Saving Money on Paint

I have lived in the same apartment for nearly ten years and have never been able to afford the paint to repaint. Sadly we have been smokers. The landlord won't pay for the paint and I can't afford the paint.


Please don't tell me to quit smoking and I could afford the paint, I am trying. Are there any thrifty ways to paint? Any help is welcome. Thanks!

By Hairyjoe from Port Clinton, OH

Anonymous Flag
April 20, 20090 found this helpful

If you have a little money you can spend on paint, you can go to stores like Home Depot. Sometimes people have a color mixed, then if they end up not buying the paint, the store sells it at a discount.

If you don't have any money for paint... there are lots of people who have partial cans of paint left over when they painted a room. You can mix different colors of paint in a mop bucket to get enough of one color to paint a room.

If I was in your place I would put an ad on It is free and the ad will reach people who live in your area. Tell them what you told us and ask if anyone has partial cans of paint they would be willing to give you. People will contact you if they do.

There were recently 2 people killed through craigslist, so when someone contacts you to say they have paint for you, tell them to bring the paint and arrange to meet them in a very public place, do not go alone. If you do it this way, no one will know where you live. Best of luck to you.

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April 20, 20090 found this helpful

You might ask a professional painter if they have any leftover paint you could buy cheaply. Make sure the paints will mix (don't add oil paints to latex)

You could also get a cheap gallon of white paint at Family Dollar and mix it with what's been provided you.

ou might even find used paints at a yard sale. Some paint stores also have scratch and dent cans of paint you might be able to buy reasonably priced. Place a few phone calls around your area and see what happens.

Spring time is good for lots of people who clean out their garage and are willing to dispose of partially filled paint cans.

uly 4th in my area holds a town wide yard sale and you could freely ask around in your neighborhood. Look in the newspapers as some people advertise providing a phone no. and you could call and inquire if anyone has any paint they want to get rid of.

Put a short notice on laundromats in town requesting any used paints anyone no longer wants and you might get lucky this way.

Advertise in the newspaper that you would like to have such and such type paint for your project and in exchange, you'd be willing to do an outside chore in exchange like clean out a flower bed, help plant a garden or wash windows, weedeat or help mow or help clean out their garage or better yet, make money doing this to buy your paint you want.

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Anonymous Flag
April 21, 20090 found this helpful

By the way, I forgot to mention if you go to Craigslist you will see a long list of all their categories. Under 'For Sale', you will see 'Free'. There is a lot of stuff listed there, maybe there won't be any paint, but it would probably be best to list your request for free paint under the free category and a lot of peope will probably read your request 'cause I assume lots of people look at all the free stuff ads.

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

Have you thought about washing your walls and see how they look? You might be surprised at how they turn out. You can buy a bottle of liquid Spic and Span at the Dollar Tree for a buck. If there is lots of nicotine on the walls, it may take you more than one washing, but it would have to be cheaper than painting. There is also a product I have bought at the Dollar Tree called Awesome Orange. It absolutely "melts" grime off things. You might want to try that too. I would suggest doing a small area first if you choose to try either of these products. Good luck.

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

My mother and stepfather are smokers and their walls changed colors. The think I have been using to clean the walls the best is with bleach. You would poor a little bleach into a bucket and add some water, get an old rag and something ruff, like a big tooth brush of some sort. And start takes a little bit but I'm sure you could get some help. It's cheaper then paint and works pretty good. Also every once in a while leave your house open to air it out so some of the smoke goes outside and not stick to the walls. Good luck=)

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

as well as "craigslist", check to see if there is a "Freecycle" group for your area.

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April 21, 20090 found this helpful

Try calling your local recycling center. Ours has a place where you can drop off paint for free, you can also take all the paint you need for zero dollars. I recently went and picked up a 5 gallon bucket of exterior sherman williams paint for my garage. Hope this helps.

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April 22, 20090 found this helpful

Been there, done that! A realtor friend of mine taught me to go into these bigger hardware stores

(aka Home Depot or Lowes) and ask for "Oops" paint, someone asked for a certain color and got the wrong color or the guy mixing it, goofed. The store had to keep the paint that was mixed wrong. I got a whole gallon of Ooops paint for about $1.50 (had 3 different ones to choose from, too) and my room turned out great! You might try that.


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October 10, 20090 found this helpful

Lots of options for you on this one.

1) Clean your walls, this site has an article on cleaning nicotine off walls: ... How_To_Clean_Nicotine_Off_Walls.html

2) Go to Home Depot, Lowes or Sherwin Williams and ask for mis-tinted paint. They should have some great deals.

3) Go to a place like Habitat for Humanity, they typically sell paint for a few dollars a gallon.

4) Find someone who wants to get rid of some of the paint in their basement. You can mix together the remaining paint in their cans to make enough paint for your project.

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