Getting Designer Paint Colors for Less

We’re having a pants party! Steve Carell welcomes you…
Okay it’s technically a paints party…sorry if you’re disappointed, but I’m excited. We finally have some color upstairs! About time, right? I know, I’ve ranted about it for the past month. Living in a sea of white is something I want to leave in my apartment-dwelling days (room reveal at the bottom of this post…hang with me for a sec).
While I was researching pricing options, I checked with my local Sherwin Williams just to ask about pricing for the SW SuperPaint (paint + primer) and a 5 gallon bucket came to be $265. Uh…say again? Little ol’ penny pinching me had a mini heart attack. I graciously thanked the saleslady, hustled on out of the store, and never looked back. The only thing is, I reeeaaally am obsessed with their colors so I was faced with my usual problem of a champagne taste on a beer can budget.
I settled with the thought of finding a close match to my longed-for designer colors and my disappointed self trudged on over to Lowe’s to pick up a 5 gallon bucket of Valspar Signature in Portico, the closest shade I could find to the Sherwin Williams Sea Salt color I wanted. But Portico was still too green for me. I asked the paint mixer guy (who was very helpful as I asked him a million questions about paint tricks) if he could mix my choice of Sherwin Williams Sea Salt color into the Valspar paint. 20 minutes later, I had my 5 gallon bucket in a designer shade for $152. That’s over $110 cheaper than the SW brand! Maybe you guys already knew that you could mix colors from different brands into any kind of paint, but being a newbie at this homeowner thing, it was news to me.
The savings gets better. Today, as I was on the Lowe’s website looking for something totally unrelated (that I’ll reveal in a later project post) I found out that Valspar is running a rebate for $5 off per gallon of paint and it’s unlimited per household. In case you need it, here is the link. So instead of the $110 price difference from the SW brand, I’ve now saved $135. (I love crunching numbers to see how much money I saved in the end. Extreme couponers out there, you understand my joy.)
I know some people will argue that you can’t rival Sherwin Williams’ quality, but I can honestly say that I did not see a big enough difference to justify spending more. I’ve used Sherwin Williams before, but the Valspar stuff satisfied my champagne taste just fine, and it actually resulted in the best paint job Robert and I have ever done. There isn’t a streak to be seen.
I love how calming this paint is and it is so versatile since it is one of those chameleon colors that can change depending on what other colors are around it. It can shift from a cool gray to a pale green to a watery blue. This is technically Olivia’s bathroom, but it’s the one guests will use as well when we have visitors. I didn’t want a hot pink bathroom that screamed, “Hi! I love Barbie and princesses!” I think it has just enough little girl elements thrown in. :)There are still a few things I want to do in here like frame out the mirror (or replace with a nicer one if it’s cheaper than framing), paint the cabinets white, and add board and batten with towel hooks. I need to style those thrift store shelves too. Toilet paper isn’t exactly the most appealing decor, but I stuck it up there for now just to have something there. One day waaaay in the future, we might even be able to add real tile instead of the linoleum. But it’s hard to even tell it’s not the real deal even in person, so I’m in no hurry.

We only have the hall bathroom painted in the upstairs so far, but we plan on using this color in the powder room and laundry room too. It might even pop up in other parts of the house if we have enough left over. I warned you; I’m obsessed.

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  1. I’m still confused about this. So you ask the hardware store to use the same colorant mixture as “Sea Salt” (or another designer color) into their base? How do they know what colors and the amount to mix in? (The recipe for the desired color).

    Thank you!!!

    1. Most everywhere that sells paint has a database with all different brands’ paint color formulas. So you can just walk up to the paint desk at Home Depot and tell them “I’d like a gallon of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl”, and they can just type that color into their computer and match that color in a can of Behr base for you.

    1. Hi Ashley! It can be done in smaller amounts like gallons and even quart sizes. You just tell the hardware store associate that you want “Sherwin William Sea Salt” (or whatever designer color mixed into Valspar (or whatever store brand) and that’s it. 🙂 I’m not sure if they can adjust the pigments from there though. I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask.