UPDATE – CLICK HERE FOR 2017 PRICES

As an experienced professional architectural color consultant, I can’t imagine using just one brand of paint.

Practically speaking, it is not possible to work with national and international clients and specify just one brand of paint because access varies. Some brands have limited distribution and are strictly regional.  And just because a brand may be widely available, that doesn’t mean there’s a store in every neighborhood – your neighborhood.

Then there’s the issue of color.  Working with only one color collection is painfully limiting because one brand, one color collection can’t be all things to all projects.  Crossing brands to color match is possible but is dependent on skilled paint counter staff and that’s not something you can count on store to store.

I’ve done thousands of online consultations over the years so I know many people have to buy from their local hardware or big box store or commit to a long drive to the nearest professional paint store.  A road trip just to buy paint doesn’t always make sense.  The factor of budget can also be an issue; sometimes a $25 gallon of paint is the best fit for the project.  Not everyone has access to the designer brands promoted ad nauseam.

So, we need options.  You need to know what options you have for paint and you need to know prices so you can shop smart.

As per usual here on Color Budz, I’m going to share how I think color.  In this case how I think paint and this is the most important thing I want you to take away:

Comparing prices per gallon does not paint an accurate picture.

Comparing price per square foot is better in determining value.  Value is what we’re after and that means looking past price per gallon and delving deeper into what you get for your money.

The following infographic compares 24 brands and their respective top tier grades including the uber lux lines like full spectrum.  Remember, the uber lux lines can offer more in terms of quality be it ingredients, color, or both so you have to consider that in terms of their intrinsic value.  What’s interesting is some of the lux brands, priced per square, aren’t that much more expensive than standard brands.

Moral of the infographic is you may have more options than you thought.

UPDATE – CLICK HERE FOR 2017 PRICES

Paint-Comparison-Infographic-II


You really can do this! Read these other blog posts and add to your color skill set.

  1. Bringing Perspective to Undertones
  2. Color Order Systems are Like…
  3. Learn How to Use a Paint Color Order System Now
  4. How To Master Overtones
  5. Etymology of the Term Overtone
  6. Color Overtones Review
  7. Does Color Math Scare You?
  • I don’t know, Lori. I think you might have missed a brand or two.

    Just kidding – this is fantastic. One again – very helpful infographic. Thanks for creating this resource for us!

    Looking forward to the next one.

  • Lori, I don’t know how you do all this, but since I’m not good at math, this comparison is super-duper helpful to me! I too, offer my clients choices in paint brands, and this is a good way to compare them. I always try different brands at my house to see how I like them. I’d love to see you compare performance too. As you know, this is a controversial subject. Online you can read a review that says X is the best paint ever, and then another one that says X totally sucks. What’s the best way to figure it out? Is it just subjective and that’s it?

  • Lori Sawaya

    “I’d love to see you compare performance too. As you know, this is a controversial subject.”

    My opinion is once you get to a certain price point, there isn’t a whole lot of difference. You get what you pay for. Period. Pay for Fine Paints of Europe and you are going to get quality commensurate with its price tag.

    After that, it’s nothing but MORE opinion, speculation and endless, spiraling argumentation.

    As you all know, I’ve participated on decorating forums for more than seven years. Debating the “best” paint brands goes absolutely nowhere because there isn’t a finite, provable way to answer the question “What is the “best” paint.”

    If you can’t afford $110 for a euro-gallon, then FPE isn’t the “best” paint for you. Whether it actually *is* the very best or not doesn’t matter if it ain’t in the budget.

    Small budget folks like to paint their houses too – so, it’s necessary to get over personal viewpoints and examine a broad range of products and price-points the best way possible. And that way is to look at the data that’s available. Average price, average coverage per Technical Data Sheets, resulting in an average price per square foot – and AT THE SAME TIME consider and compare the tangible and intangible with regard to overall intrinsic value. For example:

    What value a designer full spectrum color has over a standard gallon of paint isn’t something we can plot. That’s going to be an individual, personal assessment. So, agreed, Diane. Subjective is an important factor.

  • Kelly, you crack me up. {snort} I was limited only by the brands I knew. Not intentionally excluding any brands. Again, this about how I think paint. I can’t think about paint I don’t know about, right?

    🙂

  • Diane, fielding emails from those who don’t like to post comments publicly and have another thought about the “best” thing. What I can do is put together a list of “best buys”. There are hidden treasures out there. Like Muralo Ultra Ceramic for instance – truly a hidden gem among paint brands and an incredible value considering what you get for the money. And I have a couple more that I can put into a follow up post – probably next week because I already have other stuff scheduled for this week.

  • We love Muralo paints been using them since the 70’s but all in all beast bang for your buck is Ben Moore Superspec line. We have use C2, Fine Paints Of Europe, P&L, SW, PPG, etc etc..

    With the price of Paint skyrocketing unless your painting for a king our customers want quality and value. Just my 2 cts– great post!

  • Lori Sawaya

    Thanks so much for commenting, Nick. I found Superspec in flat to be a wonderful option for “sell this house” paint. The price is right to freshen up interior walls. Moving stuff in and out means a few bumps and Superspec is super easy to touch up.

  • Mayerhardware

    after being in the Hardware & Paint business for 40 plus yrs, this info is fantastic , thought provoking, etc Thanks for the fresh breath and so much else.  Tom Sr

  • funcolors

    Thank you, Tom Sr.  Glad you found the info useful.  I’m working on an update since some pricing has changed.