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.


Housing Market Pushing Further Toward Healthy Equilibrium

Median U.S. home prices in September declined slightly over the previous month, taking little out of the last year’s gains, while home sales remained sluggish in regions still struggling in the current economy, according to a newly released report.

The median list price for homes fell 0.20 percent compared to August but remained 6.40 percent higher than it was a year ago, according to the National Housing Trend Report from realtor.com®.

The number of single-family homes, condos and townhomes for sale declined 1.68 percent in the month to 1.94 million units; however, after six consecutive months of steady growth, inventories were 2.04 percent less than in September 2012—a dramatic turnaround compared to earlier this year, signaling a greater balance between supply and demand.

The report highlights a strong continuation of equilibrium-oriented trends identified last month. While key indicators show a relatively consistent pace with August figures, the year-over-year perspective shows a strong performance in median list price, decline in days on market and a return to year-ago inventory levels that signal a dramatic rebalancing compared to the beginning of this year.

The median age of inventory rose slightly from 92 to 93 days, but was down by 10.58 percent on a year-over-year basis, suggesting that properties continue to turn over quickly, despite the end of the traditional home buying season, the report found.

Key Market Indicators for September 2013

September 2013 Year-over-Year Percentage Change Month-over-Month Percentage Change
Number of Listings 1,944,018 -2.04 percent -1.68 percent
Median Age of Inventory 93 -10.58 percent 1.09 percent
Median List Price $199,500 6.40 percent -0.20 percent


“Our September data on inventory counts, median list prices, and median time on market has shown another month of steady leveling, but the recovery certainly remains uneven in some pockets,” said Errol Samuelson, president of realtor.com®. “Some of the more industrial-based markets clearly continue to struggle, yet others are showing significant price gains over this time last year. While we are pleased to see a continued trend toward a healthy market balance, imminent economic factors could pose a significant threat to these improvements.”

Market Highlights

The report’s September figures identified a handful of markets with fast-paced sales cycles, some at roughly half of the national median “days on market” figure of 93 days, with Oakland far outpacing other metropolitan areas at just 28 days. Many of the markets with faster sales were in what the report called the hot “sand state” regions, but with higher activity also reported in Denver, Detroit, Seattle and Washington, DC.

Metropolitan Areas With the Shortest Median Days on Market

September 2013

Oakland, Calif.


San Francisco, Calif.


Denver, Colo.


San Jose, Calif.


Stockton-Lodi, Calif.


Detroit, Mich.


Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.


Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.


Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(DC)


Sacramento, Calif.



The report also painted a picture of three primary sectors of individual market health:

Stabilizing Hot Markets — Many markets in California, Arizona and Nevada that were spotlights of the housing crisis appeared to be on the road to recovery. More than 20 percent of the 146 markets covered by realtor.com® reported exceptionally large year- over-year list-price gains of 12 percent or more, many with year-over-year inventory declines still in the double digits.

Struggling Sector — The recovery had yet to make an impact on markets where prices were the same or lower than they were in the same period last year, which made up about 20 percent of the 146 markets tracked by realtor.com®. Many of these markets were located in the Midwest, South and Northeast — including Cleveland; Trenton, NJ; Hartford, CT; Cincinnati; and Buffalo, NY.  While the economy continued to take its toll in many of these markets, most were displaying small but promising signs with both inventories and age of inventories down compared to a year ago.

Responsive Heartland — A number of major heartland markets that that were spared the full force of the housing crisis, in large part due to local economic strength, had a strong buying season throughout the summer. Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Ann Arbor, MI, and Boise, ID, all achieved price appreciation of 12 percent or higher over last year.

The realtor.com® report was aggregated from real-time listing counts through direct relationships with more than 800 multiple listing services (MLSs) around the country, representing 98 percent of all for-sale properties in the United States.

11,374 Garage and Shed Design Photos

If you have a smaller house, your garage or shed is a storage lifeline. It’s the place to keep large, infrequently used items, outdoor supplies, seasonal decor or anything that just doesn’t fit indoors. Because it’s often used as a storage room, your space can easily become a cluttered mess if not well organized. Prevent this in your garage by adding shelves, cabinets and organizers for every tool and piece of equipment you own. If more space is needed, think about buying or making a shed to transport some of the clutter outdoors. And for the lucky ones who don’t need all that storage, convert the space into a full-fledged living area as either an office, playroom or family room. More

Negotiating The Price of Your First Home: The Power of Leverage

Very few people like to negotiate and even fewer know how to negotiate well.  As a buyer you can greatly help your cause by understanding the concept of leverage in negotiation.  Webster’s Dictionary defines “Leverage” as “influence or power used to achieve a desired result”.

Leverage can be broken down into 2 different types: positive leverage and negative leverage.  Both are useful and important as a buyer.

Positive Leverage

In negotiation you have positive leverage when you have something that the other person wants.

As a buyer, positive leverage comes in the form of cash that will be paid to the seller at closing.  Money, however, is not the only positive leverage that you may offer to the seller of a home.  When people are selling a home they are often doing so for a reason.  For instance, the husband’s job was relocated to another state, they have a baby…

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Home Maintenance Checklist for the First Year

Home News Flash

Home Maint Post 100913Daily Real Estate News | Monday, October 07, 2013

After buyers move in to their new home, they should be prepared for some home fixes to present themselves each season, says Rich Escallier, a handyman in Chicago. “If you can go six months without finding something that raises your blood pressure, you’re lucky,” Escallier says. 

CBS MoneyWatch recently released a checklist of routine maintenance and small home repairs that home buyers should expect to do their first year to help avoid more costly problems from surfacing later on: 

During move-in week: Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test again, experts say. After all, “if you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can’t see it,” says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the…

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Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Home Buyer Tips to a Successful Purchase

Real Estate in Barrie Ontario

New Home Buyers: Tips

home-buying-tipsWith the recovery of the real estate market, many people are looking for a new home. It is also a good time to buy one with the decreasing interest rates. It is easy for buyers to get excited about buying a home for sale. It is also an emotional time but one must be practical to ensure that no wrong decisions are made in a hurry. Check these home buying tips to ensure that you are financially prepared to buy a house.

Know what you can afford

With the housing crash experience banks have become very strict in lending money and apply extremely strict terms. You may be required to pay a minimum ten percent down, based on the kind of loan. It has become important to ascertain the amount you can really afford for buying a house. It may not be a good idea…

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