Tips for Ordering Paint Online

Over the past two decades online shopping has grown exponentially and today, almost anything can be delivered straight to your home. Interior design lovers have embraced online ordering, purchasing sofas and chairs, lighting, rugs, art and even wallpaper for their homes. But a paint project is a different sort of challenge. Painting is one of the most popular DIY home improvement projects, and yet even the most intrepid online shoppers still buy their paint supplies in-store at a local store. Can we buy paint online? The answer is yes! And we have the tips you need to help you find and order the perfect paint online.


Top 3 Reasons to Buy Paint Online

1. Get more product options: Online paint retailers often offer a wider selection of paint colors, finishes, and speciality formulas than you may find at your local store.

2. Access expert information: Employees who work in the paint department at big box stores are often trained in the process of mixing paint and can offer common product recommendations but lack expert knowledge on speciality products, design and color selections, and project recommendations. On a website, you can easily find important facts like how a paint color responds in different lighting situations, the amount of coverage a paint provides, and how well it performs over time.

It’s easier to understand specialty products like zero-VOC paints, and to choose between high gloss and semi gloss finishes when all of the information is on a single web page. Here at we not only offer a wealth of paint resources, but a team of paint experts available to chat with you online if you need additional help.

3. Save time: Shopping for paint online is a big time saver. Driving to a local paint retailer and waiting for paint mixing can take hours out of your DIY weekend. Ordering in advance is convenient, and you’ll have time to confirm you have the right wall color and painting tools.

How to Buy Paint Online

If you’d like to buy paint online but have never done it before, the process is very much like shopping at your local retailer, just without the lines! Follow these tips to make your online shopping experience enjoyable and efficient.

1. Research Reviews of Paint Colors You Like

When searching for the right paint color for your project, look for online reviews that explain a color’s undertones, how it performs in different lighting situations, and color palettes that complement it. This information can give you a more robust idea of how different colors might appear in your home.

Every computer displays colors a bit differently, and the lighting in a paint store is also different from lighting at home. So seeing images of the color in real life homes and hearing the experience of experts who have worked with the color is a great way to narrow down your choices.

You can also upload pictures of your own space into online tools like Benjamin Moore’s color visualizer. Just remember that paint simulators offer only estimates; they are best for comparing completely different hues like green and blue to help you narrow your choices. The only accurate way to see how a wall paint will look in your space is to order paint samples to try at home.

2. Choose 2-3 Paint Color Options and Order Samples

Seeing a paint color in the natural light of your dining room, living room, kitchen or bedroom is the easiest way to avoid making a mistake. In addition to the color you like, order a paint color sample of a few similar colors for comparison; if one shade doesn’t work you’ll have other options to choose from. You can find easy instructions for DIY paint samples here. Once your color is settled, it’s time to narrow down what paint product is best for your project.


3. Choose a Paint Sheen

Paint sheen refers to the amount of reflectivity on a paint finish (or how shiny it looks). A paint’s sheen also affects its durability – the glossier the finish, the better it stands up to scrubbing. Glossy finishes are ideal for cabinets and trim, but keep in mind that achieving a smooth finish with glossy paint can take more skill. Matte and low-sheen finishes are much better at hiding surface imperfections so they’re popular for walls and ceilings.

Infographic showing best places to use different paint sheens
Common uses for interior and exterior paint sheens

Benjamin Moore’s extensive selection of products includes seven distinct paint finishes:

  • Flat
  • Matte
  • Eggshell
  • Pearl
  • Satin
  • Semi-Gloss
  • High Gloss

A paint’s sheen also affects how we see a color. Light colors appear brighter and more saturated with a high-gloss sheen and dark colors appear even darker. Matte and flat colors recede into the background.

If you’d like detailed information about paint sheens, be sure to check out How to Choose a Paint Finish.

3. Choose a Paint Product

It’s important to choose the right product for your paint project. Interior and exterior paints are formulated differently, and some products offer better coverage than others. If you’re covering a dark wall color with a light one you will probably need to use a primer first. Paint brands like Benjamin Moore also offer paints at different price points, plus all-in-one paint and primer products to help you finish home projects more quickly.

A selection of Benjamin Moore’s paint product line up including interior and exterior paints

To learn more about how Benjamin Moore’s paints differ in performance and cost, check out our interior paint product guide or exterior paint product guide.

5. Calculate How Much Paint You’ll Need

Once you’ve found the perfect paint color, it’s important to calculate how many gallons you’ll need for your project. Accuracy matters because custom-tinted paints can not be returned, so you don’t want to over-buy. But you also don't want to run short in the middle of a paint project; and don’t forget the ceiling paint!

So measure your room, and then check the coverage level of your paint to calculate how much you’ll need. You can get a fast, easy estimate using our online Paint Calculator.

Most interior paints will cover 300-400 square feet per gallon. Measure the length and height of each wall, and multiply to get the square footage. Then add the walls together for the total square footage you’ll be painting, and subtract 20 square feet for each door and window. For example, a small room like your average 12 x 12 bedroom with 8-foot ceilings has 351 square feet of wall space. If each gallon of paint covers 400 square feet, you need to order two gallons (one for each coat of paint). It’s also a good idea to have a little leftover paint for touch-ups.

Order Paint Online to Get Your Project Started Today!

Ordering paint online may seem challenging, but it’s basically the same process as buying paint at a local store. The big difference is that you must plan ahead to order your samples and supplies in time. However, online shopping is less stressful and saves a lot of time, so it’s no wonder buying paint online is getting more popular every day.

For more helpful tips on selecting paint products, check out our Interior Paint Guide. Ring’s End carries a wide selection of Benjamin Moore paints in-store and online, shipping anywhere in the U.S. Try our Benjamin Moore Paint Color Samples that are popular with professional interior designers for creating large paint swatches. Need help? Give us a call, or chat with us online. Our expert team is ready to recommend the best paint brands and products for your home.

Quick Facts for Buying Paint Online

Is paint cheaper online than in-store?

Buying paint online costs about the same as shopping in-store.

Can I color match paint online?

Because every computer is different, online colors won’t exactly match the final paint color. Be sure to order paint samples to test in person.

How much paint do I need?

It depends on the size of your room and the number of coats required. Measure each wall and use a calculator to determine the square footage, then check against the coverage per gallon of your paint product.

Can I return paint I bought online?

Tinted paint products are not eligible for return or exchange at Ring’s End or most paint retailers.