Once you’ve entered the world of painting your own interior or exterior, you’ve entered the world of every painting contractor. Their worries about labor and the costs of supplies become your worries. You don’t have to pay yourself to paint your house (you may have to pay or exchange video game time with your kids, however), but you do have to pay for the paint itself and the other supplies you’ll need to get it done.
Here are a few ways to save money on those supplies, starting with the paint itself.
Ways to Save Money on Paint
The most important and expensive part of any paint project is of course the paint itself. While it won’t cost as much as a good paint brush or roller, paint runs out fast and you’ll always need more of it than you think.
Get Paint for Free
Believe it or not, there are ways to get paint for free or for a heavily discounted price. Many hazardous household waste centers and recycling facilities will give away paint that people have disposed of to anyone willing to pick it up. These facilities exist so that people won’t toss their unused paint in the dumpster, which leads to environmental problems. Paint has a long shelf-life, so if you can find the right kind for your needs at a hazardous materials recycling facility, it’s likely as good as any brand-new can of paint you’ll find at a hardware store. Obviously, acquiring paint and saving money this way is hit-or- miss. If you only need to paint a small area of your home or just need to do some touch-ups, this is the way to go to cut costs.
Buy Mistint Paint
Stores usually allow customers to return paint if they find it’s the wrong tint for their needs. Any paint store or hardware store will have previously-opened paint cans sold at heavy discounts because of this. Sometimes, you can find perfectly good cans of paint 50%, 60%, or 75% off.
Use Primer and Store Your Paint Correctly
Ever wonder why the professionals always put a coat of primer on a wall before they break out the actual paint? Primer allows your paint to do more. It helps the paint cover more of the surface, it smooths over cracks and uneven surfaces, and it protects the bare material of a surface from long-term damage. The paint spreads more evenly on a primed surface, causing you to use less of it to get your desired effect.
Make sure your paint is stored properly so you don’t always have to buy a brand-new can every time you need to touch up your walls. All paint cans have a re-sealable lid. Make sure this lid is secure before you put it in the garage, even just a small opening in the lid will cause the paint to dry out and lose its spread-ability. Also, part of storing your paint correctly means storing it where it won’t freeze in the winter.
Saving on Paint Supplies
Saving money on the drop cloths, brushes, rollers, and other paint supplies comes down to knowing where to shop. Most hardware stores carry paint supplies, and you can’t get away from the prices they set. But if you know where to look, like second-hand stores and the Internet, you can find good deals on these supplies.
Sometimes painting companies have extra equipment they sell, often at discounted prices. You can invariably find a good brush on sites like Amazon or eBay for good prices (although offsetting shipping costs can be difficult). Paint stores more geared toward artists can be alternatives to hardware stores. You’ll also find better prices if you look for wholesalers selling painting supplies.
Of course, saving money and still getting what you need depends on the project and how you plan to achieve your painting goals. Know exactly what you need for your project before you start diving into the bargain bin.