Paint Brands – Are The Big Names Worth It?

By March 1, 2021Arch Painting
Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch Painting

You’ve probably found yourself asking if big names were a “big deal” in many areas of life. Whether it’s buying a brand name cereal over the store version, a “knockoff” electronic, or something else, people are always comparing big names to lesser-known ones. 

That’s true when it comes to paint brands, too. 

Typically, lesser-known brands cost quite a bit less than their big name counterparts. But are the big names actually worth it? Are you getting what you pay for when you choose a big brand, or do the “little guys” actually hold up just as well? 

What Makes Big Names Better?

When you compare a big name paint brand to something that isn’t as widely-known, you’ll undoubtedly notice a price difference. But, what does that difference actually mean? 

In order to find out if the higher price is worth it, you have to look at the paint solids. Typically, higher-end brands will release paint with a higher solids content. For you, that means when the solvent of the paint dissipates after applying it, you’re left with higher amounts of pigment and binder. 

As a result, your paint will look more vibrant on the walls, and the color will look as it was intended. The binder will also help it to adhere to the walls much better, so it will last longer. 

Lower-end paints have fewer solids. As a result, they contain more solvent, and when that dissipates, you won’t have as much pigment or binder. So, the paint may not look as good and it may not last as long. 

If that is the case, you’ll find that you might need to apply another coat, or that it won’t last as long as a paint with a higher solids content. In the end, you could be spending the same amount (if not more) for a “cheaper” paint because you need to use more of it or replace it. 

Simply put, bargain paint brands are typically diluted. They cost less to make, and those savings are passed on to you. But, they won’t give you the look and quality you might be expecting. 

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch PaintingAvoid Combination Paint and Primer

Another common practice that lesser-known brands tend to do is offer paint and primer in one. 

You might think you’re saving money this way, but you’re not. Primer is specifically designed to be used before painting a surface. It prepares that surface for the paint and can increase the pigmentation of the paint, as well as how strongly it adheres. 

There is really no such thing as paint and primer “in one”, because they are two very different things. Cheaper paint brands advertise this because they put additives in their paint that can make it easier to use just one coat, instead of having to go back and do it over. But, don’t be fooled – that doesn’t mean there is primer in the paint itself. So, again, while you might think you’re saving money by combining two important aspects of painting, it likely won’t last as long as a name brand. 

The Case for Big Names

Big names aren’t always worth it in other areas of life. After all, maybe the store brand cereal is just as good as the name brand option. 

But, when it comes to paint, most big names have risen to the top not because of their price tags, but because of their quality. Think about some of the most popular paint brands. The first ones that come to mind might be Sherwin-Williams, Valspar, or Behr. But, when you see those brands on the shelves, you might avoid them because of the cost. 

Those brands didn’t become household names because they are expensive. In fact, their businesses wouldn’t have been able to last this long if people realized they were low quality. No one would want to spend that kind of money for a paint that didn’t deliver. 

So, if the price has deterred you from choosing big name paints, you might want to give them a second thought. Don’t be afraid to do your research on what different paint brands actually use to create their products. You might be surprised to see that in the case of most paints, you do get what you pay for. 

Making an investment in name brands can actually end up saving you money, in the long run. Plus, the paint itself often looks better and more vibrant, so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

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