Centsible Mom: Comparison shopping pays off when you tackle a home project

2013-05-19T00:00:00Z 2013-05-20T07:15:13Z Centsible Mom: Comparison shopping pays off when you tackle a home projectAngela Pittenger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

There's something to be said for doing your own home-improvement projects.

Being able to look at a newly painted room, for example, and say, "I did that" is rewarding.

And it can save you money, especially if you shop around for the best prices.

Since a lot of people don't have the time to check the prices at a variety of stores, I did it for you, making a spot check on prices of items you might need to paint a room in your house.

I chose products that matched as closely as possible. For paint, I went with the cheapest brand, which was often the store's brand, in eggshell. For roller brushes, I chose the same length, even if the brand was different.

I went to a couple of specialty paint stores, but they are a whole different ball game. Prices of paint are much higher, but the stores offer their own labels and boast personalized service that they say you won't get at a big-box store.

For example, the least expensive gallon of eggshell white paint at Dunn Edwards and Sherwin- Williams starts at approximately $35, compared to $13.97 at Home Depot and Lowe's.

I did not include the specialty stores in my chart for fairness purposes, since they only carry their own higher-end brands of paint.

I chose supplies you might buy if you were starting from scratch. Obviously, you don't have to have a canvas dropcloth, but I chose it because you can reuse it. I felt it was more cost-effective than buying plastic sheeting - not to mention better for the environment.

What you would pay for painting project

Product Ace Hardware Home Depot Lowe's Lowry Hardware Walmart

White eggshell paint, 1 gal. $21.99 $13.97 $13.97 $21.49 $17.94

Spackle, 1 quart $6.99 $6.98 $6.98 $4.29 $4.47

Putty knife, 1.5" flexible $3.99 $2.97 $6.88 $3.29 $3.97

Painter's tape, 60 yards $3.99 $3.93 $3.93 $3.99 $3.27

Canvas dropcloth, 9'x12' $22.99 $21.98 $21.98 $23.99 $19.97

Angled brush, 1.5" $7.49 $7.37 $6.98 $4.79 $5.63

Paint roller frame, 9" $4.99 $4.98 $3.57 $4.49 $3.97

Paint roller cover, 9" $3.69 $4.97 $2.98 $5.49 $3.67

Paint tray, plastic $2.49 $1.97 $2.29 $3.29 $1.87

Sandpaper, 3 sheets $2.88* $3.97 $2.97* $2.70* $1.77*

Flat brush, 3" $10.99 $9.97 $6.98 $9.99 $5.97

Totals $92.48 $83.06 $79.51 $87.80 $72.50

Notes: Prices were recorded Wednesday and Thursday in Tucson. * Ace Hardware sold 5-sheet packages of sandpaper. I adjusted the price to that of a 3-sheet package. Lowe's sold a 4-sheet package of sandpaper. I adjusted the price to that of a 3-sheet package. Lowry Hardware sold a 5-sheet package of sandpaper. I adjusted the price to that of a 3-sheet package. Walmart sold a 5-sheet package of sandpaper. I adjusted the price to that of a 3-sheet package.

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