Paint Your House the Frugal Way

Have some interior or exterior house painting in your future? Here's how to do it the frugal way:

Supplies
There are lots of painting supplies on the market, but not all of them are affordable or necessary. To keep your painting job as affordable as possible, opt for the following supplies:

  • Edger: Masking tape has long been used to tape off trim for a painting job, but it's not the cheapest or most time efficient product for this purpose. A paint edger is a much better choice. This simple, low-cost tool consists of a paint pad fitted into a handle with wheels on one side. To apply paint close to trim, you simply roll the device along the molding, and it paints right up to your trim without going over. Since the pad is washable, you can use it over and over again. Plus, there's no tape to remove once the job is done.

  • Metal paint tray: Buying a new paint tray every time you paint gets costly. Avoid this expense by purchasing a metal paint tray, and then each time you paint all you'll need to purchase is an inexpensive plastic liner. This strategy will also enable you to skip the hassle of cleaning your paint tray; just toss the used liner after use, and start fresh next time.

  • One-coat paint: When you're shopping for paint, it can be tempting to settle for the cheapest paint available; however, the cheapest paint usually isn't as much of a bargain as it seems. Since low-quality paint generally requires multiple applications to coat and cover a surface, you'll use more paint per project when you opt for the cheap stuff. A better strategy is to purchase a one-coat paint. You'll pay more per gallon, but you'll need less of it, and you won't spend as much time on the job-after all, your time is worth money too.

Prep work
Painting requires an investment of both time and money, so make sure you get the most out of both by spending a little time prepping the area that you'll be painting. This might require a bit of scrubbing, or even some scraping and stripping.

Why go to the effort? A surface that has dirt or loose paint on it won't accept paint well, and you'll soon find your new paint flaking off.

If you will be painting indoors, be sure to remove outlet covers and to scoot furniture out of the way-you don't want to end up with paint on anything but the surface you're painting.

Cleanup
Painting takes a lot of time, so it can be tempting to skimp on the cleanup. This isn't the best idea if you're trying to make the most of your painting dollars. Take the time to secure the lid on unused paint so that it won't dry up before you need it again. Then spend some time washing out your paintbrush, edger and any other painting supplies. By doing so, you'll ensure you're tools are ready for your next painting job.

Frugal painting is all about choosing the right supplies and taking care of them. Build up your own collection of painting supplies, and then work to keep them in service for as long as possible.

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