Shopping for Supplies

Margaret Riley

“Honey! I’m going shopping for paint!” He thinks you are going to Lowe’s or Home Depot. But we know you are going to go a mass merchant craft store. Are you sure you know where to go? It used to be that you could only buy art supplies at a small privately owned craft store as mass merchants hadn’t picked up that line of product. There were craft stores and fine art stores but both carried paints and brushes. When some of us started painting, there were only tube acrylics that you had to mix to achieve the color you wanted. There was no internet either. But NOW…wow! So many choices! Are you after the best buy or availability? Have you tried to find a certain color and couldn’t?

For a mass merchant, the buyer of that facility picks the color for that display. The manufacturer may have some influence in stating which colors are the best sellers. In a small privately owned store/studio, they buy a rack with the colors chosen by the manufacturer.

It is always a good idea to watch the sales flyers to find the best deal. The mass merchants that definitely sell paint, brushes, and surfaces are A. C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s, Michael’s, and probably more. You may end up going to all these stores if you are fortunate to have them all (so jealous!).

You don’t have to purchase every bottle of paint you see, but pick about a dozen colors for your first time in purchasing. If you need to buy brushes, you can start out with a No. 10/0 liner, No. 4 round, and Nos. 6 and 12 flat. Drool over the other brush sizes and types but make note to put them onto your Christmas list. Remember your honey always wants ideas for birthdays and Christmas giving.   

Walk the aisles and make note of what you want to purchase in the future. You can purchase items like palette paper, a brush basin, painting books to help you create, and surfaces of all kinds. Think in your mind what you want to paint. Maybe you have something in your home that you want to paint on.

If you are a full time worker and have a family, time probably doesn’t give you the privilege to go off on a shopping spree. Oh, you’re available after 9:00 p.m., but what stores are available at that time of night? Fire up that computer and start shopping. Go to your favorite search engine and type in artist paints and supplies. You will be amazed at what comes up. Paint manufacturers are now selling on line (i.e. DecoArt, Plaid, Testors, etc.). Some brush companies sell to wholesalers directly and to stores. Amazon does carry brushes as do Cheap Joes and Hofcraft. For general supplies, you’ll be able to put a specific supply into your search engine line and find the perfect place to shop that fits your budget. That’s what is fun about shopping on line…finding the best buy and doing it in your PJ’s!!!

All the mass merchants mentioned above have websites that allow you to shop on line. And you can subscribe to on-line painting magazines (, and newsstand magazines ( to view ads of various companies that will sell directly to you. You can purchase paints, surfaces, brushes, and other supplies from some of these companies.

So there you have it! Time to put on your walking shoes to go out and shop or roll up your sleeves and shop on line!

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  • Margaret on

    Thanks Jan! It is great to hear from our subscribers and have them share with everyone! I, personally, did not know about Home Depot.

  • Jan Heins on

    I also found out that you can order any decoart product from Home Depot and choose the pick up in store option to avoid shipping charges. They don’t carry everything in-store, but because they carry the line you can order

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