How to Paint a Room for Less

Paint a room for lessAn amusing fact not everyone knows about me is that I am not crazy about painting. This may come as a shock to my family, should they read this post, because I have done a LOT of painting over the years.

The first time I picked up a paintbrush I was just a kid of about eight years old. The task I was given at the time was to paint something insignificant in the yard behind our house. I didn’t know it wasn’t important at the time, I was just proud I got to “help”.

I honestly can’t tell you the next time I painted. What I can tell you is that the bulk of my experience has come since the birth of my children. My husband and I painted together many times, updating the homes we’ve lived in and hiding crayon marks over the years.

Now that the kids have grown I am still the designated painter of apartments and home for all, including my aging mother. One of the things I have learned about painting is that it can cost more than you think to simply paint one room. However it is possible to paint a room for less if you know some ways to save.

1. Prep Properly

One of the first things you need to do to paint a room for less is to prepare your room. Some people think skipping this step can save them money. If you don’t mind the holes in the walls from the nails and hooks of previous tenants it probably will. Apparently I am pickier than that.

Of course, holes aren’t the only things that need to be taken care of before you paint. Proper preparation may include, but not be limited to:

  • Washing/wiping down dirty walls
  • Filling holes
  • Patching cracks
  • Taping off around doors and trim
  • Moving furniture
  • Spreading out plastic or canvas drop cloths
  • Priming
  • Sanding

The problem with skipping these steps, other than pure pickiness, is that you could end up with chipped and peeling paint. In fact, when you paint without making the necessary preparations, you run the risk of having to paint again far sooner. That translates into more time for you to do the job again as well as sink money into paint and supplies to redo the room.

According to Homeadvisor.com it can cost an average of between $200-$300 to paint a small bedroom of around 10 feet X 12 feet. Now, calculate that figure for the whole house. Painting again due to lack of preparation doesn’t sound too economical, does it?

2. Don’t Buy Cheap Paint

Obviously paint costs differ depending on the brand. They can also be higher if you are purchasing specialty paint such as metallic paints or pearl finishes. Other factors can affect the price as well. As an example, if you are painting highly textured walls it takes more paint.

Experience has taught me not to buy cheap paint. I once painted a room four times in order to get coverage because I was using cheap paint to save money. In the end I ended up taking twice as long and spending more than if I had bought better paint and only put on one or two coats.

3. Buy Quality Supplies

A third thing that I have learned over the years is not to try to save by buying less expensive brushes and rollers. It isn’t worth the time it will take you to pull fuzzies out of the paint that cheap rollers leave behind.Brushes are the same way. Bristles fall out and brushes must be replaced far more often when you have not invested in good ones. To paint a room for less money, buy supplies that will last you.

4. Proper Clean Up

The last point I will touch on is clean up. If you try to skip this step, your quality supplies could end up ruined costing you extra money to replace them when you get ready to paint again. While you are painting keep and old rag handy to mop up drips as they occur before they have a chance to dry on woodwork or carpet.

If you are using latex paint you can simply use water to clean up your rollers and bushes. But if, instead, you are using oil-based paint you will need paint thinner to clean up.

Even when you are tired, cleaning up when you have finished painting is essential to keeping your costs painting costs down.

To be sure, painting a room so you have a beautiful living environment is going to cost you some money. However, as you can see, it is possible to do it right and keep your costs in check.

How would you paint a room for less?

This entry was posted in Money.

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