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Old 12-30-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


As a DIY'er/homeowner and non-professional, in the past I would just pick up the Behr/Valspar/whatever from the box store when I was there. Since joining this site, I see a lot of the experienced people and pros spreading the cheer of these two brands mainly (S-W & BM). What are the qualities of these paints that make them superior to the others? I don't mind paying for better materials, but I just like to know the "whys" of what makes them better when I'm paying 2x the price for them.

I have a new ~2600 ft² house being built that is close to being finished. I'm going to be buying a LOT of paint in the upcoming weeks.

On a side note, the Sherwin Williams store gave me a "contractor" account today when I was picking up my spray tip and trim paint. I felt like such a grown-up.

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Old 12-30-2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


You aren't necessarily paying a lot for them - it depends on the paint.

Don't think in terms of Sherwin Williams paint or Benjamin Moore paint. That would be like saying "What makes Chevrolet a good car?" There isn't a "Chevrolet car". There is a Chevette, and there is a Corvette. Those are actual cars.

SW and BM both make crappy, cheap paint. And they both make good, expensive paint.

One of the first things to look for in a better quality paint is the solids content and the dry film thickness. You can find this on the technical data sheets for each paint. There is more to it than that of course, but especially for wall paint this is a good place to start.

Here's an example. I'll let you figure out which one is junk and which one is quality. Look for mils thickness under Coverage.

http://www.sherwin-williams.com/document/PDS/en/035777474068

http://www.sherwin-williams.com/docu...n/035777440223


Most pros have accounts at the big paint stores like SW and BM, so are more familiar with those paints, and have much less experience with Home Depot/Lowes paints. Those have come a long way in the past 10 years or so and you can find quality paints there too. And crappy paints.


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Old 12-31-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


I have to say I've used a lot of both in building my current house. I lean towards Behr for rolling walls. I've used a lot of it (50+ gallons) and am happy with its performance so I've never found the need to change. It's rated very highly by Consumer Reports, and they tend to focus on the quality of the finished surface rather than ease of use, etc.

Their trim paint has not impressed me, however, so I go with SW for that.

In many cases I find that contractors prefer products that allow faster work. Behr interior paint is very thick and I can't imagine spraying it. Of course I'm a homeowner, not someone trying to make a living painting. I don't worry about a job taking a few extra hours/days.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


I will say the better SW and BM paints are expensive, and you really have to have a discount account there (sounds like you do) or wait til it goes on sale to make it really worthwhile.

The pro sprayers will spray thicker paints like Behr Ultra.

There are a lot of pros who hate Behr paint, but some of it is exaggerated, some of it is based on experiences from 20 years ago, and some of it is that you're just expected to hate home store paints if you're a pro. However I've had good results with Ultra (and their regular line is OK too). Even if you haven't used it you can tell from the spec sheets it has high solids content, thick dry film, and therefore high hiding and coverage. I haven't used Valspar much but I know some exterior house painters who tell me the top stuff is good quality now. Generally SW and BM have bigger budgets to research and advance their top paint lines, but then Emerald is $75 and Behr Ultra is $35 and I haven't met anyone yet who's raving about Emerald. Certainly SW and BM have wider ranging paint lines if you're looking for more specialty paints. Neither Behr nor Lowes make competing paints for things like Advance as far as I know (waterborne alkyds).
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:51 PM   #5
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


Thanks for the info Jeff. For some reason the first link doesn't work. Looking at their paints, most look to be 4 mils wet, 1.4- (mostly) 1.6 mils dry. I understand % solids plays in too. When I did my garage epoxy floor, I used a 100% solids epoxy.

Yeah reading around on here it seems most of the contractors use S-W or BM and scoff at the box store paints. I personally haven't had issues with Behr/Valspar etc. but I paint once every couple of years, not on a daily basis so I probably wouldn't know.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:08 PM   #6
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


The links aren't working for me either, which is weird since it's the exact address that shows up for that link.

