By Chris Dato • September 17, 2014
Buying a house is the single biggest purchase most of us will make in our lives. In fact, Candice Cerro chronicled many of the trials and tribulations that come with finding and actually purchasing a home for the first time. However, the purchasing price only represents a portion of the cost associated with a home. And just when you start to get ahead on your mortgage, some fixture will take that as its cue to start leaking. As a former Home Depot associate and certified hardware expert, I wanted to help alleviate some of the financial stress of costly home repairs. To start, let’s look at one of the first renovations on any new homeowners list: Paint.
Whether it is from a small hole from a nail where a picture once hung, or a slightly larger crater with a more colorful explanation, holes in the wall are inevitable. Not only are these holes tacky and unsightly, but they also double as perfect insect-sized doors into your walls. Gross. Luckily, repairing these household headaches couldn’t be easier.
To fix small holes, such as the ones left by nails, the materials you will need are probably already in the house! Just grab the white toothpaste from the bathroom and you are ready to go. Put a small smear of toothpaste on your thumb, then press it into the hole in the drywall and slide your thumb down. Once it has been allowed to dry for a few hours, just add a touch of paint to match the wall and you are set.
Bigger hole require more work, but usually not much. All you will need is a jar of spackling and a putty knife. To save even more, be sure to check out promotionalcode.com for exclusive Home Depot discounts! Home Depot carries Dap DryDex Spackling, which is cool because it goes on pink and turns white when it dries. Use the putty knife to spread spackling across the face of the opening. Don’t worry about applying the spackling so that it is perfectly flush with the wall, as the next step is to sand it down until it is even. If the opening is too wide, stuff a folded piece of cardboard into the hole to provide a backing for your spackling.
A fresh coat of paint gives you the most bang for your buck when it comes to improving your home. It is a simple and inexpensive way to dramatically change the look of a room. When it comes to painting, as is the case with most things in life, the key is preparation. The more time you spend prepping, the less time you will spend painting. Guaranteed.
The first thing to do is remove any obstacle you can from the wall. Start by sliding all the furniture away from the walls, toward the center. Once it is all in the center of the room, throw a tarp on top of the pile to protect it from any rogue drops of paint. Next, unscrew and remove any fixtures you can from the wall, including outlet covers and switch plates. This step may feel time consuming while you are doing it, but it is well worth it. You will not have to worry about taping off the edges of each cover, plus you will end up with crisp edge lines. Remember to throw a strip of tape over the outlet face that remains on the wall.
The last painting prep step is to mask the molding. Run masking tape along the perimeter where the molding meets the wall. A great tip to achieve a perfect line is by using lacquer thinner. Lacquer thinner, which you can find at any Home Depot, is a clear sealant. Spray a single stripe along the point where the masking tape meets the wall, and allow it to dry for 5 minutes. This will seal any small air gaps in the edge of the tape, but won’t affect the color or application of the paint on the wall. Remember to pull the tape against itself (as opposed to away from the wall) when you are removing it.
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With these room preparation tips, you are ready to paint like a pro. So grab some old workout clothes, wear them inside out, and turn that wall of peeling paint into a work of art!
Chris Dato A Southern California kid born and raised, Chris is happiest with sunglasses on his face and sand under his back. Although a self-proclaimed master money saver, he prefers the term 'responsibly frugal' to 'cheap.'