7 Ways to Save on Painting a Home

multicolored paint cans on white

By Abby Hayes

Repainting a room is a quick way to freshen up your home, but at $30 a gallon, premium paint is no picnic -– especially considering that a mid-sized bedroom could require two to three gallons.
If you're ready for a new look, but don't have a lot of money to splurge, these seven tips will help you update your wall colors without spending a fortune.

1. Check your local recycling center. Recycling and hazardous waste centers usually take paint from local business owners who need to throw out old, unused paint. Since paint has a long shelf life, much of the paint that is thrown away in these centers is still good. And the best part is you can usually pick up this paint for free!

2. Stop by the hardware store frequently. Hardware stores, paint specialty stores and even Walmarts usually have a mistints section where they sell discolored paint for a fraction of the cost. At Lowe's, for instance, you can pick up a $35 gallon of premium paint for under $15. You never know what you'll find, but it's worth swinging by this section of your local store.

3. Invest in better paint. When it comes to paint, you really do get what you pay for. Though you might not want to spring on the most expensive paint, the higher-end paints cover better, which means you use less paint, and they're less messy (so no accidental drips on the floor that could cost to clean uplater). They also tend to be more durable, making your new paint job last longer.

4. Use primer. There are times when you don't have to use primer, but if you're painting raw wood, raw drywall, stained surfaces or rough surfaces, you'll definitely need to use primer. Also, if you're painting a dark color or dramatically changing the color of your walls, primer will help your paint cover better, so you use less. Typically, one coat of primer and one coat of paint will be cheaper than two or three coats of paint.

5. Learn to paint like a professional. Inexperienced painters tend to try to squeeze all the paint out of a roller every time. It seems like this would make sense, since you use all the paint you put on the roller. But rolling on thicker layers with a lighter touch actually uses less paint and looks more professional.

6. Buy in bulk. Buying paint in five-gallon cans is cheaper than buying it in one-gallon cans. Typically, a 5 gallon bucket of paint will cost about the same as four one-gallon buckets -– so you get a whole gallon for free. If you're painting a lot of square footage, choosing a single color to use on most of the walls can save you a lot of money. You could also talk to your local paint store about buying several one-gallon buckets of paint at a bulk price.

7. Cover your rollers and brushes. Sometimes it takes a few days to complete a larger painting project. If you have to quit before you're done with a paint color, don't rinse out those brushes and rollers. That's just a waste of time and paint! Instead, wrap them tightly in plastic bags, tied with a rubber band or some twine. When you're ready to resume painting the next day, just unwrap your rollers, and go.

But the easiest way to save on paint? Buy less. If you're really on a tight budget, consider simply redecorating your home with an accent wall instead of painting the entire room. Another excellent way to upgrade the look of a room -– especially if you still like the overall color scheme –- is to paint the ceiling a lighter version of the wall color, instead of just a boring ceiling white.

More from U.S. News:
A Step-by-Step Guide to Homebuying
8 Energy-Efficient Home Improvements That Save Money
7 Home Improvements That Will Save You Money This Winter

Homes With Crazy Paint Jobs
See Gallery
7 Ways to Save on Painting a Home

If your house matches your handbag, the fashion police need to arrest you on charges of visual assault.

And how on earth do you sell this place? This is not a paint color that will help you sell your home.

Photo: Flickr/Sterin

And zebras are living there, apparently.

Photo: Flickr/Cat Rocketship

This house sure did taste the rainbow. (But it's probably not one of the colors that sell best.)

Photo: Flickr/Whole Wheat Toast

Actually, you live in Burberry. Wonder what the inside looks like.

Photo: Flickr/mrjorgen

This is one way to tell your house from your neighbors'.

Photo: Flickr/exfordy

I am siding, hear me roar.

Photo: Flickr/ChicagoGeek

The "Hello, Kitty" theme just makes us want to say goodbye.

Photo: Flickr/joanneteh_32

Is it a house or is it a gumball machine?

Photo: Flickr/nodigio

The inadvisable salmon-and-chartreuse combo aside, what on earth is that thing on the garage door?

Photo: Flickr/chadmiller

Though the hot-pink exterior of this brownstone is kinda cute, it does stick out like a sore thumb.

Photo: Flickr/underwhelmer

It's like tie-dye for houses!

Photo: Flickr/m.a.r.c.

This place is so shocking, you can't stop looking at it -- and that's exactly the point. In exchange for turning your home into a billboard for the company, marketing firm Brainiacs from Mars will pay your mortgage. Looks like the owners of this home took the deal. Maybe the place looks better from Mars. 

Photo: Brainiacs From Mars

Hmmm, looks like a bank-owned property now.

Photo: Flickr/ell brown

From an airplane, this Mexican village probably looks like a giant Gay Pride flag.

Photo: Flickr/GOC53

Let's just say we're not envious of this green.

Photo: Flickr/roger jones

We hope the princess living in this house is lovelier than the house itself.

Photo: Flickr/Kyknoord

We actually dig these digs. Just make sure not to look directly at it in the daytime.

Photo: Flickr/boxchain

Does the maker of Skittles live here?

Photo: Flickr/Dystopos


More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
homes for sale in your area.
foreclosures in your area.

Find homes for rent.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.
Read Full Story

Find a home

Powered by Zillow