Oops Paint: Where and How to Buy it

If you frequently purchase paint, you probably know how expensive it can be. Even if you tend to buy the cheapest latex paint, the cost can certainly add up over time.

For cost-conscious DIYers, Oops paint can be a complete game changer. For many, oops paint is the unsung hero of the paint aisle and a hidden gem in the world of home improvement. 

In this post, we’ll discuss what oops paint is and where to buy it.


“Oops paint” refers to paint that was incorrectly mixed, and came out the wrong color. It’s also known as mistinted paint and is sold at a very discounted price (usually at $5 to $15 for a gallon).

The quality of the paint is just as good as correctly mixed paint, and it’s much more affordable. However, there’s not always a huge variety of oops paint to choose from at hardware stores.

What is Oops Paint? 

Oops paint is not a brand of paint per se. Rather, it is a term that refers to paint that is incorrectly mixed (hence why it’s also known as mistinted paint).

Sometimes hardware store employees incorrectly punch in the wrong color codes to mix the paint and it comes out an unintended color. However, the quality of oops paint is just as good as properly mixed paint. The store cannot re-shelf this can of pre-mixed paint, so rather than throwing it out, they sell it for an extremely discounted price. For example, a gallon of mistinted Behr paint, which usually sells for around $40, may sell for only $9. 

Strictly speaking, oops paint is a term specifically for mistinted paint sold at Home Depot. You can still find “oops paint” at other home improvement stores, but it just might be called something different. For example, “oops paint” sold at Lowes is called discounted paint.

After browsing Home Depot’s Oops paint section one day, I documented the paint cans available, their Oops paint prices, and their retail prices as shown below: 

Oops paint comparison chart

Suffice it to say, you can save BIG with Oops paint. 

While you can get the best bang for the buck when you purchase a can of “oops paint”, you should be aware that there’s not always a huge variety of paint you can choose from. You may not always find your desired quantity, color, or finish. On some days, you may not even find a single can of oops paint. That said, you should never expect to find the exact type of paint you want in the oops paint section. 

You may not always get the specifications that you want, but the quality of paint you get for the price you pay is hard to pass up.

Your chances of purchasing oops paint are usually higher after holiday weekends (e.g. labor day, memorial day) when DIY enthusiasts tend to tackle weekend home improvement projects.

A Live Oops Paint Example 

I went to Home Depot to pick up some paint, and stopped by the Oops paint section. This is what the paint setup looked like: 

It can be easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it, but if you look around the paint counter where the employee mixes paints, you should find a little shelf or table with the various Oops paints.

As you can tell from the sign, each paint container size has a corresponding price. It doesn’t matter what type of paint it is or what color it is. 

The selection was decent but it can certainly vary depending on the store. There were about a dozen paint products available that day. 

You will see the corrected price for each product on little stickers such as these: 

Related: What is Mineral Paint? (+ Best Brands to Look for)

Where to Buy Oops Paint

You can buy oops paint at most home improvement stores. Home Depot stores typically have a dedicated shelf for oops paint in the paint section by the paint mixing machine. However, its placement can vary. 

For example, a store may display its stocks of oops paint near the registers. This will draw more attention to the paint. If you cannot readily find the shelf for oops paint, you can always ask a sales associate for assistance. If the associate doesn’t know what oops paint is, ask for “mistinted paint” instead.

Lowes is another home improvement store that sells its own version of oops paint. They call it “discounted paint” but it’s the same concept as Home Depot’s oops paint. Similar to Home Depot, Lowes has a dedicated shelf or shopping cart for its oops paint by the paint department’s mixing center.

You should be able to find oops paint at other paint or hardware stores such as Ace Hardware, Menards, True Value, or any other store that mixes brand name paints. If in doubt, call the store to ask. 

Unfortunately, since oops paint is the result of a mistake made in-store, you can only purchase it in-store. You won’t be able to purchase oops paint online. 

How Much Can You Save With Oops Paint?

The main benefit of oops paint is it’s great quality paint for a very low price (we’re talking about a $1 to $10 price range typically). Below is the breakdown of the cost of the Oops paint according to the sign on the day I went:

  • 50¢ – 8oz sample
  • 2$ – quart
  • 9$ – gallon
  • 30$ – 5 gallon

To put things in perspective, the cost savings of all the oops paint was 72% to 92% at Home Depot that day. 

Indeed, the quality of paint you get for the price you pay is really hard to pass up. It’s even lower than the price of the cheapest paint brands. So if you’re looking to save on paint, try your best to get a can of oops paint.

Final Words 

If you regularly shop at Lowes or Home Depot and you paint regularly, make it a habit to pass by the paint section to see what oops paint is available. Chances are you will come across versatile paint products that you can use regularly. For instance, you might come across paint in neutral colors like white, black, and grey that compliment practically any decor. These are great colors for flipping furniture to painting walls. 





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