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Buying Mistake ('Oops') Paint

Category Painting
A paint can of blue pain, a roller and a roller pan.
One way to save money on paint, if you are flexible on the color, it to buy the paint mistakes at your local home improvement store. Those mixing errors can be good for your pocketbook. This is a guide about buying mistake ("oops") paint.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 22, 2010

Does anyone know how to get inexpensive "previously opened" paint, say at Home Depot?

By MJ from Pocatello, ID

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

At the Lowes where I shop, they keep all of their "OOPS" paint in a shopping cart by the paint department mixing center.

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April 24, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I, too, would recommend Habitat for Humanity's Re-Store. Not only is it paint for a reasonable price, but the proceeds from sales go toward helping a family in need build a home.

Another good suggestion I saw mentioned (that I was thinking), is your local recycling center or places where they hold annual eco-friendly swaps/giveaways. Just ask around and call your local chamber of commerce, for ideas.

Your local librarian may also have information or know of a place where you can obtain these resources. You'd be surprised how much knowledge and information, concerning your community, they have!

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I call it opps paint and they usually have it on the end caps or near the mixer on a stand with a dot of color on the top and you can always ask where they keep the "opps" paint.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I've seen paint at Garage Sales, Estate Sales, Thrift Stores., church garage sales are the best! Some of the Habitat for Humanities have a re-sale store, and Goodwill or the Salvation Army have re-sale stores also. Good Luck

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Just check the date to make sure it's not too old. They are usually in a big bin by the paint mixing area.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Osh and Wal-Mart also have the "oops" paints . Just ask at the paint dept. where they are kept .


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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

I just had another thought. In some places, here and Simi Valley,Ca. the city recycles paint that is brought to the recycle center. They then mix the paint and give it away free in 5 to 50 Gal. drums. I was given a 5 gal.size to paint over graffiti in our tract of homes. It was a beige color. Call your city hall and ask if they do the same. GG Vi

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Did you know that when a store employee in the paint department makes a mistake mixing paint, or a customer isn't happy with the color that's been mixed for them and refuses to buy the already mixed paint, stores like Home Depot put these "pre-mixed" colors on a special "sale" table, sometimes with discontinued paints (that can be mixed to suit.) These "pre-mixed" paints are greatly reduced. I've been able to like find a pre-mixed color that I've liked on most occasions, and for a vey good price, too.


Home Depot sells their "mix-ups" for about "half-price" or around $9, but the Fred Meyer stores around here (greater Seattle area) sell their "pre-mixed paint mistakes" which include Dutch Boy and Glidden brand paints for only $5 per gallon. You can't beat that. That goes for all types of paints including indoor, outdoor, masonry paint and discontinued transparent and opaque deck and fence stains, too.

Most stores refuse to add any other colors to the already mixed colors, but they can match the "miss-matched" color you're buying with a computer most times and if you know even "just a little bit" about mixing colors, you can easily come up with a paint color you like for less than half the usual price. Sometimes you can just buy a quart of white paint and mix that with the color you've bought to lighten it up a bit.

I've also had great success with finding high quality paints for only $5 per gallon at Liquidation Stores. They have great (discontinued) colors, for only a fraction of the price. It's easy to find these discount gallons at Liquidation stores, but at stores like Fred Meyer and Home Depot, you may have to ask where their miss-matched paint table is, as they don't always make it obvious that you can buy less expensive paint from them. In my local Home Depot, it's on a shelf behind the paint mixing center. Just ask them where it is, odds are, they have a "sale table" hidden somewhere in the paint area, as they'd usually rather sell it for less than throw it away.

By Cyinda from near Seattle


Buying Mistake Paint For Less Than Half Price

It's called oops paint. It is all I preferably use. (03/07/2008)


By KimmyLynn

Buying Mistake Paint For Less Than Half Price

That is true, but some of the colors are atrocious. There have
been a few I really did like such as a pinkish lavender and a sunny yellow. My hubby liked this gray one they did not have enough for that reduced price so we walked without it. Praise
God. (03/09/2008)

By Littlebites

Buying Mistake Paint For Less Than Half Price

This is one of my favorite ideas. I have bought mis-mixed paint for lots of projects and crafts. The best part is that if I don't like it I can Freecycle it to someone else. There is always someone who'll make use of it. (03/18/2008)

By Trisch

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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