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Decorator Q&A: What is "oops" paint?

By November 1, 2010

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Q.What is "oops" paint?
A.null Inaccurate or blooper paint, most commonly referred to as "oops" paint, is a fantastic way to save. It is sold at almost all paint counters and retailers at deep discounts - sometimes more than 75% off and as little as $1 per gallon - for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was mixed incorrectly or the wrong paint sheen was ordered (customer wanted eggshell not glossy), or maybe the customer went off to shop and never came back to pick up their paint. Whatever happened, their loss can be your gain!

Things to keep in mind when purchasing oops paint:
  • Oops paints can be retinted, though there are limits to what the guy (or gal) behind the paint counter can do. For example, it is almost impossible to make the color lighter, turn a green to red, etc.

  • Because these cans are often returned to the store, the can may not be completely full. Before buying, make sure you have enough of the color to finish your project. It may be extremely hard to match that same color again.

  • Make sure the color in the can matches the swatch on the outside of the can. Sometimes a store employee will retint the paint to keep a customer from returning the paint then buying it again at the deeply discounted price. They usually redot the lid with the new color, but not always. Sometimes customers take home paint and tamper with the mix at home. Just have the store employee pop the top and dot you a fresh sample.

  • Combining oops paints to make your own colors is simple to do and easy on the wallet, too. If you decide to do some color mixing at home, just make sure you only mix paints with the same sheen - flat with flat, glossy with glossy, etc.
If you'd like to submit a question, you are welcome to email me anytime. I'd love to hear from you!

Photo LOLren/flickr


February 2, 2012 at 9:12 am
(1) Keylon says:

Awesome way to save. Going to go look for oops paint today. thanks!

June 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm
(2) Jan says:

I go to home depot all the time for oops paint great buy

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