Painting on a Budget? Check Out These 5 Practical Cost-Saving Tips

There are many motivators for updating your home’s paint including changing the look of a room, repurposing a space, matching walls to new furnishings, freshening faded or dated paint, or selling your home. However, the cost of painting (or at least people’s perception of it) is one of the top reasons people put off actually starting an interior house painting project.

While there is nothing like putting your home on the market to give you the kick in the pants you need to give your home a fresh coat, why wait until you’re moving out to transform your space into the one you always wanted?

With a little planning and preparation, it’s possible to paint your interior and get great results when you’re painting on a budget.

1. Plan for Your Painting Project

As tempting as it might be to run out to the hardware store after binge-watching home reno shows, it’s critical to do your homework before embarking on a home painting project. If you rush ahead, you’ll likely miss important details, and overspend.

Here are some questions to start with before you begin painting your home’s interior:

How many rooms will you be painting?

If you don’t have the time or money to paint your entire home, think of the rooms you use most or where the existing paint is showing its age (or the previous owners’ questionable taste.)

While your kids’ playroom might need a refresh, if they’re still using the walls as an art canvas or crashing Tonka trucks into the baseboards, you likely should put off painting it a bit longer. (If you can’t wait, we do have some tips on how to kid-proof your walls.) However, if you’ve been logging forty hours working remotely this past year, painting your home office might be a priority. (Need help picking office colors? We’ve got you covered.)

What colors will you use? (Don’t forget the doors, ceilings, baseboards, window trim, accent walls, and closets.)

When considering what colors to paint your home’s interior, don’t neglect the details. While it may be tempting to skip the inside of your closet, or neglect painting the ceiling, you’re not going to get the same impact if you only paint the walls. Not to mention, it’s easier to do it right the first time while you’re purchasing paint and doing the prep work anyway.

Now is the time to decide if you want to incorporate an accent wall to make a room look larger or draw attention to a focal point like a fireplace.

2. Calculate (and Buy High-Quality) Paint

Once you figure out how many rooms you’ll be painting and which colors (and finishes) you’re using it’s time to start shopping!

Sure you can eyeball a room and guess how many gallons of paint to buy but you’re likely to have waste or come short, especially if you don’t account for doors and windows. It’s worth it to measure first and shop accordingly. This handy paint calculator from Sherwin Williams will get you started. (Remember: You’re painting on a budget, so if it looks like you’re exceeding your planned budget, this is the time to revisit your list of rooms and prioritize which you’d like to start with.)

This may seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to save money, but settling for cheap paint will cost you.

High-quality paint will cover better which means you can use less and may be able to skip a primer on some walls. It also will last longer so you won’t have to do this again in a few years.

3. Savings = Same Color, Sales, and Samples

Use one color in multiple rooms. Maybe there is a greige you can use in both your hallways and your living room. Or a blue that looks equally nice in both your powder room and your child’s bedroom. You’ll waste less when you reuse colors.

Touch-up where you can. Identifying rooms that can wait on a repaint but might benefit from a touch-up will save you time and money.

Spring for the samples. It is better to test several colors on your walls in various types of light than pick a color you haven’t tested and realize you hate it after buying a couple of gallons. (If you’re testing out a popular neutral, it’s quite possible a neighbor may have some samples or leftover paint you can try.)

Look for sales, promos and coupons. Some hardware stores will have sales leading up to three-day holiday weekends. Sherwin Williams offers a “Paint Perks” program with special offers and coupons, as well as a military discount. Following a local paint store on social media is another way to find out about deals.

4. Only Buy the Supplies You Need

You can’t paint without a brush—or a roller, ladder, tape. (Well you maybe you can, but we highly advise against standing on your dining room chairs and painting over your undraped floors.) In addition to paint and primer, here are our must-have supplies when painting your home’s interior:

  • Brushes, rollers, roller trays, and extension poles, if needed.
  • A ladder
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wall repair supplies including spackling, a putty knife, and sandy sponges (if you have nail holes or patch work.)

Stick to your list when you go to the store and avoid unnecessary impulse purchases like paint keys—remember, you’re painting on a budget! (Real Simple has some great ideas on which tools you can skip.) Save your receipts and don’t take anything out of the packaging until you need it. This way if you end up with extra brushes, rollers, or trays you can return them.

5. Prepping Prevents Problems (And Problems Cost Money)

If you’re painting multiple rooms yourself, it’s not uncommon to start strong and get sloppy the deeper you get into the project. This may mean a temptation to skip taping and draping to get it done. Neglecting prep work can mean drips, spills, and damaged furniture or flooring. And those messes cost time and money. (For our tips on how to prep your home well, check out this blog.)

When You’re Painting on a Budget, Should You DIY or Go Pro?

Now that you’ve chosen the rooms, picked the colors, made your list of supplies, and added up your expenses you likely are falling into one of two camps: 1) “Ready to go!” or 2) “Oh no!”

If you’re in the latter camp, maybe you really want to give your home an update, however you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of picking the wrong color, finding the time to shop for supplies, or undertaking the responsibility of getting all of this paint on the walls and achieving the desired look. The good news is that residential painters offer free, no-obligation estimates.
If you’re having second thoughts about doing it yourself, there’s no cost to have a professional painter tell you what they would charge to do it for you.

When it comes to painting your home yourself, it’s not just about dollars and cents. There are multiple considerations (time and quality being high on that list!) that may make it worth hiring a residential painter who can measure your space, help you pick your colors, and ensure that the finished product is completed professionally and on time.

Let Us Give You a Free Estimate

Riggins Painting is an experienced and trusted residential and commercial painting company serving Memphis and the surrounding area. We’d welcome the opportunity to schedule an estimate and discuss how we can work with you and your budget to transform your home into the space you’ve always imagined.

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