Do It Yourself: Paint a Room

Painting a room is one of the easiest DIY projects to do in your home.
Do It Yourself: Paint a Room
Painting is the most popular DIY project. (Dreamstime/TNS)

The best bang for a DIY buck is to paint a room, because paint is the least expensive fast fix-up for a facelift that we know. A new splash of paint brightens dull walls and creates a fresh, new feeling in a room and a uniform backdrop for furnishings. This is a no-brainer job, even for a beginning DIYer, because it’s goof-proof; the paint and equipment are relatively inexpensive, and you learn the skills on the job. It’s no surprise, then, that painting is the most popular DIY project.

A paint contractor will charge $880, which includes labor and material, to prepare the surface and paint one coat of latex paint on the ceiling, walls and woodwork of a 15-by-20-foot room (900 square feet) with two windows and two doors. A handy homeowner can buy the paint and equipment for $200 and do the job, saving 77 percent. Timewise, you’ll put in about 45-plus man-hours to paint a room. If there’s two of you on the job, that’s a long weekend project well worth the time.

Plan to spend a lot of time preparing the surfaces for the most professional-looking results before applying the paint. Fill any nail holes or nicks in the walls with a wallboard repair compound and sand them smooth. Do the same to any damaged woodwork or trim using a wood repair compound. Apply a stain block primer, like Kilz, to any stains to prevent them from reemerging through the new coat of paint.

We first use a brush to outline the room where the walls are joined and then apply paint to the wall surface and ceiling. We like to use a 5-gallon bucket with a paint grid filled with paint and apply it with a roller on an extension pole.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit and on smartphones.

Pro Cost—DIY Cost—Pro time—DIY Time—DIY Savings—Percent Saved

$880—$200—38—45—$680—77 percent

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©2022 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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