Painting Your Own Apartment: Worth It, Or Not So Much?

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06_S97A9295Photographed by Alice Gao.
Last weekend, I was standing on my kitchen counter, struggling to paint a very difficult corner above my stove, when my friend standing below said, "You know, you can hire someone to do this." Of course I know that. But, why would I, a DIY enthusiast, ever hire someone to paint my apartment for me? Five hours later, there were a lot of white spots on the floor, and I had two very stiff arms. It made me wonder: When it comes to home improvement, are some things better left to the true professionals? Is coughing up a little extra dough worth saving my weekend and my sanity? After careful consideration, I decided it was.

What I should have done was have West Elm and Sherwin Williams send a team of painters to my house. Of course, while I was busily choosing between eggshell finishes I didn't know that I'd come to work this week and find an email about the companies' springtime painting service. Turns out, they'll paint a 12-by-12-foot space for $379. That may seem steep (since it doesn't include the actual paint), but factor in the cost of ladders, brushes, drop cloths, and a day or more of soreness, and it's basically a bargain. They'll also hang curtains, art, and mirrors for a fee. Sound like a worthy investment? (Email michael@westelm.com for an appointment.) Or, let us know your other housework shortcuts in the comments. Task Rabbit, anyone?