The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap

A simple trick for getting designer paint colors at inexpensive hardware store prices.

At least once a week, I get a paint question in my inbox. And most of the time it’s either 1.) What paint color is in your [insert room here]? Or 2.) What do you mean you mixed one paint color into another?

I guess I just gave away my paint trick at the very beginning of this post, huh?
The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

For the past two years since starting this blog, I just assumed most people knew this little paint color trick, but the more I find this question in my inbox, the more I realize that maybe it’s not as common knowledge as I thought.

So guess what! Here’s the kicker: You can mix any brand’s paint color into any brand of paint you want.

I’m completely hooked on designer paint colors, but I often don’t have room in the budget to spend on those brands or don’t want to wait on a sale or don’t feel like driving across town with a squirmy toddler for a special trip to pick up a gallon at the paint store.

A lot of times, I get the Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore colors I want mixed into Glidden or Valspar (depending on if I happen to be in Home Depot or Lowe’s).

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

There are hundreds, even thousands, of paint colors in an online database, so you can walk right up to the hardware store counter and pick what you want, and you’re not limited to just whatever color swatches happen to be on the wall in the store.

I’ve tried a lot of different paints, and Glidden seems to be my favorite, less pricey option lately.

See that label below? That’s Glidden paint but in the color Moonshine by Benjamin Moore. And the Glidden is about $22 less per gallon than Benjamin Moore. I’ve even gotten rebates on top of that before too.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

I do really like the coverage of Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, but most of the time, a gallon of the less expensive brand is still all I need for one room. And Robert seems to have perfected the art of painting a whole room in one coat too.

So now you know my handy little secret, if that was a tip you didn’t already have in your budget DIY bank. Every penny counts, right?

And about those paint colors…

I’ve been meaning for so long to round up all of the paint colors in our house into one post. Our house still has a couple of bare rooms left upstairs, but I’ll probably just come back and update this post when we get to those.

Guest/Kid’s BathroomSherwin Williams Sea Salt mixed in Valspar

This paint color is my absolute favorite color in our whole house because it’s so peaceful and clean feeling. It’s in our powder room as well, and might even end up in our laundry room one day when the time comes. It is definitely one of those chameleon colors that seems to change with the light to shift between blue, green, and gray.

Oh, and the bathroom cabinets- Benjamin Moore Winter Gates mixed into Valspar

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

Master BathroomSherwin Williams Pediment mixed into Valspar

This one is my favorite light neutral that has a really great balance between warm and cool tones, so it’s one of those great no-brainers when you’re feeling stuck on choosing a paint color.

For our cabinets, the same color as our guest/kid’s bathroom is on them- Benjamin Moore Winter Gates.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

OfficeSherwin Williams Pediment mixed into Valspar

We had a leftover gallon from our master bathroom and a white room. Makes sense to me! Waste not, want not. I sometimes wonder if I should have gone hyper masculine in this room with a really dark, handsome color but I do still like the Pediment.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

Master BedroomBenjamin Moore Moonshine mixed into Glidden

We just kicked off the first step of this room makeover, but I’m thrilled with this color. It is a very light gray, peaceful, and perfect for a bedroom.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

FoyerSherwin Williams Pure White mixed into Valspar

This white is my go-to throughout our house for our plank wall, trim, fireplace, anything.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

Olivia’s BedroomBenjamin Moore Grey Owl mixed into Sherwin Williams 

Sherwin Williams was having a 40% off sale when I decided on this color. I love this light gray color and could easily paint our entire house in it. To me, it has a tiny hint of blue in it.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

Dining RoomSherwin Williams Perfect Greige

This is one of those colors that I sort of regretted. I had to choose a paint color in a hurry for the entire downstairs before moving in (during another 40% off sale), and my method of doing that was just picking from a bunch of paint card swatches in a matter of a few minutes. It’s not that I don’t like this color, but it is darker and more beige than I had planned. But we all have to learn our lessons somewhere. It does seem to change quite a bit with the light and sometimes appears to be gray depending on how the sun hits it. It’s pretty, just not what I would have picked in hindsight. And it doesn’t bother me enough to want to repaint either.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

Yep, it’s in our living room, kitchen, and breakfast area too.

