Save tons of money on paint, if the color doesn't really mattter

Have a closet or garage that needs a coat of paint, but you don't want to shell out the $20 for it? There's a couple easy ways to find paint for pennies on the dollar, and they're closer than you might think.

The first place to look is the same place you'd go to pay full price. Any paint store will have cans of paint leftover from mistakes in the mixing process. When a customer comes in with a swatch of fabric or a flower petal to get a match, and he's not happy with the end result, the store has to eat it. What you get is a bucket of paint nobody else wants. To cut their losses, the store will often sell the paint at a deep, deep discount just to make it go away. Their loss, your gain.

The other great place to look is your local sanitation department. Most cities have specific divisions that deal with paints, since you can't just toss them in a landfill. In Alameda, CA, it's a garage full of five-gallon buckets of paint, wall to wall. They'll just let you take what you want in most cases. They have to dispose of it somehow anyway!


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sparkie on Feb 20, 2007:

You can also play around w/ mixing different colors to get a shade you like, especially since so cheap.  Just make sure to use either latex or oil seperate.

jasimar on Feb 06, 2007:

Leftover paint is so fabs.  My friend does up his apartment bi-yearly in a sort of paint-sale-roulette.  Sometimes its a wonderful thing... and even when it's not, hey, it's cheap and fresh. 

Manzabar on Feb 05, 2007:

In my area Habitat for Humanity runs a shop called ReStore.  They take donations from remodeling or overstock from the hardware stores and resell it to help fund their other projects.  The ReStore also takes buckets of paints.  So like alexrussell says if you don't care much for the color; it can be a good place to get paint cheap.

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