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A Giveaway with a Question; Is Expensive Paint really Better?

By 11/13/2009January 26th, 2017140 Comments

I am doing a poll and I need your help!

Please post a comment below and let me know which brand of paint you use. Have you ever switched up to a more expensive paint and what was your experience? Did you ever try a cheaper gallon of paint and what happened?


Until I actually worked at store level at Benjamin Moore, I always used Cloverdale Paint. Then it was always Benjamin Moore. Recently I was pitched by another brand and although I haven’t checked out their paint yet, I thought I’d start by asking you, my lovelies, what is the brand of paint you love and swear by?


I will pick a random number on Tuesday (don’t forget you need to be a follower too) and the winner will receive a free 1/2 hour on-line consultation with me on your paint colours, (or any other design advice).

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

Warning; You are the Colours in your Home

Should you pay for a room to be re-painted if you chose the colour?

Eggshell is NOT a Colour; Paint Sheens Defined

3 Ways to beat the high cost of buying the wrong paint colour

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  • Anonymous says:

    I use Benjamin Moore (interior) and California Paints (interior and exterior). The California Paint on the outside of our 100 year old house has lasted for 13 years and still looks fabulous!

    Betsy in Maine

  • Jane says:

    Pratt and Lambert – their colors capture the light!

  • Jamie says:

    On my own projects I've always used Gliden or Behr's – just what I found at the home improvement stores. When I finally saved up enough to have the ground floor of my house repainted – the painters suggested Kwal's – not a lot more expensive, and still I could see a difference.

  • spark! (Ada-Marie) says:

    Hi Maria, We use Benjamin Moore interior and exterior paints and find them to be great and very forgiving for us "un-professionals." We have tried Sherwin-Williams and thought that the quality was inferior (uneven coating and tendency to drip). I am a follower of your blog and would love a consult on a re-paint of our kitchen and master bedroom. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Jeannine @ Small and Chic says:

    I started with Valspar. I didn't know any better. Then I moved to Sherwin Williams' Harmony and Duration paints. I like them a lot better. They were so easy to work with.

    When I changed to Benjamin Moore's Aura, my world changed. Painting is no longer a chore. I actually enjoy it! The colors are fantastic, the texture is great, and the paint is very forgiving. It dries quickly and touch ups blend seamlessly…even a year later.

    A few months ago, I used some leftover Sherwin Williams Harmony to paint a closet and it was horrible. Never again. The Aura is so worth it.

    It helps that my Ben Moore dealer is kind, patient, and meticulous. My Sherwin Williams store has a few great staffers, but a few jerks who try to tell me that I don't want to use what I have asked for. The last time I was there buying some paint to finish up a project, this was the conversation:

    Me: A quart of Duration Semi-gloss in Alabaster, please.
    SW Guy: What are you doing?
    Me: Just finishing a little project I already started with Duration Semi-gloss in Alabaster. (smile)
    SW Guy: You should use Pro-Classic.
    Me: I don't really like working with Pro-Classic and I already started the project with Duration Semi-gloss in Alabaster (more smiling)
    SW Guy: I can put latex extender in it and it'll paint just like regular paint.

    He actually started arguing with me.

    Me: If you'd like, I could head over to Benjamin Moore. My guy there can mix SW colors in their paint if you don't want me to use the Duration.
    SW Guy: Their paint is twice the price and it's not scrubable.
    Me: Who cares? I don't have kids bouncing off my walls.

    Only when one of the SW guys I have worked with before intervened did the guy actually go mix my paint! I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone!

  • Tammy@InStitches says:

    haha at Jeannine's conversation with the paint guy…. I like BM paints, I switched to SW because I loved their containers with the screw on lids but they did away with them so I'm back to using BM.

  • VPS says:

    We use Glidden & haven't tried anything else, as it wears very well for us!

  • VPS says:

    We use Glidden & haven't tried anything else, as it wears very well for us!

  • Karena says:

    I have always used Benjamen Moore Pints, have not tried the Aura, and really want to.

  • Design Esquire says:

    I really like Sherwin Williams, and luckily the guys that work at the store close to me are a lot nicer than the ones near Jeannie.

  • kerri says:

    I generally use Behr (Home Depot) matching BM colors, and I've also used (HD's) no-VOC brand (Natura or something?) which was really nice, hardly needed the second coat and could hang in the room that same evening!

    What I've always wanted to try is Farrow & Ball – I hear you just can't "match" their colors, which I love.

  • Red Door Home says:

    I have used both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. Both seem to work well for the projects I have selected. I have used cheaper paints (can't rememeber the names) and they definitely were more difficult to use and required more coats.

  • Sedona @ MyDivineDelights says:

    I have used valspar, glidden, behr, sherwin williams.

    I like thicker paints and tend to lean toward valspar usually. I haven't disliked any of the paints I've used though.

  • Greet says:

    Here in Belgium the Flamant paint is very well known! Every body talks about that! And every body loves their wide range of colours! But all of the painters I know do not want to use the paint!!!
    So they use a more cheaper paint because they say that the quality of the Flamant paint is not that good!
    So they took the colour of the paint of Flamant in the texture of a more cheaper paint! All the shops have the colourcode of the Flamant paint in their computer! So it is easely to find that preferred colour!

    Have a nice weekend!


  • Rachel says:

    BM and SW are my top two. Love BM color selection. I am going to give Ellen Kennon a test because i heard good things. Have to use Kelly Moore on an upcoming project because of cost, but not sure how it holds up.

    Thanks for your compliments on my blog yesterday about your interview- you totally made my day!!!

  • Jody J says:

    I have only painted 2 rooms in our new house and I used Behr Paint, which wasn't too bad but seemed kind of hard to cover even with a primer and 2 coats. I think on my next projects I'm going to try BM, but my friend swears by SW and since I have 7 more rooms to paint I may give them both a try.

  • Karen says:

    Benjamin Moore – will try Aura with my upcoming project.

  • Jane says:

    I primarily use BM paint. It has held up WELL!

    Several years ago I used a SW paint…it was very thin and did not cover well. However, last year, I painted my office with SW and was quite pleased with the texture, thickness and coverage. The deep saffron is still gorgeous.

    Behr Paint…a few years ago…thin, runny, many coats needed. Recently, much better. The color intensity was strong, it covered in one coat.

    Overall, I prefer the BM paint…and the service I receive at my local store.

    (A friend used Martha Stewart paint from KMart in her home. There is little depth to the color, and it has not worn well. No kids to worry about, but it is fading.)
    Jane (artfully graced)

  • Karen Dyck says:

    Currently, I use Benjamin Moore paints, and have for several years. The paints are good, and the staff support from knowledgeable people, outstanding. However, in a public facility I formerly managed, we used General Paints. They stood up fine, were a great price, and we also had good support.

  • Danica says:

    Unfortunately I don't have enough painting experience to fully know what I would like. However, I did use Cloverdale when painting my parent's old kitchen and I thought it turned out quite nicely. We are going to be painting some accents on the garage door next summer in a BM colour, so I shall have to see then.

    I look forward to figuring out what paint is really "me".

