Paint Brand Comparison

by Diana @ The Devine Home on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 · 12 comments

This week as we have been painting and painting . . . and painting, I’ve noticed  a difference between the two brands we’ve been using.

Typically, I am a Benjamin Moore Paint girl – they have such a huge selection of colors and the paint goes on so nicely. However, where I am in Georgia there’s not a BMP place close, so we went to Lowes.

In the foyer, we used the Valspar Signature line of paint in an eggshell finish. I’ve got to say that I was veryvalspar 254x300 Paint Brand Comparison disappointed. We paid $30/gallon and there were lots of drips and splatters. Even more disappointing was how quickly the pigment separated. My sister bought the paint last week and when we opened up the can we found lots of clear liquid sitting on top even though I had shaken it up quite a bit! I expect alot more from a paint that cost $30/gallon. The coverage was decent but it was smelly . . . we won’t be buying it again.

olympic 200x300 Paint Brand ComparisonIn the parlor and kitchen we are using Olympic Premium brand in an eggshell finish. At just over $20/gallon this paint is rated #1 by Consumer Reports (according to the Olympic Paint rep who was at Lowes that day). I really liked that we were able to find a zero VOC product (which results in a very low odor and environmentally-friendly paint).

I’ve got to say that we were very impressed with the Olympic paint. If I want a low/zero VOC paint from Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore I can end up paying $50/gallon! (Don’t get me wrong, love Aura paint from BMP but I’m just saying.) These days, that’s a lot of money to shell out on a gallon of paint. The coverage was good (two coats – light over dark) and very low odor. I would not hesitate to use this brand again. I thought it was an extremely good value.

I’m curious what paint brands you like or don’t like. So many of us use paint to transform our spaces – please share your paint wisdom with us.

pixel Paint Brand Comparison


1 pk Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 6:52 am

Good to know about Olympic vs. Valspar. Thanks for sharing the information. I just had a client use Behr Premium Plus Paint and Primer in one and they absolutely loved it. Said that it was easy to use and had great one-coat coverage. Unfortunately not low or no VOC.

2 Suzann from The Olive Cottage Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

At the very top of my list is Benjamin Moore. Next I enjoy some Sherwin Williams and third is BEHR. Tried Valspar and it was a disaster. It did not wear well at all.

3 MissCaron Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 9:54 am

I had read that on Consumer Reports so it’s nice to read a real live testimony. I have used Behr paints from Home Depot and LOVE them.

4 Kelly Friday, August 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I used to be a Benjamin Moore girl…but, the new Behr paint (that has the primer in it) is absolutely AMAZING! Better coverage (in one coat) than Benjamin Moore! I am repainting my entire house! :D

5 Diana @ The Devine Home Friday, August 28, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Seriously Kelly? I gave up on HD paint a long time ago – didn’t like the quality or the color selection. Thanks for the heads up, I will drop by to check it out.

6 Kelly Friday, August 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I was shocked to find that this paint is worth the money! I quit buying the Home Depot paint because of the same reason. The only reason I tried this was because I thought it would be a time saver (being that the primer is already in it). I am planning on selling our home in the next year – and did not want to spend alot of money of high quality paint I loved….if I was going to move! :D
Now, this paint does not begin to have the color selection that BJ or Pratt & Lambert paint….but, like I said….I am just trying to give EVERYTHING a fresh coat of paint before we sell our house! :D
Have a great weekend!

7 Jonas Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Great information here..but I’d like to make a few corrections. Consumer Reports did not rank Olympic paint #1, it rated it a best buy. It ranked both the Behr Premium Plus and the two lines of Valspar sold at Lowe’s as better paints. Also the “paint in primer in one” claim by Behr is a false statement. It is good marketing but misleading to those that don’t know paint. It is a VERY good quality paint, but it recommends you use two coats on most surfaces and primer on surfaces that would traditionally need primer anyways. It is no different then the top paints in the market like Ben Moore, SW Duration, and Valspar signature. Very surprising to hear about your experience with the Valspar signature, I was a diehard Ben Moore guy until a couple of years ago and now use exclusively Valspar signature. It is leaps and bounds better than the Olympic paint that is very sticky to use and doesn’t have near the coverage ability of the Valspar product. I also recently found out that the Valspar is going to a low voc formula which will be good for those with overly sensitive allergies to paint. Happy painting to all!!

8 Rick Friday, November 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I also used the Valspar Signature paint and it went on great. When it says on the can “One Coat”, that is over a properly prepared wall; prime the wall first to the color. Use a quality roller and brushes. Paint the a “W” motion then fill in. It is very easy to blame the paint companies, when people do not know how to paint or forget to prepare to paint.

9 Rick Monday, December 28, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I have been painting for 30 yrs and have tried many different brands, including most of the ones mentioned herein. By far, and I mean by far, the top quality paint is from Benjamin Moore. They win in all categories; goes on smoother, drips less, lasts longest, cleans nicely once dried, etc etc. Yes it is expensive paint, but worth every cent. Sometimes you can get 10-15% off depending where you buy it. I am about to paint my whole house & I will not even look at another Company :-)

10 designforliving Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I have used alot of different paint brands and formulas and my family has a 3rd generation painting/protective coatings business; maily commercial jobs. Paint quality is changing with the low VOC requirements-time will tell…I never recommend the Behr line from Home Depot–but I have not used their new “primer/paint” product, so will give that a try, as paint only. I have had numerous bad experiences with the Behr product–color separation within paint –on the walls looks terrible, hard to get stains off, etc.

BM (Regal and Aura) and Sherwin Williams (especialy the Superpaint) are great products; also like many of the smaller niche lines for color selection and color uniformity and pigment: California Paint, C2. LOVE Devine Color formulas and colors–now owned by Valspar

11 Patty Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I will never, ever purchase Sherwin Williams again. A few years ago, we painted our kitchen with their Red Bay color in satin. I can’t even try to clean the walls becuase the pigment rubs off. I first discovered it when one of the kids spilled their drink and there was red in the paper towel. Tried another section of the kitchen with a dry towel and the same thing happened. It’s been 4 years and the color still rubs off.

Well, we painted one of the kids rooms last year and she wanted an orange wall. The color we settled on was a SW color. When I went to the store and told them about my past experience, they said that was a problem with darker colors, but that I should have that problem with the new paint. Well, guess what? Yup, the color rubs off with a paper towel. At about $30 for a gallon, I expect better.

Now my go to paint is Behr, it goes on thick and covers nice. I agree that the color selection is problematic, but I bring in the paint colors from other lines and they match it. We used the semi-gloss in our bathrooms and it holds up will to the humidity and water. I like the colors in the Olympic line had have luck with them, as well as Valspar.

12 Diana @ The Devine Home Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 9:51 am

Hi Patty,

Thanks for the info. Dark colors do tend to have that problem . . . I have heard and been told that the new Benjamin Moore Aura paint is scrubable – I have not tried it myself but their architectural rep for Ohio told me. It is much more expensive but it’s supposed to go on in one coat and it’s low VOC and, supposedly, practically odorless. It is so frustrating to pay big bucks and have problems!

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