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I currently have some "Indubitably Green" paint in my possession, and I'm trying to figure out which hat to paint. I have one hat that I am considering, that I want to keep and never trade away. Another hat I could see myself selling in the future.

If I was to paint a hat, would it increase/decrease/not change the value of the hat? Ie. Is a Green War Pig worth more/less/same as a non-painted War Pig?

Also,
Does this change in price apply to all hats?
Only certain, more rare hats?
Only the more common and easily obtainable hats?
Only certain colours of paint?

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An often used rule of thumb is that the selling price of a painted hat goes up by 1/2 the selling price of the paint alone. For example, a hat painted with Zephaniah's Greed, worth 1.33 ref, would go up in price by 0.66 ref. Obviously, adjust for the hat and the paint's popularity/unpopularity as suggested by Luck. –  jSepia Jun 26 '13 at 2:50
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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Paint will not necessarily increase the value of a hat for a potential buyer, and very well may make it much harder to sell said painted hat. Certain colors are more desired than others, mostly the ones that cannot be found through random drops, e.g. black, white, team colors, after eight, mann's mint, pink as hell, and lime.

In general, you would likely get more value selling the paint separately, and it would be much easier to sell than finding someone who wants both the hat and the color together.

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5  
This is true in pretty much every similar situation - if you can combine things together for free, and once things are combined you can only separate them with loss, then the value of a combined thing is always less than the value of its parts. It's an intuitive understanding of this economic reality that keeps some people from ever socketing their weapons :) –  Tacroy Dec 5 '12 at 19:28
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