PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When it comes to home improvement, painting is one of easiest and least expensive ways to dramatically change the look of a room.

However, there are many factors that can influence the project.

“Recently, we had Pinnacle paint our mantle. Before, it was stained wood. We really thought that was what we wanted when we initially built the house, but we really decided we needed a change so they painted that. It’s been a great difference for our living room,” Brad Stutler said.

Professionals painted the mantle and the kitchen in Stutler’s home. He plans on having more painting done this year.

“Like everyone else, I’ve got three little kids so there are many stains and scratches and nicks on the wall,” Stutler said.

Painting is a great way to boost your home’s value and the color can change the look of a room.

Experts say there are certain colors that are popular today.

“Seeing a lot of grays and blues, but the grays aren’t traditional grays, they are more earth-toned grays, a little softer than just a steel gray, so it’s a little warmer finish,” painting contractor Sean Eichenberg said.

Once you’ve picked the perfect color, you’ll have to decide on what type of finish you want for the space.

“If you have a bathroom that’s a high humidity area, you’d want a higher sheen paint – an eggshell or a satin – that way it would be moisture-resistant and clean up a little bit better,” Eichenberg said.

The key to a great paint job is prepped the areas properly. Fix any imperfection to ensure your painting job holds up well.

“A lot of times, people tackle this project themselves, but you need to understand when you’re over your head because a good paint job is dependent on the prep work. If you have walls that need a lot of repair or resurfacing, hiring a professional may be well worth the money. If you have tricky trim work, that might not be the room you want to test on,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

“First of all, my wife would never let me paint the house. Secondly, it’s a time factor. I’m very busy with my family and just don’t have the time to do it,” Stutler said.

Consider these elements when getting a painting estimate– number of coats, square footage, and prep work.

Get three bids to ensure you are comparing apples to apples.

A good contract will include the type of finishes and colors as well as the number of coats and the pricing for additional coats.

Quality products are key so be sure your contractor is using what you want.

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