important one we’ll ever undertake and make sure every property we work on is worthy of being included in our ever-expanding portfolio of great results. Even better, we offer financing options and incentives that other, larger companies can’t match, with the hometown touch that has made Gruber Painting the last word in great paint across the Bay Area!
Question: Why does hiring a professional painting company matter if no one’s actually going to see my space but me? –Angel, Stamford, CA
Answer: Have you ever looked at a piece of art where the lines, angles, and curves just seemed a little bit—off? Just about everyone has, and they tend to react more or less the same: with vague feelings of unease, uncertainty, or a general sense of “wrongness” that they can’t quite pinpoint.
The thing is, psychological studies in every field, from fashion design to architecture, have repeatedly shown when it comes to your home or workspace, how the paint is applied, how straight the lines are, and the overall effect is just as important as the colors you choose, if not more so!
If it’s not done right, you could find yourself with areas where the intended color is uneven or patchy or where the original color bleeds through, creating an unsettling, muddled effect. If the lines of the paint aren’t straight, level, crisp, and precise, the final outcome can make the space feel unpleasantly cramped or disturbingly larger than it actually is. This can lead, in turn, to troubling feelings ranging from minor discomfort to full-blown depression—and can have an impact on the mental and emotional well-being of everyone in the space, even if it’s only you.
These effects can be amplified in a historical house or other building, which tends to settle over time. If one wall of a house settles or moves just a fraction of a degree off straight and level, it can subtly affect the feeling of the space. A sloppy, botched, or poorly executed paint job can draw attention to architectural flaws and irregularities, which feed into the negative psychological impact of the space on your mind and emotional state.
Because of this, even if you don’t plan to have many or any people in your space but yourself, safeguarding your psychological health still matters. That’s why having a professional painting like Gruber Painting on your side can make the difference between a space that feels safe, comfortable, inviting, and pleasant to be in and a space that actually hurts your emotional and mental health. You only get one mind, and having a professional painting contractor do the work when you want to give the space a facelift can be one of the most important long-term investments you’ll ever make in the most important possession you have—your own health!
Question: How do I know I’m hiring a professional painting company I can trust? –Mitch, Santa Clara, CA
Answer: There are several ways to screen professional painting contractors, and Gruber Painting recommends you use all of them!
First, check them out with the California Contractors State License Board. All reputable contractors in the state are required to have a valid contractor’s license. You can search by the business name, license number, or even an employee’s name to verify they’re on the level and who and what they say they are. It’s free, fast, and can save you a lot of time, money, and disappointment later!
Second, check out the contractor on review sites like the Better Business Bureau, Angi.com, HomeAdvisor, Google, and Yelp! These sites give you access to content, including reviews about various contractors and companies, as well as methods and means of contacting them. Note that a company not having reviews on one or more of these sites isn’t necessarily a red flag, but it would be odd indeed for a company not to have positive or negative reviews on ALL of them!
Third, ask about references and see their portfolio of previous work. Reputable contractors love to show their stuff and prove they’re the right choice for your project, and they will be happy to show you their online and print galleries of results and put you in touch with prior customers who have given them the approval to do so. However, be careful here. Anyone can swipe a photo, or even a whole album of photos, from the internet and pawn them off as their own. In the same vein, not everyone wants to be a point of contact for verifying a contractor is worth the money, and some contractors don’t necessarily bother to make sure their customers are okay with being a reference before they hand out their information. If they provide an online portfolio, run a Google reverse image search, and if you contact a reference and they decline to talk to you, make a note of it!
Fourth, check to see if they’re Diamond Certified. Only select contractors achieve Diamond Certification in the state of California. This prestigious certification is based upon a contractor achieving specific benchmarks for customer service, client satisfaction, and great results. If your contractor isn’t Diamond Certified, you might want to reconsider engaging their services—or at the very least, proceed with caution.
Fifth and finally, trust your gut when dealing with a painting contractor. A reputable professional painting company will be responsive and attentive to your needs, concerns, and desires. If you feel like you’re being hurried, rushed, or pushed into a decision you don’t necessarily agree with or feel is right for you, your family, or your space, trust that. Likewise, if the contractor seems inattentive, distracted, disinterested, or determined to ignore what you want and need, this is a very bad sign and a great reason not to proceed with that contractor.
Or—you can save yourself some hassle and contact a professional residential and commercial painting business that checks all these boxes: Gruber Painting!
Question: What questions should a good professional painting business ask? –Jacaranda, Stockton, CA
Answer: This is a great question that we at Gruber Painting wish people would ask more often! The exact questions the contractor should ask depend on the type and size of the space, how many people live there, their specific individual and gestalt tastes, and HOA policy or municipal codes for your specific area or jurisdiction. But in general, here are the four questions your painting company should ask every time!
Do you just want to freshen up your home, or are you going for a whole new look?
Some people are quite happy with color schemes that others might consider dated, like the seventies Dynamic Duo of goldenrod and avocado. Others want to go big, bold, and fresh, either because they’re moving into a new home or they’re just sick of the same old same old they’ve been staring at for the last however long. A contractor who doesn’t ask this question is missing important opportunities to understand the basics of the project!
What mood or feel do you want for your home, both inside and outside?
This question is important because it will directly impact how the project is approached. If you want a bright, airy feel to channel a sense of the beach or the deep forest, a “man cave,” or something darker and more Gothic, it will help the contractor get a sense of how best to deliver the feel that will make you most comfortable. For example, a house that feels like it’s at the beach may have light blue walls with sand-colored trim and white accents, while bright whites and cheerful yellows can make for open, happy-feeling space. Painting contractors who don’t think about the overall mood and feel of the home after they’re done are going to be less likely to properly guide their clients to the perfect paint, let alone get the results the clients are looking for!
What is your budget for the project?
While in some circumstances bringing up the price is considered gauche, in a situation like this, it’s unavoidable. No one likes to talk about money, but even though it’s a somewhat indelicate topic to broach so directly, it’s important for negotiating what can and can’t be done within those parameters. It’s also helpful because some contractors, like Gruber Painting, offer financing options that can help expand your budget and make the new color scheme you’ve been dreaming of more affordable. If the paint company you’re dealing with is afraid to talk turkey, this could be a red flag.
What are your must-haves and dealbreakers?
Again, understanding exactly what the customer wants and needs is just good basic service. Maybe you’re in love with Prince Purple and despise burgundy. It could be that your kid is crazy about fire-engine red and is going to give you grief for the next five years if their room doesn’t have that exact trim. Possibly someone in your household is chasing the latest trend, and if a very specific shade isn’t used prominently in the space, they’ll surely die of social ostracism! Finding out precisely what is and isn’t on the table when planning out the job is a crucial point that can make a world of difference in delivering the best possible outcome and creating a happy customer!
To find out more about how Gruber Painting can add a new color to your world, click here to contact us or click here to schedule a free site walk and estimate for your painting project today!