  • Loving Life in Southern California! says:

    Have you ever tried Modern Masters Metallics? Very cool.

  • VictoriaArt says:

    I love Benjamin Moore, Behr's, Glidden, Pratt and Lambert, Dulux in Europe.
    Good expiriences with all, some need more coats to cover, but that has also to do with what's underneath and I now almost always prime.
    Although Behr's came out with an all in one primer/paint and I still needed two coats, so that was a waste of money…

  • Tensy says:

    I always prefer Benjamin Moore. We have lived in our house for 20 years and our beige living room walls painted in a semi-gloss have never needed a new coat of paint! The more heavily used areas like the kitchen have not fared so well, but I still prefer BM.

  • CRICKET says:

    I grew up with Benjamin Moore and used it in the first place I lived. Then I hired some painters and used Sherwin Williams because thats what the preferred. Well, I should have made them use Benjamin Moore because hands down its the best, I knew it but I was swayed, never again! Plus you can order BM sample size bottles online!!

  • prashant says:

    just what I found at the home improvement stores. When I finally saved up enough to have the ground floor of my house repainted – the painters suggested Kwal's –
    Work from home India

  • Rebecca says:

    I like the color selection of Benjamin Moore. I often buy Behr paints. For the price they have an excellent paint. When a touch up is necessary – often years after – both of these paints touch up very well.

    As always I enjoy your blog. I often read your reading comments. I seldom look at the comments in other blogs.


  • A Gift Wrapped Life says:

    Benjamin Mooore. Period. I was so adamant about the quality because I knew that the clients would eventually thank me, that I would make the paint contractors sign a form that specified NO SUBSTITUTIONS. A good tip to pass along as some painters will try and save a few bucks thinking the homeowner will not notice. They will, but it would be a few years down the road and they are long gone. My point? Don't skimp on paint.

  • Ruthie's Renewed Treasures says:

    I usually suggest Sherman William or Benjamin Moore to my client's. However, when I repainted my house, we used Ralph Lauren paint. It was very expensive but I love the rich colors they offer. Beautiful coverage too!

  • Heather says:

    When I have a choice I use BM, as it seems to have better coverage than the other local brands. But we usually use whatever paint color we can get from the free recycled paint section at the dump. We don't do for the weird browns but can get lots of pretty pale yellow that's a mix of a variety of brands. And for free.

  • casey31652 says:

    I use BenM and SW…in my own house, it usually seems to be SW but that's just a palette preference sometimes. Will be trying BenM's Natura paint soon.

  • Cheri says:

    We've usually used BM's Regal and been happy with it. Used Aura this time around for a huge painting project and had mixed feelings. I found it easy to work with and loved the low-odor factor, as well as the good coverage. But in a few areas we have some definite patterning going on and touch-ups haven't been as unnoticeable as advertised.

    However, we used a high-end store brand for one room, and we definitely noticed a difference between that and the Aura. The Aura was WAY better to work with and had much better coverage.

  • The Blasphemous Fiendess says:

    Hi Maria,

    I started with Benjamin Moore paints partly because I believed the advertising. I used Cloverdale paint in the rest of my house and am just as happy with it-there does not seem to be a difference. Our builder/contractor recommended Coverdale.

  • Marlo says:

    I use Benjamin Moore because I like the colours and my painter won't do the job unless it's BM; he refuses to use any other brand.

    I have a can of BM Aura and I'm ready to paint my front door but after reading online complaints by contractors I'm afraid to try it.

  • Marlo says:

    P.S. Years ago I had a friend use paint from St. Clair Paint & Wallpaper and he had to apply multiple coats just to get one good coat. He ended up spending more, and wasted more time and effort, than if he had used a more expensive brand.

  • Val says:

    I am a designer and use BM exclusively. I just tried the Aura line. Incredible for my lovely scrumptious Bittersweet Chocolate wall. Coverage was the best I have ever experienced and very, very even.

  • Lauren says:

    I'm a Behr Girl. 🙂 I used it originally for pricing & because HOme Depot is so conventient but when switcihng over to more expensive brands I never saw what all of the fuss was about. When the Consumer Reports results came out with it as #1 in all categories, I was sold. I've also asked painters and none have been able to give me a straight answer on what is wrong with Behr.

    I also love their color choices but they easily mix other brands' colors too & I've had great luck with that…

    speaking of!! soon I'm going to attempt a to stencil a wall in my LR and think I'll be layering the ancestral gold you recommended over the white I have. (it should come out looking like wallpaper- fingers crossed!) anyway, huge hug & i was just thanking my lucky stars for you!! 🙂


  • Anonymous says:

    Cheap paint is like a cheap dress. No matter what you put with it, it's still going to look cheap. Buy good paint. Your walls and clients will thank you. I personally will not work with a client who thinks paint from Home Depot or Lowes is good quality. There are much better places to squeeze the budget!
    Great post Maria!

  • Cristin says:

    I use Benjamin Moore and sometimes paints from Ralph Lauren. I try to use no or at least low VOC when possible too.


  • kottagekara says:

    I am a tightwad and love Kilz brand at Walmart.

  • priscilla says:

    Dont' get me started. I used Home$#@^&!!Depot's Behr paint ONE time, and took a blood oath to, well, to paint with my own blood before I ever use that product again.
    Too strong? I think not:
    It took six, count 'em, SIX, coats of off white paint, and I don't remember how many gallons, but at least three, to ALMOST cover over a very pale green color.
    I will never stray (not far, anyway) from Benjamin Moore. I'd rather go with a sure thing.

  • Leigh says:

    I use BM but love the colors from C2. Because I am cheap I once used BM made from a C2 chip and had pretty good luck. I do wonder what what the actual paint is like.

  • Karen Frederiksen says:

    Quality paint covers better and last longer. I recently sold a house and the realestate agent thought we had just painted it, even though i was 8 years ago (Flügger). Wher eI live now the paint used was without doubt the cheapest version that can be found, and it is terrible, not possible to take away even the smallest spot.

    So yes quality is both easier to paint with and last better. But then I have been told that some brands are actually the same.

    Always ends up terrible confused when visiting the hardware store to buy paint. (Eg had to return some outdoor paint since it wasnt oil based, which I had specifically asked for.)

  • Cheri says:

    Pittsburgh Paint has my vote. Love that paint – the colors, how it covers, etc. I hang on to my paint deck for dear life. Love it!

  • debbie says:

    I usually use Ralph Lauren from Home Depot. I can usually find the colors I'm looking for and if not they can color match. I get good coverage and color match with usually one coat.

  • Things That Inspire says:

    I mainly use Benjamin Moore, although I will admit that I do not do the painting myself. I have a wonderful team of painters. I love how Benjamin Moore looks, and there is a certain comfort factor with being familiar with the range of colors.

    Recently, I used Farrow & Ball for my dining room and kitchen. The painters, who are used to Benjamin Moore or Duron, told me how much to buy, and it ended up being twice as much as we actually ended up using – I think this is because the F&B had such good covering capability.

    I will also comment that the F&B is supposed to be full spectrum. The dining room gets southern light, the kitchen north and east. It looks totally different in both rooms.

