Designers always say the cheapest way to transform a room is with paint, but have you been shopping for paint lately? Ouch! It can be pricey! Today I'm going to share my best kept secret for painting on the cheap. Want to know how I was able to paint my bathroom, hallway and craft room for 86% off the regular retail price? I know you want to know the secret...
Mistint paint! At stores like Home Depot or Lowes, when they make a mistake at the paint counter or when a customer isn't happy with how a paint color mixes up, they sell these "oopsie" paints, called mistints, at a deep discount. Get to know your local store and where they put these mistints. Then check there every chance you get! I basically stop in every time I drive past. I quickly walk in, check the mistint shelf, then walk out if there's nothing I want.
One problem many people have with buying mistints is that usually you need more than one gallon of paint to paint an entire room. Well, I've got that problem covered... I mix mistints and leftover paints together to get my own paint colors!
Here are two cans of paint I bought recently. One was a pretty dark minty green color and one was white.
The first thing I did when I brought these paints home was start experimenting. Using basic 1-part this, 1-part that measurements, I tested what happened when I mixed the colors together. Color is extremely complex and sometimes even when you think adding white will just lighten a color, it can change the color completely, so always experiment first. I tried adding bits of other leftover paints I had and painted sample squares on the wall until I found a color I loved.
I ended up pouring the entire gallon of white, 2/3 gallon of a cream color I had left over from another project and about 12 oz of the green paint into an orange Home Depot bucket.
Using a mixing attachment on my electric drill, I gave the paint a thorough mixing. This step is crucial. I mixed my paint for five minutes straight, then checked to see that it was completely mixed, then mixed it for 5 more minutes just to be sure. Can I just tell you how important this is? You do not want streaky paint on your walls!
Another crucial tip to being successful at this: mix more paint than you need. You do not want to be 80% done painting a room and run out of a color that is going to be impossible to get more of!! You also don't want to have to patch a hole in the wall a year later only to have no touch-up paint.
Oh, and one more thing: be sure you only mix latex paint with latex paint. If you mix latex and oil, you will have a huge mess on your hands!
Here's the bathroom I painted with mistint paint:
This soothing gray started as a $5 mistint that was a light peachy tan color. I added a bit of leftover black paint and wha-la!
You can also get discounted paint at ReStore, but my store is pretty hit or miss and it actually costs $10 for a full gallon. But it is a great place to get little bits of paint you could use to tint other paint.
So there you go... how I save a ton on painting. I admit, it does require a bit of bravery because sometimes you don't know exactly what color you're going to end up with. But for the price difference, I can be pretty brave. Have you ever bought mistint paint?