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Painting a rental home''s interior?

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E B

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DH and I will be moving to a new (rental) home in March. It''s one of those newly-constructed homes, built in 2005 or 2007. It''s a fabulous home with all the luxuries we''ve missed out on living in the older homes, but the walls are all stark white.

I''m a big believer in color affecting your mood, so my first thought is to paint, but the ''word on the street'' is we''ll likely have to paint it back after we leave, anywhere from 2-4 years down the road (we''ll be saving up to buy a house in this time).

What are your feelings about painting rooms in a rental home?

If we don''t paint, we''ll have to put up a lot of artwork, which could also be costly as we currently have one or two pieces of art to our name.

What say you, Pricescopers?
And while we''re on the subject, does anyone know how much it costs (the range) to have rooms professionally painted?
 

chrono

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I never paint or do any work on a rental. That is the responsibility of the home owner unless I messed up the house.
 

Circe

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Well ... you can either repaint it, or you can voluntarily sacrifice your security deposit.

Me, I tend to go for art and moveable color in rental houses. It doesn''t necessarily have to be pricey - flea markets and antique shops can be a great resource! And a brilliant set of curtains, a deeply toned throw on the couch ... all of the little details can make a huge difference to the feel of a room.
 

Octavia

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Ask the landlord. Ours was fine with us painting the stark-white walls, as long as we got approval on the paint color from him first. If he/she says no, Circe''s ideas are good ones.
 

oobiecoo

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We technically weren't supposed to paint our apartment, but I asked the Assistant Manager the day we moved in and, after seeing the dissapointment on my face, she said it was ok if it wasn't very dark and we primed over it when we left. Yayy!

Instead of going crazy on color we chose one color and painted an accent wall in the living room and the entire dining room. That only gives us a little bit to have to prime when we leave and it only took one night to paint both areas. I recommend doing it that way rather then buying different colors and painting every room entirely.

Our color is a medium taupe so it blends well with whatever new pillow covers or curtains I decide to buy.

ETA: As far as having rooms professionally painted... I'm not sure of the cost. I'd say save yourself some money and either buy a quart gun(really cheap) and spray the room with that (tape the trim first) or just get really good at rolling.
 

E B

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Thank you all! Apparently, painting is fine, but I have to supply the brand of paint and shade used for each room. I''d do it in a heartbeat if I didn''t have to paint back over it, but I''m guessing we''d have to.

Date: 2/5/2009 12:22:19 PM
Author: oobiecoo

Instead of going crazy on color we chose one color and painted an accent wall in the living room and the entire dining room. That only gives us a little bit to have to prime when we leave and it only took one night to paint both areas. I recommend doing it that way rather then buying different colors and painting every room entirely.
I was thinking about doing something like this downstairs. If we painted, I''m thinking it''d be just two bedrooms (two shades of relaxing blue) upstairs, and then a feature wall in the living room (maybe a soft grey?). Would that look odd, the rest of the house being white?
 

mia1181

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If your landlord allows you to paint, I would paint! I live in an apartment and the worst part about it is that we can''t paint. If I ever rented a house I would want it to look like a home.

You''ll probably have to paint over when you leave, but maybe not. I do know some people who had nice landlords who allowed tenants to paint as long as they were normal neutral colors (no hot pink or black walls).
 

oobiecoo

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Date: 2/5/2009 12:25:07 PM
Author: EBree
Thank you all! Apparently, painting is fine, but I have to supply the brand of paint and shade used for each room. I''d do it in a heartbeat if I didn''t have to paint back over it, but I''m guessing we''d have to.


Date: 2/5/2009 12:22:19 PM
Author: oobiecoo

Instead of going crazy on color we chose one color and painted an accent wall in the living room and the entire dining room. That only gives us a little bit to have to prime when we leave and it only took one night to paint both areas. I recommend doing it that way rather then buying different colors and painting every room entirely.
I was thinking about doing something like this downstairs. If we painted, I''m thinking it''d be just two bedrooms (two shades of relaxing blue) upstairs, and then a feature wall in the living room (maybe a soft grey?). Would that look odd, the rest of the house being white?
I don''t think that would look odd at all! The rest of our walls are a creamy color (blehhh) and it doesn''t look strange with only a few of them being painted. The blue and gray sound really nice!
 

Erin

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I have painted the living room in every apartment I ever rented. I have painted the bedroom in two of them.
Of course now that I''m in this house, I''ve painted every square inch of it except for ceilings. Even the front door, the kitchen cabinets, the baseboards and trim...
I like my home to look the way I want it. Two to four years is a long time with all white. Oh, and paint it yourself. It''s not hard. Just keep a wet rag at your side and use tape when necessary.
 