    I am anxious to try Donald Kaufman in my next house; my sister used Donald Kaufman in her vacation house, and it was so beautiful. It truly looked different colors throughout the day.

  • Chinery says:

    My husband painted our bedroom as a gift to me for our 10th anniversary (5 years ago). The color was a Sherwin Williams color I used in our first home and really loved. Thankfully, it was just as beautiful here. 2 coats of the rich color- no drips and great coverage. Of course, my husband is really a fantastic painter too, so that helps. I must say that I am crazy about the handled, large screw top containers SW uses for small-sized quantities! On the other hand, I have had 'professional help' with color in some other spaces of our home; and consequently, I have gone with what she recommended, which is Benjamin Moore. I asked her about SW, and she said that it looked great- she's just never tried it herself. So, I have been known to use both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, and I've been happy with both.

  • Design Junkie says:

    I mainly use the mid and upper lines from benjamin moore and sherwin williams. Before I started working in the business, I though paint was paint, but after my first boss insisted I use Benjamin Moore for a personal paint job, I became convinced that an expensive paint can actually be a better value. An exception to that is Ralph Lauren paint from home depot–I've had some very bad experiences with it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use Behr from Home Depot because it's affordable and convenient. But now I feel like I'm missing out on something! Next time I'll try Benjamin Moore… maybe. Anyone have tips on how to get a discount or sale price on it??


  • DesignTies says:

    I've used a lot of brands, and with the exception of CIL, I've been satisfied with them all.

    My very favourite paint is Sico, and I especially love their matte Cashmere finish. Other brands I've used and like:

    Sherwin Williams
    ICI Dulux
    Benjamin Moore

    The most expensive paint I've used is Farrow & Ball, and I was actually kind of disappointed with it. It splattered a lot, and I don't think it looks twice as good as other paints even though it's twice the price.

    That being said, I usually go with the medium or high end paint in any brand.

    Hope that helps 🙂


  • Pam Kersting says:

    This is a great giveaway!! Thank you so much. Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question, but in the paint department, I would think that you may get what you pay for? Let us all know the results of your poll! Thanks so much!

  • Elizgonz says:

    Benjamin Moore always.

  • EAC says:

    I paint. A lot. I'm not a professional, I just change my paint colors often. This is my personal experience:

    Behr: Doesn't cover as well as Sherwin Williams or Ben Moore. Also spatters way more than other brands, which is a major problem if you don't tape off your trim. I don't know who did the Consumer Reports testing, but based on some of their recent e-mails I don't believe they are so unbiased. Back to the paint.

    Sherwin Williams: I have occaisionally used this with no real complaints, I just prefer the colors of other brands.

    Ben Moore: I love the Regal Flat. Usually covers in two coats and that's it. You need less paint than you would with the Behr. I have not tried Aura, but may based on the comments here. No spattering. The semigloss is glossier than the Pratt & Lambert semigloss.

    Farrow and Ball: LOVE. IT. I just tried the water based 20% sheen for trim on Tuesday. That paint stayed EXACTLY where I put it and now I am completely spoiled. No dripping, great coverage. Unfortunately, we drove 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the place that sold the paint. It was worth it, but Ben Moore is 5 minutes away. Today I had to use Ben Moore semigloss on the trim on a playroom and was disappointed after using the Farrow & Ball. There is no comparison. Now I'm dying to try the F&B flat.

    Pratt & Lambert: I like their colors, but the flat covers less than Ben Moore and tends to drip more. The semigloss drips easily but levels better. I find the accolade way better than red seal.

    I think I'm spending too much time painting! I love it though- instant results.

  • funcolors says:

    Is expensive paint really worth it? Can look at the question many ways.

    Spread rate can tell the tale of value just about as well as any other benchmark.

    For example, Farrow & Ball (which is not full spectrum, btw) has a spread rate of 480 sq. ft for their Modern Emulsion. Compared to Behr's newest and bestest which is the Plus Premium Ultra coming in with a spread rate of 250-400 sq. ft. — meaning 400 sq. ft under the most ideal circumstances.

    Behr might be cheaper per gallon, but you have to buy more Behr than you do Farrow & Ball. Can count on the mathematics of paint and color to paint a clear picture so you can decide what choice is the best fit for you, your project, the budget.

    Out of all the comparison points that can be made across the spectrum of available brands and grades, looking at it from a perspective of price per square foot is a really good idea.

    That boutique, uber-luxury brand might not be as spendy as you first thought once you compare apples to apples instead of just the quantity of gallon to gallon.


  • Debra Phillips says:

    YOLO. has anyone heard of this paint? the greenest paint i have found on the market. an all woman company in oregon. great colors and it goes on a bit sticky but does not splatter and has good coverage.
    5th and state

  • Jules says:

    You don't need to enter me in the contest–you have done so much for me, the least I can do is answer your poll. 🙂

    I used to use Martha Stewart's line, the original one from KMART. Any time I strayed from the course I suffered. I just liked her colors…I think she tends to produce muddier colors? No idea, but I liked them (and the paint) despite the professed cheap quality by those in the know.

    Now I use Ralph Lauren paints exclusively. Again, each time I stray from the course I end up repainting. For me, it's not so much about the quality as it is the color. I don't mind painting 10 coats for the color I like. That said, I've never had a problem with RL quality. I did my kitchen in two quick coats. (Ralph Lauren Polo Green.)

    I'm intrigued by Anonymous's comment regarding cheap paint. How does cheap paint cheapen a room? I'm not sure I'm convinced that's true, but I'm curious to hear their position.

  • Carol Ann says:

    Benjamin Moore always, interesting poll…interesting answers!
    Please exclude me from the contest, I just wanted to be part of the poll…Have a great weekend,
    Regards, Carol Ann x

  • Laila says:

    My current favorite paint is BM aura. I love how it covers and the color depth is superior to their regal paint. I used to use Sherwin Williams but do not feel they compare to Ben Moore, either in their color selection or paint product quality.

    I have been wanting to try Farrow and Ball and have a few of their samples, but the closest dealer is an hour away and the BM dealer is 5 minutes. If I win a 1/2 hour consultation with you, my DH will be so thankful as I cannot make up my mind about paint colors and there are paint chips all over our house!

  • My Vintage Modern Farmhouse... says:

    I have used Behr, Sherwin Williams, Dutch Boy, Valspar and Benjamin Moore and BM is definitely my favorite and worth the extra money.

  • Diana says:

    Hi Maria, here in Ecuador we have the following options:

    Sherwin Williams

    I have used gliden which is the most expensive here in Ecuador and unidas which is the second most expensive along with SW, both are very rich and have great coverage. Here we have only 2 kinds of paints matte and satin, and I only use satin because it's washable…

    The price difference between brands is about $3 per gallon in direct colors in satin finished, and more if you want something special from the Pantone or a new color… Now the price difference per gallon between santin and matte is about $6, and I know this because las Saturday the gave me by mistake 1 gal off matte paint, and when I came back to exchange it I had to pay the difference, the matte was $11 something and the satin was almost $17…

    Good luck with your survey!!!

