Tuesday Tips: Buying Paint
One of the most expensive supplies in a painting project is the paint. It's hard to believe, since it's just paint, but paint a room with cheap stuff and it shows. High-end paint can run you $100 a gallon. So here are a few tips on buying paint without taking out a second mortgage on your home:
Tip #1: If you're painting to sell a house, consider using a lower grade paint in a neutral color and a flat finish. A new owner will likely paint the room their own color anyway and you haven't spent a ton of money to make your house look nice while it's on the market. "You're not going to get a lot of wear in the time from when you paint it to when you sell it," said Bill Thornton, owner of Potomac Paint, a paint store in Alexandria, Arlington and Chantilly.
Tip #2: Think about the space that you're painting. It will dictate what kind of grade of paint you buy. Builders grade, which is the lowest, may not withstand cleaning products that you use to clean the walls. Higher grades, such as contractor grade, will withstand ammonia-based cleaners, as well as magic markers and other stains.
Tip #3: Before you head to the paint store, look online for coupons and sales. Brands that are sold in boutique paint stores like Benjamin Moore and Duron often have discounts at certain times of the year, as well as online, printable coupons.
Tip #4: Ask for a discount if you're painting the entire house. Some stores will cut some of the price if you're buying several gallons of paint. It also never hurts to ask for a discount if it's a house you're trying to sell before a potential foreclosure. "We try to work with people and if they tell us that they're pinching pennies for whatever reason, we try to be a good neighbor," Thornton said.
Tip #5: If you're using a contractor to do your painting, ask if they have discounts at any paint stores. Many contractors have relationships with paint stores that give them small discounts for exclusively buying their paint.
Tip #6: Think about how much you want to paint. A higher quality paint might often mean you're rolling on fewer coats of paint, which means less expense in the end.
Tip #7: Don't buy the most expensive paint supplies, such as brushes and rollers, if you're just doing one small project. And use less expensive plastic drop cloths rather than canvas ones. Old shower curtains work great as well. And if you don't need a whole gallon of paint, buy two quarts instead. "Two quarts costs less than a gallon," Thornton says.
What are your tips for buying paint on a budget? Who has the best deals?
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