smart spending

Save money on bathroom remodeling

Apply some paint
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The 'ripple effect'

Cost: $35 to $150

Arguably the shortest route to save money on your bathroom remodeling is through the paint department at your local paint-specialty store, hardware store or big-box home-improvement center.

As long as you are painting, why not change the color? A number of online sites, including Sherwin-Williams.com and HGTV.com, provide color-scheme ideas.

All paint isn't created equal, though. Don't cut corners. You're going to do the work anyway, so spend the extra $15 per gallon for quality paint. According to Wallace, you can probably get away without a primer coat if you use high-quality paint unless the walls are stained or badly chipped. However, be prepared to apply two coats of the finish color if needed.

If you don't want to do the math, roughly 1 gallon of paint covers 350 square feet. For a more precise estimate, use Bankrate's calculator for determining how much paint you will need.

Choose a paint that is mildew-resistant and formulated for steamy environments, such as the Valspar Ultra Premium Interior Kitchen & Bath Enamel sold at Lowe's for $32 per gallon.


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