How to Paint Your House for a Low Cost

How to Paint Your House for a Low Cost

You want to paint your house, but the cost of paint starts to add up when combined with the amount of square footage you want to cover.  Your children are requesting special colors, but you can’t see buying two gallons of paint for the coverage.  I have a solution that I’ve used in my own home to paint my house, get the color I want, and do it at a very low cost.

While contemplating how to paint my house, the solution seemed quite simple:  buy Oops! paint (paint that someone decided not to buy at the hardware store).  That seems so easy, but my dilemma was this:

1.  There wasn’t enough of the paint to get the coverage I wanted.

2.  Sometimes, it was the wrong type of paint:  I’d find a semi-gloss instead of matte.

3.  I couldn’t get the color I was trying to find.

My house is painted in the colors I like, and I did it by purchasing the discounted paint.  How?  Well, keep reading…..

The first time I tested mixing paints was with my youngest daughter’s bedroom.  She wanted her bedroom to be purple.    She was aiming more toward a lavender, but called it purple.  Every time I went to the hardware store, I checked to see what paints were discarded.  Amazingly, within a short period of time, I obtained two cans of paint a couple of shades off from each other that were discounted.

I bought a big plastic bucket from the hardware store that came with a lid to work with the paint.  Also, having a drill handy and a mixing paddle were very helpful tools.  A drill is a must have for all handymans and handymoms, and mixing paddles come in handy more often than you might think.  You insert the mixing paddle into your drill, and tighten it with a chuck key.  This will help stir your paint well in the bucket.

A mixing paddle, for my cooking friends, looks like  a large beater, and as you mix paints, you’ll get crazy notions to make large batches of cookie dough in your large bucket with your paddle, but toss those ideas aside and FOCUS on the task at hand.

The paints I picked up for my daughter’s room were actually two different finishes.  Mixed together, they made a durable combination, and the color came out great.  Just about anything I want to put in this room with a color of purple seems to go well.

I love this room.  Being in it makes me happy.  I never knew I could love this color so much.

For my kitchen, my husband came across a Kitchen and Bath paint for $5.00 in a mustard yellow color.  I was positive I wouldn’t like it.  I put it on the walls and was stunned that it made the kitchen feel like some sort of peaceful cafe.  It was the first time people really stuck around in the kitchen outside of eating meals.

Prior to painting this particular wall, my husband and I used to refer to it as the Wall of Shame.  It was a white mess of bad taping and nailing, but now…it looks pretty good….and, I’m stunned that I like the color.

The real challenge was the living area because I really wanted a beige or tan type of color.  I looked online to find out what the color I wanted consisted of when it came to mixing colors together.  I went to the store with the colors written down, and specifically looked for the colors that would help me make up the color I wanted for my walls.  I also knew how many gallons of paint I wanted and collected cans of paint until I knew I had reached enough of an amount that would provide the proper coverage.

Using a paper plate and a plastic spoon, I mixed colors up to get the color I wanted and added white to lighten it up.  The result was EXACTLY what I was trying to achieve.  My advice is to look up what colors the color you want is made up of, then mix it on a paper plate until you see how you can get the right color.  Then, slowly add the colors together in your large bucket (a large plastic bin works if you need A LOT of paint), and watch them as you mix them to make sure you come up with a color like what you mixed on the plate.

Here’s the color I wanted so badly and was able to create:


For my upstairs, I decided I’d like to create a popular green color that I had seen in a lot of homes and magazines.  I used the same method of first mixing colors together on a paper plate to get what I wanted and then mixing them together in a bucket and slowly adding color to achieve the same look.  I even paid attention to how many parts of each color I added to try to recreate what I did with teaspoons on a plate.  Again, remember to buy one can of white paint to lighten up your colors.

Here’s my green color:


When attempting to paint your house inexpensively, keep this in mind:

1.  Write down what colors you want for each room.

2.  Using an online calculator for the amount of paint you need for room size, and make a determination of how many gallons of paint you need.

3.  Keep an eye out after paint sales (around holidays), and hit up the stores the next day to see if any paint might exist that you could use.

4.  Check to see if you have a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore that not only sells paint for a very low price, but will benefit a charity as well.

5.  Look up the colors needed to create the color you want.  If you want to make purple, you could buy a blue and red.  If you want to make a green, you could buy a yellow and blue paint.  There are ways to achieve the colors you want without actually purchasing those colors.

6.  Keep an open mind and have fun with it.  I painted my whole house for a fraction of the price it would’ve cost to purchase a special paint color.  The beauty of all this is:  if you end up not liking the paint you created, you can always change it later.

Have fun with your painting projects, and enjoy being creative and frugal at the same time!

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4 thoughts on “How to Paint Your House for a Low Cost

  1. I love this idea, I would have never thought of this, Thank you so much for this idea, Genius, pure Genius!

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I came up with the idea because I figured there had to be a way to achieve what I wanted without spending a lot of money. I used up almost all of the paint too. 😉

  2. I only wish I had this info when we last painted the entire interior of our house!!!!

    1. Donna

      KC – I can’t remember the exact costs, but for 2,450 square feet, I do know I paid under $200…and that’s with a living area that has cathedral ceilings. It was a huge savings. That was just using the paint from the hardware stores. Going to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore would’ve saved me a lot more, but we just recently got one here. 🙂

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