  • Nicole says:

    I've painted 3 homes w/ BM and loved it… Unfortately after a move there wasn't a BM store close enough so I settled with Behr. It was. fine. In our new home, now that my kids are a bit older, I plan on making the trek to BM. I'm eager to try the Aura line! (I also like Pratt & Lambert and Devine)

  • Tamstyles says:

    i am glad you asked. i always wondered that. i ask bloggers all the time whats the rave with BM. Why not Behr or SW? FB is soooo the rave but I get that because of the oil…but not sure why BM is so cool.

  • Nicole says:

    In my current apartment, I originally bought the Farrow and Ball paint because I loved the colors and the matte finish. But once we started using it, we realized that the extra cost was not due to some marketing gimmick but was actually the sign of a really high quality product. It goes on the wall beautifully, which is saying something considering how awful the plastering was in our living room. The paint has almost zero odor and the clean-up is a breeze. And even though the color is just a beige-y tone of white, I am always getting compliments and questions about the color. Absolutely 100% worth the price and now I can't go back to 'regular' paint.
    Also- I must have had a dozen phone calls over the last two weeks from my mom who is trying to pick a color for her renovated kitchen/dining room/breakfast nook area and I would LOVE to win this prize! One more phone call about this will push me over the edge so I'll have to pay for you to do it, anyways, I suppose 🙂

  • Vanya-Endless Inspiration says:

    in my opinion no-one beats Farrow & Ball for depth of colour.

  • Easy Does It Redesign and Consulting says:

    I became a devotee to C2 exclusively for many reasons the bottomline being it's superior coverage and color integrity. However, due to new ownership of the C2 store in our area and its lack of customer service(the next nearest retailer being more than 2 hours away), I have switched to SW and BM.

    Great post – very interesting to hear what others are using and why.

  • Lindsay says:

    I have used Valspar and Sherwin Williams. I have also worked with two painting contractors. One of them preferred Sherwin Willams and the other preferred Valspar. Personally, I'm a terrible painter, and I can't tell the difference. Similarly, I change the color of my walls every five years or so. In that case, I don't need a paint that will last for a lifetime.

    We're getting ready to paint a 3,000 sq. ft. house, (Daunting!) and I think we're going to use Valspar. I think the thickness will help conceal some of the minor imperfections in the 50-year-old walls.

  • heather @ what's blooming this week says:

    Always used Benjamin Moore. But a few years ago, my Benjamin Moore dealer started to carry Sico and convinced me to try is. It's amazing, very smooth finish, little smell and lasts forever. The "Cashmere" finish is the best for living rooms and bedrooms – very rich finish.

  • Anonymous says:

    We had an accent wall in our office that was painted a deep eggplant color using Benjamin Moore. Looked great.

    When it came time to repaint the office years later, the painter ignored our directions and used Sherman Williams. Terrible mistake: it did not hold the pigment and the color was literally powdering off the walls. If anyone brushed up against the repainted wall, it left a long dull streak in the paintwork.

    Never again.

  • Mary says:

    I use Behr or Benjamin Moore. I've found that no matter what I use, it always takes 2 coats. Don't be fooled by when they say "Covers in 1 coat."

  • Rebecca Sherman says:

    I've used Donald Kaufman Color, Farrow & Ball and Restoration Hardware. Donald Kaufman is out of New Jersey, and you buy some samples, try them out, and then order what you want. A small jar of color arrives with instructions to have it mixed only with a Pratt & Lambert base. Most people who use Donald Kaufman hire professionals to paint, but I did it myself to save money. The paint covered beautifully, dried beautifully and never ran. I used No. 19, a gorgeous French blue. It's the one color that everyone, from plumbers to gay decorators to my mom all said was the most beautiful color on walls they'd ever seen. It's luminous and sophisticated. Donald Kaufman Color's whites are often used in museums, if that tells you anything.

  • Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says:

    I find this to be a very interesting conversation … we have always used Behr and Kilz for primer. I took a deep red wall to a great beigey green gray with two coats of primer and two coats of the paint. We did our kitchen in a deep dark federal blue (which was gorgeous with the abundance of honey colored oak in the room, no one ever lost their appetite!) and when we took it to a more neutral butter yellow to put the home on the market, it took three coats of kilz primer and then two coats of paint.

    I will say that I like the "scrubability" of the Behr paint since we have animals and some day will have lil ones.

    But I am open to trying other brands if someone could show me the difference.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have always used Benjamin Moore paint. There is a store around the corner so it is the most convenient. When I was a student I remember someone painted something (likely latex over oil) and all the paint blistered and peeled off within days and I never wanted that to happen so I always just went with a good quality paint.

    [email protected]

  • Cindy says:

    I loved Sico, Benjamin Moore was good, Behr was just okay.

  • ennistbp says:

    I used Glidden in a previous house, and it took many coats to cover. Ben Moore seems to work in 2 coats, although I should have used primer when painting a light color over a dark one. I'd love to have a consult with you!

  • LesleySW says:

    I'm a big fan of Porter Paints. They are more expensive than the big box stores but not substantially. I think they cover exceptionally well.

    The biggest problem is that the nearby Porter Paint store has limited hours and isn't open on Sunday. So if you get started with your weekend project and run out of paint, you're out of luck.

    I've had OK luck with various big box brands but it's just not the same.

  • Elizabeth says:

    benjamin moore, hands down. it's what my parents always used and they said it was the best paint that we could afford.

  • Treesa55 says:

    Benjamin Moore has my VOTE, is there any better??????
    Love the depth and breadth of their palette.

  • Ms. Greenbike says:

    I love Benjamin Moore, especially their Impervo on wood. The finish is lovely when dry! Our builder used Glidden scrubbable in our house and it's actually held up for five years with kids around. It's time to paint, though, and I'm wondering if I'm ready to graduate to BM's Aura?

  • Anonymous says:

    This is for Jules,

    I wanted to clarify what I meant when I said that I think cheap paint, makes the room cheap. I am both a designer and homeowner and I have completed rooms that are beautiful, but then had the experience of standing in a space and having the realization that there is something not quite tangible that is degrading the look. Often it is the paint. The quality, not the color. It doesn't convy the atmosphere desired. That's why I used the dress analogy. And, I am not talking about the great dress you got on sale, I mean the one you settled for, by not finding the best one to make the jewelry sparkle and to feel your best at that party/event. I have a room in my house right now that fits this criteria and it's making me nuts. It's on my to "re-do" list. It was painted awhile ago, on the cheap, because it sounded quick and convenient when my husband suggested it "just this time". It's not convenient now! We both regret it. But we had just finished a renovation and wanted to knock one more thing off the list. I am having a Christmas party in a month and have serious concerns this will not be done. Thank goodness for ambient lighting! Also, it's one thing to experiement with paint in your own home…you forgive yourself when it doesn't turn out right. It's entirely different when there are clients and contractors time/billing involved. Hope this helps. rli

  • Velvet and Linen says:

    We use mainly Farrow and Ball. They have a limited classic color palette. I find that their paint really captures the light in a room.
    We use Ben Moore on the rare occasion that F&B doesn't have the color we are looking for.


