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Old 11-15-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


Hello everyone,
I have read this forum for a long time but I finally registered so I could post this information:

This past week I painted an entire house. I decided to do each room in a different paint brand to directly compare the paints. I painted each room in the same color, a light peach, with a flat sheen. The walls pre-painting were the typical light-textured sheetrock walls painted flat white.


========= ColorPlace (Wal-Mart): ===========

Cost = $7.84 / gallon

I bought a 5-gallon bucket and two gallon cans.

The 5-gallon had extremely poor coverage and strong oder. The paint seemed transparent. Third coat was necessary in some areas.

The 1-gallon cans were pretty good. Good thickness and good coverage. One good coat and a light second produced great results. I was surprised how good this paint was, considering the cost...

The 1-gallon paint was obviously darker than the 5-gallon paint. The 1-gallon matched the paint sample so it was the 5-gallon that was off. With such a difference in quality, I wonder if WalMart has a different supplier for the 5-gallon buckets and the 1-gallon cans.



============ Valspar - Ultra Premium ==================

Cost = $20 / gallon

This paint was noticeably thick. It had very good coverage and produced a very consistent, even coat. Low odor. My only complaint about this paint was that it was so thick that it made it difficult to load my brush, and the cut-in brushed areas left brush marks. I added a bit of water to the paint and it helped with the brush marks and did not compromise coverage. Overall, this paint was very good. The first coat produced a very consistent, smooth finish. The second coat was not crucial.



============ Behr - Ultra Premium Plus =================

Cost = $22 / gallon

I immediately noticed that this paint is very thin. Coverage is extremely poor. Picture-framing of the cut-in areas was very noticeable, making three coats necessary in some areas. The paint was so thin that I had to get heavy with the application, which led to paint runs. Strong odor. Overall, I was extremely disappointed in this paint and will not use it again.



============ Olympic - Premium =================

Cost = $15 / gallon

Labeled as Zero VOC

This paint was a perfect thickness, somewhere between the Valspar and Behr. Brushing had great coverage and did not leave any brush marks. Rolling was very smooth and picture-framing of the cut-in was eliminated on the first coat. Very low odor, the only thing I could smell was a chocolate-covered-cherry scent. The finish was very smooth and consistent. I did notice something odd - this paint sometimes bubbled when brushing. Very small bubbles but when the paint was dry there was no sign of the bubbles, so there was no harm.

Overall, the Olympic paint is my choice for best of the group of paints I tested.




I hope someone finds this information useful.

Thanks!


Last edited by Achilles97; 11-15-2009 at 10:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


Great info. I used Valspar and had some issues with the satin finish. After 2 coats some areas were not as "shiny" as others when hit with direct light. After reading this, I'll try Olympic for my next room.

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Old 04-28-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


Interesting info. Yes, you can get decent results with cheap paint. I have done whole houses/apartments with Wally World paint and it was decent paint. I don't recall it being $8 a gallon, more like $12 - $15 in my neck of the woods. I actually prefer Valspar if I'm going to go with a cheaper paint. Overall, I am still a Sherwin-Williams guy. Sometimes thicker doesn't mean better.........it just means a lot of "fillers" were used in the manufacturing process.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:13 AM   #4
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


It is a nice comparison of box store only paints. You skipped Pittsburgh's sucky low end stuff sold under the same brand name and Dutch Boy, SWs sucky excuse for a retail brand though.

Sorry, I am sticking with Benjamin Moore first but with no fights needed if I am asked to use Sherwin Williams. Even without my discounts I will walk anybody into either paint store and hand them contractor grades, if they want, far superior in durability, performance and price than anything a box store has.

Of course my clients realized they were only going to paint every so often and knew they were paying me through the nose. An extra $10 or whatever a gallon for paint didn't seem to phase them much.

All perspective I guess. I grow weary trying to explain the difference between real paint and crap in an overhyped box store can.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:26 AM   #5
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
It is a nice comparison of box store only paints. You skipped Pittsburgh's sucky low end stuff sold under the same brand name and Dutch Boy, SWs sucky excuse for a retail brand though.

