Should you paint a new home before or after you move in? The answer may seem like a no-brainer for some, but for others, this question doesn’t even cross their mind. Here are some pros and cons to consider when painting your new home before the big move.
Pro: Painting an Empty Room is Easy
Before you haul all of your belongings into the home, you may want to consider painting the walls first. Imagine how much time you could save from having to shuffle your furniture around the room, cover your belongings in plastic, and make room for ladders. Not only does this cut down on the amount of time, it also saves you from those “uh-oh” moments when you realize you’ve just dropped paint on your brand-new couch.
Pro: Air Out Paint Fumes Before You Move In
The smell of paint is something we’ve all experienced. Some love it and others, not so much. The intensity of toxic paint fumes is caused by Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can lead to headaches, dizziness, and nausea. If you paint before the big move, you do not have to suffer the consequences of breathing in those paint fumes. You’ll have a better chance to allow the paint to fully dry and air out the fumes before you have to live there. Be sure to know the dangers of paint fumes regardless of when you paint and take the necessary precautions to avoid breathing in toxic chemicals.
Pro: Get It All Done at Once
Moving is stressful. You’ve already got a lot on your plate between packing, moving, unpacking, and settling in. Once you get in the house, chances are you’ll be so tired from all the moving, you won’t go near a paint brush if it means yet another long and stressful process. Which means you may look back a year later and the painting is still not finished. Take advantage of the energy you have during the moving process. Get all the painting done and out of the way at once.
Con: Risk Mismatching Paint Color and Belongings
While most people take advantage of an empty home to paint before moving in, it may be better to wait until your stuff moves in first. This allows you to pick and choose colors that actually match your belongings. Design experts often suggest picking your paint color last. With thousands of colors, tints, and shades, you never know which one may be the best fit for your furniture until you test out samples. Plus, if you plan on getting new furniture anyway, you’ll want to match the paint with the furnishings. If you paint your new home first, you’re taking a risk that you may end up with non-complementary paint colors that ruin your décor.
Con: Out of Time, Money, & Energy
Many people simply do not have the time, money, and energy to paint everything before move in. While painting beforehand is beneficial, it is neither cheap nor quick. This means an extra couple of days at least before major unpacking can take place, which may not be feasible for a family with kids or job start dates. According to HomeAdvisor, “The cost to paint an average size room (10X12) ranges from $380-$790, not including ceilings, trim or cost of the paint.” Cost also depends on who is painting, whether you choose to hire professionals, or bribe your family and friends. If you are painting yourself, don’t be fooled. Painting takes time, patience, and a whole lot of upper body work. You may want to consider saving this project for another day when you have a little extra cash on hand and enough energy to get the job done.
Con: Painting Older Homes Before Proper Inspections
When you buy an older home, many homeowners can’t wait to cover up wall blemishes and the dreaded Victorian wallpaper. Before you paint an older home, you may want to hire a home inspector to evaluate the home’s electrical, plumbing, and air ducts. It doesn’t make sense to paint a wall if you don’t know the condition of what’s behind it. There’s a chance you may have to hire professionals to come in and update a fuse box or replace leaky pipes that are hiding behind your drywall. Why paint something if you have to knock it down in a few months for emergency renovations?
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