The Power of Paint

Painting – Best DIY Do Over Job

When we moved into our first house, a small duplex, almost 50 years ago we didn’t know any better. It never occurred to us that we couldn’t paint the rooms, we just assumed we could do it. We were young, poor and fearless and made every mistake in the book. As a matter of fact, that led to a career of writing about home improvements including several of the Dummies© books, one of which is Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies ©. Painting was and remains one of the most popular DIY projects because it is so forgiving. What other projects let you do over your mistake with a swipe of a paint roller or brush?

Decorating with paint is also one of the least expensive ways to transform a room. The living and dining room in our little fixer up had a true personality change with a simple coat of paint which encouraged us to continue painting every room in the house. And painting doesn’t require a large outlay of cash for tools and equipment. Despite the aisle-long wall of painting gadgets and gizmos you can get the job done with the basics of brush, roller and pan, drop cloths and masking tape. Since a gallon of paint goes for about $30 you get a big bang for your buck. At we analyze the cost of home improvement, repair and decorating projects like painting. For example, to paint a 15×20-foot room (900 square feet) with two windows and two doors, a contractor will charge $1,842. A homeowner can do the job for $205, the cost of the paint and materials and save 88 percent. If you’re interested in saving money and upgrading your house, painting is the best DIY job you can do.

Visit whenever you’re considering a home improvement job and compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor. You’ll find cost data for more than 350 projects and learn what’s involved.


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.

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