Freshen up a room with this frugal wall treatment

tiptuesdayYou’ve looked around and decided that your house needs painting. But what if just the mere mention of painting causes your budget to get up and walk out of the room shaking it’s head?

There are a couple of things that you can do to give your paintwork a once over, without going to the expense of a completely new paint job.

The first thing you can do is give your walls a good clean. Sugar soap is great for this job, just do a patch test first. An alternative is good old bi-carb and vinegar, which is what I used to wash down the walls in the living room, coupled with a little elbow grease (saves on gym fees). A little detergent in water will also work.

Just cleaning the walls can make a huge difference to a room – it turned our walls back from the dull brown they had become to the cream they were supposed to be, and got rid of all the dirty marks at the same time.

Cleaning doesn’t cover up the dings and scratches though, so the next step is to hide some of these marks by using either a crayon or pencil or some sample pot paint from the hardware store (unless you’re lucky and you still have a tin of the original paint). You probably won’t be able to match the existing paint exactly, but once the furniture is back in place and the pictures are hung, you won’t see these patches.

Speaking of pictures, if the marks and dings are beyond a small patch-up, the alternative is to strategically place your pictures to cover the marks. Large posters homemade canvas art or cheap prints from the second-hand shop are an inexpensive way to cover the marks, and large quilts hung on the walls can give a room a warm, homey feel. If you’re renting, use removable sticky hooks to hang light pictures.

In the meantime, you can start putting aside a couple of dollars a week to save up for that sparkly new paint job, while still enjoying the look of the room now.

Subscribe to the Frugal and Thriving Newsletter


  1. sara says

    Hi..another tip is too save a jam jar of the paint you used in the first place and then label room,dining room,hallway etc..i have done this for years and used it to patch up any marks that won’t wash off….i love sugar soap by the way..and have done the big picture thing recently in my living room..little accident with a champagne cork at New Year..whoops..

  2. Nicky says

    I am renovating on the absolute cheap, as work isnt guarenteed but bills are, I found that many hardware/paint shops sell mistints for a steal, like $2 a litre, and a 10l bucket of $2 has just painted the outside of my house – ok so I didnt get to choose the colour, but keeping an eye out and thinking ahead, it was similar to what I was thinking. next time your there have a look at their mistints and you can save big bucks, the normal retail for it was $135.