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Old 06-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default Paint chips...am I the only one??

I have seen a lot of cute cards and other craft items made with paint chips lately. Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong? I know they are "free" but they are intended to be used as a sample to decide on and purchase paint. It seems like this is being abused.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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I have seen a lot of cute cards and other craft items made with paint chips lately. Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong? I know they are "free" but they are intended to be used as a sample to decide on and purchase paint. It seems like this is being abused.
I agree with you. They are to use to decide which paint you want to buy. If folks keep picking up big handfuls of them to use for crafts, the manufacturers will probably start charging for them, which will penalize all customers.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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It's also most likely the store has to purchase these "free samples" from the manufacturer.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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Maybe some of the paint chip users also actually did purchase paint? It could be offset by other fools, er people, like myself who buy paint without taking any paint chips at all...
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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I use them every now and again. A friend of mine who works at Home Depot gets them from the "paint guy" that comes in and changes them out. I have been told that the paint company reps come out and rotate colors to bring new shades each season...sometimes they just remove ones that are stale and she grabs them for me and brings them home. Pretty sure Home Depot does not pay for them. I don't think this is the crime of the century
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:39 PM   #6
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This made me smile as when I was doing my stamp room, I decided I wanted it to be pink. I picked up a bunch of pink chips from the stores. Gosh, it was hysterical trying to narrow it down (how many shades of pink can there be!). I then picked the top 3 and bought 3 sample cans and tried them out. Now, I have lots of pink chips. I am going to use them as I can't see wasting them. My co-worker just gave me a book of various fabric swatches from her search for window treatments. She knew I would find a use for them. I am thinking diecuts.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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When we were trying to decide on a color for the basement, we would stand at the paint counter at Lowes with all the various shades and colors I was considering. I never realized how many yellows, green, purples, etc there were. I finally decided on a yellow, gave hubby the chip. He handed this precious color choice to the painter. A week later, I'm downstairs admiring their handiwork, remarking how much I loved the color. He said that was good, he had been worried, the painter lost the sample and picked a lighter shade! He had been waiting to see if I noticed and if they were going to have to repaint.

I think the painter made a better choice.

I just found all of those paint chips when I was unpacking a box. I intend to use them also.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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And some of us know contractors who have paint chip sample books which do eventually become obsolete as some colours are taken off the market and new ones brought out and the contractor gets new sample books - and wants to get rid of the old ones.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #9
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I love crafting with paint chips. I have so many accumulated from past paint projects, so periodically I make cards using them. I personally don't know of anyone who is abusing the free-ness of the paint chips.

I'm pretty sure there's much more wide-spread abuse by those who grab hand-fuls of napkins, straws, plastic ware, etc., from fast-food restaurants. Those are "free" - but I assure you the establishment has to pay to stock those items for our use.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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I used to work at Home Depot (decor and paint), and I've also worked as a professional painter, so I've had many, many conversations with the reps. The stores don't pay for the chips, and the reps don't care how many you take. I was even allowed to take one of each and every chip by each and every brand in the store for my daughter (art major) to have on hand in her design work for school. The paint companies and the stores consider them as advertising, pretty much - the more exposure, the better for them all around. Go right ahead and use them, guilt-free!
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #11
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I used to work at Home Depot (decor and paint), and I've also worked as a professional painter, so I've had many, many conversations with the reps. The stores don't pay for the chips, and the reps don't care how many you take. I was even allowed to take one of each and every chip by each and every brand in the store for my daughter (art major) to have on hand in her design work for school. The paint companies and the stores consider them as advertising, pretty much - the more exposure, the better for them all around. Go right ahead and use them, guilt-free!
Thanks for explaining this, Sue. I hereby take back what I said earlier.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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A hardware store in my area was closing down. They gave me two large boxes of paint chips. I love re-cycling free stuff. They would have ended up in a landfill if I hadn't rescued them.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:01 PM   #13
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I had a whole ring of all the colors given to me when we were making selections to paint. hmmm wonder what I did with that....
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleEagle08 View Post
I have seen a lot of cute cards and other craft items made with paint chips lately. Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong? I know they are "free" but they are intended to be used as a sample to decide on and purchase paint. It seems like this is being abused.
I agree with you. My family owned a hardware store and we had to pay for those samples that we put out. They were not free. Don't assume that the clerk in the aisle or even the rep in a store is knowledgable about what the store gets billed for. They aren't necessarily in a position to know. I'm guessing it is a problem as some stores around here have put up notices about please limiting paint chips.

