Kelly Moore - price of quarts

LinelleJanuary 18, 2012

I'm in No. Calif. and Kelly Moore paint is widely used. I'm having work done in my kitchen that included a lot of retexturing, so I decided to paint it during a worker-free week. I started with a gallon of primer (approx. $20) and a gallon of flat latex (approx. $38). I decided I needed another quart or so to finish the job, but figured I may need slightly more so I'd get another gallon. This trip to the store, I got a different salesperson. She told me they now sell quarts for $5 to stay competitive with the little jars of sample paint that Benjamin Moore sells (and they are a LOT smaller than a quart). So, I bought two quarts for $10. It works out that if you buy quarts you're paying about 50% of the gallon price.

Just wanted to pass this along to Kelly Moore customers.

p.s. I had my house interior painted professional three years ago. It's mostly a Sherwin Williams color matched by Kelly Moore. My house is an open plan and the new paint needed to blend into the old. It does! Perfectly. No smokers in the house, no wood-burning fireplace. I'm impressed that old color and new look the same.

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Awesome, good to know! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

But those 'sample' quarts aren't real paint.

They can sell them for $5 because there's only $5 worth of ingredients in the can -- only what's needed to sample color. The stuff that makes the paint a film and gives it performance properties is not included.

When it comes to paint whether it's big sized or little, the price per ounce has been calculated based on the cost of the ingredients. You pay for exactly what you get so $5 worth of paint is not the same as a full brew, full priced gallon.

To make use of the sample quarts, it's recommended that you can roll it out on your walls but you have to topcoat with the 'real' stuff with performance properties.

Manufacturers won't even recommend boxing in those sample grades of paint into your higher grade gallons.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:27PM
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funcolors, when I read your post I immediately freaked out, and then I got pissed. Was my final (and quite beautiful) coat bogus paint? All that work? How could a reputable paint store sell me non-paint when they knew it was for my final coat? Were they laughing at me?

I went back to the store today and we had a good conversation. The paint they sold me--quarts of flat latex, mixed to match--is indeed paint, the same flat latex they sell in their gallons. Cross their hearts.

I think what was confusing about my original post is that I wasn't clear about the fact that I didn't buy sample paint. I bought two quarts of regular paint *that they sold me at the same price other brands sell their non-paint samples.* Whew!!! This wasn't the same thing as the Sherwin Williams little Color to Go containers (that say they aren't real paint) or the little pots that Benjamin Moore sells. Kelly Moore is selling their quarts (flat finish only) for the same price as the others' non paints. It may not be a money-maker for KM, but people won't have qualms about buying paints to try out that they may never use.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Holy cow! So glad this story ends well, lol!

Couple things to take away:

1) there are paint stores/staff out there right now selling sample cans, mini can to their customers as *real* paint. Some know better and worse many do not even know what they are selling. No malice or trickery intended, it's just they too assume all sample cans are *real* paint.

2) you are on your own. Don't assume the sample cans are *real* paint. As with linelle, that paint store/brand is using quarts and the sampling process as marketing, customer retention tool. Some stores will try to sell you as many sample cans as they can - like three colors for $x.xx. You don't NEED three colors to test but they NEED to sell you three of their sample cans.

3) one example of sample grade paint in a can that looks like a *real* quart is Pratt & Lambert. It's not as easy to distinguish as sample grade as the SW Color to Go jugs.

4) did I mention we're on our own to not only ask questions but to know what questions to ask? :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 5:16PM
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"4) did I mention we're on our own to not only ask questions but to know what questions to ask? :)"

Words to live by, and not just at the paint store. :)

When I was trying out paint colors three years ago for the entire interior of my house, I bought samples of any color that seemed a remote possibility. I spent $200 (BM, SW, KM) and I know others spend more than that. Since Kelly Moore doesn't have cute little sample pots/jars, the smallest amount you can buy is a quart. I'm not sure what the retail cost of a quart is, but they are smart to sell them for (get this) $4.75. Kelly Moore doesn't have the great array of colors that BM has, it isn't sexy paint, but it is much loved by people in my area. And they are color mixers extraordinaire. If they make their quarts, which might only serve as a sample and ultimately be discarded, competitively priced, maybe they'll gain new or retain old customers.

As an aside, the guy I spoke to today said to me, "You used flat paint in a kitchen?!!!!" Indeed I did. I've had flat in there for 12 years and it's held up just dandy.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

True dat, linelle.

Kelly Moore is very popular in my area too. Along with Dunn Edwards. Just a couple hole-in-the-wall resources for Ben Moore. I actually have to order Aura from MyPerfectColor.

Ben Moore colors get a lot of spin on the forums but the reality is a huge percentage of people do not have ideal access to Ben Moore paint -- myself included.
That's why it's wonderful to discuss other brands - not everyone has a SW store on every corner in their town either. If all you have is The Home Depot, you need fabulous color options and access to Behr color palette discussions too.

Kelly Moore is part of the Color Guild and their palette is called 'Color Is' and 'Color Trend'. Agreed, it is not the most sophisticated collection of colors but as you mentioned there are ways around it if it's an issue - like color matching.

The sample pots did not work throughout the industry because it wasn't a well-hatched plan, IMO. Had to make up a bunch of colors, put them in jars and wait for people to buy them. Some of the colors never sold and the shelf life of paint in plastic pots is/was only 18 to 24 months. So, this new schema of custom mixing test colors in sample sizes is better on many levels but there are still issues. Like, what the he11 do you do with THAT much sample grade paint when you only need a square foot to test the color.

A few brands tried selling hand-painted sample boards instead of the paint pot. That worked better because shelf life isn't an issue but like the pots, you have sample boards of colors that no one wants. Or worse, just a limited number of colors are offered in pre-painted sample boards which fosters cookie-cutter-color syndrome. Meaning if everyone is buying the same 25 color boards, then everyone ends up with the same colors neighborhood to neighborhood, community to community.

I could go on and on about color sampling options. . .

(Hey, if it's not broken don't fix it. If flat works for you, then flat for the kitchen is a grand plan)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:26PM
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I'm one of those people who obsess over microscopic variations in off-white/cream, so I leave no shade unsampled. I have a feeling most people in my area use Kelly Moore, if they don't go to Home Depot. But their palette does seem limited. Reading the boards introduced me to BM. The painter who did my house three years ago preferred to use KM or BM, because I think that's where he had accounts. So, when I found my perfect color at Sherwin Williams, he talked about color matching by KM. Honestly, I think I liked KM's version better than SW's, but it might have been because KM's was real paint, not the stuff in the Color to Go jug (which are very cute containers, BTW).

KM and BM each have two stores in my town, plus SW and Dunn-Edwards, and Home Depot. I don't know if they do this everywhere, but one of the BM stores lets you rent a quart of a color for 24-48 hours if they don't have the mini jar in your color, I think for the same price as the little jar. Trouble is, you have to drive across town again to return it.

(There's just me in the kitchen, not a lot of frying. If I grill, it's outside. Like my walls soft, not glowy.)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 9:37AM
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