This week I discovered what’s quite possibly Lowe’s best-kept secret: the "Oops" paint. Most people don’t know that the hardware store sells perfectly good custom-ordered paints at a big discount.
Here’s how it works: When a customer orders a custom paint, staff will mix colors to get an exact hue. If the customer doesn’t like the result color, they don’t have to pay for that order – but Lowe’s is still left with all that paint. Rather than throw it all out, it’s sold at a discount (for as low as $4 per gallon). And although it’s not as common, you can find some "Oops" washes and stains as well.
There are some obvious drawbacks to shopping in the "Oops" paint aisle. You can only pick from what happens to be there, which could be some less than appealing colors. And if you run out of paint, you’ll have to have it custom ordered and pay full price. On the other hand, however, if you’re doing a small home project and you’re not particular about color, you might want to start by browsing the "Oops" paint aisle of our neighborhood Lowe’s.