man filling wall holes and cracks before painting
Photo: Brian Wilder
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13. Don't Overspend on Wall Prep

If your walls are in such rough shape that it would take a painting contractor days of filling and sanding to make them ready for the roller, consider using materials such as Texturglas, from Deerfield Beach, Florida— based company Roos International. A breathable, nontoxic wall covering made of fine glass filaments, Texturglas has a similar look and feel to the fiberglass matting used in auto-body work. It's available in a variety of surface patterns, takes paint readily, and is designed to be installed right on top of existing surfaces, adding strength while covering up dings.

Cost to patch and paint a 15-by-20-foot room with heavily damaged walls: $1,525

Cost to install Texturglas: $1,050

SAVED: $475
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