10 Easy Tips for Saving Money at the Paint Store

Sherwin-Williams Reasoned Palette
How to Save Money at the Paint Store. ©Sherwin-Williams

You Really Can Save Money at the Paint Store

Paint is one of the quickest ways to makeover your home. If you are trying to save money, updating your color scheme with paint is a budget-friendly option compared to other decorating projects around your home. Though paint can be relatively inexpensive compared to replacing counters or flooring, you can still rack up a big bill at the paint store register pretty quickly.

Armed with a few simple tips, you can make the most of your decorating budget while creating your dream space.

Start With a Plan, and Stick to it

To stretch your decorating budget with paint, you'll have to be organized before you shop. Impulse purchases are going to sink your budget quickly, and rarely work out when it comes to choosing paint for your home. If you love the thrill of impulse-buying, stick to impulse sampling instead. When you head to the paint counter, choose the color samples you think will be perfect for your space, but add one or two surprise picks to your list. You'll get the thrill of the unexpected, without the bill for repainting your room in the right color. Often the color that sample you grab on a whim turns out to be the perfect choice, but you'll definitely need to sample your paint colors on your wall first. 

Look for Paint Sales

Paint and home improvement stores hold big sales a few times a year.

Early spring is a favorite time for paint industry sales as it's the most popular season for home improvements. If you have a favorite brand of paint follow them on social media to get news of sales and special promotions. By waiting a few weeks you can save a lot on your paint purchases.  

Use a Paint Calculator 

If you're purchasing the paint for your DIY painting project, you can save money by not overbuying paint.

Use a paint calculator to be sure you're not buying too much paint, or too little. It's okay to have some paint left over to save for touch-ups, or to ensure you can fully cover your walls, but you could easily end up with an extra gallon or two if you don't calculate what you'll need. An online paint calculator can show you how to measure your paint area, and give you a good idea of what you'll need to purchase.  Be sure to take into account the number of coats you'll need to cover your walls, especially if you're using a paint + primer product. If you need help choosing the right paint color, there are several excellent paint color apps available to help you match or explore paint color ideas for your home. 

Be Your Own Painter

If you have time and some skill, you can save your budget by being your own painter. Tackling a whole-house painting job can be a major investment of time, but if you can work room by room to finish the project over a week or so, it's much more manageable. You'll want to have the best tools and supplies available to do the job right and to be safe while doing it.

If you can recruit friends with a painting party the work can get done quickly if you carefully oversee the work to ensure that it's uniform from wall to wall. 

Consider Hiring a Professional Painter

You may not have the time or interest in taking on a DIY painting project right now. Hiring a professional painter might be the best choice for you. Calculate your own time to see if it's worth taking several hours or days to complete the painting work yourself. If not, ask around to see if your friends have a recommendation for a great painter, and be sure to check online reviews of a few painters before you decide on one. A professional painter may also be able to help you choose the right paint and finish for your home. Your painting pro can also give you tips on which colors work best in your area. 

Try Using Paint as an Accent for a Very Low-Budget Project

  • Your painting budget may be pretty small right now, but you can still make an impact in your space by using paint strategically for a budget-friendly accent.
  • Creating an accent wall is a timeless decorating option that uses very little paint. Most accent walls can be finished with no more than one gallon of paint.
  • Paint can also be used as an easy DIY project to highlight shelving and inside cabinets with a stunning accent color, without major expense or effort.
  • The latest wall stencils can also give your space a stylish pop of color for maximum impact with a small amount of paint. 

Choose the Right Paint Formula for the Job

Paint + primer is a popular formula for DIY painters right now. A quality paint + primer formula can save you time and money by eliminating the need for the purchase of a separate primer. Read the reviews and talk to the paint pros at the store to be sure you're choosing the best formula for your job.

Matte or flat finish is a major trend in paint sheen now. The matte wall surface looks simple and elegant but is not suitable for every space. Matte or flat paint is wonderful for softening wall imperfections but isn't a good choice for spaces that have a lot of traffic or moisture. Kitchens and bathrooms were almost always painted in a semi-gloss to deal with moisture, but the trend has been to go with a less glossy sheen, like eggshell or satin, for a softer look. Choosing the right paint for your walls is more than just color, it's also sheen and texture.

If you're purchasing paint samples ask what sheen the sample is formulated with, as it may be different than what you'd like on your walls once you choose the color. The variation in sheen from a sample jar can make a big difference in how your paint color will look in the right sheen. 

Use One Amazing Paint Color Throughout Your Home

Buying in bulk can save you money in almost everything, including paint. If you find one awesome paint color to flow throughout your home, consider purchasing it in a 5-gallon bucket to save money. Any color looks elegant flowed from room to room. Add gorgeous pops of color and accent with decor to give each room its own style. 

Be sure to sample your main paint color in each room you'll be painting to be sure it works everywhere. Even neutral paint color can look different room to room because of lighting, location, and even foliage outside the window. Testing your new paint color is especially important if you'll be buying it in bulk. 

Be Smart About Your Painting Supplies

You'll definitely want to buy the right supplies if you're going to be painting your own home, but don't get too carried away. Ask the paint professional at your paint or home improvement store which brushes and rollers work best for the texture of your walls. Don't be afraid to ask questions at the paint counter, but make sure you're prepared before you head to the paint store. Having the right tools for your surfaces can save you money by eliminating the need for multiple coats of paint to cover texture and imperfections.