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Mix Leftover Paints Together To Make Custom Paint Colors And Save Money

Do you like to save money? Have leftover paint from home improvement projects? You can mix leftover paints together and make your own special paint colors. Paint furniture or home decor with the custom color!

Mix Paints At Home To Make Custom Colors And Save Money
Mix Paints At Home To Make Custom Colors And Save Money

For the project today I didn’t have coral paint on hand and I love coral colors especially light and airy looking ones. So I Googled how to mix paint colors to make coral paint. I learned that red and yellow combine to make coral and the shade of coral depends on how much of each color you use in the mix. So I went to work with leftover paints from my paint stash. Never throw paint out. Save it for future projects. I made a beautiful coral color mixing red paint with yellow paint.

Mix Paints At Home To Make Custom Colors

I’m giving you all the details on this makeover and there are a ton of pictures. My five fellow Furniture Fixer Uppers have some awesome projects to share today too. The links are at the bottom of the post. Also in this post I have a video showing how I whitewash painted furniture. This technique will take your furniture makeovers to a  new level.

furniture from my favorite furniture shop before makeover

I purchased the chest of drawers at the junk shop…you know, my favorite one. It was only $15 but there was a reason for that.

furniture repairs

The side molding was off and there was no drawer in the bottom spot, just a drawer front. That’s okay. We can use the drawer front.

furniture repairs using nail gun

The JTS (aka Junktion Technical Specialist, aka hubby) used a nail gun to re-adhere the back to the chest and the molding to the side. Those nail guns are great.

drawer front nailed to chest

Then he nailed the drawer front to the chest. We decided that would be much easier than trying to build a drawer. A shelf at the bottom of the chest didn’t make sense either. The chest is really tall and has 5 drawers minus the bottom one so that’s plenty of drawers.

Now for the funny story about the drawer front. While in the process of removing the drawer pulls in preparation for painting the chest I realized we couldn’t remove the pulls from the drawer front we just nailed on. Taking one step back we removed the drawer front and nailed it back on after the painting was finished. You never know how a fix is going to work!

drawer runner repair with Elmer's glue

The runners were flopping around everywhere. We used Elmer’s Glue to glue the blocks and the runners back in place.

FrogTape to protect drawer sides and interior of drawer

Before painting I always cover the hardware screw holes on the inside of the drawer with FrogTape to prevent paint from leaking into the drawer. I also tape the sides of the drawers to make for a nicer looking paint job.

Glidden Gripper Primer for furniture

Man, now I’m finally ready to paint. The prep work on furniture before the painting starts is the most time consuming part of the furniture makeover. I started the painting part of the project with Glidden Gripper Primer tinted gray. I always use gray primer unless I’m painting the furniture white. Gray primer is easy to cover with just about any paint color. White primer is so bright it can be hard to cover.

mixing red paint and yellow paint to make coral paint color

I’m trying to use paint in my stash instead of buying more. I’ve always loved mixing paint colors but this time it was a have-to. No coral paint. I mixed red and yellow paints to make coral. I started with red and added yellow until I got the shade of coral I wanted. Don’t be afraid to mix your leftover paint colors together. I mix sheens too. I know professionals say not to do that but I do it anyway. I mix flat paint with glossy paint and chalk paint with satin latex paint for example. I’ve never had any problems with the paint finish.

perfect coral color

When mixing your own paint colors just remember that paint dries darker than the color it is when wet.

mixing white wash for furniture

After I painted the chest with the coral color and the paint dried it was a bit darker than I expected so I mixed white paint with water to make a thin wash. I added just a bit of the coral paint color to the mix.

white wash furniture

I dipped a lint free rag (old sheet) into the paint wash and rubbed it over the drawer front. This leaves a heavy coat of wash on the finish. I wiped the wash off with a slightly damp cloth until I achieved the effect I was looking after.

coral color paint and white washed coral color

The photo above shows the body of the chest painted coral and the drawer front painted coral with the wash. A big difference in the finishes. When whitewashing or color washing furniture you will not be able to achieve a perfectly matching finish all over. I guarantee you will drive yourself nuts if you try. Perfectly imperfect is the best.

Rustoleum Rose Gold Metallic Spray Paint for furniture hardware

The last step was to spray paint the original hardware with Rustoleum Rose Gold Metallic Spray Paint (this color has been discontinued. Find a similar color here). I lay my drawer pulls and knobs on these metal shelves to spray paint. They are raised and the drawer pulls and knobs with extensions on the backside lay nice and flat instead of all whomper-jawed. I was given these shelves but you can keep an eye out for similar shelves at the thrift store or maybe using cookie drying racks if the spaces are big enough.

How to paint old furniture and add new furniture knobs

One of the four pulls on the top drawer was missing. I just happened to have four classy metallic gold and white drawer knobs from Hobby Lobby in my stash. Perfect.

spray paint old furniture drawer pulls

The rose gold metallic is a beautiful soft, almost flat gold. Very pretty.

Mix Leftover Paints Together To Make Custom Paint Colors And Save Money
Mix Leftover Paints Together To Make Custom Paint Colors And Save Money

And that’s it for my project. What do you think? How do you like the coral color? Do you ever mix paints? And you must see the pretty nursery piece I painted coral/pink here….. Coral Nursery Dresser.

How to mix Leftover Paints Together To Make Custom Colors

Watch my new video on how to whitewash painted furniture below…..

How To Whitewash Furniture

custom coral paint color made from leftover paint to save money
custom coral paint color made from leftover paint to save money

Be sure and check out the projects from my fellow Furniture Fixer Uppers by clicking the pink text links below the “before” photos.
Furniture Fixer Uppers paint projects before photos

  1. Girl In The Garage – Fresh Vintage Dresser Makeover
  2. The Interior Frugalista – Turned Leg Nesting Tables
  3. Confessions of a Serial Diy’er – Thrift Store Hutch Makeover
  4. Just The Woods – Farmhouse Painted Bench
  5. Prodigal Pieces – Mid Century Modern Dresser

As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Love coral too….like it much better with wash…WOW….sometimes mix colors for small items if out of color I need….never big items…I wouldn’t mix enough and then I couldn’t match color…I may or may not have done that before lol….

  2. What a fun project, I too mix paints, no one else has pieces like mine.: I love all the tips you share, Enjoy doing what you love, Until next time,,be safe and well.

  3. Excellent as I have lots of leftover paint and it just hangs around. I was particularly interested in the tip about mixing sheens as I have never dared to do this before. Thanks Kathy paint is way too expensive to waste if at all avoidable.