Small appliances are a hot commodity in the U.S., with prices climbing as high as $1,500 for paint, according to a recent study.
But they’re becoming harder to come by, as new regulations and state mandates require that all appliances come in “cleaner” and “safer” paint.
That’s why many homes in the Northeast are running out of paint before they can even be sold.
And with that shortage, a lot of people are having a tough time paying the sticker price for paint.
Here’s how to decide whether you should go out and get paint for your home.
What are the best brands for paint?
There are three major brands that can paint appliances, but you can also get paint in different shades, colors and finishes.
You might want to look at the color of the paint itself.
Many brands of paint have a different formulation, and they’re more expensive.
You can see what type of paint your appliance will need on its tag, which usually shows the brand name, model number and the name of the manufacturer.
That info can tell you how much paint you’ll need and how long it’ll last.
You also want to compare the price of paint with the cost of labor and installation.
A high price tag can make it hard to afford the paint.
If the paint is too expensive, you may have to go with the cheaper brand.
For example, if you’re looking at a paint called “Seal Paint” and you’re paying $100 a pound, that paint will last you about 6 to 8 years.
A cheaper paint, such as “Low-Hanging Paint,” will last less than half as long, said Robert Kynaston, a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
You may also want more detailed information about the color and type of coating used to paint the appliance.
“This will help you decide if you want a paint that’s safe for your appliance or not,” Kynastons said.
You don’t need to worry about the type of color or formulation of paint used to coat the appliance, he added.
The paint will be safe if it comes from a reputable source, such a company that has the right certification, Kynaster said.
Some paint companies also provide lab tests that can tell if the paint was made from safe ingredients or a product that’s been certified.
If your appliance has been in use for at least a year, you can get more detailed testing by calling the manufacturer or ordering the test kit online.
But, if the appliance was bought more than a year ago, you’ll have to do it yourself.
You’ll want to check the expiration date of the test paint on the back of the label, which is usually a few days old.
If you have a warranty, the expiration can be found on the box.
“We know that if you have the paint that you purchased more than six years ago, it will have expired by then,” Klenaston said.
If it’s still good, the paint should be safe to use.
If not, you should call the manufacturer and ask for a refund.
The only exception is if you don’t have a product liability insurance policy.
If there’s no warranty on the paint, you won’t be covered.
It’s also important to know if the product has been tested to make sure the paint isn’t contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Some manufacturers test their paint with a variety of chemicals, such lead, cadmium and arsenic, and it may be safe for certain uses.
The company should provide you with a label with that information, Klenastons added.
You could also contact the manufacturer to see if they’ll send you a sample of the product.
You should also call the U of P’s Environmental Protection Agency to check on the quality of the company’s paint.
You’re also likely to get more information about what the paint does to your appliance, Klynaston said, such the type and amount of chemicals used.
What if my appliances are getting more than they need?
You might be wondering, “What if the problem is with the paint I’m using?”
Here’s a tip: Be careful not to use too much paint.
The amount of paint you use is probably a small percentage of the total amount of energy you use.
For appliances with a limited amount of electricity, like a microwave or lightbulb, the amount you use can be limited.
If that’s the case, you might want some of the extra paint to be used for other purposes.
For an example of how that might work, Klyaston said you might put some paint in the refrigerator, where it can act as a paint stripper and clean the surface.
That might give you more time to make a repair.