Beyond that, it isn't about the size or cost of the item that is taken. It is about if the action is right. Not everyone who buys paint wants or gets a chips, others legitimately get multiples. I can't justify taking them with no intention of buying paint by saying others won't take any or because it just a small thing. If I like flowers at a house I walk past is it ok to take them? I'm hungry as I shop, can I eat a little candy bar because it is just a small thing? Can a child take a small toy from a friends home when they visit, the friend isn't paying attention to it so he or she doesn't want it, right? When does the valve of something cross over to become wrong to take it? Is there any valve that allows one to justify taking something? What behavior are we modeling for our children?

Good philosophical question.

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Old 06-21-2013, 04:31 AM   #15
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. If I like flowers at a house I walk past is it ok to take them? I'm hungry as I shop, can I eat a little candy bar because it is just a small thing? Can a child take a small toy from a friends home when they visit, the friend isn't paying attention to it so he or she doesn't want it, right? When does the valve of something cross over to become wrong to take it? Is there any valve that allows one to justify taking something? What behavior are we modeling for our children?

Good philosophical question.

B
Flowers: Taking flowers from your neighbors yard is not even close to the same things...BUT...in a retail setting...If there are racks of them at a flower stand that are used as advertising for flowers inside a store (not flowers that are being sold, flowers that are there as examples of what is in the store)...and they are going to be thrown out after, say, 3 days...if the person in the store says "take them, they will be thrown out tonight" then yes, it's ok to take them.

Candy: Taking a candy bar from a retail establishment that charges for them is not the same thing...BUT...If it is in a bowl outside a candy store as a sample of what is inside...yes, take it. No law (written or unwritten) says you must go in and buy candy if you are taking a sample of it. Heck, every time I go to Walmart or Costco, I eat the food and have ZERO intentions of buying it. And I don't feel bad for one second. I used to bring my kids when they were younger...Free food at Costco day!! Get in the car!!!

Toy from a friends house: Not the same situation...


Really, I am not trying to be a beast, I just do not consider taking paint chips from a hardware store wrong or bad or immoral or anything of the sort.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:22 AM   #16
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I don't think it's a crime but it is taking advantage IF you take handfuls of the same color or take a whole bunch with no intention of choosing paint. If all of us on the site took a handful of paint chips each time we wanted to make some cards, that's a great amount. Even if the stores don't pay, the paint company has a cost involved. Unless the card recipient takes the card apart, it really isn't good for advertising and the cost that it takes to make those cards eventually gets passed on to us. I personally have way too much paper that I need to use up. So, I'm not even going to entertain the thought anytime soon. If I had some I had taken for use in choosing colors, sure, maybe. But, I don't agree that taking a handfuls is a good idea. I would not, however, shun you if you disagreed with this opinion.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:43 AM   #17
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I don't think it's a crime but it is taking advantage IF you take handfuls of the same color or take a whole bunch with no intention of choosing paint. If all of us on the site took a handful of paint chips each time we wanted to make some cards, that's a great amount. Even if the stores don't pay, the paint company has a cost involved. Unless the card recipient takes the card apart, it really isn't good for advertising and the cost that it takes to make those cards eventually gets passed on to us. I personally have way too much paper that I need to use up. So, I'm not even going to entertain the thought anytime soon. If I had some I had taken for use in choosing colors, sure, maybe. But, I don't agree that taking a handfuls is a good idea. I would not, however, shun you if you disagreed with this opinion.
This is an interesting discussion. Maybe we are talking about situational ethics here:

"A system of ethics that evaluates acts in light of their situational context rather than by the application of moral absolutes."

Situational ethics - definition of Situational ethics by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:24 AM   #18
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This is an interesting discussion. Maybe we are talking about situational ethics here:

"A system of ethics that evaluates acts in light of their situational context rather than by the application of moral absolutes."

Situational ethics - definition of Situational ethics by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
Absolutely. The paint chips are for taking, however the intent is that they help you choose and buy a paint color and that is why they are there for taking and thus a win situation for the provider of the chip and the user of the chip. Taking a paint chip without intent to use it for its purpose is indeed the gray area, especially if there are repercussions (such as costs to the provider).

For example. A church I once attended used to give out daffodils at mother's day. I went to decline as I wasn't a mother at the time and was given flowers anyway. However, if I had just taken flowers for myself (without them being offered) in that same church scenario it would have been a bit questionable IMHO. They were handing them out freely but I wouldn't have been the intended recipient.

