Painting a room is the easiest way to give it a whole new feeling. When you’ve gone to paint your home in the past you’ve definitely considered many different colors and shades, but have you paid any attention to what brand you’re selecting? Some brands allow you to get way more creative with their paint by providing unique finishes and textures. Some brands hold their color and luster for years, while others dull relatively quickly. What is the difference between a $15 gallon of paint and a $50 gallon of paint, and is it worth it to pay a premium? Here we evaluate different wall paint brands based on price and quality.
First, what is paint made of? Paint has been around since ancient times where it was created using a mixture of organic materials and minerals. Today, it’s much more complicated. The colored mixture is created by combining chemical solvents that allow for even dispersion, concentrated colored pigment, and resin that allows the paint to solidify and dry. Sherwin-Williams created the first modern paint can in the late 1800’s, and even since then, much has changed. The industry has added a wide variety of colors, finishes, primers, and special mixtures.
Selecting Your Wall Paint
Many who have painted their walls before understand that very inexpensive paints won’t provide even coverage, leading to the need for many coats, more time, and more money spent on paint. You should always avoid the cheapest paint options available, and you probably don’t need a $100 can of paint. To begin selecting the right paint for you, first decide on what sheen and color you want.
To select your color, grab a wide variety of different swatches and examine them in all light. If you’re trying to match something exactly ask a store associate to do it for you. When choosing your sheen, know the pros and cons to each type: Flat paint is best suited to low traffic areas as it can stain quite easily, but it is also inexpensive and easy to use. Eggshell and satin finishes are incredibly tough but can reveal imperfections on the wall, so filling and priming may be necessary. Semi-gloss is arguably the best option as it is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and can be cleaned–its only downside is that is can lose its shine with scrubbing.
Now that you know what type of paint you’re looking for, take a look at what has scored the highest with other customers.
- Behr Marquee scored the highest overall when compared to hundreds of other paint brands. It sits at $50, but reportedly needs only one coat to do a job that lasts for years.
2. Behr Premium Plus is a less expensive option ($30) that scored almost just as high. This water-based paint doesn’t have harsh chemicals or strong smells that can make some people ill. It comes with a built in primer and is a favorite among seasoned DIYers.
3. Pratt and Lambert’s Accolade is a great choice for bathrooms due to its mold and mildew resistance. It sits at a fair $20-$30 and applies well, but will need touch ups due to it fading. However, bathrooms often need repainting due to being a high traffic area, so this is an affordable way to keep on top of it.
4. If you’re looking for a great chalk paint, Behr’s White Interior Chalk Paint is the best option. It is ultra-matte, thick, has a huge variety of available colors, and–unlike many other brands–is suitable for use on pretty much any surface.
5. If you would like unique paint to create an interesting wall, try a plaster finish. These paints can be used to create the look of textured sandstone or venetian plaster. When used correctly, these old-world finishes bring your decorating up a notch. These are typically applied with a putty knife, but Sherwin-Williams offers a brush-on option and instructions for using everyday objects to create unique finishes. It is priced at $50 a can.
For color, pattern, and texture inspiration, check out our materials moodboard for 2021.