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, our kitchen chairs are painted in Annie Sloan Duck Egg. My fave color for us neutral-loving, color-fearing gals!

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

There ya go! A full color palette tour of our house. I put them all in one place in case you ever want to pin it for future reference:

The Trick to Get Designer Paint Colors on the Cheap |

You can check out more of my paint color choosing tips on this post too:


And a few painting pointers for saving time here:

Quick Tips to Make Painting a Breeze

Since we still have our laundry room and playroom to tackle in the paint department, I’m still on the lookout for any that inspire me. I would love to hear your favorites! Are there any paint colors out there that you’re jazz-hands level excited about?



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  1. Hi Lauren. I just recently found your site. Love your “taste.” I saw where you thought SW Greige may have been a mistake. What color would you have chosen? I’m ready to repaint and could use some guidance. Thanks .

    1. Hi Kathleen! I just didn’t like how dark it was in our space. SW Agreeable Gray would have been the closest to that color, just lighter. Hope that helps!

  2. Laura, I really like your paint colors. Especially the Sea Salt. I had to choose a paint color for the entire house inside. I wanted something neutral so I chose Accessible Beige. Depending on the light and time of day it can have a green tone or a grey tone. I like the fact it does not have violet undertones. I love the double paddle fan in your living room with the light in the center. Where did you find that?

  3. I recently learned that the Glidden line at Home Depot was recently changed to PPG (Pittsburg Paints) as their supplier. As a result, the quality has improved greatly and it is called their Diamond line. In fact, I understand that Behr lowered their prices to compete. So, better paint with a lower price, check it out.

    Jo McGee

  4. I love your paint colors!! You have saved me a lot of time and stress by sharing them in your beautiful home! Thank you!

  5. Glad I saw this site as I am painting parents florida condo (1,000sq). Selecting the paint has been the most difficult. I am painting SW Sea Salt in living/dining/hallway/kitchen area since there is not dividing line. I am struggling with color for (2) bedrooms (ea have bath). I will take your idea and pain baths SW Pediment. I would greatly appreciate any suggestion on bedroom colors, maybe soft yellow? Also SW Pure white did you use for all of your trim and baseboards? Thank you in advance.

    1. So glad it could help, Diane! SW Pediment would be very pretty alongside the Sea Salt. I’m not sure about the trim and baseboards since our builder painted those but it’s very close in color to the SW Pure White that we painted on our fireplace. I haven’t had personal experience with any soft yellows in our house. I usually stick to cooler/blue tones in bedrooms because they tend to be more relaxing. We have Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and Benjamin Moore Moonshine in our two bedrooms and really love them. They are both a cool gray.

  6. Will Sherwin Williams mix up any color tint? I love BM coventry gray and I have 3 gallons of untinted base paint from sherwin williams. Or can I take the SW base paint into Home Depot and have them do it for me?

    1. Absolutely! Or at least, I’ve never had an issue. But most paint retailers can mix any color paint and even create an entirely new shade for you through color matching if you bring in a fabric swatch. I don’t think you can take a SW base into Home Depot though. You would have to go to SW for that.

  7. Here’s another thrifty tip for ya… you don’t have to tint it when you buy it. We went into Sherwin Williams during a 40% off sale and when I was having trouble deciding colors the associate said “Oh, you can buy the base gallon and just bring it back to be tinted whenever you decide.” So we did just that, bought enough paint for our entire new house and just finally got the last gallon tinted 2 years later!!

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I will definitely be trying that tip next. Can’t beat Sherwin Williams for sure. It’s the good stuff. 😉

  8. Silly question, How do you get home depot to mix shermin williams color? do you bring the swatch or do you just tell them sw color and they have it? thanks so much your home is beautiful!

