Lowes Paint Counter vs. A Real Paint Store

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The other day SWMBO says to me "I'd like those Bordeaux colored shutters that I saw at Lowes."
So I take the new shutters over to the paint counter and asked for a quart of matching paint for the trim. The guy in the red vest tries to find the color Bordeaux in his computer. No go. He tries a couple of paint chips but nothing matches. He tries to hold the 48" shutters up to the little tiny color matching computer lens - the resulting formula is not even close. "Sorry, I don't think I can match it."
I drive down the road to a local paint store and bring the shutters in. The guy behind the counter grabs a keychain full of little miniature shutters and finds one that's fairly close. "Let's start with this and we'll tweak it from there." He mixes the formula found on the back of the mini-shutter, brings it over and declares it "too purple". A couple of drops of this and that and he hits it perfect on the next try.
When I told him what happened at Lowes he said the computers don't work very well with dark colors and the guys behind the counter are too lazy to try and match the paint manually. Guess where I'm going the next time I need paint?
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As a general rule, always go to a specialty store if you're going to need help or advice on anything. Lowe's and Home Depot are useful for supplies when you know exactly what you need, can go in, load up your cart and get out with as little interaction with employees as possible. They're usually hiding from customers anyway.
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wrote:

I had absolutely no problem at HD, getting a can of Kilz white exterior latex glossy to match the previous can of the exact same thing. :-) The paint expert was very helpful when he said "yeah it's down that aisle somewhere". :-)
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

I live where a Home Depot and Lowe's are almost across the street from one another, and I haven't been to Lowe's in over a year because they made a pricing mistake on every other visit, and their employees were a lot less informed and less available. For example, I needed a window air conditioner one July, and it took three Lowe's employees to find them in their store. OTOH when I needed an odd electrical item, a Home Depot employee who worked in a completely different department told me exactly where to find it, not only the aisle but how far from the end and how high above the floor.
BTW at a place like Home Depot, if you have a complex problem try to find an employee who doesn't smile because that person is probably a contractor working part time. At one of their stores that meant the lighting dept. was staffed by an electrical engineer who testing lighting at UL.
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At the store here, the electrical "expert" is a mouth breathing neanderthal.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

That would likely be the best estimate of an EE testing lighting at UL who had to moonlight at HD... :)
In a similar vein, the local TV news obligatory blurb from the CR "lab" test a couple of nights ago was on CF bulbs. A very carefully staged clip showed the "trained professional engineer" in his white lab coat and carrying the clipboard "testing" these bulbs by turning the lamp switch on and off in succession going down the lineup... :)
Oh, and it ended w/ the technical feat of unscrewing a bulb and carefully replacing it w/ another while wearing cotton gloves...
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"dpb"

Changing a light bulb is too dangerous for the average person, and anyone attempting to do such an activity is, by definition, irresponsible. Call a professional when you need a job like this done, and call the police to report anyone attempting to circumvent light bulb changing laws.
Jon
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Bullshit. Just take the 10 hour training course and you can be certified to change both incandescent and florescent bulbs. Halogen is a separate course.
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on 9/7/2007 3:50 PM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:

I failed it the first time and had to go to summer school.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

Wow, youre experiences are exactly the opposite of mine. I live near two HD's and going to either is a pointless exercise. After asking three different people where to find something you usually give up and just drive the extra 20 miles to Lowe's and wonder why you bothered in the first place.
nate
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Thats my experience at HD, I had to cut my own wire last night, I only needed 20 feet and didn't want to buy a 500 foot roll at todays copper prices. All the floor people were hiding from customers, as usual (Frankfort Illinois store). I was scolded by the checkout lady when I told her "20 feet at .20 cents a foot", of couse she didn't trust me, so she had to call the guy to verify the .20, then she proceeded untaping the wire and actually measured it across the floor, of course it was 20 feet. At my old hardware store the guy would give you something then tell you what to tell the cashier up front "just tell her it's .50 cents a foot" or whatever. Then I needed some faucet hoses, I had to explain to the clerk that HD's faucet hoses were not really stainless braid, but rather they are cheap nylon braid made silver to fool DIY people into thinking they were stainless braid. I said no deal and bought the hoses at Menards, they are all stainless there, no cheap crap. HD is going downhill, I know because I've been going there since it's inception.
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larry moe 'n curly wrote:

the opening of the Sunnyvale Lowes, because I thought that HD would get some real competition. But they were such complete idiots that I vowed to never go back there again. Yes! Worse than the worst HD employees.

HD employees to be quite variable. Many are the usual "don't care" types, and a few are very good and competent. You kind of wonder why they are there.
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Because their previous employer is out of business since HD showed up?
<SNIP>

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wrote:

You get what you pay for (most of the time). You were a customer with highly specific needs, and you should go to a higher-priced store to get the attention you wanted.
Of course, you'd be a knucklehead to go to that same place for a can of standard-color paint that you can easily find on one of the gazillions of paint sample cards at Lowes.
Bernardo
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No, the price difference is less than most people think. If we don't support the local guy, he won't be there when we do need his expertise.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

The primary benefit of Depot / Lowe's is their longer hours. Your local Sherman Williams store isn't typically open when you find you need paint at 9pm. Of course better project planning generally eliminates those problems.
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Pete C. wrote:

Good painters paint by daylight. That's why they aren't open late :o)
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Bernardo Gui wrote:

I would be a fool then. With the automatic discount that I get at the real paint stores, plus the higher quality paint that I get, I come out ahead every time. Plus, it only takes a minute or two unless I come in when there are alot of customers. Even then, it is usually MUCH faster than the big box stores. So I save money AND time. I guess I am just a fool for economy.
The real fools are the ones that think that Home Depot and Lowes are cheaper.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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They're the fools who don't put any value at all on their own time. Do it right the first time, and you have more hours to spend with your family, go fishing, or just sit in the yard watching the clouds go by. When I bought my first house, I was fortunate enough to have a hardware store two blocks away. The owner and his wife knew how to fix every damned thing, from plaster to electrical to plumbing to painting. I'd walk in, learn something, buy the right thing the first time, and be done with the job fast. They'd introduce my kid to the store's official cat and keep him busy while I concentrated on hardware.
Those places still exist, but in a nation of idiots, advertising is king, and too many people never find their local hardware store because Home Depot's ads are bigger and more frequent.
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I'm lucky enough to have one of those close by. I walk in and tell the owner what I'm trying to do and he wanders back into the dark cluttered aisles and returns with exactly what I need along with good explanations and advice. Maybe his mark up is higher than Lowe's. It's not worth it to check. Peace of mind is priceless.
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