Tips for Saving Money When You Head to the Paint Store

Adding a splash of fresh paint to your walls can do wonders for you home, but unfortunately, the same can’t be said for your wallet. Paint ain’t cheap, and a visit to the store can sometimes lumber you with a seriously big bill. But refreshing your interiors needn’t always be quite so expensive as you think. Next time you need to do some re-decorating, bear in mind these top paint store tips- you might be surprised at just how much money you save.

1. Buy Less Paint

Want to save money at the paint store? Then buy less paint. As obvious, and yes, slightly facetious as this sounds, it also makes a lot of good sense when you think about it. If your reason for painting is more to update the look of a room than transform it completely (or by the same token, to cover up a bad paint job), then it pays to consider just how many walls you really need to paint. Creating an accent wall can give a fresh new look to a room, but requires several fewer paint cans than a whole-room paint job. You could even opt for just a few painted stencils, or some color blocks around particular features: both can look stunning and best of all, can be achieved with minimal paint.

2. Skip the Primer

If you’re a bit old school, the thought of ditching the primer and getting straight to the paint probably has you reeling in horror. But considering that these days, you can just as easily (and cheaply) buy paint with primer included as you can without, it really makes no sense to stump up extra for a separate primer.

3. Bulk Buy

Bulk buying is one of the best ways to get all the paint you need for the cheapest price possible. If you choose your colors wisely, a big 5-gallon bucket will cover several rooms for considerably less than buying individual cans in different colors will. Of course, you’ll need to work out what color will work in all the rooms first, paying careful attention to how light, location, and furnishings will impact on the finished result. Your best option is to stick to a neutral that’ll play well in most situations. Once you’ve got the main color down, you can add little pops of vibrancy with colorful accents and furnishings.

4. Ask Away

The staff at paint stores aren’t just there to take your money. Paint comes in any number of varieties, as do its accouterments. As The Spruce recommends, if you want to avoid any costly mistakes, take full advantage of the help on offer by asking as many questions as you can- will a matte paint suit the bathroom, or would a satin finish be better? Is the kitchen the best place for a semi-gloss, or is there a softer option you can consider? Should you use a paintbrush or a roller? Whatever question you can think of, ask it… preferably before you’ve handed over the money.

5. Check out the Sales

Who doesn’t love a good end of season sale? While you might not necessarily associate your local hardware store with Black Friday, it’s likely to offer substantial discounts at select times of the year. As Arms McGregor reports, early spring is one of the best times to pick up a bargain. It’s also worth following the store and your favorite brands on social media: that way, you can be first in line when it comes to any special promotions or sales.

6. Don’t Overbuy

Even though it sounds boring, it’s worth spending some time calculating exactly how much paint you need before rushing out and buying the biggest bucket you can find. Overbuying on paint is one of the most common reasons we spend more than we should… and one of the easiest to avoid. Online paint calculators are a dime a dozen these days and don’t require you to be a maths whizz to use. Simply pop in the measurements of the room you want to paint, and the calculator will spit out exactly how many gallons you’ll need to complete the job.

7. Plan Wisely

Before you even set foot in a hardware store, draw up a plan of action. Just as it’s easy to come home from the supermarket with half a cart full of impulse buys you didn’t plan on, don’t want, and will never use, so it’s possible to suffer buyer’s remorse if you don’t make a list of exactly what you need before hitting the paint store. Work out what color paint you prefer, how many gallons you want, and what tools you need; pop the details on paper, and then stick to it. If you can’t resist a little “treat”, stick to a tin or two of sample paint… it’ll give you your hit, but without the matching bill.

8. Sample Up

Don’t spend a fortune on a 5-gallon bucket of paint before making absolutely sure the color is up to par. Paints have a habit of looking one thing in the can, and a very different thing on the wall. Before making any big investments, pick up a few samples and try them out at home. It’ll help give you a clearer sense of what the room will look like once you’ve finished painting and save you from any costly mistakes (not to mention a lot of time) in the process.

9. Know When to do it Yourself…

If you’re working to a budget, one of the easiest ways to save a heap of dough is by doing the painting yourself. Hiring professionals can be costly, not to mention not always strictly necessary. As One House notes, doing the whole house by yourself can be a major task, but if you take it in easy-to-manage, bite-sized chunks (or even better, get some cheap labor by drawing in friends or family), you’ll soon have thing looking ship-shape and shiny.

10. … And When to Call in the Professionals

Sometimes, it’s not always going to be possible for you to do all the painting yourself. If you lack the tools or the skills, trying to manage everything alone could ultimately cost you more: if the job ends up looking too second rate to live with, not only will you need to buy a replacement set of paints, you’ll also need to pay someone overtime to cover up your mistakes. If you know that, for whatever reason, a DIY paint job isn’t going to end in an acceptable result, don’t risk the time and expense of even attempting to do it yourself and just call in the professionals from the get-go. Yes, it’s more money upfront, but in the end, it’s going to save you a lot of time, grief, and replacement paint.

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