Cheap home decorating need not mean a cheap finish!

Now, there is obviously a danger that this can happen. There are many reasons why goods and services are offered at a cheap price, and most of those reasons are because the goods are just plain tacky.

Whenever you buy anything, remember that someone, somewhere, is hoping to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with making profit, we all have to do it to make ends meet.

You can achieve excellent results with cheap home decorating. Here are some of the ways you can do it.

Do it yourself

This is possibly the main ingredient for cheap home decorating. Rather than putting the work out to sub contractors and professionals, do as much of it yourself as you can.

There will be areas of home decorating which you can't manage. Many countries have laws about who can and who cannot adapt certain types of fittings, such as electrical modifications.

Or there may be parts of your decorating which are just too difficult for you to do yourself.

But where ever possible, undertake the decorating yourself, and you'll save heaps of money.


dining room

All the decorating in this picture can be done by the average home owner.

The window frame, woodwork, walls and ceiling are all painted. Wall paneling is not difficult to install. Curtain poles are fitted at the window, and curtains made and hung. Even the wood floor can be installed by a person competent at DIY. The chandelier might need to be fitted by a qualified electrician, but apart from that the rest is just time and effort.


Teach yourself new skills

'Yes, I can paint, that's not difficult. But I can't hang wallpaper, or make curtains.'

Maybe not, but you can always learn!

When you pay someone else to do work for you, the main cost is their time. If you can use your own time, that's what reduces the cost, resulting in cheap home decorating.

What you need to do is sit down and plan your decorating schedule. List all the things you need to get done. You might have a list such as the following:

  • Strip off old wallpaper
  • Install new electrical points
  • Install new light fittings
  • Replace broken baseboards (also known as skirting boards)
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint or wallpaper walls
  • Fit curtains tracks
  • Get curtains


Now go through the list and tick off the things you can do yourself.

You've been advised that the old paper will be really difficult to get off. So what should you do?

Call your local tool hire store and check they can rent you out a steam wallpaper stripper for a good price. Then you can do this job yourself - more cheap home decorating.

This is something outside your capabilities. But you know of someone who is an electrician, and you contact them to try and get a good price for the work.

If you don't know of anyone, it's always a good ideas to get three quotations for the work to be carried out. That way if it's something you're not familiar with you can get a feel for the going rate.

Countries have different laws about what home owners can and can't do in their homes. In most countries as long as the correct wiring is in place you can install light fittings yourself.

But if you're in any doubt, get an electrician to do the work. Live electrical cables are dangerous! Don't take any chances.

You might feel confident about doing this yourself. If not, you probably know someone who loves messing around with power tools and cutting things up. So get them to do it.

And there might be other items which need repairing, such as floor boards or wall plaster. This is the time to get all these types of jobs done.

You have some brushes, but a bit of research tells you that it's better to do it with a roller on the end of a long pole.

Quick check on ebay and you buy one for a good price. Or borrow one from neighbors / friend / ex boyfriend / grandparents.

That will save you a lot of time, not to mention backache.

Your book on DIY gives you information on painting walls. So that would be ok. But you'd really like to use wallpaper, and it looks a bit difficult. (Actually it isn't, you just need to learn a few techniques.)

Again, the key here is time. If you take your time, maybe get a couple of extra rolls of wallpaper in case you do make a mistake, then there's no reason why you can't do it yourself.

If you can't or don't want to do it yourself, go back to the useful person who likes using power tools.

But it isn't difficult to fit curtain tracks. Anyone competent in DIY would be able to do it for you. There must be someone, even from your dim and distant past...

Do make sure you get suitable tracks for the weight of the curtains. Large curtains can be surprisingly heavy, so you may need a robust track and fit it very securely.

Ready made curtains are not too expensive, but this is going to be one of the best rooms in the house, and you want really good drapes. You get prices, and despair sets in.

But curtains and drapes are not difficult to make. This is where you need to decide you're going to learn a new skill. Get a book or DVD on making curtains. Borrow or beg a sewing machine and learn to use it. Invest time in learning this and other skills. They will always come in useful. Learning new skills is one of the best ways of achieving cheap home decorating.

You can find more information on curtain design here.



You get the idea? Break the work down into individual tasks, work out what you can do, what you need someone else to do, and what you can learn to do yourself.


Buying materials

Sooner or later you'll have to buy paints, wallpapers, carpets, hardware, fabrics and all the other necessary items for your cheap home decorating.

Plan ahead, so you can buy up during sales.

Look for good quality second hand, pre-used, or whatever people like to call non-new stuff these days. Some stores specialize in second hand goods, and you can even find ones which deal in home furnishings.

Another useful source is ebay. But be wary here, because ebay is now a source of income for many, and prices may not always be the bargains they appear.

Below standard, or rejected goods. Well know brand companies will often reject goods which have been manufactured for them. For example, the colors in fabrics have to be within a certain range, and if they're not, that batch is rejected. These goods find their way onto the market at reduce prices.

Indeed, you may have seen brand named fabrics on offer at amazing discounts. This is probably why. They do have the brand name on them, but for whatever reason (color variation, pattern mismatch, printing fault, etc) they are not up to standard.



If you can find a source for these you may be able to work around the faults. The color may not matter to you, you don't mind the pattern variation, or by getting extra fabric you can cut around the problem areas.

The same applies to wallpapers and other products. The key with all these is to investigate thoroughly before buying.

Another good source for cheap home decorating items is end-of-line products. A company plans to introduce a new design of kitchen or furniture, so stocks of the previous version are sold off at a discount.

Sadly, some stores go out of business. Their stock is usually sold off either in the last few days before the store closes for good, or at auction. These are ideal times to pick up bargains.



  • Use your own time for your cheap home decorating, and do as little hiring of other people as you can get away with.
  • Do your research. Time spent here can save you vast amounts of cash.
  • Learn new skills. Laziness is only for those with plenty of money, or no ambition.


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