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going broke on paint samples

I'm doing a whole-house redo, and never realized how expensive paint samples are. We're doing four rooms (three bedrooms and a bath), and have a total of 14 colors we'd like to try, but Behr sells them for $6.95 a pop (you can save $1 per sample if you order more than 2). That woks out to $83 for samples!
Yes, we can narrow our list, but that's still a lot of money to me for samples. Does anybody know any tricks for getting samples cheaper? I even checked eBay and no dice. If a paint-sharing website doesn't exist, it should.

Re: going broke on paint samples

I don't know about Behr, but for Sherwin-Williams and Porter Paints, if you contact your local representative (that's the guy that tries to get the architects to spec their brand on projects) they can get you all the samples you'll ever want for free. They come in a toothpaste like tube - it's enough to cover about a 4' square area.

Re: going broke on paint samples

Look for a Habitat for Humanity ReStore .
They sell paint at $5 a gallon in Omaha. I've gotten Sherwin-Williams and Diamond Vogel paints for an entire house, and I redonated what I didn't use.

Also look for a hazardous waste recycling facility that gives away usable products. Paint and wallpaper stripper are common at the facility here.

Good luck!

Re: going broke on paint samples

Come on guys - it's only paint!
Buy enough of one color to do one room. If you like it, buy more, if not try another one. But by the time you finish painting the whole house, it'll be time to start over!
And a color that looks good in one room, won't cut it for the next. For instance, any yellow is great with the right light, but it can look muddy, gray, or brown in a different light.
And you probably won't paint all four walls in each room the same color (would you?), so buy colors you can mix and match. You know, 3 walls cream, one beige, then 3 walls beige, one sage, then 3 sage and one cream. Three rooms, all different, but matching at the same time.
It's just paint - have fun with it! It's the cheapest, fastest way to change the look of a room.

Re: going broke on paint samples

Benjamin Moore dealers sell small bottles of their most popular colors for $4. They are 4 ounces which can do several square feet.

Ralph Laurent also sells small packets of sample colors.

Re: going broke on paint samples

I think the issue is really that you're attracted to 14 colors.

This is a time when you prioritize the rooms you want to do and go spend the $25 for 4 colors in that room.

Taking a tip from one of the design shows you could use your wardrobe as paint swatches, hanging the clothing you love on the walls for awhile until you can really evaluate if the color is comfortable for you to look at.

I did this. I had fabrics intended to be used in my bedroom when the decorating was done. I hung the fabrics in the room, then each day evaluated how well the worked with each other before I settled on paint. It's easier to match paint to fabric than fabric to paint. In doing this I realized there were some colors I was attracted to that worked well with some of the fabric but wouldn't work at all with other fabric shades and tones.

A whole house remodel is fine if you're going to hire out and need to make the decisions all at once but if you're doing the work yourself, it's better to treat each room individually and use accent colors, flooring and hardware as unifying elements.

Re: going broke on paint samples

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