Do Paint Samples Cost Money?

Paint samples are a great way to test a color before committing to it full scale. But do paint samples cost money? Let's take a look before you make your purchase.

Depending on the type of paint sample you purchase, the cost can vary. Most paint swatches are free to take home and test, but if you need a more accurate representation of the color for your project, it may be necessary to pay for a sample jar or peel-and-stick paint swatch. 8-ounce paint samples can cost around $5 and up, while peel-and-stick paint samples, on average, cost $2.

There are different circumstances as to when you should choose a certain type of paint sample. In this article, we will take a closer look at the costs of paint samples. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about paint samples, so read on!

Roller Brush Painting, Worker painting on steel surface wall by the roller brush for protection and corrosion. - Do Paint Samples Cost Money

How Much Do Paint Samples Cost?

Painting a room in your home can be exciting, but it can also be a bit intimidating. Choosing a color that fits your style and decor can be difficult. From so many colors to finishes and tints, it can get overwhelming.

Paint samples can be a great way to test out colors before committing. Most paint companies offer free samples and color cards, which allow customers to take home small swatches for testing.

Paint swatches aren't really painted. Instead, they are pigmentation samples to give you an idea of what the paint will look like. These are great for the very beginning of your process, and they can help you narrow down possible colors.

Grab a variety of paint swatches to test out on the walls. From there, you can pick out which colors work best for your project. From there, you can buy peel-and-paint samples to continue narrowing down your options. Peel-and-paint samples are usually around $2 each, and they offer a more accurate representation of the color.

Now, when you have narrowed it down to 2-3 colors, it may be helpful to buy an 8-ounce paint sample. A small jar of paint can cost around $5-15 depending on the finish and brand, but this is still a fraction of the cost of an entire can of paint.

The 8-ounce can give you a much better representation of the color and finish, so it may be worth the investment.

Rear view of a woman testing different paint shades over the wall.

How Much Does A Gallon Of Paint Cost?

Once you have chosen a paint color, it's time to commit to a gallon or more. The cost of a gallon of paint can vary greatly, depending on the brand and type.

High-end paints are more expensive than mid-range or lower-end brands. A premium can of paint costs $60-100 per gallon, while an economy version may only be around $15-20 a gallon.

In addition to the brand, other factors such as the finish, the color, and the quality of the paint will all affect the cost. Generally speaking, a gallon of semi-gloss or gloss paint tends to be pricier than flat or eggshell finishes.

It's always important to research different brands before committing to a purchase, as the cost of paint can add up quickly. It's also a good idea to buy extra to account for any mistakes or touch-ups down the line.

You also need to think of the area you are painting before buying a high or low-quality paint. If it's for a spare room that doesn't see much traffic, a mid-range paint may be suitable, while high-end paints are better suited to areas that will get more wear and tear.

How Many Square Feet Does A Sample Paint Cover?

Typically, an 8-ounce can of paint can cover 16 square feet. This may vary depending on the finish, sheen, and color, but this is a good estimate to go by.

You can use a sample can of paint for a few small projects, but it's important to note that these samples are not meant for large-scale painting projects. If you're looking to paint an entire room, you'll need to buy a gallon or more of the color and finish you have chosen.

This is because you will need to do more than one coat of paint to get the best coverage for the walls. Keep any leftover sample paint for touch-ups after the paint job is finished.

Overhead view of a DIY paint brush with colorful sample paint pots

How Often Should You Paint Your Walls?

The frequency of painting your walls is largely dependent on your lifestyle. If you have pets or small children, you may find yourself needing to paint more often than other households.

In addition, the amount of sunlight and humidity in your home can also affect how frequently you should repaint. Sunlight and high humidity can both cause paint to fade and wear quickly, so rooms that get more sunlight will require more frequent painting.

Generally speaking, you should repaint your walls every 3-5 years. If you are a person who likes change and wants to mix up the look of your home more often, then painting more frequently will be necessary.

Also, if you plan on staging your home to sell, it's a good idea to repaint. Fresh paint will give the home a clean and updated look, which is attractive to potential buyers.

How Long Does Sample Paint Last?

Depending on the type of paint and how it's stored, a can of sample paint can last 5-10 years. However, this can be significantly shorter if it's not stored properly.

The best way to store leftover samples of paint is in an airtight container away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. This will help the paint keep its color and finish for a longer period of time.

If the paint hasn't been opened, then it can still go bad over time. If the paint has been exposed to oxygen for too long, it can start to separate or form lumps and clumps. Irregularities like these will make painting difficult.

It's best to check your sample cans of paint regularly and discard any that have gone bad. If you store an unopened can of paint properly, it could last 10 years or more.

Paint roller applying brown paint on white wall, home improvements, horizontal view with copy space

How Do You Test Sample Paint?

When testing a small can of sample paint, start with a 1X1 foot square on the wall. Wait until it's completely dry to get an accurate idea of what the paint looks like. Also, apply at least two coats to get a more accurate view of the paint. 

You can also experiment with different finishes and sheens, so you can get a better feel for how the paint will look in your home. As mentioned before, gloss and semi-gloss paints tend to be more expensive but also more durable, so it's a good idea to test these finishes before committing to a purchase.

Keep in mind the existing wall color will affect how the sample paint appears. If you have a light shade on the wall, a darker color may look more saturated.

In this case, it may be worth applying a primer before testing the sample paint. This will give you a better idea of how the color looks when it's finished and applied to the wall.

When Should You Buy High-end Paint?

High-end paints are more expensive, but they can be worth it in certain cases. These premium-quality paints offer more coverage, durability, and shine than lower-end options. As a result, you won't need as many coats, and less upkeep will be required.

If you're planning on doing a large-scale painting project, it's worth investing in high-end paint. This will result in fewer coats and less labor, which can save time and money overall.

In addition, if you want your walls to look their best for a longer period of time, consider buying higher-end paint products. This will help ensure your walls stay looking beautiful for many years to come.

For exterior home projects, high-end paints are almost always the best option. These products provide better protection from UV rays and other elements that can damage your home's exterior.

If you are unsure which paint to buy, you can always ask the experts at your local home improvement store for advice. They can help narrow down your choices and recommend the best option for your home.

Exterior view of new house under construction and painting.Home renovation and construction concepts

Final Thoughts

Paint samples are great tools to help you choose a color before committing to a full can of paint. They provide an accurate representation of the color, so you can ensure it will fit into your decor. Different companies offer different sample sizes and prices, so make sure to research any options available. 

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

How To Get A Paint Sample So You Can Match It

What Wall Paint Colors Go With Dark Brown Furniture? [5 Best Options]

Should Ceiling Paint Match Trim? [Design Options Explored]

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