While you can’t buy a gallon of paint at Dollar Tree, you can still buy most tools to help you paint or do minor repairs around the house. I was having the Furnace Doctors install a new HVAC system in my home. They had already disconnected the old one and were ready pull the final (huge/heavy) piece of the old furnace out. My wife left town for a few days, and I jumped on the opportunity to paint while she was gone. Fumes make it harder for her to breathe. I painted the basement walls to brighten up the daylight basement room that also acts as my office. – furnacedoctors.org/
I visited the closest Dollar Tree to my home and even I was surprised at what I could buy for a buck. Just for this three day project I purchased touch-up paint brushes, putty knives, putty, a paint roller, drop cloths, caulk, and art board. All for only a dollar each.
To give you an actual comparison. Dollar Tree sells a package featuring two touch-up brushes for a dollar. Ace Hardware sells the very same pack for $1.97. The paint roller didn’t work with a normal extension, so I bought a better one for a couple of dollars more. Although the dollar roller worked fine, a longer handle extends the reach and can save time going up and down ladders. The second paint roller didn’t fit, either, but I forced it (I have meaty paws). I should have paid a few more dollars for one with a better handle, but the second one with the forced connection worked. The dollar roller brushes worked perfectly on both the concrete as well as drywall. The putty I don’t like, but for most home repairs, it does fine. It’s kind of flakey, but hardens well. It’s for small jobs.
Caulk for a dollar is a great price. You do need a caulking gun, but they are fairly cheap at Ace, also. Caulking means filling in holes on damaged walls, of course, but it also helps keep out cold air and saves you money on your heating bills. I saw caulk everywhere you can. You squeeze a bit of caulk out into a crack and then either use a putty knife, your finger, or your touch-up brush to smooth the spot or bead of the latex filler.
I prefer the two inch, pure bristle paint brushes from China as opposed to the plastic handle and plastic bristle variety. I was a fine arts major at the University of Puget Sound and prefer soft pure bristle brushes. The others might work for exterior surfaces, but I like the coverage better with the real bristles. They sell the two inch pure bristle brushes at Dollar Tree. You can buy the same brushes in larger sizes at Ace. I like the cheaper brushes, not only because they work well, but because I can simply throw them away when I’m done. I use the two inch for smoothing out caulk AND for painting. In addition I keep a two inch brush in my car, so I can clean off the dust on my dash while waiting for traffic lights.
I had one problem from a new electrical service installed. It left me with a hole in the wall. I treated it like an icon niche. I used the art board for a shelf to show off my football playing Three Stooges dolls (a gift from my youngest sister). The art board can be easily cut with a knife . . . and trimmed with scissors. You would be surprised how easy it is to work with. I bought a tube of construction adhesive (works in a caulking gun, too) to glue the art board down.
All in all, this project was a success. I had to return to both the Dollar Store and Ace Hardware three times, but that’s better than buying more than I needed. My repainting project was passable, but what it really needed was someone who could bend and stretch more than I wanted to. Oh, well . . . I won’t tackle the finishing work until the old furnace is completely gone and the HVAC system is compete . . . but I got a really good start.