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Paint a Room for Less Than $30

Save money on redoing your walls with these 10 tips.
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One of the easiest ways to save money redecorating is to paint a room yourself. It can cost anywhere from $200 to $500 to have one room painted. Painting it yourself, you can do it for under $30. Here are some tips that we have used to save money painting:

1. Check your local hazardous waste recycling center for free or low-cost paint. I've painted many rooms and pieces of furniture just by checking their free paint section. I painted the entire exterior of our house for $45 using three of their low-cost, five-gallon buckets of brand-new but leftover construction paint.

2. Use an old sheet or spend $1 for one at a thrift store to use as a drop cloth. Sheets are heavier than the plastic drop cloths at the store and will last for many rooms of painting. Hang over a clothesline or fence to dry before folding and storing.

3. When removing the outlet and switch covers, put the screws back into the holes so they don't get lost. You can also put the covers and screws in a zip-top sandwich bag.

4. Line your roller pan by putting a plastic grocery sack or trash sack (inside out if it has writing on it) on the paint tray. Then you can just invert the sack when you're done and throw it away.

5. Poke four or five holes with a nail in the groove on the top of the can. That way the paint doesn't get stuck in the groove around the edge of the can and make a mess when you put the lid back on.

6. Use the paint at the bottom of the paint can when nearly empty to paint the trim. I got enough paint out of this "empty" gallon to do the entire room's trim.

7. Don't use painter's tape. Painting is just like coloring inside the lines in school. Use a small, one-inch, angled paintbrush and slowly go around the edges. It takes less time than putting up and taking down tape. Keep a wet rag by your side in case you make small mistakes. Some tape also lets the paint bleed through, so it's not a very clean finish.

8. Store your rollers and brushes in a plastic grocery sack between paintings. You don't have to clean them after each use if you keep them from drying out. Refrigerate overnight or freeze them if you are going to not be painting for several days or weeks.

9. Turn the ceiling fan on in a room to speed up drying time.

10. When you're done with your painting clothes, turn them inside out as you take them off. This way, you don't accidentally get wet paint on anything.

Tawra Kellam and her husband have three children, and devised a system to pay off more than $20,000 in debt over a period of five years – all the while living on an average income of $20,000. She is a frequent contributor to Web ezines and has her own Web site where she shares her newest ideas for everything from decorating for holidays to cleaning the kitchen floor.

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