Maximum Value Budget Projects: Painting

Remodeling, landscaping and other home projects can take a toll on your budget, but painting can transform any room with a few swipes of a brush.


Painting is a fundamental part of caring for your home. You can hide imperfections, show off architectural features and transform and preserve any space in the home. A room can feel brighter, larger and cleaner with the right color paint, and painting can immediately increase home value.


  • Ceiling paint. In older homes, the unfortunate and dated trend of popcorn ceilings can be a deterrent for potential buyers. Get rid of the textured treatment and go over the newly smooth ceiling with a color that complements the rest of your home. Usually a white or some sort of neutral shade will work best.
  • Start with a smooth foundation. Painting a room will do you no good if you haven't primed the walls for painting. Patch holes and seal any cracks you come across to begin with a smooth foundation. According to appraisal expert, Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, getting the best result always comes from following one simple rule: "80 percent preparation and 20 percent paint."


According to Sellers, if your home was built before 1978 and the paint has seen better days, you should consider getting rid of all old paint that most likely has traces of a lead base. "Talk to a professional about how to get rid of the lead-base paint safety, and start from scratch," says Sellers.

Secondly, once you have decided to paint, it's important to pair a room with the correct paint. It sounds simple, but without knowledge of what kind of paint to use, you could wind up doing more harm than good. Once you have decided where to paint, consult a professional at your local home improvement or paint store to find the best paint for that specific area. All those paint choices exist for a reason! Learning the fundamentals will help keep you from having to start from scratch. Once you learn the basics, terms like eggshell, latex, primer and textured won't seem so daunting.


  • On a Budget: Make a big statement without taking up a significant amount of time and money by choosing two or three rooms in the home that get the most use or have the most work to be done. Paint those areas to brighten the space and renew their purpose. Dirty kitchen backsplashes or a bright-purple kid's room can be given new life with a neutral color that appeals to the masses.
  • Mid-Range/High-End: Once you have a satisfactory referral, consult with a professional painting company or paint contractor that can come in and tackle designated -- or all -- areas of the home. Typically, with more than one set of hands to do the job and with years of experience under their belt, you can expect an efficient and high-quality job to be done. The time saved by allowing a professional to step in is often well worth the price.

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