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Frugal Painting: Buy Enough Paint

February 27th, 2008 No comments

This is the first of five articles in a series about frugal painting.

Over the last couple of months, the wife and I have put in quite a few hours of painting. When we bought our house from KB Home, we had the option of having everything be white, or having all the walls painted a certain color (for a fat chunk of change, I might add). Since we knew in advance we wanted to paint a couple of different colors, we chose the frugal option: do it ourself.

Everything was white. No contrast whatsoever.  None.

When the sun hit our windows in the mornings, our bedroom would light up like it was noon with the light bouncing around off all the white walls.  We had to fix this!

The first thing we did was go get a couple of sample cans of paint.  One thing to keep in mind is that Lowes allows you to buy really small cans of paint for a couple of bucks.  Home Depot on the other hand will only sell you a pint size can for your samples.  Definitely head to Lowes if you think there is a chance you might need a bunch of experiments before you find the right color.

The wife and I decided on a color and bought a gallon of paint.  We started painting and got 2 out of the 3 walls finished that we were painting in the living room.  Of course at this point we had to drop everything and make another run to the store.  This was costly for us for a couple of reasons.  Time is money, and making unnecessary trips to the store wasted time.  Also, the gas used to get to the store can add up with multiple trips.  That gallon of paint just cost you an extra $1.50.  This is not the way to go if you’re trying to be frugal.

In summary though, it’s better to buy a little extra paint and be safe, then to try and squeeze by with only one gallon of paint for a big room.  If you’re curious, we found that one gallon was enough to paint a really small room.  Our bedroom required a gallon and a half, though the room is pretty big and we have textured walls, which suck up the paint.  Also, keep in mind if you have to do any touch ups in the future, you’ll be glad you bought a little extra.

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