Painting Tips and Tricks

If you're thinking of painting a room in your home, but are still undecided, one important issue may be budgetary concerns. Most of us are pulling in our belts these days and find that fixing things and DYI techniques make it possible to exist on a smaller budget. Painting is no exception.

Hire someone to paint a room, and you'll pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$500 per room, but do it yourself and get the job done for under $30. Sound attractive? Here are some more ways you can save money and make painting your home a breeze:

Scout out free or low-cost paint at local hazardous waste recycling centers. These often have free paint sections where you can find unused, brand new paint left over from a construction job. One painter found 3 low-cost buckets of five gallons each and painted his entire home for a grand total of $45. Finding that hard to believe? Go see for yourself.

Old Sheets

Don't invest in drop cloths. Use an old sheet or pick some up at thrift stores for a buck a piece. You can use them over and over again. Just hang them over a clothesline or your fence to dry before you store them for your next paintjob.

After removing outlet and light switch covers, place the screws back into their moorings so you won't lose them. Keep all of these items in a zip loc sandwich bag to keep them in one handy storage place.

If you hate cleaning roller pans, try slipping the pan into a trash bag which will act as a liner. When you're done painting, invert the bag and toss it in the garbage.

It's A Groove

Try poking 5 holes into the groove situated at the top of paint cans with a nail. This prevents paint from pooling in the groove and causing a mess when it's time to replace the lid.

Half Empty?

You may think that paint can is empty, but you'd be surprised at how much trim you can cover with the paint at the bottom of an "empty" gallon. You can usually cover the trim of one entire room with that much paint.

Forget the painter's tape. Use a small, angled sash brush and work slow as you cut in the corners. You'll save a great deal of time by not putting up tape and then taking it down. Besides, some of those tapes let the paint bleed through making you wonder why you bothered in the first place. If you decide to go tape-less, keep a wet rag close by for wiping up little goof-ups.

If you have a ceiling fan, use it to dry your paint job in record time.