Paint Brands Reviewed

Many of us choose paint like we choose our clothing – there’s one group who will choose what’s on sale and another group that chooses their favorite designer.  That may work for clothing, but paint's a different story.  How do you choose which paint brand to use?  Do you go with the least expensive, or splurge on the designer brand?  Each paint manufacturer has their good points and bad points, here’s a rundown on the most popular paint brands.


Chosen by Consumer Reports recently as the highest rated interior paint, Behr is a solid paint choice.  The colors wear well without fading, the paint covers well and they are well-priced.  Available at Home Depot, Behr offers a large range of color palettes, virtual room painting and handy pamphlets to help make color choices.   The only downside with Behr is that their color palettes can be uninspiring.  While always a good bet for any interior painting project, don’t be afraid to wander from their offered color palettes and choose your own. 

Budget tip:  Several times a year Behr offers a $5 off per gallon sale, it’s usually through a mail-in rebate.


Valspar is a decently priced paint brand available at Lowes.  Not as highly recommended as Behr, Valspar does have its fans, particularly when it comes to coverage.  Others seem to find that the paint is a bit on the thin side.  If you choose Valspar, you may want to upgrade to their Valspar Signature series for the best coverage, as the American Traditions line is very thin and seems almost watered down.

Budget tip:  Lowes offers a $5 per gallon rebate on certain Valspar products throughout the year.

Benjamin Moore

Many people swear by Benjamin Moore, including professionals, but I’ve not found them to be that superior to Behr, and they cost $5-$30 more per gallon.  Their high end Aura line can run $50 per gallon and I’ve heard several complaints about the finish not being uniform.  The next step down is their Regal line which is more popular, and more reasonably priced.  But Benjamin Moore does have some faithful followers, and they rave about the color selections, so there must be something to it!

Sherwin Williams

Many professionals use only Sherwin Williams, and with good reason.  They offer a good product and their dedicated paint stores have incredible customer service and offer sound painting advice – something the big box stores tend to lack.  Their color selections and products are top notch, but you’ll pay $10 + per gallon than other paints.  I used their Cashmere line in the more formal areas of my home, and it was well worth it, the depth of the color just seemed to have a life of its own.  For rooms which will be repainted more frequently, I’m not sure that I could justify the added expense.

Budget Tip:  Sign up on their website for emails offering up to 40% off throughout the year, making it a much more affordable option.

Ralph Lauren

It seems you either love or hate Ralph Lauren paints.  They have some great whites and off-whites that I love, but I’ve had issues with some of their faux finishes, so it’s pretty much a love/hate relationship with them.  While their faux finishes can be cutting edge, they don’t have the largest color selection.  Since they’re available at Home Depot, I tend to end up going with Behr instead.