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.

The 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 score 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. Go to your local hardware store for mistinted or “oops” paint.

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.


3. Search Craigslist,, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp or Letgo.

You may have to pay for it, but you can also find it for free when people just want to get it off their hands.


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3 Ways to Get Free Paint for All Your DIY Needs