The Differences Between Good and Cheap Paint

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Many DIY projects big and small require paint. If you are at a loss for whether to buy the cheapest paint you can find or shell out a few extra bucks for nicer paint, look no further. This article will explain when price makes a difference.

When Does Price Make a Difference in Paint Quality?

Paint is chemistry in a can. And quality is certainly reflected in price. Resin is added to paint to give it sheen and strength. The higher the sheen, the more durable and scrubbable the paint. But, the more sheen, the more wall imperfections show. Flat wall paint provides a nice look, but isn’t washable.

Where Better Paints Matter

Several situations warrant investing in higher quality and priced paint. Homes with small children and pets have walls that take a lot of wear and tear. An upgrade to a product in a matte finish that is also washable is a sound investment for many families. Kitchens and bathrooms are also areas to consider a paint upgrade. Ceilings can be almost any grade paint in a flat finish.

Different Painting Situations

So why do paint manufacturers have several different grades and prices of paint? Simply put, not all customers are the same and not all rooms require the same type of paint. A builder of apartment homes will generally use the least expensive, flat wall paint in a paint line. This is a cost-effective way for them to run their business. It makes touch-ups and re-paints easier. It isn’t a bad thing nor should it be seen as cutting corners.

A builder or home renovation contractor will generally use a higher priced, higher quality paint. Homeowners can use this same thought process when deciding on their paint. If you are painting the inside of your garage, go ahead and pick a less expensive paint. If you are painting a high traffic-high visibility area (hallway, stairwell, kitchen), use a higher quality, more expensive paint that fits your needs for cleanup, touch-up, and desired look.

Different Finishes

The rule of thumb is to use flat paint for walls, knowing that you are trading easy cleanup for easy touch-up. Small scuffs or marks on flat wall paint can easily be touched up with leftover paint.

Eggshell or satin finish on walls allow for light soap and water cleanup. A home cleaning product will usually not remove the paint from the wall. This finish doesn’t always take touch-up paint evenly. Try it in an area that is not so visible before touching up a spot in the middle of the wall.

Semi-gloss and gloss paint are usually reserved for trim. These are very durable and stand up well to bumps and traffic as well as more aggressive cleaning.

TIP: Trust what the paint can tells you. Read all the fine print on the can and ask the store expert if you have any concerns about what’s the best investment for your project.