There are a number of ways you can get paint for your bee hives. I started by raiding my own leftover paint stash in my garage, where I found a half gallon of white primer paint ready for treating my hive bodies.
My friend David, who has his hives color-coordinated, shared his leftover tester paints available in small jars that will cover 6 deeps or 8 mediums. Each jar cost around $3.
Most paint and hardware stores also have a section with paints customers rejected. Those paint cans usually have a smudge of the paint color on the top and have been marked down for a quick sale.
Whatever paint you use, make sure it's a water-based paint and allow hive bodies to dry for several weeks before using. Even though paint is sold as usable within 24 hours, hives need a little time in the sun to fully dry or you will have more than propolis to try to pry apart when you are moving hive bodies.
If you can't wait, go ahead and use the hives but understand they may stick together because the paint hasn't cured.
Why no, it's not true bee hives have to be painted white. Who told you that?