Budget Decor Idea: Home Depot "Oops" Paint

Many of you may already know about this, but I wanted to share with you this great budget-minded idea when it comes to purchasing paint for your next home project: Home Depot's "Oops" paint.   "Oops" paint is simply paint that was mixed for a customer that did not turn out in the shade, finish or quantity they wanted, so it is offered for re-sale at a deeply discounted price.  Right now the going rate for a whole gallon of paint is only $5!

So here is all you have to do: go to the paint department of your local Home Depot (I believe other home improvement stores may do this as well) and ask for their "Oops" paint selections.  Sometimes they are up on the counter, or I have seen them behind the counter on the floor as well.  They will have a swab of the color of paint on the top of the can, as well as the usual labels identifying the brand and type of paint.  Don't get overzealous and grab something just because you like the color-make sure it is the right type for your project (interior, exterior, glossy, matte, etc.)  Also keep in mind that the color may be a little off from the original formula, and that may be the reason it was returned.  So make sure that it is enough for your whole project, as it may not be able to be matched perfectly for more.  You can always use a paint calculator for determining how much you will need beforehand.  Another idea is to buy different colors to mix together for a custom shade-this will work as long as they are the same type of finish.

I obsessively check the "Oops" paint selection any time I am at Home Depot in the hopes that there will be a color I like.  Some days there is literally nothing, other days there is a wide selection.  Your best bets are right after three day weekends or holidays, when people are doing lots of painting.  Yesterday I hit the jackpot:

Martha Stewart paint in "Milk Pail".  A pretty aqua/mint shade that immediately reminded me of Eucalyptus leaves and the shade of a vintage bottle I have listed in my shop.

$5 and I have myself a whole gallon of this pretty little shade.  Now to decide what to paint!  I didn't have a specific thing in mind for this, but it was too good to pass up.  It's the perfect cool, beachy hue that I love, and it will match well with the pale blue and gray walls I already have in my home.

I found a few examples of the paint in action online as a visual reference:

This cute little side table was refinished in the color. Via Apartment Therapy.

Looking lovely on a wall. Via flickr.

On a pantry door with an antique glaze over the top.  Via Clarendon Lane.

Sprucing up a display stand. Via The Speckled Dog

After my google search on the color I realized it is a pretty popular choice out there.  That is what I think is fun about checking for "Oops" paint-you never know what you will find and it may lead you to new color discoveries that you may not have made from staring at walls and walls full of paint chips.  I know I certainly get overwhelmed when trying to pick a paint color for a project.

Now what to paint? My ideas so far are the bathroom, a dresser in my family room, or perhaps the hall.  It needs to be a smaller space/item since I only have a gallon.

Do you check for "Oops" paint before projects? I'd love to hear your stories!  

First three images via Sweetie Pie Style
{I was not compensated in any way for this post-just wanted to share my find}


  1. nice color! i woulda snatched that up as well. i bought oops paint in a quart once for a whole DOLLAR! it was hot pink and i just had to have it.

  2. great color and can't wait to see how you use it! and love shopping the oops section.

  3. great score!! can't wait to see what you do with it! happy weekend - ox