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Old 05-04-2012, 03:02 PM
Location: Chicago, IL
712 posts, read 2,283,966 times
Reputation: 554


I was at over at Lowes earlier this week and picked a color from their Valspar Signature line (primer & paint). I believe their price for 1 gal was in the low $30s. Today, I brought the color card over to Sherwin Williams to see if they could match the color - only because they were having a 30% sale (locally, I assume) and thought it'd be cheaper. Surprisingly it came out to $41.49 per gallon AFTER the 30% off.

I guess my question (gripe) is what is the honest difference between the two brands? Is S/W absolutely that much better in quality than Valspar that it costs $10-$20 more for the same color?
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:23 PM
Location: MD
253 posts, read 493,627 times
Reputation: 372
I've never used Valspar brand, but I've used the Home Depot's Behr brand previously in my first house. Compared to Sherwin Williams, Behr is extremely drippy and watery. The paint goes on very thinly so you need at least 3 coats to fully cover the wall. With Sherwin Williams paint, at most 2 coats. It is worth the extra price to me.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:24 PM
Location: southwestern PA
20,429 posts, read 32,521,461 times
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I prefer Benjamin Moore.

And yes, there IS a difference from the paint at Lowe's!
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:28 PM
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 9,588,440 times
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The real cost of DIY painting is your time and effort, not the cost of the paint. $30 a gallon might not be much better then $22 a gallon but I would bet both are better then a no name $14 a gallon paint.

Many store brands are as good and maybe better then national brands but we are not talking about trying out a few different canned veggies over the next week. We are talking about a one time deal, paint a room.

Do not skimp on the paint cost.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:45 PM
Location: Texas
4,731 posts, read 10,108,954 times
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Sherwin Williams makes a bunch of different lines of exterior paints. Some are good, some are crap, just like anything else you buy. Just because it says it's Sherwin Williams doesn't mean it's good but some of their paints are really good. Super Paint is the only paint I've ever put on a house that failed. Otherwise, the thickness as applied means nothing except to the applicator. It's what the dry film is that counts. The dry film is the paint film that is protecting your home. You can ask at any of the paint dealers what the dry film thickness is for your application-spray, roll, or brush. Brush will have the thickest dry film averagely. While you are asking, get the clay/silica content too. The more the clay content, the cheaper the paint and the sooner it will need painting.
For exterior paints in my area, Ben Moore and Behr last the longest. We are dry and hot. In a cool and humid area, it may not perform well at all. The environment means everything to paint, not all brands respond well to all environments. I'd suggest asking what brands and kinds of paints the local painters use for high dollar work.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:51 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,875 posts, read 11,820,374 times
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As a frequent mover, I've done more than my fair share of interior painting. My overall experience: you get what you pay for in paint.

Quality brands cover more effectively (requiring fewer coats), have a more consistent texture, and are likely to look like the chip from which you chose the color.

Like Pitt Chick, my favorite brand is Benjamin Moore. It's a quality product, the choice of colors seems endless, they have a great website, and it's possible to get a large variety of sample pots. It's also easy to find Benj, as they have their own stores AND are available at most Ace Hardwares. If you're fearful of making color choices, they have a line of paints called "Affinity," which are designed to coordinate well with each other. The selections vary hugely, but give you tones that don't clash. You can pick a taupe and instantly find blues, greens, reds, or even grays that will go-with. A great thing when painting a whole house where you can see from room to room or choosing a color for a focal wall.

I've also had success with Dunn-Edwards and Martha Stewart paints. Farrow & Ball is highly touted by interior designers but my experience is it requires many coats. Best left to professionals, IMHO.

I'm always surprised to hear people say their Behr paint was runny. My one experience with it was a can of paint a pencil would stand up in. It was so thick I had a terrible time getting it to cover textured walls and had to buy a second gallon to finish a small bathroom. In any case, that lack of consistency indicates a less-than-admirable product. I DID love the color, though.

But always remember, a successful paint job is based on good preparation. Repair damage to the wall by spackling, caulking, sanding, and priming, as necessary. The darker the color you're using, the more you need a tinted primer as a base. Otherwise some colors, dark red for instance, could take as many as seven coats to get the color you're after.

Good luck with your future projects.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:00 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
23,865 posts, read 51,359,274 times
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Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
But always remember, a successful paint job is based on good preparation (including a thorough washing as the first step). Repair damage to the wall by spackling, caulking, sanding, and priming, as necessary. The darker the color you're using, the more you need a tinted primer as a base.
Ding Ding Ding

And yes even the el Cheapo $14 per gallon paint will do just fine too.
It really will.

Will the other and rather more expensive name brand product do better? Maybe.
I've never found the finished product to be worth the extra expense.

Last point: Don't buy a combination primer/paint.
If you need to prime then do so and yeah... tint the primer.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:39 PM
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,695 posts, read 25,297,556 times
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I have used a few brands through the years, and there are good and bad paints from each. For exterior paint for trim and siding Pittsbugh makes a real good one. They also have one that I like, but mainly because it does not produce VOC's and is odorless, which is good for painting interiors. This paint is the 9-110 series (interior/exterior latex semigloss). I use this paint for the interior of my house because I can't stand the lingering smell of some of the other paints. But I don't really like their Manor Hall line of paints. It's OK, but there are better ones out there. Pittsburgh also makes a good deck and patio latex paint that works well on concrete or wood. If I well remember it's called "deck and patio" or something like that, and is sort of flat like their siding and trim type.

By the way, an excellent latex primer with very low odor is made by Kiltz. It covers stains very well, and it does not stink you out of the house like the oil-base one does

The last one I would like to mention can be found at Sentry Hardware. If you can stand the smell of this latex semi-gloss paint, it's fairly cheap and always consistent. It seems that Sentry has never changed the base, and the color is always consistent. The paint covers well for the price, and a lot of local contractors use it for apartment complexes.

Last edited by RayinAK; 05-05-2012 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:27 AM
Location: Chicago, IL
712 posts, read 2,283,966 times
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Thanks for all the replies so far. I should have also clarified this was for interior walls.

I also had one other question - when I was over at S/W I asked the rep which finish was the kind that I could touch up in the future without it looking obvious I had touched up the wall. He said that would be Flat - however he continued to say that I wouldn't want to get that because it's boring, unless I really wanted it. He suggested satin. Now, I bought a gallon of the paint in Satin (prime/paint)... and I painted the walls. Looking straight on to the wall it looks fine, but if I stand next to the wall and look at it from an angle, I can see the tracks of the rollers in some places. Is there a way to minimize this?

Thanks again in advance---
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:16 PM
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 16,556,342 times
Reputation: 3670
High gloss finishes are more likely to show the roller marks.

i'm looking at behr or benjamin moore every time i paint. they consistently score the highest in consumer reports, and i've had luck with them. sherwin williams isn't bad, but it doesn't score as well, but the few times my family has used it, it was fine.
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