Where To Buy Cheap Paint And Painting Supplies

by frugalrvers

Last year we renovated a large motorhome we purchased, but had to do it on the cheap. These where to buy cheap paint and painting supplies tips are for anyone, in an rv or house.

Nothing perks up your spirits like giving your living space a new look. But if you're like us, living simply and being frugal, the huge expense is out of the question.

So we found the best ways to give our rv a new look, completely on the cheap. Recently we did an annual touch up and thought it was a good time to write about the tricks we've discovered.

We'll share our tips here, but will also say that even if we had all of the money in the world, it was more fun and rewarding to do it ourselves, even on a puny budget, than to hire someone or spend moolah on fancy things.

The end result isn't perfect, but neither are we - we like to think it shows our true character!

Where To Get Cheap Paint

Cheap Painting Begins In Your Mind....

So this article would be pretty, um, pathetic if I didn't answer "where to get cheap paint." And I'm getting to that...so hold your horses! But here is the thing...my entire frugal rv lifestyle is about living on the cheap - which isn't at all about finding an $80 gallon of premier paint for $50, compliments of some promo code. Nope...it is about changing your mindset, thinking outside of the box, and throwing in some creativity. I would never throw $50 away on a gallon of premier paint - it just wouldn't happen.

See...there is a lot of cheap and free stuff out there in the world. Once you convince yourself you don't have to have "the best" of this and that, you won't believe how inexpensively you can remodel anything in your home. Again, we had nearly a zero budget to turn a 1993 Fleetwood Bounder motorhome from ugh to "ahhhh." But we did it...We just recently painted a small area in our rv and used the leftover paint from over a year ago. Got me thinking it was time to share some frugal painting ideas!

Our RV Redecorating BEFORE

Our Motorhome
Our Motorhome

Our RV Decorating AFTER

Quite An Improvement
Quite An Improvement

Cheap Wall Paint Tips

When it comes to finding inexpensive wall paint, we learned quite a few things along the way. Here are our cheap wall painting tips:

Let Cheap Paint Determine Your Style:

We found great paint in two places, and I know there are others just like it out there. Walmart often has a small shelf in their paint department of mixed paints that a customer never picked up, returned, etc. They are fresh and new and deeply discounted. Also, you can find great used/donated paints for smaller jobs at Habitat For Humanity Restores (plus other home improvement items!). The tip here is that you can create your look around the bargain you find. You may be dead set on a powder blue bathroom, but then you find a gallon of discounted snowy gray paint, saving a bundle!

How Premium Is Premium, Really?:

We couldn't be happier with flat, interior wall paint from Walmart (or any store that is similar). When we couldn't find clearance paint, we paid next to nothing for the lowest end paint we could find, and it holds up great...even in a challenging rv environment year round.

Buy Large, Use In More Than One Area:

The price for a quart of paint vs. a gallon is only a few dollars more. Go BIG and think of creative ways to use it in other areas of your home. As you see in our photos, we even used it on cabinets to give the rv kitchen a makeover.

Garage Sales, Craigslist, Etc:

So many people have paint sitting around their home, leftover from their own remodeling. Check on craigslist (or post a wanted ad) and hit some garage sales, asking folks if they have paint they no longer want. They often won't put it out, but you'd be amazed how many garages are full of it!

Test A Small Area, Ignore Experts:

If you are panicked about going the inexpensive route, then find a wall or inside of a closet and TRY IT FIRST. Why spend ten times the cost making the assumption that name brand equates to perfection? You aren't going to do the entire home before making the assessment, right? So go cheap, try it and if it looks good, finish the job!

Cheap Painting Supplies Tips

Just like buying inexpensive paint, there are tricks we have learned about finding cheap paint supplies. Here are our tips:

Buy Only What You Need And Will Use:

I know this sounds very simplistic, but you wouldn't believe how many paint supplies are out there these days!!

I came home with way too many in addition to brushes I would never, ever use...keep those receipts! Make a list of what you will need before going to the store or you will come home with unnecessary expenses.

Dollar Stores Are King:

Do you need an eight dollar floor tarp? No...you really don't. Dollar stores have one dollar, large drop cloths that do fine. They are thin, so get some rocks and put them on the corners if you don't want them to move around. They still catch the paint splatters!

We also used small sponge brushes (a buck for a variety bag of eight!), small roller brushes, edgers and even painter's tape (costs a fortune at a home improvement store). Perhaps you want to buy a nice roller for a large wall area...so splurge a few bucks on that, but get the rest at dollar stores!

Once Again, Thrift Stores:

Habitat For Humanity Restore is our favorite spot for home improvement supplies that cost next to nothing (we got our vinyl flooring for a few bucks there, and it was new). But if you don't have one nearby, search local thrift stores for other supplies. You can save a bundle.

Avoid The Gadgets:

Don't fall for the "must have" painting gadget of the year. Yes, there are edgers, cornerers (not a word, I know), upside-downers...but once you are in it, believe me, you won't use most of them. I learned that the hard way!

The truth is that it is a PAIN to change out brushes and devices for every little detail, so you will find an item you like for borders and one for large areas...and that's about it...you won't use anything else and they will sit there in their packaging. You can always run to the store later if you believe you really need this or that. Start simple - it makes painting easier.


Updated: 05/22/2018, frugalrvers
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Any Tips On Where To Buy Cheap Paint?

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katiem2 on 10/23/2012

Painting always makes me feel good, doing it yourself that is. Saving money on the paint makes it feel all the better and more rewarding. Money is not meant to be wasted. :)

frugalrvers on 10/23/2012

It does make you smile, doesn't it? Nothing like doing something yourself, with whatever you've got!

Ragtimelil on 10/22/2012

Cheap paint works for me, I just painted my ugly old wood cabinets with leftover craft paint. It makes me smile when I look at it.

frugalrvers on 10/22/2012

Thanks Katie and Brenda! We are sorta pushed into overspending, needing the "best" and going for brand names. It's just so silly and wasteful, even those with a lot of moolah, to spend it on perception and advertising claims. It is so rewarding to DIY, too!

BrendaReeves on 10/22/2012

I've always bought the cheapest paint when painting my house. I've never had a problem with it. Nice article.

katiem2 on 10/22/2012

I love your motor home, great color choice. Thanks for the great tip on the best deals on cheap paint. I always have something that could use a coat of paint. :)K

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