On Today's Episode
When gas is pushing $5 a gallon and groceries have become ridiculously expensive, the concept of saving money on home improvement projects is a big deal. On today's show, we talk about how you can cut corners (safely) and save money on your next paint or wallpaper project without compromising the final look!
Working with the best paints money can buy is a great experience. The paint goes on better and lasts longer. Working with the best is always fun. However, we don't always have money to buy the best. And sometimes our particular project doesn't need the absolute best paint. (A spare bedroom maybe doesn't require Aura from Benjamin Moore, for example)
And so, with all that in mind, we talk about some of our favorite "budget-friendly" options and list their pros as well as some of their cons.
BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY PAINTS
BEST PRICED PREMIUM PAINT
When it comes to paint tools, there are certain ones that you can save money on. Sure, they may not be the best tool and there may be some limitations to how well they work, but overall, they'll perform well and at a discount.
However, there are other tools that you should absolutely never skimp on. Let's break them down:
BRUSHES. Believe it or not, brushes are actually a good place to skimp if you're hoping to save some money. Of course, there are caveats. First, I would never go to the cheapest brushes you can find. Avoid dollar store brushes like the plague. They drop bristles left and right and can make any paint project a misery. Instead, if you don't want o spend the money on the best brushes out there, go for middle of the road. Wooster SilverTip brushes are a great option. Wooster Soft Tips will work great as well.
A great brush is still far better--it applies more paint, more evenly, and lasts much longer. But a middle of the road brush can save you some money.
ROLLER COVERS. This is a place you should never skimp. Most of our projects are rolled out. That means that the roller cover is the item most responsible for how good your finished paint looks. A cheap roller cover can make a premium, top-shelf paint, look terrible on your walls. And a great cover can make a cheaper paint look better.
On top of that . . . a good cover, Like Wooster's MicroPlush Cover prices out just over $4. A cheap (garbage) roller cover could maybe price out as low as $1. So a $3 savings per cover. On average, most projects require about 2 covers. Which means you'd be compromising your finished look for a grand total savings of $6. It's absolutely not worth it!
ROLLER FRAMES. There are great roller frames out there (Wooster Sherlock Frames, we're looking at you!). And while they are great to work with, you can certainly get by with a standard $3 roller frame. Definitely a decent place to save money if you're looking to make cuts.
EXTENSION POLES. If you're skimping on the roller frame, there's no reason to splurge on the extension pole. Extension poles make every project easier--even when you're painting standard, 8 foot walls. But while more expensive ones can really feel like gold in your hands . . . you can certainly get by with a cheap wooden extension pole.
DROP CLOTHS. This is a toss-up! If you do a ton of painting, go for a canvas drop cloth. It'll pay for itself quickly. But if you are only doing a few projects, you might want to opt for a 4 x 15 canvas runner. You can pick one up for about $22 and you'll use it until you wear it out. If that's still too steep, consider a paper and plastic drop. These are very inexpensive and they're not too bad to work with.
TAPE. This one's also a toss-up. It's all about you and how you work. If you will take the time to apply a regular painter's tape and then press down the paint edge with a putty knife, then go for the cheaper blue painter's tape from 3M. If you don't think you're going to go through those extra steps, then spring for Frog Tape. It will give you the cleanest, sharpest lines with less effort!
We didn't have time to dig into this topic as much as we had wanted. Suffice to say, Roommates Wallpaper is a great budget-friendly option. It's a peel-n-stick paper and there are some beautiful patterns available.
Also, never forget that reducing the amount of paper in your space is an obvious (but still great) way to save some money! Pick a high-impact wall and see what a difference it can make!