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Do I get a contractor in, or do I paint the floors myself?


Many factory managers come to us with a bit of a dilemma. Do I paint the floors myself or get someone professional to do it? I mean how hard can it be to whack a bit of paint down on the floor, right? We understand that it may seem like an extra unnecessary cost when some of your own employees could do the job just as well.

If you’re contemplating whether to get a contractor in to paint your factory floors or whether to get your guys to do it on a weekend or overtime rate, there’s a number of factors to consider that might make it more cost-effective to actually get the professional contractor in to do the job for you. Here at Clarity, we paint hundreds of factory floors every year and we’re well aware it’s the dilemma of every factory manager; do I do it myself or do I get a contractor. The purpose of this article is to help you make an informed and educated decision as to the best option for you. By the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of painting yourself against the pros and cons of getting a professional contractor in.


Isn’t it just another DIY project?

I don’t know about you, but I often take on DIY projects that are way beyond my ability and then figure out how to do it afterwards. The thing about taking on a project yourself, is it always looks a lot simpler than it actually is. When customers tell me that they’re just going to get their maintenance team to whack another layer of paint down, I have a little smile to myself, because I bet that’s a regular job for them. Unless you are an absolute perfectionist then generally speaking, you’ll never be able to do the job as well as a professional in that field. Even if you can do the job as well as the professional, you are likely to spend longer completing the job as you are a perfectionist. This will also eat into your time, ensuring other important tasks don’t get the attention they deserve.


Why is more floor paint not lasting?

One of the frustrations of using a professional flooring contractor for painting your floors, is that they will always insist on a thorough abrasion prior to painting. The reason this is frustrating is because in your mind all you want is them to stick a layer of paint down and go, however a fully qualified professional floor painter knows that this would affect the durability of the paint. They are also aware of all other factors that may affect the durability of the job, and therefore your return on investment. The biggest difference between a professional job, and a DIY paint job is how long the paint will actually last. To read more about Epoxy vs Polyurethane Floor Coatings click here.

In contrast, one of the biggest frustrations of our customers, is where they paint their own floors, and it just doesn’t last. We have seen paint peeling off floors that are less than six months old, just because they wanted to save money by painting it themselves. In reality, that same floor would’ve lasted three years, had it been done professionally with the right products. You can read more about the reasons why your floor coatings may be peeling here.


But I need to save costs? My budget is under scrutiny.

If you had a 50m long walkway and you chose to opt for your own maintenance team to paint that walkway and you got it done on a Friday night after everyone has gone home, this would set you back around £500 in paint and possibly £300 in overtime. By contrast, if you had got a professional contractor in to do the job, not only would they charge more but they would also charge a premium for doing an evening shift. This could cost you around £2500. Doing the job yourself would save you around £1700 for this painted walkway. Roll on 12 months and you would be asking your maintenance team to schedule in another nightshift to paint the floors again. So sure - there are savings to be had by painting the floor yourself, but as the old expression goes “buy cheap, buy twice”.


What are some of the things that could go wrong if I do it myself?

  • What surface prep is needed before I start painting?
  • Is a second coat needed?
  • When does the second coat need to be put on?
  • Should there be any surface prep in between the two coats?
  • When is the best time to remove the masking tape?

There are so many questions you may start asking yourself, and the reality is, a painter knows the answers to all these questions instinctively.


So should you paint your floors yourself?

Absolutely, if you feel ready! There is an initial cost-saving by doing it yourself, and if you get the right advice, have the right floor paint and the right equipment to hand, go for it. There’s nothing stopping you!

If, however, there’s a chance of any customer inspections or supplier visits in the next 6-9 months and you want to make an impression on them, then perhaps a professional flooring contractor is the best way forward for you. It’s a difficult decision to make but what we always find is that customers who choose a professional contractor to paint their floors, always come back to us to paint other areas.

If you need some help or need costings for us to come and paint your floors, please don’t hesitate to contact us to get a free quote.


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