Never Use Behr Paint?

Behr Exterior Paint
Source: Click pic to read full story on The Concord Monitor

Oh, this poor man!

O’Connell, 71, wanted to paint the home a cranberry color, but the paint color he purchased did not sufficiently cover the white primer. Instead of looking like cranberry, he said, it looked pink or red.

Painting your home seems simple enough, right?  Decide on a color, go buy some paint, and get going.  Unfortunately, Mr. O’Connell’s situation is not uncommon.  When things don’t go as planned for interior or exterior projects, many homeowners blame the paint.

In Mr. O’Connell’s situation I can’t say one way or another if the Behr Paint purchased failed in some way or not.  I wasn’t there to assess the situation.  Maybe it was the Behr paint, maybe it wasn’t.

If Mr. O’Connell were one of my architectural color clients, I would have advised him against “cranberry” for his home’s exterior.  If he insisted, I would have created a paint and color strategy to ensure a successful end result.

In reading the article two things jump out as big red flags — or maybe that should be big cranberry flags.  First, the color “cranberry” is often mixed using inorganic colorants.  Inorganic colorant molecules are transparent resulting in paint colors that go on very sheer and do not cover well.  Second, the article mentions painting the cranberry color over white primer.  A sheer paint color and white primer are an evil combination.

Starting out with a white surface means it will take a ridiculous number of coats to cover up the white.   Sometimes when using sheer colors, an acceptable level of opacity is never achieved because the white undercoat is so bright and reflective that it interferes through multiple of coats of paint.

In Mr. O’Connell’s case not only was the transparent cranberry color not an ideal exterior color strategy but the paint plan had flaws too.  The paint strategy should have supported the color strategy.  Let me explain.  If a sheer cranberry was the must-have color, then the paint strategy should have been start with a medium gray primer.  A gray primer has markedly less reflectivity compared to white and will aid in reaching color opacity faster.  Not fight coverage like white does.

 Behr Paint Inorganic Organic Colorants

This whole situation could have been avoided just by choosing a different red.  Instead of a transparent cranberry color, I would have advised him to choose an exterior specific red mixed with opaque organic colorants.  Organic color molecules aren’t transparent like inorganic.  So, a red that was less purple-y cranberry and more brown barn red would have been a far more efficient color choice.

If you want the perfect paint and color strategy for your home or business, contact me to discuss your project.


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