Sorry, I am sticking with Benjamin Moore first but with no fights needed if I am asked to use Sherwin Williams. Even without my discounts I will walk anybody into either paint store and hand them contractor grades, if they want, far superior in durability, performance and price than anything a box store has.

Of course my clients realized they were only going to paint every so often and knew they were paying me through the nose. An extra $10 or whatever a gallon for paint didn't seem to phase them much.

All perspective I guess. I grow weary trying to explain the difference between real paint and crap in an overhyped box store can.
It's a losing battle
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:30 AM   #6
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


............"overhyped box-store hype." --sdsester. Quote of the year!
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:52 AM   #7
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


Sdster, if you ever have a couple of minutes, I'd love to her what the difference between a good paint and a cheap paint is.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #8
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


How a paint applies is one part of what is a good paint. And a big one. Stuff like ease of rolling, does it lay out or stay brushy and thick when brushed, does it flash easily etc

How it performs- ie- does it look good, feel nice to the touch, have color retention, resist burnishing, touch up well, have the ability to be washed without colorant coming off, changing colors or burnishing.

These are what we mean when a cheap paint is compared to a quality one.

They all come in cans.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


If you've ever had the priviledge of seeing the workings of a major paint company research facility then you'd probably never again even consider buying less than a premium grade paint, because by then you'd know what a good deal you're getting for the $30 or so a gallon you paid - or conversely how much you're being ripped off buying anything less.

Sure, it is a matter of perspective and 99.99% of people out there don't get to see a paint company from within, and therefore don't care. But there is a reason B-Moore and S-Williams paint do so well: $ milllions in research. Behind their research are the countless $ millions put into chemical research by chemical raw material suppliers like BASF, Rohm&Haas and others too many to name.

It's finding the optimum balance of some 40 chemicals in a can of paint that becomes an art. And for their efforts to make my paint jobs look so good and easy to do, I'll gladly pay them the $20 a gallon or so difference as opposed to subsidizing mass merchandizers who shop only on price.

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Old 04-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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paint manufactures and chefs have a lot in common. anyone can toss a bunch of ingredients in a pot and call it soup. some people can do it better than others with quality ingredients and tried and tested methods. you can easily thicken a pot of watered down soup with some corn startch(cheap additive) but it wont do much for the flavor. you will have a pot of thick soup that still taste like water. the same concept goes into developing a good quality paint. paint can be made with good ingredients or cheap ingrediants with a lot of fillers. sorry i had to dummy it down to this but trying to explain pigments,solids, resins and binders to the averager DIYer doesnt seem to get the point across, just look at how long the behr paint thread has been going on. we can only give advise and recommendations with our hundreds of years of combined experience but it is still hard to compete with the box stores money and marketing campaigns that make their products seem superior. if only there were a taste criteria for paints, some would rate a notch above cat food. look at the advertising money put into "TANG "(the drink of the astronauts) back in the 70's, horrible product in my opinion but they sold loads of it.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:21 PM   #11
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


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............"overhyped box-store hype." --sdsester. Quote of the year!
But dammit you got the quote wrong!
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:40 PM   #12
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Sdster, if you ever have a couple of minutes, I'd love to her what the difference between a good paint and a cheap paint is.
Any time. You can PM me if that is more comfortable. My Mom was an analytical chemist and research librarian for a paint developer. I put myself through school as an apprentice painter I suppose, learning from some the most crusty old bastards you can image. Went white collar for a time but missed the trades. Spent the last decades restoring antique homes and painting mainly interiors of the same. Only with real paint.

By the way, not sure how you would find it but someone did a really nice posting of what it is in good and bad paint from the standpoint of what is actually in the can. Even I did not know it was so obvious. It might have been the ever running Behr bashing site showing that crap more water in it than any other brand listed.