  • Anonymous says:

    We are doing a remodel and are using Kirkland brand paint – not sure what it is – but is works well – covers nicely etc. As to color – we do not have many walls that are NOT white off white etc. YES we need this giveaway
    [email protected]

  • Jenn Calling Home says:

    You don't have to enter me in the contest. This is a timely post for me to read since I am about to repaint the interior or our home. I have used Ralph Lauren for accent walls and loved it. It is a bit pricey so I am considering other brands for doing the entire house. Glad to see all the comments.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Catie, so fun that you came back and answered Jules inquiry about the cheap paint comment! I am so glad I asked this question, I am loving all this feedback!!

    Thank you everyone for your contribution to this poll!

  • emma says:

    My first choice: Farrow and Ball. Love their test pots and love their colours.
    I have a Pratt & Lambert green that I adore, but their paint is hard to get in Vancouver. I've also used their exterior paint – ten years and still looking good.
    I tried Martha Stewart paints once – too drippy. I tried Devine paints once – and they were too thick and hard to apply.
    I do have a couple of BM colours I love, especially a sage green they have.

  • Anonymous says:

    If you have chosen a dark color, it is worth purchasing the higher quality paint.

    My painter could not get over the fact that he needed only 2 coats of Pratt & Lambert paint for a dark red wall, whereas he'd needed 6 or 7 coats of a less expensive manufacturer for the same basic color and coverage.

  • Kelly, Arte Styling says:

    Wow – what a wealth of information here! Thanks for the post, Maria.

    I typically use BM. They have a great color selection and I love being able to order the 8×8 samples to check color. I like the Aura line, as it seems to have more depth than the regular line. Not as big a fan of Behr and Glidden, which I tried in the past (before my color consulting days.)

    Haven't used SW yet, but recently got their big sample box, so am curious to see what others think!

    Also have some full gallon samples of Olympic that were given to me to test. Need to try these out to see!

    All in all I think a "cheap" coat of paint with some fresh color is usually better than NO coat of paint. But, like funcolors and a few others said, it isn't so cheap when you have to buy 7 gallons!

    (I don't need to be entered in the contest either, but thanks!)

  • Jim & Kristen Wong says:

    it's benjamin moore all the way for me, i've tried other less expensive home store brands and it always takes more coats to get the richness i'm shooting for. if there's something just as good for less money, i wanna know!

  • Trace says:

    Hi Maria,

    I use BM and I swear by it. I have used other paints such as CIL, Behr, and others and they just do not seem to me to be as good. I find with other paints I am using way more paint to get the same coverage I do when I use BM. BM might be a bit more money but it is well worth it. I also find when I am rolling the BM paint doesn't splatter the way some others do.

  • yodafatkitty says:

    To answer your question, Yes, quality paint is better.
    However, keep in mind the job you are doing.
    If you're trying to cover up another color, now would not be the time to save money.

    Also, in my experience, just because it comes from Home Depot doesn't mean its inferior paint. If the surface that you were painting over was not clean, you would not have got the best coverage possible. To say to answer your question, yes, quality paint is better.
    However, keep in mind the job you are doing.
    If you're trying to cover up another color, now would not be the time to save money.

    Also, in my experience, just because it comes from Home Depot doesn't mean it's inferior paint. If the surface that you were painting over was not clean, you would not of got the best coverage possible. To say the least. There is a lot more to painting than just getting it up on the walls.

    I recently tried Devine Paint, from the Miller Paint line. I was seriously less than impressed. Both in colors and coverage. There is a lot more to painting than just getting it up on the walls.

    I recently tried Devine Paint, from the Miller Paint line. I was seriously less than impressed. Again, both in colors and coverage. I will not be using that paint ever again nor recommending it.

    Sounds like I need to revisit BM! I haven’t tried that brand in a while. I do remember really liking Glidden, Naturally Calm, to be specific. They apparently don’t make that color any more or simply changed the name. Oh, and I do really like Behr paint from Home Depot. Good colors and good quality.

  • Minus75 says:

    Yes, quality is everything when it comes to paint.

    I'm a decorative painter and my favorites are, in order:

    1. Ben Moore
    2. Porter
    3. Sherwin Williams

  • chanteusevca says:

    I wish I knew what paint and what colors to use! Since we have lived in this house, we've used Behr and Valspar. My daughter uses Sherwin Williams and it looks great in her beautiful home. We are going to be painting soon and I am looking and sampling Benjamin Moore and possibly some others just to see if I prefer the quality and colors better. I am really interested in that boutique custom paint owner that you mentioned on one of your previous blogs. She says that her paints are much more pigmented than the usual brands and do not contain any black. That fascinates me and I'm very curious about them. But I can't recall her name or the name of her company. I believe she is in Arizona. Can you help me find her? Thanks!

  • Jacqueline says:

    Hey Maria,
    I used to be a professional painter, muralist and faux painter before starting my interior design & colour business. Glidden's Lifemaster paint has always been a great buy for me–excellent coverage, eco friendly, good colour deck variety of colours and layout & a good value. Since I am very picky about & sensitive to layers of undertones in a colour I value a patient person behind the counter mixing and tweaking those colours. They make or break it for you. They have always been designer friendly for me. They have also teamed up with me to do some fabulous promotional events, showrooms etc. A good relationship and good paint is a winning combo.

    Option 2 is always BM. Lately was approached by new Sherwin Williams line and waiting for my arch. kit. The pitch sounded very interesting so we will have to test their paint, their staff, etc. Would love to know others' experiences.

    Bottom line…bad paint washes or rubs off the wall. Worst I ever saw was when someone leaned over with their jeans against a wall and was left with white powder on their butt. Bad paint also doesn't cover. The expense in paint is the pigment. If a company develops a base that is able to carry more pigment then the R&D (research & development) costs money as does the additional pigment as compared to another product. Goes on better, doesn't change colour as quickly with exposure to light, covers well. If it is eco friendly to boot well then…home run with no off-gas.

    That's my 2 cents from far too many years of paint experience.


  • Roberta says:

    Have been using BM for years and recently gave Pratt & Lambert a chance but it doesn't come close. After reading these comments, I'm looking forward to trying Farrow and Ball.

  • Francine Gardner says:

    I love working with the new Aura paint by Benjamin Moore. I was asked to do an in house talk about their paints and design their New York window displays and worked with brand new paints with speckles of silver, incredible paints.

  • tc says:

    Farrow & Ball, with Benjamin Moore as my second choice. I used and loved Benjamin Moore exclusively for decades until I experienced Farrow & Ball paints. It goes on beautifully, as other commenters have noted, but, more importantly, it seems to have a depth to it that other paints don't. I painted my open concept first floor six years ago and I still love the color. I touch up with paint from an original can and it still blends perfectly. I have heard that BM Aura paints have a similar effect, so I may try it if I find a color I love that F&B does not have. Great discussion here–lots of BM fans!

  • hello gorgeous says:

    Let's just say that the guys/one girl at the paint store have known me by name in every town I've ever lived.

