A new survey says millions of people procrastipaint every year. Don’t be another statistic—here’s how to finally get your painting project done.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated June 19, 2019

Picking new paint colors and mastering how to paint a room might be one of the quickest, most affordable ways to give your home a new look, but it’s also something that is easily put off. Who doesn’t dream of getting rid of that unattractive white wall or giving that ugly green bathroom a fresh coat of paint? Dreaming is easy—actually tackling that painting project is another story, and according to a new survey, way more people are putting off painting than you may think.

Meet procrastipainting: procrastinating on your painting project, or doing almost anything besides picking up a paint roller and finally figuring out how to paint a wall. A new study from Glidden paint asked more than 1,000 U.S. adults about their painting plans, and the majority said they thought painting was easy—though almost 75 percent of those planning to paint in the next year said they’d procrastinate on it anyway. Applied to the national group of people—some 84 million, according to Glidden—who intend to complete a painting project in the next year, that 75 percent amounts to millions of procrastipainters.

Painting projects are relatively easy and cost-effective, especially when compared to the high home renovation costs of many other projects around the house; they can completely change the look and feel of a room (or even the whole house). Why, then, do the majority of people who want to paint put it off?

Maybe it’s because painting can feel final: Once you’ve done it, if you don’t like the color, are you really going to go through the process all over again to repaint? Or maybe people procrastipaint because they’re concerned about lead paint—a valid concern, but one that can (and should) be mitigated.

Whatever the reason, there are ways to stop procrastipainting and actually get that paint job done. Once that happens, you’ll only wonder why it took you so long to do it in the first place.

Enjoy the highlights

Parts of painting—dealing with painter’s tape, climbing on a ladder to reach those far corners, the actual task of painting—aren’t very glamorous. But the other parts, including picking the paint color and appreciating the end result, are worth the effort. Glidden’s survey found that the most enjoyable part of a painting project is choosing the paint color; focusing on that bright spot and imagining how it’ll look once it’s brought home can help make the rest less painful.

Get help prepping

One of the most important steps in painting, whether it’s painting interior doors or a whole exterior, is prep. This means sanding walls, patching holes, and removing switch plate covers and outlet covers. Doing all this adds time to the project, but it also promises a more satisfying final look. To make it all easier, gather a team to help (or at least cheer you on) while you tackle this prep work. Once it’s done and your room is bare, with patchy walls, you’ll feel even more encouraged to take the final step and put paint to wall.

Focus on the end-goal

Visualizing the end result can make the whole painting process much more seamless. When you can see where you’re going, after all, you’re more likely to avoid pitfalls that can make the painting project drag on, thus avoiding procrastipainting. Glidden offers a Room Visualizer tool that helps you see—literally—how your paint color of choice will look in that space. If you’re really struggling to start your painting job, keeping that image in mind (or even as your phone background) can be a constant reminder that you need to get the job done.