How to save on home painting jobs

HOUSTON - Not everyone can afford to do a full home remodel. If money is tight, a new coat of paint might be the pick me up your house needs to make something old feel new.

The most popular home improvement is painting. It can also be one of the cheapest.

There are still ways stretch those painting dollars.

"Painting is a great way to freshen up your house," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

Hiring a professional may save you some headaches, but before you hand over the money, Hicks says make sure you ask what is included in the estimate.

Does it include the prep work? How many coats of paint will it entail? What products will they be using? Will they supply those products?

"Many painting contractors use only specific kinds of paint because they'll warrant their labor. So be sure you're comparing apples to apples," said Hicks.

Hicks suggests meeting the painter in person and getting three estimates before committing to the job.

Also, ask where the budget can be cut.

Painter Greg Mrakich says moving all of the furniture out of the room yourself cuts his estimates in half.

"It can turn $1,000 job into a $500 job because I'm not moving furniture. I'm painting," said Mrakich.  

The choice of color can actually change the feel of a room.

To open up a small area, Mrakich says consider painting the doors and walls the same color.

"If you paint them the same color as the walls but in a semi-gloss, you're not cutting up the wall space that way and everything will be one continuous color and it will make the room seem larger," said Mrakich.

If you like dark colors but you have a small space, try that color on just one wall.

"You don't want to go too dark just because it will make the room seem closed in," said Mrakich.

When adding up the budget, you will want to know the square footage of the area that needs to be painted. One gallon will cover roughly 350 square feet.

Also do not forget to add in the cost for the same gallons in primer and possible second coats.

To find out how much paint you will need, visit

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