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“Ooops” paint. Recycled paint. Mistints. We have painted over 75% of the house, 2500 square feet, in mistints. Mistints are wonderful. They are paint that is at least a 50% reduction in price. If you look enough, you will find what you need in the finish that need. That being said. It’s became a little bit of an obsession. We frequently visited all the home improvement stores in town at least bi-weekly during our painting phase. I have used mistints to paint the kitchen and studio a perfect 50’s aqua, the great room a deep gray, the dining nook a cool gray, a strange mushroomy shade for the bedroom and media room, a girly pink for the boudoir, and a boring buttery taupe for the foyers. Along the way, I have collected lots of putties, whites, and pale blues to paint furniture in. This is our Wonderful Wall of Mistints, you should see the Wonderful World of 5 Gallons in the garage.

Mistints are awesome because:

They are cheap. They are 50%-75% cheaper than retail.A gallon ranges from $5 to $10, 5 gallons from $25-$50, and the smaller sizes from $1-$2.50. Usually all brands are priced the same. This means that you could get the high-end or designer paint for $5, even the specialty metallic finishes.

They are resourceful. Mistints are really “green”. Where do you think this stuff goes if it isn’t sold? Into our landfills. Why create more waste when you have new paint already mixed? Most paint is no or low VOC these days, but this doesn’t mean that they will be environmentally friendly if we put them in landfills! This is why some trendy people like to call mistints “recycled” paints.

They are exciting. OK, this is a stretch. But, it is so much fun to find what you were looking for. It is a bit of rush. If you are thrifter then you know what I’m talking about.

They aren’t just for walls. Artists and crafters, house paint is acrylic paint. You can get a gallon of paint for $5! You can mix colors and put them in smaller bottles. Buy mistints for your art. Buy mistints to paint your flea market furniture and picture frames. You can also find stains with the “ooops” paints.

I find that our culture has a strange relationship with color. Many Americans can’t see the difference between a cool tone red or a warm tone red, but they get so picky when it comes to paint. They fret and worry about paint. It’s nuts. When I worked in the makeup biz, I learned about this strange obsession. They believed, like a prince in shining armor that offered true love, that there was only one shade that would work with their skin. Any makeup artist will tell you that it is like a Bell curve, making a minimal of 6 shades that will work under any lighting or circumstance. Paints are the same. Anyways, wasn’t I talking about home stuff and paint?  I find new mistints every time I go to the store. Many times I think the colors are wickedly ugly such as  LED light blues. Nasty.  Those mistints prove that the person getting them mixed was tasteless. But, tasteless or not, they left them. They were smacked out of their color delusion. Most of the time I find decent shades. I think these are the freaky people. The people that geek because the color doesn’t match the zig-zag stripe in their living room curtains. These are the matchy-matchy people. I am not one of these people. They terrify me.I’m the bird of prey that swoops in, picking up on their mistints and profiting from their type A personalty. I see colors in a spectrum and like cosmetic colors, colors used in decorating have some “bend” to them. There is not just one “perfect” color, but a “perfect” family of colors. But, this being said, I don’t see things as matchy-matchy and I don’t go to big ass “art” sales at the hotel to purchase “couch-sized hand-painted oil paintings”. I don’t take the Rooms to Go approach to decorating. It’s just not me.

Tips for Buying Mistints:

Start searching early. Check for mistints months before you actually start painting. This gives you more time to get what you want.

Shop for mistints in the spring-summer. I have found, at least in our area, that more mistints show up in these seasons because more people are doing home renovation projects and are most likely moving in the summer.

Have guidelines. For example, if you did not want a glossy finish and you found a perfect robin’s egg blue in a gloss but you wanted flat. Don’t buy it. You won’t be happy. Also, have some idea of what color you are looking for either be “blues” or “sorbet pales”. It makes life easier and if you have an idea of what you want, you’ll be happier. Plus, you need to buy the right paint for you space. No flats in the bathroom.

Be flexible. Have guidelines that keep you from bringing home any ole’ tub of paint, but be flexible. For example, there isn’t that big of difference between a satin or an egg-shell. Most people won’t notice that your mint is cooler than the what you had wanted. In the end when you have all of your furniture and decor in, your space will look great. Any new color or a fresh coat of paint makes a space look polished, even if it is mintier than the mint you wanted 🙂

Mix it and stir it! I have found that mistints are usually the “tricky” colors. They look like one color when they are wet and completely change when they dry. Mix them thoroughly to get the pigments evenly distributed. Be a little compulsive about it, stirring during the painting process or before you pour new paint into your tray. (Really you should do this with all paint).

Keep a color sample of the paint. If for some reason you miscalculated and need more paint, they can mix it. Keep a color sample or the can. Cans usually have bar codes on them that hold the “secrets” of the mixture.

More advice and learning by renovating: Exterior paints in the interior won’t make the place self destruct, but it takes a long time to dry. We used an exterior in the interior in the great room. It went on fine and even; it was better than most of the interior formulas. We didn’t hang pictures for about a week. Paint is paint and you can’t tell the difference. People go, “Oh, you’ll have to prime that when you want to change colors”. Yeah, I will. From my experience you have to prime everything, especially a dark liver gray on lath and plaster walls. Today’s paints require and expect that you’ll prime.

-Victoria

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