I understand the apprehension of soldering SMD parts using solder paste but I must say that once you try and develop that skill you will probably enjoy it a lot. For me it is the surface tension. That little aspect of physics makes it possible for me to solder things much smaller than I could ever do "by hand" with an iron.
You will probably want some equipment, though.
- Hotness source (toaster oven, heat gun, or smd rework tool (here's the one I use at work: https://smile.amazon.com/Tek-Motion-Dis ... ast_slp_dp
- Solder paste - I like to get the kind that comes in a syringe b/c it helps application (at least until you graduate to using stencils)
- An x-acto knife to clean up applied solder.
With just those tools you can solder all but the most difficult SMD parts. If you want even better results you might try:
- Flux in a syringe-tipped bottle
- A griddle with sand to evenly heat the bottom of your PCB (I use this for large/difficult boards when I only have a hot air gun - it helps pre-heat the entire board)