Does Paint Go on Sale?

We were actually wondering about this recently because let’s be honest here, PAINT IS EXPENSIVE! Don’t get us wrong, we think painting a space is WELL worth the investment because it’s a DIY project that can instantly and dramatically transform any space. But the cost of paint adds up quickly… like really, really quickly. These days a gallon of paint can run over $50!

That’s when we started thinking, “does paint ever go on sale?!”  And if so, we need ALL the details because this $50 a gallon business is getting old.

valspar-paintEnter lots of research and an annoying amount of questions for B’s dad (who is a painting contractor by day, DIY Playbook coach + super fan by night and weekends). The good news for all of us is that we got some answers, and the GREAT news is that paint DOES goes on sale! Here’s the scoop:

1. When Does Paint Go on Sale? 

According to our research, large hardware retailers (like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, etc.) DO put their paint on sale usually in the summer months, and more specifically around summer holidays (weekend of Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day). <– mark your calendars, that is THIS weekend people!!

dutch-licorice-valspar-paintThere are also sales at specific paint supply stores (like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore) more frequently throughout the year. Subscribing to these brands’ email lists will help you keep up on exactly when these brands are hosting these sales.

Rookie Tip: When paint does go on sale, the most common sales are between 20%-35% off. 

2. Can I Stock Pile on Paint Now and Use It Later?navy-paint-samples

So what if the paint is on sale this weekend, but you really don’t need it until later this year? You’re a savvy shopper and we love that and we say GO FOR IT! Many of these stores will allow you to buy the paint now (on-sale) and bring back the paint months later to get it mixed into the color you’ll eventually need. Just make sure to check with your specific store first and make sure to save your receipt so that you can prove you bought the paint in that store.

Rookie Tip: If for some reason your paint job gets pushed back further than you anticipate, make sure the paint stays in a climate controlled place so that it doesn’t freeze over the winter. (More details on how to store paint safely over the winter in this post)

Christmas Card Paint Swatch

3. What If I Miss the Sale?

Well… if you’re not super picky on the exact color, you may still be in luck to get a discount on paint. Usually, all paint stores or large hardware retailers have a super clearance section for “misfit” paints, or as the professionals call it — the mis-tints (haha clever, right?!).  This collection of perfectly good paint is on super-duper sale (as low as $5 a gallon) because it was mixed with the wrong color or mixed with a different shade than anticipated or desired.

lowes-paint-swatches-nycAnother way to find paint that is discounted is by checking to see if the paint store or large hardware store is selling discontinued colors for a discounted rate. Just because the brand isn’t making that specific color anymore doesn’t mean that it won’t look amazing in your space.

Rookie Tip: If you do choose to go with a discontinued color for the discount, make sure you get enough paint to cover your project (and maybe a little extra just in case). 

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  • I was lucky when we painted our living room because Sherwin Williams was having a 40% off sale. I think they have them every quarter, so next time we’re going to be buying some stain for our deck!

    • 40% OFF?! That’s amazing!! What time of year did you buy that paint? Would love to add that to our post.

    • doowleb

      Just went to a Sherwin Williams sale 40% off yesterday. Still about $35.00/gallon. That would mean the reg. price is approx. 60.00/gallon.
      No one pays $60.00/gallon for paint. I smell a rat in their pricing structure and marketing.

    • You go girl! $35 a gallon sounds like a steal!!

    • Bilbo Baggins

      It is highly inflated and they use the 40% and 30% off as a pull, have for years. $60.00 gallon of their best paint, 40% off is $36.00. For that, you can buy a gallon of #1 rated paint for shelf price and some left over for a pack of rollers.

  • Trang

    Oh yeah, I only buy SW paints when they have their sales. Otherwise, it’s not affordable for me. And yes, they have been very good with allowing you to buy the paint when it’s on sale while I decided the color for later use.
    Unfortunately for me, I just dropped $130 this past week at Lowe’s on (4) one gallon paints, the 3M blue tape that you recommended when you painted your guest bedroom, a new brush, 6 rollers, and 12 paint trays. I just couldn’t wait the extra week for the Memorial Day sale??? UGH. Oh well, live and learn.

    • Noooo!! I wonder if you could bring back the receipt and see if they would the discount? Maybe??

    • Bilbo Baggins

      Nope, they will not honor the receipt. Especially if it has been tinted.

  • Kara D

    I never thought about actually buying the paint not-tinted and bringing it back later. Genius idea!

  • Katie

    Just took advantage of a Sherwin William’s sale today! 30% off through May 30 I believe. Got a gallon for $25.

    • YAY!! You go girl, thanks for sharing!! 30% … that’s awesome! What are you painting?!

    • Katie

      A nursery 🙂 Expecting a boy in September.

    • Congratulations!! What an exciting time!!

    • Bilbo Baggins

      Realize that SW paints are marked up drastically, so 30% of an over inflated price really is not a deal, it only seems like one. You can get a much better paint , ranked higher in CR and other lab scores for shelf price at other retailers. SW’s very best paint has a inflated retail of $55 which is much closer to $40, so you purchased their midline paint.

  • shawnna griffin

    hey girls great tips!

  • Jennifer Twomley

    Do you have a suggestion for selling an unopened gallon of paint? I overbought (rookie mistake) and have a Benjamin Moore gallon but they won’t take it back. It had awesome coverage so I thought I would need 2 gallons and used LESS than 1! Was just going to post on Offer Up for a little less than it costs in-store but if there is some specific paint re-sale site that would be more effective, that would be awesome.

    • That’s a great question and unfortunately we don’t have an answer! We even asked B’s dad (who works in the painting industry) and he didn’t really have an answer either!! So sorry we couldn’t help more, please let us know if you figure anything out. We would really love to know now too.

    • Bilbo Baggins

      Al states have rules for paint in travel and it is based on the V.O.C ‘s in the paint. Vol ital Organic Compounds. Those are the ingredients that emit into the atmosphere as the liquid dries. Most city municipalities will have a location to take unwanted paint. Latex paint, with low VOCs can be dried in the can and disposed of with the weekly waste. The poster above had a good comment. I have even seen paint for sale on eBay.

    • Laura Murphy

      Craigslist. Or donate it, to a charity that accepts home improvement materials. Habitat for Humanity has a store called the ReStore here in Oregon, which sells donated home repair and improvement materials. We also have a gov’t agency which will accept paint and recycle it. Good luck!

  • Noele Edwards

    I’m smitten with Benjamin Moore Advance paint for bathroom and kitchen cabinets. I know that it takes a very long time to finally harden. BUT When it does harden to a factory strong finish, it’s worth it. Does anyone know of a Benjamin Moore sale in May 2017? The regular price of $51 is outside my budget.

    • Good to know Noele! Not sure about sales…hopefully some other people chime in!

  • Bilbo Baggins

    The best time to buy paint are during all holidays that have a 3 day weekend. Memorial Day, Labor day and July 4th week. Most are 4 day periods but Home Depot and Lowes usually match July dates up to 12 days. Presidents Day sales here and there. If you buy paint bases to bring them back, how do you know which base to pick? Very light colors are tinted in the shelf white, or white base, dark colors in deep base and midtones in the neutral or mid base. Make sure you check into the front of the store with your receipt and give them a heads up.