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Next time you’re doing a DIY project that involves paint, see if you can get the right color for free before dropping any cash.
Since paint is considered a hazardous material, suppliers are better off selling it as cheap as they can or giving it away for free rather than disposing of it themselves.
Free paint colors are going to vary, and you may not get the amount you need to paint an entire room. But, you’re sure to find enough for small DIY projects or enough to paint an accent wall instead of an entire room. Here’s how:
1. Get free paint from your local recycling center, dump, or hazardous waste facility.
Hazardous waste facilities collect unwanted paint leftovers from homeowners or business owners and actually set it aside on a shelf for people to come take for free.
I recently went to my local hazardous waste facility and was able to take up to three paint buckets per day.
Some centers give away paint on a “first come, first served” basis whereas other centers designate “free paint giveaway” days throughout the year. Give your local recycling or hazardous waste center a call for their policy.
2. Get free paint shaking or re-tinting from Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Home Depot and Lowe’s both provide a good amount of freebies, including: free paint shaking or re-tinting. Lowe’s and Home Depot’s policy states that the paint must have been bought at their store in order to get the free service.
But I’ve had luck with getting old paint cans shaken without providing any proof of purchase. Be prepared to ask nicely.
3. Negotiate with your local hardware store to get mistinted or “oops” paint for free.
When a customer ends up with paint in the wrong color or finish, many stores will allow them to return the paint.
Instead of throwing it away, the store will sell mistinted or “oops” paint at a huge discount. For example, this $18 can was marked down to just $2.50! And you can actually negotiate prices or offer less.
Depending on how much you want, they may even give it to you for free.
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4. Get free paint from community marketplaces like FreeCycle.org.
When I was tackling some DIY jobs earlier this year, I was able to get free paint from Free Cycle, which is a community marketplace for folks to exchange free used items. FreeCycle.org is dependent on what’s available in your area, but you can also check other community marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Paint from Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace might cost you money, but you can also find it for free when people just want to get it off their hands.
Let me know if you have any questions or tips about getting free paint in the comments below. Thanks for reading!