Tacori E-ring

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I am lazy so I would never want to paint a rental and then paint it BACK. I think there are other ways to bring color in.
 

DivaDiamond007

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When we were in our rental house we painted the entire interior and don''t regret it. The previous tenant was a slob and the walls were actually dirty from him
We washed them down, let them dry and put up two coats of neutral paint in the entire house and then washed/painted the ceilings as well. The landlord paid for the paint/supplies. I''d go for it!
 

brooklyngirl

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My family has painted every rental apartment we''ve ever lived in. 2-4 years is a long time to live in one apartment. Might as well paint it and enjoy it while you''re there.

I''ll admit, my current apartmnet I did not paint, as we were only planning to stay about a year.
 

E B

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I appreciate everyone's opinions, and right now, I'm leaning strongly toward painting it. Those who've said 2-4 years is a long time to live with white walls are right- some people can, I'm just not sure I'm one of 'em. I don't need a completely colorful house, but color in the main living areas is important to me.

I guess in the 2-4+ years we're saving for a house, we could put a little away for professional re-painting (if we're required to).


Now, to choose the shades. Let's hope they'll be acceptable to the landlord.
 

lyra

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:50:25 PM
Author: EBree
I appreciate everyone''s opinions, and right now, I''m leaning strongly toward painting it. Those who''ve said 2-4 years is a long time to live with white walls are right- some people can, I''m just not sure I''m one of ''em. I don''t need a completely colorful house, but color in the main living areas is important to me.

I guess in the 2-4+ years we''re saving for a house, we could put a little away for professional re-painting (if we''re required to).


Now, to choose the shades. Let''s hope they''ll be acceptable to the landlord.
I hope your landlord will look at this as an improvement he doesn''t have to pay for, and therefore will let you leave it when you go. Wouldn''t hurt to present it that way, right? Since it''s a new property they may be less flexible, but if you ask for approval of shades, also ask if that means it can stay that way. Win-win.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Date: 2/5/2009 12:25:07 PM
Author: EBree

I was thinking about doing something like this downstairs. If we painted, I''m thinking it''d be just two bedrooms (two shades of relaxing blue) upstairs, and then a feature wall in the living room (maybe a soft grey?). Would that look odd, the rest of the house being white?
The idea of painting only some of the rooms and also a "feature wall" sounds like a great idea. I do not like the look of an interior where all of the rooms are painted, especially when the "decorators" go crazy and use different colors for every room. It''s too busy.
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/5/2009 12:17:30 PM
Author: Octavia
Ask the landlord. Ours was fine with us painting the stark-white walls, as long as we got approval on the paint color from him first. If he/she says no, Circe''s ideas are good ones.
Ditto to Octavia. My last landlord actually PAID for the paint and supplies if I did the labor. In some states it is required that the landlords paint in between renters (including DE where I last lived) so I think that any renter that is willing to do the painting themselves is welcome.

Circe also has some great ideas. If you go with what she mentioned you can at least take your investment with you when you leave and won''t have to put in so much sweat equity.
 

diane5006

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EBree...did you ask your landlord ??? I couldn''t quite tell from you postswhat does you lease say...if he/she/they agree have whatever you decide put in the lease so there are no qustions later especially if the property is sold

As someone mentioned...they may want approval of color...and they may pay for the paint you supply the labor...etc...

Also...I suspect that the property as it is new...was professionally painted...make sure the quality of the paint job is as good/better...and if your landlord is agreeable have them look at it and and get in writting the approval


Sound like a lot of work for a paint job...but I have been watching too much People''s Court and they have had a few of these cases lately...

Have fun in your new home
 

diane5006

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Painting is okay only if the landlord/lease says it is...

OOps I meant to ''edit"
 

Steel

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My experience is that landlords are crazy
. Don't paint it. Even if he/she gives you permission to paint - unless it is in writing don't paint.

ETA- I have never paid a painter. It is really easy to DIY and do a professional finish. In fact I have seen friend's houses which were done professionally and had a much poorer finish. But if you do choose to get a painter you should buy the paint yourself - I have heard of some painters taking advantage when buying materials.
 

October2008bride

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GAAA PS just ate my response!!!! Stupid deadlock victim :(

Anyways, in a nutshell I said that I would onlyl paint a rental if the walls were gross and even then I''d expect the landlord to pay for the supplies (still a good deal for him/her IMO).

If the walls were white, I''d keep them that way because I wouldn''t want to deal with painting back to white when I moved. I know it is fun and exciting when you are adding colour and making it ''your own'', but when you get excited because you have just bought a place and will be moving out, re-painting white won''t be so fun.