    I've tried everything: BM (which I think is highly overrated and inconsistent when mixing color); Behr; Sherwin-Williams; Ralph Lauren. I used to hate Ralph Lauren, thinking it was thin and never matched the color but when you add the second coat, it changes everything! It's a richer color than anything I've achieved with BM.
    I used to use Pratt & Lambert but nobody sells it anywhere in Delaware. And I love the California color range but have never actually selected a color.
    I've always wanted to try Farrow & Ball but won't select a color online.

  • Windlost says:

    I like Benjamin Moore and have almost used it exclusively. But I was very happy with the much cheaper General Paint. Amazing coverage and spreads like silk. I would choose it again except that the BM colours are so much better.

  • Laurie says:

    Very interesting to read all the comments and experiences. I have used Valspar, Behr, Sherwin Williams and Glidden. I was very surprised with how much I liked Glidden. I als liked Valspar and Behr. Sherwin Williams was OK, but I didn't think it was worth the price. However I like to get there tester size for $5 when I have a very small project.

  • cenright says:

    i have used Behr due to cost savings but i think i prefer BM. Would love to try Pratt& Lambert someday- have heard great things about PL. thanks!

  • Millie says:

    We use Benjamin Moore Aura…very good coverage and I like the texture. I must say that Ralph Lauren is good too.

  • traci zeller says:

    I recommend Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams. I personally prefer Benjamin Moore, but (at least here in NC) it is significantly more expensive than Sherwin-Williams. The professional painters can get a much better price on the SW, and – if you are doing an entire house – that adds up to thousands. I have a hard time convincing my clients that the price tag of the BM is worth it when you are talking such big numbers. Oh, and I *love* the BM Aura product; it is amazing!

  • SewCreativelySweet says:

    I have used Valspar, Behr Primer paint, and Ralph Lauren Paint. These I can say have worked out great.
    1.Valpsar has wonderful coverage, you can immediately tell when you pour the paint very good consistency.
    2.Behr Primer Paint Which is wonderful, it Covers Prepainted walls with out having to prime your wall first and one cost in plenty.
    3.Ralph Lauren paint is wonderful for technique painting and has great color options that others don't.

    I will never again use cheap paint I bought some way back in college and till this day will I never buy cheap paint again.


  • Maria Killam says:

    Comment sent by email;

    I have found Behr paint to be excellent in coverage and durability, equal to or better than Benjamin Moore, less expensive, with an excellent choice of colors. ValSpar was excellent for outdoor woodwork, Glidden not as good as it once was; True Value EZ Kare semigloss was not good for woodwork as it's sticky and shows marks (bedroom windows stick shut in summer); MAB paint was so so; Bruning paint is more expensive but excellent and environmentally correct – their Silthane mix is excellent for outdoor woodwork; Sherwin Williams performed poorly (I complained to the company president once) but has since improved and has a good selection of colors, some of their marketing practices are less than forthright; Martin Senour (division of Sherwin Williams) has respectable paint with a reasonable selection of colors.

    Hope this is helpful. Diann

  • Maria Killam says:

    Comment sent by email;

    Hello Maria: For many, many years I have used Pratt and Lambert paint because the quality was superior to any other paint I had ever used. I always used cellutone for baseboards and other wood work and Vitralite for the walls which was an oil eggshell finish. The finish I would end up with was beautiful. I always sanded between coats — that is the perfect way to get a beautiful paint job.

    I have also used latex paint, most recently in my new renovated bathroom. It is Benjamin Moore and the colour is linen. I don't care for the finish because it looks a little bumpy. It has already cracked
    around a towel bar which has to be repaired already. My Benjamin Moore paint for all wood work is oil base and it is beautiful with fabulous spreading consistency.

    The trouble with latex I find is it doesn't flow on the wall; dires too fast and just isn't as doesn't level out like an oil-based. The clean-up for oil-based is deadly but very worthwhile. I find if you always
    use an expensive paint you will get a better finish. I suppose you get what you pay for.


  • Maria Killam says:

    Yes! I use Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams. Swear by them! Other lesser paints can be runny or too chalky feeling for me. However, I do think Valspar makes a good quality paint. Better coverage means less cost in my opinion!

    Katie Schulte
    The Paintlady

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Maria,

    I am an avid follower of your blog and love your posts! When I moved into my new townhouse condo five years ago with a great room, plus 7-8 additional rooms to paint, I knew I needed guidance and hired a decorator for wall color. It was the best decision. I was moving from an all BM White Dove Cape Cod condo to a larger suburban Boston home and was afraid of making mistakes. When I suggested a particular butterscotch for the great room from one of my two fans of Benjamin Moore paint samples, she replied that it put her teeth on edge. I loved her reaction and felt secure in her advice. For $85 for that hour, it was the best money I spent.

    She suggested Martin Senour paint. I had never heard of it and had always used Benjamin Moore but I found the colors truer, more authentic and more pleasing. I am not certain about how much more expensive it is, but I was very happy with the paint.

    Best wishes,
    Kay Flynn

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Maria,

    A friend and I have a small painting business and we always use Benjamin Moore. The collection series is excellent paint – for coverage and quality. Aura is a very good paint but more expensive and it does dry quickly – which can be good and bad. I want to try Farrow and Ball some day soon.


  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Maria, I used cheap paint for my first project as a young woman and didn't save a cent. After multiple coats of paint it finally looked acceptable. My two favorite paints are Benjamin Moore and True Value paint. I have extensive painted woodwork in my house and it holds up well, washes easily, and doesn't chip easily. I then got drawn into the Divine Paint web. I regret that I used it on woodwork as well as walls. When I set things on my buffet or mantle, they often stick and take a small chip of paint with them when moved. This is even after a couple of years. I will never use it again. I want to cheer up my rooms now and would love to chat with you! Caroline French

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Maria, this is a timely question! I am in the middle of painting the grout on my stone fireplace. It was painted burgundy by the previous owners. I started painting yesterday with Benjamin Moore OC90, realized it was the wrong color and switched to Benjamin Moore OC48. The first paint was their top of the line or Collection and the OC48 is Moorestyle. The Collection paint is so much thicker, creamier and nicer to work with. Next time I will definitely buy the Collection paint, it is worth the little bit more. I have tried other paints but find BMoore to be reliable. We hired a painter to paint the ceiling of our carport at Thetis, I asked him to buy B.Moore but he bought Sico Paint instead. The paint job and preparation he did was excellent, the paint is not. There are dark spots starting to show up (mildew or?) and I believe the Collection exterior BMoore paint would have eliminated that with their mildecide (sp?) Of course the new Aura paints would probably be even better and we have bought some in preparation for some exterior work next summer.
    Here is another example: My brother and sister in law painted deck chairs this summer using an oil based Behr paint that apparently did not need a primer.
    They are very meticulous painters, they put on many coats of paint on those chairs and the oils from the knots kept leaking through. An example of a paint product not doing what it says it will do.
    Hope this helps with your survey!