Or going to a soup kitchen for a free meal, it is there for the taking and rarely are questions asked...
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:17 AM   #19
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Wow - what a complicated thread this has turned out to be! It must be only the "big box" stores that do high volume that get the chips for free, so thanks for clarifying, kazooMI, that the smaller stores do, indeed, pay for the chips. My overall thought after reading everyone's comments is that it is like most things (alcohol, sugar, exercise, whatever) - moderation is the key! Being respectful and avoiding being selfish should be the guiding principles, in my opinion. Of course, that's generally true in all areas of life
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:17 AM   #20
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I simply ask if I can have them and explain what it's for. Some have said yes, others no. Come to think of it, it is always the big box stores that say yes. One independent hardware store near me sells the discontinued chips for a nickle a sheet/strip. That's still a pretty good deal.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:43 AM   #21
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Whether taking the paint chips for true painting plans or for any other reason, is right or wrong stems from what our worldview standpoint is. We cannot minimize or rationalize away our "I want" decision away just because it is a "small " violation. We cannot compare to make what we do, excusable. The law says do not steal; that means we are accountable down to the minutest detail of that law by the One who made the law. There is no wiggle room. The paint chips are graciously given with the intent to help someone pick out a paint color choice. I picked up several chips when I first heard about them being free. But, I stopped when I realized it turned to deception, acquiring something I was never intended to have. Sometimes we have to realize we are playing games with our own desires. There is a high cost to the word "FREE" for somebody in every situation. But yes, the paint chips are free...when they start charging for the paint chips we will know that view of "free" backfired.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:38 AM   #22
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I'm decorating a new home. I can tell you I have a LOT of paint chips, all legitimately acquired, and I'll be using them for crafting when done with the wall painting.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:25 PM   #23
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This is an interesting thread. Just curious if anyone returns all the paint chips to the store, (the strips you decided not to use) when you are finished with your painting projects? Since you are not purchasing any paint from those strips, wouldn't it follow the theory that those should be returned, so as to not have the store owner pay for what you ultimately aren't purchasing?

I have picked up paint chips and decided at a later date that I wish to paint my room from one of those colors. I have had many times that I find that paint chip is actually discontinued. Luckily, I often shop at Home Depot for paint and they can almost always go back and look up the formula for my color choice, but my chosen color will not be out with the other chips. I think paint colors are a trendy thing that change frequently. It might be worth asking if the chips are discontinued.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:37 PM   #24
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There is nothing to return if your intent is to paint. All the strips are used to make your choice. The store owner benefits from your custom the majority of the time.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:02 AM   #25
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Our local manufacturers have been embossing them, printing the brand in the middle etc and I have long suspected it was to deter crafter's from putting the chips to other uses.

I was a police officer for years and I find the paint chip thing akin to theft by deception - the owner willingly gives you the item but they are unaware that you intend to deal with it in such a way that, had they known, they would not have parted with the property.

So no, you are certainly not the only one who sees paint chip craft as ethically questionable.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:42 AM   #26
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This reminds me of the "free" USPS Priority Mail supplies (boxes and tape) that were given out to customers for use when mailing Priority Mail. The free items were abundantly abused. Many people justified using the items for other purposes because the USPS gave them away for free.

The USPS stopped offering the packing tape entirely, and started printing the insides of boxes to prevent people from flipping them inside-out and using them for other shipping methods.

It's a little different, because the USPS stated all along that those supplies were only for use with Priority Mail, but you won't find me helping myself to handfuls of paint chips for use in crafting. If I find myself with left over paint chips from a legitimate paint project, however, I'll use them.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:33 PM   #27
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So, if I offer to purchase the chips from the store to use for whatever purpose I have in mind and they say "oh no, just take them" - I'm guessing that would be ok? Just checking as I don't want the paint-chip-police after me.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #28
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In theory yes. But in practice...who owns the paint chips?

The salesperson? Probably not but they won't care and will say to take them.
The store owner? Possibly...are you going to seek them out?
The paint company? Possibly...but that doesn't mean the rep.

Just not worth the bother.

If I really had to have some, I'd e-mail the paint company and ask where I could get some out of stock colours.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #29
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In theory yes. But in practice...who owns the paint chips?

The salesperson? Probably not but they won't care and will say to take them.
The store owner? Possibly...are you going to seek them out?
The paint company? Possibly...but that doesn't mean the rep.

Just not worth the bother.

If I really had to have some, I'd e-mail the paint company and ask where I could get some out of stock colours.
I think I agree. And it's really pretty funny - here we are stampers and papercrafters, many of us literally buried in all kinds of paper, and we are discussing the pros and cons of obtaining more tiny pieces of colored paper.

I think we are a strange bunch for sure.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:22 PM   #30
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But they are so pretty.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:07 AM   #31
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Just checking as I don't want the paint-chip-police after me.
Oh don't worry, they will be at my house reading me my rights I can hear the conversation now "Hi, what are you in for? Murder? Cool. Me? Oh, I took some paint chips from Home Depot and didn't buy paint"
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:10 AM   #32
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CraftyMel2, your tagline is the perfect answer to this entire thread.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #33
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I thought the same thing yesterday but reading some of your comments, I think I'm coming across like the paint chip police and I should stay out of it Sorry, I don't mean to.

