Many starter homes are older and in need of work ranging from a little TLC to major repairs. You may need to renovate the walls in a new bungalow, but you may not be able to afford a complete overhaul. Some jobs can be completed on a shoestring budget. Renovating your walls can be inexpensive if you use creativity and do the work yourself.
Repair and Repaint
Repair small holes and cracks in the wall to make the walls look new. Add spackle to a putty knife and apply the spackle to the damaged area in a downward motion until the hole or crack is covered in a quarter-inch layer of the spackle. Let the spackle dry and use sandpaper to sand it down to match the adjoining walls. Crack and small hole repair kits are available for less than $10 as of the time of publication. Bigger holes may require a piece of wire mesh or drywall to be taped to the wall before applying the spackle. Paint the wall a new color. A gallon of paint costs from $20 to $50. The number of gallons that you need depends on the number and size of the walls that you are painting. A 12-by-12 room requires one to two gallons of paint, which runs from $20 to $100. A bright color can make one wall be the focal wall in the room. You can also add a textured finish by pressing sponges, drop cloths or plastic bags into the paint while it is still wet. If the room that is being renovated is for children, you may want to use chalkboard paint to provide a creative wall for your children to use.
Stencil or Projected Image
Use a stencil to create a new look for the wall. Tape the stencil in place and paint the open areas with a fine paintbrush. The only expenses that are necessary for the project are the paintbrushes, paint and stencil. You can purchase a package of paintbrushes for less than $10 at a craft store. A craft store stencil will cost between $2 and $20 and you will likely need only one gallon of paint since you are only painting in the design of the stencil. An alternative is to borrow or rent a projector to project an image of your choice onto the wall. Trace the outline of the image and then paint inside the lines.
Wallpaper can be applied in a day and can make a big impact on a space. The lower-end cost of wallpaper is $25 per roll. A 16-by-20 room requires 16 to 20 rolls, costing approximately $400 to $500. Follow the directions, according to the wallpaper manufacturer’s instructions. Some wallpaper products have an adhesive already applied to them, while others require the use of wallpaper glue. Add wallpaper to one wall or to all of the walls, according to your preference. As an alternative, you can add border around the top or middle of each wall in the room.
With a few scraps of trim, nails and a nail gun, you can renovate your walls in an inexpensive manner. Measure the length of the wall and cut the trim to size with a table saw. You can complete this project for approximately $50 at the time of publication. You can also use bead board to make wainscoting. The beadboard costs about $3 to $6 for each 8-foot piece. Nail the boards into place with the nail gun. Paint or stain the boards if you prefer.
Shop the bargain bin at the local craft store or try to find some curtain panels on clearance. Fabric can be as cheap as $1 per yard and curtain panels start out at $7 per panel. Staple the fabric to the wall with a staple gun. You can also spray starch on the wall to get the fabric to stick. An alternative that will not damage your walls or leave behind residue is to hang a long curtain rod on the wall near the ceiling. Hang curtain panels on the rod so that the wall is completely covered.
- CostOwl.com: How Much Does Interior Painting Cost?
- ABC News: Five Simple Ways to Change Your Home
- The Telegraph: How to renovate walls and windows
- Rental Decorating Digest: The Quick Fix Fabric on Walls
- My Home Ideas: 12 Ways to Decorate Your Walls
- Cost Helper: Wallpaper Cost
- This Old House: How to Install Beadboard Wainscoting
- Cost Helper: Curtains and Drapes Cost
- This Old House: Create a Paneled Accent Wall for $50
Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.