  • Maria Killam says:

    Another one by email;

    I like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin William's top of the line paint. I repaint my rooms quite often and usually use one of those two. I can say I am equally happy with them. I have however, tried a couple of times using a hardware store brand because I just happened to find the right color and was too lazy to go over to the other store to match it. Both times (different hardware stores) I was really disappointed in coverage and durability. So I ended up having Sherwin Williams match it and painting over it.
    Laura Fowler

  • Maria Killam says:

    I'm posting all of these because it's great to have them all in one place;


    I’ve used Farrow and Ball paints for a long time and think they are superior and well worth the upgrade. My painter raves about their application and coverage. The colors have great depth and luminance. When I’ve used them in showhouses, visitors always want to know the color. Of course, the context is everything as you mentioned in a recent article. Try them and let me know what you think!


  • Maria Killam says:

    hello….Benjamin Moore is my paint choice….not only does it cover well…it has staying power….holds up well and keeps it's freshness.

    yes, i have used less expensive paint and did not find the same to be true…
    it seems to disappear on the wall or other surface being painted…

    love the knowledgeable people who work at the better paint stores….very helpful…

    love your blog too…thank you…nv

  • Maria Killam says:

    Yep. For every two gallons of *better* paint like Aura or Farrow & Ball you will probably need three gallons of Behr – even the new ultra. It’s not just the abstract quantity either – that extra gallon equates to time and work to roll it on too – not gonna get on the walls on its own. Do you wanna roll two gallons or three? Some people do have more time than money so they opt for the extra gallon and extra work strictly because of budget.

    It’s funny how some people never get their head around the math tho. All they see is $89.50 for a gallon F&B and $35.00 for a gallon of Behr and think that’s all there is to it.

    It was a great topic for a blog post! Great job once again, MK.


  • Melanie says:

    I love Benjamin Moore paint. I have used it all but always come back to it.

  • Kami Tremblay says:

    I'm a Sherwin Williams gal at heart, it never fails…EVERY TIME. I've used Benny Moore on projects (since it's 'THE BEST'), but I'm never happy on the way it handles applying it, and always go back to Sherwin Williams!

  • Cindy says:

    There was a full service Ben Moore store about a mile from my last house, so I got started with it back in the 70's, and I've continued to use it for interior and exterior. I always preferred the eggshell, Aquavelvet for walls and satin impervo for trim, but last year I switched to Aura. I'm still getting used to it, as it dries so quickly. I do love the way it has such depth of color – it just looks different, and seems to improve in appearance with time. I did try Kilz one coat on my garage interior to save a few dollars. It was fine for the garage, but I am so used to the Ben Moore products, I prefer to stay with them.

  • Jill says:

    I painted one of my girls rooms with Behr paint. I'm a novice painter, so I didn't really know what to expect, went on fine, two coats, no issues. The only thing, is I had issues with the right color pink. Enter Benjamin Moore.

    My other girls room was in need of a paint job and I needed help. I didn't trust my color choosing any longer I looked at the Pottery Barn website and well, there is Benjamin Moore. I went to the local store and found the color (and saw the price, Eek!). Thought, what the heck, I'm doing this because I don't want to repaint. Well, I have to say that it definitely goes on easier than the Behr and I think that it has a cleaner finish. Maybe it is the dollar signs in my head, no, I honestly think that it went on a lot nicer and looks better

    I think that I'll stick with BM.

  • Linda says:

    Hey Maria, Thanks for your wonderful blog. I always enjoy your observations and the many beautiful pictures you include.

    One term you frequently use disturbs me, and that is the word "dirty" to describe those colors which are not bright or primary. Well, dirty can be fun and has it's place 😉 – – but it doesn't seem to belong in the decorating lexicon. My understanding is the creation of such colors includes adding a minute amount of paint from the opposite side of the color wheel. Why not call these complex colors? Or if that won't work, invite suggestions from your readers for something better? Just a thought… L

  • Henry says:

    I love Devine paints. The colors are gorgeous and changeable, it applies beautifully, and it doesn't stink.

  • Chris says:

    I have always used Sherwin Williams until your blog and have just used Benjamin Moore in my bathroom. I got and would love to try Ellen Kennons Full Spectrum paints-I got her sample chips.

  • Personalized Sketches and Sentiments says:

    Excited to have "found" ya! I came from another and yet another's blog and became a follower here. I would love to be picked foran on-line color consultation :o)

    Thank you for this great giveaway!
    Blessings & Aloha!

  • sarah says:

    Thank you so much for your blog. i have learnt so much. I have used Dulux paint but not been that satisfied. I liked their Suede Effects however, for the spot i used it in. But in general i perfer( if i had my own house) to use Porters Paints esp their milk wash or tempura range. Beautiful and artistic finishes. Thanks for all your efforts. sarah

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Linda,
    I use the term dirty vs. clean because clients understand that term when I'm showing them colours. You can use whatever words that work for you with your clients, muted, muddy, complex colour, all would work when describing a colour that has been toned down from a bright primary!

    I might write an individual post about it though, you are not the first person to be disturbed by that terminology.

    Thanks for posting your opinion,

  • The Project Nazi says:

    I'm a loyal Ben Moore customer -mostly because I love the color selection. I can't say it's the best quality paint because I don't think it minimizes drywall imperfections, as well as Duron. Whatever manufacturer I use, I always request the highest grade paint. Higher quality paint has lower splatter and better coverage.
    I do believe you get what you pay for. Cheap paint will produce cheap results. Brands I don't like are Behr, Ralph Lauren, Glidden.

  • Anonymous says:

    In the past I would pick paints by the color that I wanted, so If I couldn't find it with one brand, I would switch to another company.
    I have been relatively happy with my choices. I never bought the cheapest brand of any company.
    My mother on the other hand does, and you can tell the difference.

  • Linda says:

    Hi Maria,
    I use Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint. My husband and I built a home in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1987. When I was deciding on the color to paint the exterior redwood siding, I drove all around Lake Charles in high end neighborhoods to see other houses. There was a house near downtown that was on the National Register for Historic Homes. It was painted a beautiful blue. I got out of my car walk up to the front door and rang the doorbell to ask the homeowner what paint they used. The homeowner couldn't remember the paint color name, but said they purchased the paint from Benjamin Moore. I went to BM and gave the address and ask what color paint was used. They showed me, and I was surprised, because it didn't look anything like the color on the house. I continued to look at houses another couple of months. One day driving through one of Lake Charles most exclusive neighborhoods, I saw a beautiful home painted blue and I was immediately drawn to it. I went to the front door rang the doorbell, and asked the homeowner what paint they used. The homeowner couldn't remember the color, but told me they bought it at BM. I went to BM and gave them the address, and ask for the paint color. You guessed it! It was the same color. The guy who helped me told me he wouldn't sell me any other color. I painted my home the same blue and loved it. I used Ben Moore for the interior as well. My husband transferred to Richmond Virginia and we sold our beautiful blue home for the asking price.
    Since moving to Virginia in 1989, I have purchased and renovated four houses. I used Sherwin Williams paint for the interior, and Benjamin Moore for the exterior. The interior paint colors Neutral Ground, Canvas Tan, and Khaki Shade (beige with green undertones)were the interior paint colors. Three houses sold within 24 hours after going on the market. The fourth house is my retirement home. Again, SW Neutral Ground, Canvas Tan, and Khaki Shade are on the walls.
    I like Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams paints the best. I dislike Behr, but used it once when I had to buy paint on a Sunday. We do not hire painters. My husband is the painter, and he tells me if he goes to hell, the devil will give him a paint brush.
    Thank you Maria, for your blog. I have learned so much. I didn't know the beiges I used had green undertones until I started reading your blog. I wish I could take one of your classes.
    Richmond, Virginia

  • E @ Oh! Apostrophe says:

    I usually pick Benjamin Moore colors but have them color matched to Behr.