    1. Not silly at all! You actually don’t even need a swatch. You can just walk up to the Home Depot counter and tell them you want the Sherwin Williams color “Sea Salt” (just for an example) in a gallon of Glidden Duo Matte and they can just look it up in their database and mix it right there for you. The machine knows the amount of color pigments it’s supposed to mix based on what’s in the database.

    1. Actually, it’s even easier than that. You don’t need a color swatch card at all, and they mix the exact pigment codes that Sherwin Williams would. You can just go up to the counter, tell them you need say a gallon of Glidden Duo Matte in the Sherwin Williams color Sea Salt (as an example) and they can look it up in their database and let the computer do the rest. There’s really no trial and error at all.

      1. I wish that the paint department at my Home Depot knew how to do that. They don’t. They couldn’t even match a PPG color, and they carry that brand now. Hey told me that the PPG colors in Home Depot are not the same color names as the PPG colors at the PPG store.

    1. Oh! I should add that! I stick to mostly eggshell/matte finishes. The only paint sheen in our house that’s different is our Sea Salt color in the bathroom, which is in a satin sheen to prevent mildew. That sheen is best for bathrooms.

  9. I only use Sherwin Williams paint (love the coverage of their cashmere line which is one of their more pricey ones) but I’m also on a tight budget so this is how I do it for less. When they have a 40% off sale I stock up on a few gallons. I purchase 2 on on 1 receipt and use a $10 off coupon you can get online at the same time. (They also always have one at the register) If I know I will need more than 2 then I ask them to ring up the next 2 on a seperate receipt and they will let you use the coupon again. It comes to $26.79 per gallon in my area when I do it that way. You don’t have to get the paint color put in it at that time. When you are ready to paint a room you can bring it back to the store to get the paint color added…would be running errands sometime that week anyway.

    1. THAT is an awesome idea, Nancy! I never even thought about buying the paint with no color in it to take back later. I love the Sherwin Williams paint coverage too.

  10. Yes, I do this too! Our whole house is done BM and SW colors but in either Valspar or Porter Paint (we used a friend’s professional painter discount there) paint. We have Moonshine in our daughter’s nursery and Sea Salt in our kids/guest bath too!

    1. I agree! It’s my fave! If you love that one, I bet you’ll like Sherwin Williams Silver Strand too. It reminds me a lot of Sea Salt. Just slightly more gray.

  11. I love your paint colors! I adore the colors of Benjamin Moore. It’s so hard to decide on one because there are so many I love.
    Do you want to hear one of my favorite tips? I can’t take credit…it is really my mother-in-law’s tip. I love a painted ceiling because I think taking it away from the builder grade bright white makes it feel more special. Pick out the perfect wall color and remove 1/3 of the gallon to save for the ceiling. Paint the walls the full color. Then, add 1/3 of the gallon to a gallon of bright white paint to paint the ceiling. That way the ceiling and the wall are perfectly coordinated with the same tone. It still keeps the ceiling light but makes it look more polished.

    1. That’s a great tip, Nancy! I have heard that lightening your wall color to put on the ceiling will make the room appear taller. Down here in SC, we love our “haint” blue ceilings too. 😉

  12. I am painting my master bath today. I’m using SW6239 Upward and I love it. It is a light blue. I think it would also look great in a laundry room.

    1. Oh that’s a good one too! I had that in the running when I was looking at paint colors for our master bedroom. It’s beautiful!

  13. Hey thank you so much for this post.
    I don’t want to be annoying, but can you just let me know how much of the vaspar and how much of the SW seasalt you used on your guest bathroom.
    That color looks perfect and I don’t want to mess it up! Thank you!

    1. Not annoying at all! I’m glad to help! I just used a gallon of Valspar in the color Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams for our guest bathroom. If I recall, I think we even had a little leftover.

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