It’s easy to mix your own paint, and it’s a great way to save money on your decorating budget… especially if you’re like me with virtually no budget at all.
Everything I do has to be done as inexpensively as possible, and I’ve been mixing my own paint for years.
I like to repaint rooms every couple of years (sometimes even more often) and I shudder to think how much money I would have spent over the years if I was buying full-price store bought paint.
How to Mix Your Own Paint to Save Money
It’s not really that difficult to mix your own paint and it opens a whole range of possibilities for using leftover paint from other projects, and also with using Ooops or end of line paints from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore that might be the right color but not a light enough shade.
The two ReStores that I frequent sell gallons of paint for $10, and paint/primer gallon combos for $15. This is an awesome deal!
I’ve seen every brand, finish, and color you can imagine and I buy most of my paint this way. If I were to buy the same paint from the paint store the price would range from $30 to $75 a gallon depending on the brand. That’s a huge savings!
You don’t need any fancy mixing tools or drill attachments, but you certainly could use them if you like. All you really need is a paint stick and some patience.
The one important thing you need to remember is to only mix latex with latex , and oil with oil. Oil based and latex/water based paints do not mix… and never the two should meet. I never use oil paint for anything anyway so for me that isn’t an issue.
So here’s how I mixed my own color to repaint my red living room a while back.
How to Mix Your Own Paint
I started with a can of Ooops! blue paint and primer combo that was too dark for my liking, a white paint and primer combo, and a dried can of white paint that I used to mix.
The blue paint/primer cost $15, and I got 2 cans of white a while back when they were having a half price paint sale so the white paint here cost me $7.50.
I always hammer large holes into the rim of paint cans on the side that I’ll be pouring over. This really helps the paint drip back into the can and keep the inside rim clear.
I share more tips in my Top 10 Painting Tips, which you can get free in my Member Only Resource Library. All you have to do is subscribe to Color Me Thrifty here.
I poured about half of the blue paint into the empty white paint can.
I’m a wing it kind of gal so I never worry about measuring, but you certainly could if you want to.
Mixing blue and white paint for a lighter tone
Then I added the white paint little by little…
…mixing and stirring with the paint stick.
I added the white paint four different times to make sure that I didn’t have too much to mix in at a time.
And I just kept mixing and stirring.
It’s important to pull the paint from the bottom up as you’re mixing.
Mixing your own paint to create a custom color
After about 20 minutes of pouring and mixing and stirring I have my new paint colour.
Quite the difference from the one on the left which was way too dark for my liking.
I went ahead and did the second can of the lighter blue too, and I’ll be letting the white can of paint dry out for the next time I want to mix another colour.
So for $22.50 I have two gallons of a light sky bluish paint.
It took an entire gallon of this new color to paint over the red in the living room, so I have the other gallon to use as I wish. I might lighten it up again and use it in my family room. Who knows?
I’ve done this before. When I did my guest room makeover I started with a one gallon can of a robin egg blue Ooops paint. Then I mixed the leftover paint from that with white for my upstairs hallway makeover, and then I mixed what was leftover from that with more white and painted the hallway ceiling. I got two rooms and a ceiling painted, and there’s still about 1/4 gallon of the final paint color left.
Tips for Mixing Your Own Paint
One thing to remember when mixing your own paint is to make sure that you mix enough for whatever project you’re doing.
If you’re mixing two gallons like I did for painting a whole room, make sure to paint from the same gallon. If you don’t have enough paint from one can for two coats on the wall, use one can for the first coat and the other for the second coat. That way you’re sure that all the walls will look the same.
One tip for buying paint at the Restore. Always ask them to open the can. If the paint has separated too much don’t buy it. It means it’s been sitting around for a long time, and they don’t mix them for you. Also, it’s always a good idea to check the color.
So the next time you’re thinking about a paint project, check out your local ReStore. It’s a great way to save money while supporting a great cause at the same time.
It’s a win win!
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Thanks so much for reading, and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.