I can't resist a good debate (Yep, did politics at Uni and loved it )

I had a friend who did her philosophy thesis on the implications of small decisions vs large ones in ethical/moral/religious terms. Who knew, she could have done it on paint chips.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #34
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I thought the same thing yesterday but reading some of your comments, I think I'm coming across like the paint chip police and I should stay out of it Sorry, I don't mean to.

I can't resist a good debate (Yep, did politics at Uni and loved it )

I had a friend who did her philosophy thesis on the implications of small decisions vs large ones in ethical/moral/religious terms. Who knew, she could have done it on paint chips.
I thought you came across as informed rather than police.

It is something I struggle with too though!
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:55 PM   #35
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If they are so concerned about it, maybe they should put up signs limiting how many you can take then. I can understand how the smaller stores would naturally have less paint chips, and maybe they have to pay for them, while the big box stores get them free, I don't know. But I really doubt Walmart, for example, is very concerned with a crafter coming in to take FREE paint chips, when the guy in the other aisle is shoplifting!

Also, just because you are taking a free item and using it for something that is not intended, I really do not think that makes you a bad person, or makes it stealing. Why are the paint chips free to one person, but not another? I use things for other than their intended purpose ALL THE TIME! I mean, if I want to go into the store and buy them out of coffee filters so I can make coffee filter flowers, is that wrong? Because "legitimate" buyers that are using them to make coffee won't have any then?

I realize coffee filters are not free, but it is the same concept. Then why not charge a small fee for paint chips, which you will then be refunded if you come back to buy paint? Or what if you take paint chips from Home Depot, and see the paint is cheaper at Walmart, and go buy it there? Is that theft then?

My Walmart must have had a bunch of kids come through, and they took LOTS of the bottles of fabric paints and squirted them all over the shelves, made squiggles, and wrote words. That aisle is a HUGE mess, the paint bottles are all messed up, paint is everywhere, it has been that way for months! Now THAT is something that caused loss and destroyed store property. Really disgusting. You cannot even buy any fabric paint from that Walmart, as it is all messed up.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:20 PM   #36
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I just ask for them and make sure they know what I intend to do with them. If they say no, it's really no big deal. If an employee says yes when they knew they should have said no (per their employer's policy), I would only feel that I behaved unethically if I knew what the policy actually was before I asked.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #37
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Thanks Kristen, the trouble with having been a police officer is that you often come off as authoritarian. And I'm a 'spade is a spade' kinda gal anyway.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:10 AM   #38
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I have to admit, when we went to Lowes to buy a ceiling fan, I stopped at the paint samples and picked some up to carry in my purse.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:27 AM   #39
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I think it also comes down to an issue of hoarding. I have taken the paint chips and bought the paint. Most nonhoarding people would then throw the paint chips away. I kept mine in a box because I thought that they were really pretty and I might find a use for them someday.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #40
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If they are so concerned about it, maybe they should put up signs limiting how many you can take then. I can understand how the smaller stores would naturally have less paint chips, and maybe they have to pay for them, while the big box stores get them free, I don't know. But I really doubt Walmart, for example, is very concerned with a crafter coming in to take FREE paint chips, when the guy in the other aisle is shoplifting!

Also, just because you are taking a free item and using it for something that is not intended, I really do not think that makes you a bad person, or makes it stealing. Why are the paint chips free to one person, but not another? I use things for other than their intended purpose ALL THE TIME! I mean, if I want to go into the store and buy them out of coffee filters so I can make coffee filter flowers, is that wrong? Because "legitimate" buyers that are using them to make coffee won't have any then?

I realize coffee filters are not free, but it is the same concept. Then why not charge a small fee for paint chips, which you will then be refunded if you come back to buy paint? Or what if you take paint chips from Home Depot, and see the paint is cheaper at Walmart, and go buy it there? Is that theft then?

My Walmart must have had a bunch of kids come through, and they took LOTS of the bottles of fabric paints and squirted them all over the shelves, made squiggles, and wrote words. That aisle is a HUGE mess, the paint bottles are all messed up, paint is everywhere, it has been that way for months! Now THAT is something that caused loss and destroyed store property. Really disgusting. You cannot even buy any fabric paint from that Walmart, as it is all messed up.
TBH Walmart is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish as it actually will cost the taxpayer and not the business. Wal-Mart's low wages cost taxpayers - Jun. 4, 2013

Doubt they would let shop damage affect their actual profit margin.
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