Duration is 1.6 mils dry. The other (can't remember the name) is a cheapy and 1.0 mils. That's a good indicator of paint quality.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:50 PM   #7
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


Dave,

I had little experience painting but on the advice here used SW (Super Paint) for my 1,430 sf house. After reading problems other people have with painting I have to say it couldn't have been easier and I think my walls look great, nice depth to the color, good coverage, no splatters, rolled on easily. I also used the brushes and rollers recommended.

SW gave me 30% for doing a whole house, but sometimes they have 35% and once a year a 40% off sale.

edit: added type of paint.

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Old 01-02-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


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Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
I had little experience painting but on the advice here used SW for my 1,430 sf house.
As I said previously, you haven't said which paint you used. SW is a paint company, not a paint. There is no such paint as "SW".
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:58 PM   #9
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


You know, I don't know if this is true, but, I suspect it is………I just think the CHEMISTRY of SW and BM is better. I guess that's a fancy way of saying the ingredients are just better. Better ingredients cost more so that's why SW & BM cost more.

Case in point: For one customer of mine, he insists on using Valspar's upper grade of paint, about $35 per gallon. Goes on nice, has a nice finish, and I really have no complaints with it until………someone rubs against the wall. Then the great finish begins to look like a chalk board. It burnishes like crazy. I've never had burnishing issues with any of SW's paints but then again, I mostly use SuperPaint. That's (I guess) an example of the better chemistry I am talking about.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


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Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
You know, I don't know if this is true, but, I suspect it is………I just think the CHEMISTRY of SW and BM is better. I guess that's a fancy way of saying the ingredients are just better. Better ingredients cost more so that's why SW & BM cost more.

Case in point: For one customer of mine, he insists on using Valspar's upper grade of paint, about $35 per gallon. Goes on nice, has a nice finish, and I really have no complaints with it until………someone rubs against the wall. Then the great finish begins to look like a chalk board. It burnishes like crazy. I've never had burnishing issues with any of SW's paints but then again, I mostly use SuperPaint. That's (I guess) an example of the better chemistry I am talking about.
I have to agree here. I use a awful lot of paint yearly. Pricing becomes important, of course. And many customers want price, price, price. I do pass on my price savings on the paint to the customer as best as I can. Lots of times with the discount I can get them to swing to my recommended paints. I work directly with the factory reps for both Sherwin Williams and Valspar. I have long standing commercial accounts with both, Sherwin Williams and Valspar/Lowes. I have to say, our Valspar Rep is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met.
I really try and talk all my customers into Sherwin Williams and Valspar products if I can. IMO, the SW Super Paint is top notch for exterior work. This is IMO as I say. And this is in my area of the country. With the crazy weather changes here, I can depend on Super Paint to hold up and look great for many years. Florida and Alaska may be very different. Valspar's Ultra Acrylic Latex has been a very good exterior paint for me, also.

I haven't had a lot of good results using ICI Paints lately. The ICI family of brands includes multiple coating names, with Glidden being the most recognized name among U.S. consumers. Glidden has several lines, with Evermore, Endurance and Spred being common.
This could change soon though with all the new federal regulations out there. What was once a great paint yesteryear may not be such a great paint today.

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Old 01-02-2014, 04:14 PM   #11
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
You know, I don't know if this is true, but, I suspect it is………I just think the CHEMISTRY of SW and BM is better. I guess that's a fancy way of saying the ingredients are just better. Better ingredients cost more so that's why SW & BM cost more.
Yeah, but SW and BM don't cost more necessarily. Only their expensive paints cost more. Their cheaper paints cost less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
Case in point: For one customer of mine, he insists on using Valspar's upper grade of paint, about $35 per gallon. Goes on nice, has a nice finish, and I really have no complaints with it until………someone rubs against the wall. Then the great finish begins to look like a chalk board. It burnishes like crazy. I've never had burnishing issues with any of SW's paints but then again, I mostly use SuperPaint. That's (I guess) an example of the better chemistry I am talking about.
Well SuperPaint is probably around $45 gallon I think, so it better have better chemistry. Just like Valspar's $35 paint better have better chemistry than SW's $18 paint.