Good paints are about binders, pigments, UV protectarants and ultimately the film you want as the surface when all dry and cure. Crappy box store paints just don't not never gonna got em. And for those of us who made a living at this? The crappy stuff is just hard to work with and you cannot trust it. So, if budget and saving chimp change per gallon compared to my labor was the issue. I had no problem putting a contractor grade of major paint store paint on for you. It still would be cheaper and better than the box store stuff.

You know, painting and rocket ship design really go together? Nonsense, but you know the real major difference from us pros and DIYers? And we had the same learning curve offered us. I hope most of my brethren use good paint, high end tools, and elegant practices with regard to the worksite.

I didn't wake up one day knowing how to almost pinstripe with 2-12 inch angled sash brush. Some of it is practice. But with things like the new frog tape type products (seldom used tape myself) it is almost impossible for a DIYer to screw up if they would only listen on this site and buy good, quality stuff from a paint store.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


Actually, sdsester, that post you are referring to, although quite interesting, was a bit off-target. It compared the spec sheets of different brands of paint and came to the conclusion that a higher solids paint gave the better quality...in paint manufacture, this is not always the case but the article furthermore didn't compare a latex paint of company A to a latex paint of company B. It compared a latex paint to say, an alkyd paint, to say a glaze - and that's not accurate.

Solids is a false indication of the quality of a paint just as size of the engine is an indication of a good car...excellent cars come with small engines just as big cars can come wth duds. Put it this way: a good paint chemist can give you a high solids paint that you would be crazy to put on a wall. It is just a wrong to compare solids for other things too, like shampoos. Again solids does not equal quality...so what does?

To take another posters food analogy, a better view of paint quality is it's all in the blend of quality ingredients. The difference is that whereas a food dish can taste fine, a good paint has to be optimum down to the micron-visible-level i.e. under a microscope - whereas the only indication that your food dish was crappy is the time you end up spending with the runs..LOL
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #14
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Ccarlisle, i was one on the op's on the thread that you mentioned. the point of comparing the solids was mainly for spread rate coverage and an ideal of cost of what you are really buying in a can of paint based on the numbers of the solids % given to me. i didnt check to see what tpyes of paints were in the compairison, just pure #'s. solids are very important when selecting a paint. solids such as your pigments are there for many reasons such as rust inhibiting,decrease permability, hiding power, color, mechanical reinforcement the list goes on. those are some of the characteristics that i am looking for when i choose a coating. i mean.... we all know that a gallon of 100% solids paint will cover 1604 sqft @ 1mil dry film thickness you could make a gallon of 30% solids paint cover this same area if you thin the **** out of it, but it wont be 1 mil dft. the more solids you have the better your ability to build, cover and hide. there are other important solids such as types of resin which can be made of solids and require a solvent to disolve it and help aid in application. these resins, binders and additives help in film building and abitlity to adhere and not sag during curing. but does any of this info get passed on to the average DIYer.(NOPE) that is why i tried to simplify it with the food analogy. i must make a correction before we start getting soup recipes posted on here. you can make a soup that has a good flavor with cheap ingredients (i think we've all done it with ramen noodles). the point was to make a quaility product out of quality ingredients, not to produce something for human consumption that just scored high enough to be classed just above cat food. im sure that most of the pros can relate to the properties of good coatings without a breakdown of the chemical make up of paint. the point that most are tring to get out is to buy "real paint" from a trusted "real paint store" with not only good products but also a staff of highly trained professionals that deal in PAINT everyday, not somewhere with the guy that was putting up the latest christmas displays and stacking bags of mulch.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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My Review: Valspar vs Behr vs Olympic vs ColorPlace


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The point that most are tring to get out is to buy "real paint" from a trusted "real paint store" with not only good products but also a staff of highly trained professionals that deal in PAINT everyday, not somewhere with the guy that was putting up the latest christmas displays and stacking bags of mulch.
Oddly enough, the Sherwin-Williams "real paint store" nearest me - where I tried to do business but found them to be a bunch of arrogant and unhelpful arses - is now closed, and the building is for sale.

Perhaps too many people, like me, decided that the 5% discount they offered on their $55 per gallon paint was simply not enough to make it worth putting up with the "highly trained professionals" in the SW Store.

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