5 Uses for Leftover Paint Samples

1 Jul

Photo by John Loo via Flickr

Photo by John Loo via Flickr


Inspired by L. Bee’s beautiful living room and dining room, I purchased six samples of paint this past weekend to test out on my own living quarters. I’ve been living with Classic Taupe for several  years now, and while it works well with my chocolate and burnt orange accent walls, I confess I’m over the year-round autumn look of my abode and am ready for something fresh and modern. Having just installed wood floors, I think a warm gray will make for a great neutral. I’m a very visual person and seeing Lauren’s paint job really inspired me to get moving.

After bringing everything home, I realized I may have gone a little overboard. I spent $20 on six samples of paint, all of which were very close in color. (I guess six shades of gray isn’t as bad as 50? Sorry, had to go there.) The Valspar and Benjamin Moore samples come in pints, and I seem to be gravitating toward the Behr samples which are much smaller. So what to do with all this leftover paint? Here are some ideas I discovered on the Interwebs.

Home Decor
Naturally, Martha Stewart has lots of fun ideas for using up sample paint. I think numbers 1, 3 and 7 are my favorites in this slideshow of 9 ideas.

Doors & Shutters
More inspiration from L. Bee’s Starter Home Diaries (now part of her awesome blog L. Bee & the Money Tree). She enhanced her home’s curb appeal by painting her door with unused Benjamin Moore sample paint. She plans to paint the shutters, too, which I think will really make her darling home pop!

This roundup of ideas from HomeRehabOnline got me thinking about a wooden chair I once tried to paint when I was pretty young and still living with my parents. I got as far as the primer or sealant and it’s had a washed-out look ever since (and not in a good way). Perhaps it will look better in gray…

Abstract Art
I’ll definitely have to be “in a mood” to do this one, but creating abstract art is an interesting idea. There’s a piece of art in the yoga studio I used to attend that I really loved — just horizontal lines of color in soothing tones that reminded me of the beach. Methinks some of the bluer-toned grays would do well in a piece like this.

Base Coat
Big thanks to DIY Life for this practical application of sample paint (and likely one I can do immediately). In addition to the main living area, I’d also like to pick new paint colors for my accent walls. I’ll have to cover up the rich chocolate and burnt orange with a base coat before I apply the new color, and my light-colored gray samples will work well for this purpose. They won’t go very far but at least I can use them up!

What are some of your ideas for using leftover paint samples?

6 Responses to “5 Uses for Leftover Paint Samples”

  1. Holly@ClubThrifty July 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Ugh, I have a TON Of leftover paint and paint samples. I use some of it as touch-up paint, but the rest just sits there. Good ideas!

    • Kendal July 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      Right!? The cupboard in my laundry room is full of leftover paint and paint samples. I never thought to look up ideas on how to use them but I’m happy I did. Thanks for commenting, Holly!

  2. Marie @ Financial Debauchery July 2, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    When there was a leftover paint samples, we painted our rubber flower pots because we had almost three dozen flower pots. And we didn’t even imagine how it turned out to be a colorful flower pots!

    • Kendal July 2, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      Another awesome idea! I have leftover chocolate, burnt orange and sage green paint that would look amazing on flower pots. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Marie!

  3. Kim R. July 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    I learned a cute trick for painted canvases:

    Use the leftover as a base on the canvas – mix it up, slosh it on, paint it in circles/streaks, whatever – make a mess. Let it dry and then cover the canvas with vinyl letters spread out in a saying you want. Paint over the letters with a solid paint (white, black, or a bold paint color that complements the room). Let dry, then peel off the vinyl letters.

    What you reveal is the sloshed on leftover paint reveals a nice foundation for a pretty print. And the colors complements the colors in your room already!

    • Kendal July 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      GENIUS! Love this idea. Thank you so much Kim! And THANK YOU for visiting my blog! I’ve read a few of your recent posts and it sounds like you have a lot going on this summer.