It's also very hard to compare because painting contractors get SW and BM paint at a discount compared to the retail consumers pay.

I'm not saying you're wrong - you might find apples to apples comparison where one paint is better than another. It just gets very tiring hearing people talk about "SW" paint, when such a thing doesn't exist.

If a SW chemist comes along and says they add anti-burnishing ingredients to every one of their paints, then I'll take it back

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Old 01-02-2014, 04:36 PM   #12
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


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I really try and talk all my customers into Sherwin Williams products though if I can.
I'll bet you a hundred dollars you don't try to talk them into ProMar 700.

We are doing a big disservice to forum readers if we continue to talk about paint companies rather than paints.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:06 PM   #13
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


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I'll bet you a hundred dollars you don't try to talk them into ProMar 700.

We are doing a big disservice to forum readers if we continue to talk about paint companies rather than paints.
You are right, I never recommend any of the three ProMar series SW paints. Although I do use 200 a lot. I refuse to use 700.

Now the ProClassic, Super Paint and Duration is a different story, great paint I say, as is the better line of Benjamin Moore, like Regal Select, Impervo and Aura . What say you?

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Old 01-02-2014, 05:41 PM   #14
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


OK I tried to stay out of this, really I did.
I am fortunate in within 20 miles of me I have Sherwin Williams, Ben Moore, Porter/PPG, Clark&Kensington, Color Place, Valspar, Olympic, Pratt & Lambert, and Behr. Oh and I guess Kilz. Let me go 1x1.
1. Sherwin Williams- I cannot say I have used all of their paints. I really like their upper end paints Super Paint, Cashmire, Ext. Duration, Really even ProMar 200. I hate some of their contractor grades.
2. Ben Moore- Really like most of their paints. Same as for SW some of their lower end paints leave something to be desired.
3. Porter/PPG- Have not used a lot of their paints. What I have used would be described as their better lines. Would like to try their Breakthough.
4. C&K- Was really pleasantly surprised thought it was a good paint with good coverage.
5. Color Wheel- Garbage when SW made it, worse now that PPG has the contract.
6. Valspar- The one sold at the blue store is OK It is my understanding the have a better grade that Ace is going to replace Ben Moore and C&K with. have not used the new line.
7. Olympic One- Just used it a couple weeks ago, hated it, the coverage was really bad.
8. Pratt & Lambert Really good paint but pretty pricey.
9. The dreaded Behr and yes Jeff I have used every line of their paint except Marquee. In my opinion they are an OK paint not really a good paint but their are a lot worse out their. Their ext. paint really sucks it fades really bad. Again I am in Fla so the summer sun is brutal. I used to like their trim paint the ulra white and used it on trim in the gloss really liked the sheen. But on some homes I went back to later the sheen had faded to where it was like a satin.
10. Kilz paint I have not used.
These opinions are based on my exp. If you wish me to elaborate on any left me know.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:52 PM   #15
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What makes Sherwin-Williams & Benjamin Moore better paints?


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Now the ProClassic, Super Paint and Duration is a different story, great paint I say, as is the better line of Benjamin Moore, like Regal Select, Impervo and Aura . What say you?
Of course. SuperPaint is probably my favorite paint (given my discount price) If I used Regal Select more often I might find it's equal to SuperPaint, because it's close. And I'm very happy to use Aura (except for the cost).

However if I tried Benjamin Moore Super Craft, and I based my opinion of BM on that paint, I'd be here cursing BM up and down the forum, because that is some real crap paint. I'd be a BM basher worse than some Behr bashers.

My main point is, as long as we are talking actual paints, and not paint companies, I am happy. We need to do the same when talking to DIYers.

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