We are in a condo that was a new build so the walls are stark white. We just worked with them using colourful paintings, black and white photos with dark black frames etc. I think it looks great! I used to think that I wish I could have painted, but now that we are house hunting, I''m glad we don''t have to deal with making it white again.

HTH :)
 

elrohwen

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I won''t paint if I know I''m only going to live there for a year or two, but with our current place, we know we''ll be there 4-5 years, so yeah, we painted. By the time we''re ready to leave, I''m hoping my landlord realizes that he would''ve had to repaint anyway at that point and won''t make us do it. Or maybe we''ll just have to prime it. Either way, painting made such a huge difference and I''m glad we did it, even if we have to go to the trouble to paint it back.

We did make it easier on ourselves by only painting our bedroom, living room, and a small bathroom, so there''s not so much to paint back when we leave.
 

AmberGretchen

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We''ve done both - painted and not painted. I''d just decide if you can afford to pay for painters in case you decide you don''t want to put in the labor on either end.
 

Pandora II

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As a landlord, I''d just add that I would go nuts if any tenant of ours painted the walls or touched the decor in any way.

I would check out prices for professional decorators in your area - you could find yourself with a big bill if your landlord is unhappy with what you have done to his property.
 

snlee

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:22:16 PM
Author: Tacori E-ring
I am lazy so I would never want to paint a rental and then paint it BACK. I think there are other ways to bring color in.
I am lazy too so I wouldn''t paint a rental. 2-4 years will go by fast!
 

MoonWater

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I''m not a fan of white wall so I tend to always paint rentals. I don''t mind having to paint them back as long as I know I''m going to be there at least 2 years. Color definitely influences mood.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Date: 2/7/2009 4:53:27 PM
Author: snlee
Date: 2/5/2009 1:22:16 PM

Author: Tacori E-ring

I am lazy so I would never want to paint a rental and then paint it BACK. I think there are other ways to bring color in.
I am lazy too so I wouldn''t paint a rental. 2-4 years will go by fast!
Haha. I knew I liked you!
 

fisherofmengirly

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Hey Ebree!!

Been missing seeing you around very much these days!

I think I would probably paint "my room," where I do my creative things like writing, crafting, scrapbooking, painting. To me, white walls everywhere is a little hard to handle.

In college, all the dorms and apts. were white and had to stay white. We had room checks every Monday night so you couldn''t dupe the system at all. We put up tons of artwork and one friend even put up a "mural" out of cloth and materials, all along the whole living room wall. I''m not creative in that way, but it looked awesome.

I don''t think I''d paint a whole house just to re-paint it in 2 years. 4 maybe, but probably not the WHOLE house. Maybe you can ask the landlord if there are any approved colors? Like some neutrals are MUCH better than stark white. They may have that rule to notify people interested in lime green and fuscia that it can''t stay that way when they move out. Our old apt. complex had a list of approved colors that you could use without having to repaint at move out.
 

E B

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Thanks again for weighing in, everyone!

DH and I decided to paint, but only two bedrooms and a feature wall in the living room. We chose a nice, soothing blue for the bedrooms and for the feature wall, a soft sage green. Yesterday, we took the chips to the management company and if the landlord approves, we'll paint before we get the furniture moved in! Unfortunately, we can't afford to have it done professionally *now,* but I'll see to it that we save up the $ to have it professionally re-painted in a few years.

ETA: Hiya Fisher! I've missed you too! I've been in major TTC-lurk mode, but I should have an update in the next few days.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Date: 2/7/2009 8:56:38 PM
Author: EBree
Thanks again for weighing in, everyone!

DH and I decided to paint, but only two bedrooms and a feature wall in the living room. We chose a nice, soothing blue for the bedrooms and for the feature wall, a soft sage green. Yesterday, we took the chips to the management company and if the landlord approves, we''ll paint before we get the furniture moved in! Unfortunately, we can''t afford to have it done professionally *now,* but I''ll see to it that we save up the $ to have it professionally re-painted in a few years.

ETA: Hiya Fisher! I''ve missed you too! I''ve been in major TTC-lurk mode, but I should have an update in the next few days.
Sounds great, Ebree! D and I have rented for about eight years now (and lived in 5 apartments/homes) and one thing we always hated were the prison-white walls.

I wonder if your landlord might know a handyman or some professional painters who will repaint it inexpensively when you move out? I only mention that because we did paint the living room in our first apartment, but didn''t have much time to paint it back to white when we moved out. Our management company had contracted professional painters and they only charged $200 to paint it back (including all supplies). I have no idea if that''s a good price or not, but it was definitely worth it to us so that we didn''t have to. Our current rental home has paint on every wall and I really like her color scheme, so we''re sticking with it (thank goodeness).
 
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