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How to estimate painting, decorating costs

Updated February 21, 2017

Painting and decorating costs can add up quickly when redecorating a home. The last thing you want to happen is to find yourself in the middle of a well decorated room without new paint on the walls or have new paint on the walls in a room that appears out of date. By ensuring that you have all of the elements of cost factored into your redecorating project, you not only can keep costs under control but have a wonderful finished effect.

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Estimating paint costs

  1. Determine the amount of paintable wall space in your room. To get this number, add the length of all the walls together and then multiply this by the height of the walls. This is the total number of square metres of wall space. Subtract 1.858 square metres (20 square feet) for doors and 1.394 square metres (15 square feet) for windows to accurately calculate the amount of paintable wall space.

  2. Use high-quality paint to cover the walls. On average, 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of paint will cover about 32.5 square metres (350 square feet)of wall space. Use this number to determine how many litres of paint you will need to complete your room. More expensive paint has better staying power, lasts longer and will not have to repainted as often.

  3. Buy quality paint brushes and rollers. Inexpensive brushes provide streaky coverage and actually require you to paint more. Cheap paint rollers will leave unsightly lint on the walls, leaving little imperfections where the paint is not smooth.

Estimating decorating costs

  1. Include everything that you will need to complete decorating of the room. This includes curtains, rugs or carpeting, wall art and frames, overhead lighting and lamps, as well as accessories. If you are replacing furniture, add the cost of those pieces.

  2. Create a budget for each category of items. Larger items typically will take up more of the budget than smaller items. Focus on pieces that will give the most impact for their cost, such as curtains, rugs and lighting options.

  3. Focus on a particular colour scheme throughout the room and base all purchases on that colour scheme. Buy accessories last, when you have placed everything else in the room. You might not even need any accessories if you are creative with the room's major elements.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Curtains
  • Rugs or carpeting
  • Wall art and frames
  • Accessories

About the Author

Marsanne Petty

Marsanne Petty has been a writer and photographer for over ten years, and is currently pursuing the combination in tandem. She attended Madison Community College, receiving a degree in Administration. She has published several articles for magazines, including Jack Magazine, and the local newspaper, the Jasper News. Her latest creation, a pictoral history of Hamilton County, Florida, was published in early 2009 through Arcadia Publishing.

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