Highs & lows of painting and paperingPublished on November 11, 2013

  • Photo provided

Canadians are decorating obsessed! We pore over home and garden magazines, watch hours of DIY television, and relentlessly search the Internet for the best price on everything from the right pendant light, towel rack or bathroom faucet - all in an attempt to make our homes an oasis of comfort and style.

Of course, this fetish comes with a price. But a little insider knowledge can help put some costs in perspective. Whether you are going the do-it-yourself route or hiring a professional, there are ways to keep costs down. And one of the quickest ways to update your décor is by painting. You can take that a step further and add wallpaper or maybe a custom wall mural.

The following projects will help you understand where costs are incurred at the high end, as well as offering a few tricks of the trade to send you on the way to DIY success.



Hiring a professional painter (using a standard 10-by-10-foot room as a guide), will typically take around 12 hours at a cost of $35 per hour. Add three gallons of paint at about $65 each and you're looking at a job cost of at least $615. The additional cost of hiring a decorative painter to add a mural or faux accent wall will add another $400 - $600 to your bill!


Want to save $1,000? Take on the job yourself and instead of hiring a decorative painter, purchase a peel-and-stick-on wall mural - there are plenty to choose from online. A nice one will cost anywhere from $50 to $250 and not only applies easily, but and can be removed later without damaging your walls.



Wallpaper has dramatic price variances. The cost of paper ranges from $30 per roll from your local hardware store, to more than $200 a roll for luxury papers on special order. A professional paper hanger usually charges about $65 per double roll, and the installation of grasscloth or vinyl panels will cost approximately $80.

So, using a special-order paper with installation can cost between $2,000 and $3,000 for a 10-by-10-foot room. While this price seems high, keep in mind that hanging paper is a craft and not recommended as a DIY project. Getting wallpaper done right will pay off in the end.


If the elegance and sophistication of today's wallpaper is not in your budget, consider the following special paint technique that will get you the look without the hefty price tag.

Step one: Start by painting walls in a pleasing tone using a washable flat paint.

Step two: Using a chalk line to measure out 30 cm spaces, drop your line from ceiling to floor and repeat each 30 cm.

Step three: Using ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, attach the tape next to the chalk line, then wipe off the chalk. Leave the straight tape lines on from floor to ceiling.

Step four: Apply a clear latex glaze in even strokes over your walls, let dry.

Step five: Remove the tape.

Result: The eggshell shine in the glaze set against the flat paint creates the depth and elegance of a tone-on-tone appearance of good wallpaper - and at a fraction of the cost. You can expect to pay $200 for the total job, including the price of paint, blue tape and glaze.

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