  • ticridge says:

    Hi Maria, Just found your blog a couple weeks ago. It's great!

    I have a lot of health issues which include severe allergies and chemical sensitivities. Using low/no VOC is a must these days. My husband just painted our office BM Eco Spec (this line is being discontinued) Shaker Beige. It is an eggshell finish and shows lots of imperfections on the walls that we didn't know were there. Finish is a bit too shiny. It's been on the walls a couple weeks and it's actually looking better today. It takes time to cure.
    BM has the best paint colors, but unless we have used the Regal paint matte finish it doesn't hold up very well for cleaning, etc. The less expensive BM doesn't wash well and colors don't match for touch ups.
    Sherwin Williams is ok.
    The longest lasting paint we've ever used is Sears Best Easy Living. Washes great and holds up for many years.
    Glidden is the worst we've used. Looks cheap on the walls. Their trim paint holds up better than the wall paint.

    Is there a low/no VOC paint that looks good and is durable? 🙂

    THANKS again for this blog. Maria, you are an inspiration!

  • Mary says:

    Hope I'm not too late!

    I use BM's Aura line on my walls in my home. A few months ago I decided to repaint my upstairs hallway, so I tried a regular paint from Sherwin Williams that was a lot less expensive. What a mistake. It was so thin that it needed 3 coats to get the same coverage as 1 when I painted with Aura. Lesson learned. I will only change now if I can find a pain that covers as well and costs less.

  • twizzis says:

    My dad owned a hardware store in the upper 9th ward in New Orleans. He sold Glidden paint so, naturally, we used it in the home of my son's house in St. Bernard Parish. After more than 2 weeks submerged in salt water post Katrina, we marveled that it was the only paint that had not dissolved off the walls in any and every house around. True story.

  • Nickel says:

    I have always used BM and C2 in my home and for my client’s homes. After being asked many times why I did not use the less expensive brands. I thought maybe I should try some of them, well I did. We found that the less expensive paints did not cover as well; are less durable (some rooms needed to be repainted within six months), or did not have the range or depth of colour we were looking for.

    My next step was to speak to several representatives regarding their paint. What I found is that several of the companies couldn’t really tell me why they were better, some said because they were around longer, or their were paint contractors choose. I had one sales person ask me why BM was most used by designers and it made me think again to why. When I spoke with a representative from BM and C2 this is what was said:

    BM – “Our paints are higher in cost because of the quality. One of the most important things to look for in paint is the amount of Solids the paint has, the higher the solids, the better the coverage, and longer durability.”

    C2 – “It is the quality of our tints, and the depth of the colour. Where certain companies will you only use two maybe three tints to achieve a colour we may use 3-5 and this is what gives it the depth and richness.”

    One of my clients always used Behr because of cost, finally decided to try BM and said he will never by cheap paint again. The room he painted would normally take him 2 gallons, he only used 1 gallon and finished it in ½ a day.

    I have always found that BM and C2 have the best range of colours BM have a good range of clean and dirty colour. C2 has clear, clean earthy hues. I now exclusively use BM only because C2 is not available in the city I have recently moved too. 🙁

  • Anonymous says:

    Yolo paint is great! No VOC; the paint application is easy, it performs well, and the colors are beautiful. These are colors designed for architecture, so while the palette is limited, you can't go wrong. Hope that more dealers are carrying this brand.

  • Jill says:

    Maria, Now that I am getting serious about painting (and have learned so much from your blog), in order to get the quality of Ben Moore, can i go with BM Super Spec or do I have to use Regal?

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Jill,
    The quality looks like this: the plastic that the light bulb covers on your car is the same stuff in regal which is why it protects your walls in a way that other paints don't. I'm not sure of the difference between their basic paint and the higher end but just know that you get what you pay for!
    When you buy your paint the guys in the paint store will have more info!
    Hope this helps!

  • megeranski says:

    Maria, and everyone:

    A number of “Fail” stories sound as if there was no primer used, or perhaps ‘cheap’ stuff.

    Paint is only as good as the primer used. Paint is simply not that sticky, nor is it meant to cover some of the flaws described.

    I used to only use paint, and one time, had to cover a dark color, and pouted while I spent the extra money on primer. Lucky day for me. It changed everything.

    Now, almost nothing gets painted without primer.

    THAT would be an interesting topic to cover. Not as sexy, perhaps, but extremely helpful to those of us who do our own painting.

    (Can’t help but wonder what applicator was used in various settings, either. Again, stumbled into a superior paint brush and roller once. There is no looking back after that.)

    Possible that both are outside the scope of your blog, but are CRITICAL to the finished product.

    Keep doing the great stuff you do, Maria!

  • megeranski says:

    another topic for you, one day when you are inspired: Full Spectrum Paints.

    Sounds like folks in this thread who have tried them are sold.

    Am now reading/researching on that topic. It is intriguing.

    Wonder how this ‘new’ area of paints plays into your methodology. 🙂

  • Brad says:

    I’ve used Cloverdale and Benjamin Moore extensively. I find BM no better at all. And almost double the price. I have an outdoor railing done with BM that I have to touch up every year. Cloverdale will give volume discounts much easier than BM. BM is just marketing and a name. Look to independent tests.

  • Gary brown says:

    Behr exterior all in one
    This is terrible pain for a door dries way too fast
    I had a nice looking metal door
    Now I have a rough looking door
    Going back to town to get some paint striper
    What a disater.
    My wife bought it at home most people dont known about
    Benjamin Moore one of best pain.
    With professional help at the counter
    Good luck getting professional help at Home Depot

  • Electra says:

    We bought a big old frame house in need of renovations. It was uuuugly! Old grey roof and ugly pink with burgundy siding. We put a beautiful black roof on then painted the exterior a taupe with black trim. We thought it would need two coats but our thick excellent quality Cloverdale paint covered in one coat. That was three years ago and the paint still looks like new. We were also fortunate to get a great deal on the 3-5 gallon containers as it was on sale, buy two get one free.

  • Kya says:

    I have been a loyal Cloverdale Contractor. I recently needed a cranberry red and of course cloverdale was closed as it’s the weekend.

    I had base coated in a cloverdale cream color, didn’t look great with the base of grey. Time permitting I bought gladden low voc….. oh my this is the thinnest, longest drying garbage paint I have ever used.

    I will be returning to cloverdale during open hours and purchasing my usual eve egg shell who I will final coat in.

    I will never stray again. If it works….. don’t change it. You get what you pay for. This timing issue cost me $ and unnecessary time. 5 coats and there’s still serious flashing. Disappointed in glidden.

    Happy Cloverdale decorator am I.

    All the best in your paint devors

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