Before you even talk to a professional, there are three questions you should consider:
The answers can tell you whether you need a basic repainting or a more complex restoration.
Any reputable painter will tell you: A paint job is only as good as the preparation—the more thorough the prep, the better the results. And preparation typically makes difference between repainting and restoring. Here’s a quick comparison:
Repainting is the more appropriate approach to a project that doesn’t demand unusual or excessive prep. Obvious conditions like cracks, peeling or blistering paint and stains, water-damaged, rotting or rusting wood and metal surfaces should be properly prepared and primed for finish painting. In most cases these kinds flaws are minor and affect small portions of the overall surfaces.
Restoration involves more widespread and severe conditions—sagging ceilings, extensive cracking in plaster or drywall, badly peeling paint on trim work, etc. This is more common in older, often neglected homes, particularly when the result you’re after is “like new.” Restoring can entail chemically or mechanically stripping all existing paint or finish down to the bare substrate on trim work; skim-coating (with drywall joint compound) entire ceilings or walls that are very rough but otherwise sound; and replacing all rotted, loose or rusted material, all prior to priming and painting.