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Paint brands

Posted by sweetbabyjames5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 21, 11 at 8:01

So, it seems like the majority of people on this forum like BM paint, but my painter cannot stand it (thinks the coverage is poor and too expensive for what you get.) I've only used SW paints (painted every room myself in my old house 2-3 times.) We our doing major reno on a "new" old house, and have hired someone to paint everything. Painter is pushing Behr or Valspar. I was always pleased with SW. Consumer Reports still rates Behr highest, so why do so many people here disagree? LOVE all the BM colors, but wonder if color matching with different brands produces the same color?? Since we're looking at over 4000sf, saving money would be great BUT I don't want to sacrifice quality. I'm hoping you paint experts can help me!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Paint brands

SW used to give the most generous contractor's discount. Don't know if they still do, but if so you might get a better quality paint with SW than you would with paints where the discount is smaller.

I have not seen Behr recommended by the pro painters who frequent this forum. Maybe some of them will chime in.


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RE: Paint brands

Why did you choose this particular painter? If you have good reasons, why question a paint recommended both by him and by an unbiased organization?


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RE: Paint brands

ionized - maybe my post was confusing. My painter prefers Behr and Valspar over BM. It seems most GWers like BM. If both were in agreement, then naturally, I'd choose BM without question. Because our painter doesn't think BM is all that, I am simply trying to find out if I'd be making a mistake going with Behr or Valspar. Hopefully that makes more sense.


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RE: Paint brands

Your post was not confusing. Your trusted painter likes Behr. The unbiased source that uses objective tests, Consumer Reports, like Behr. Why wring your hands any more?


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RE: Paint brands

ionized - maybe my post was confusing. My painter prefers Behr and Valspar over BM. It seems most GWers like BM. If both were in agreement, then naturally, I'd choose BM without question. Because our painter doesn't think BM is all that, I am simply trying to find out if I'd be making a mistake going with Behr or Valspar. Hopefully that makes more sense.

IMO as a professional painter, you would be making a HUGE mistake in hiring a painter that would pick Behr over BM. Despite what CR reports, they are not judging QUALITY.Find a different painter, FAST. Do a search and read up on Behr paints, you will find the answer there.


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RE: Paint brands

I am not a pro, but have used Behr, BM, and SW, and I will not use Behr unless I can't afford the others. It is possible your painter is charging you as much as someone who would use a brand like BM or SW, but since the paint is less expensive, is making a bigger profit. Think about it logically. The reason HD sells Behr and not BM is that they would not get many sales in comparison if they charged $50 a gallon for paint. You pay more up front, but you get a longer lasting finish that pays for itself over time.


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RE: Paint brands

Contractors are more likely to use one brand over another for two reasons: familiarity and price. If a painter has used brand X for 20 years, they are more likely to bash other brands. Plus, they are more likely to get larger discounts from their supplier, too.

Keep in mind that all of these paint companies make different quality levels of paint. BM for instance, make Aura, Natura and Ben. The quality level is vastly different between their $60 per gallon Aura and the $20 per gallon Ben. This doesn't even take into consideration their "contractor" grade products that are even cheaper.

Point is, the homeowner will almost always be happier if they buy a premium quality paint and make the painter use it. Premium costs more, but it'll look good for 20+ years. The contractor may not be happy because they're not making a buck on the product, but so what. You are the customer.

When buying paint, you almost always get what you pay for. The higher the price, the better the product. With a few exceptions, of course. Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart paint...you are paying a premium for the name, but its really a cheaply made product by ICI or SW. Great colors, though.


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RE: Paint brands

Some red flags I see here. First, a painter dealing with only Home Depot and Lowes may not be a real pro. Real professionals prefer to build long lasting relationships with real paint stores. Real painters don't shop at Home Depot...I'm sorry, they just don't. The service there is terrible and the staff is usually stupid. Plus, you can't negotiate price there either. Second, any painter that claims BM doesn't cover well may just not understand paint. Coverage is usually determined by the color itself so maybe he used BM in yellow once (which would cover like crap in any brand) and decided that BM was a poor covering brand.


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RE: Paint brands

When buying paint, you almost always get what you pay for.

The key word there is "almost". I am looking at some exterior paint data right now. There are a some telling examples to the contrary. After 6 years, Sherwin-Williams Resilience Satin at $55/gal did not hold up as well as, among others, Valspar Ultra Premium Satin at $26/gal.


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RE: Paint brands

You can tell a lot about how a painter does business by the empty cans at his work site. (paint product or otherwise)

Price per gallon is the one thing that gets the most attention and focus but there is so much more to consider than just price comparisons. Quality coatings come at all different price points. Your pro's and con's of one brand and grade will not align with someone else's because every consumer is unique.

Part of establishing the painter/customer relationship is that they are able to agree and arrive at the same page with brand and grade for the project.

If you can't get on the same page with this particular painter at the brand/grade point in the relationship, I can promise you that more not seeing eye-to-eye lies ahead. It's anybody's guess as to what his priorities are, why he thinks a big box is the best place for him to do business.

If your priority is the Ben Moore color palette, then he's going to tell you that the Home Depot and Lowe's will be able to match any color.

At which point I'd tell him he's free to go have your chosen colors matched at the big box store of his choice, but he will be stuck with it, you want it written in the contract that you have the right to refuse and not pay for any gallon that does not meet your approval in terms of color match. Make it clear, and in writing, that you will not pay for any can of paint that doesn't satisfactorily match specified sample colors.

This is just a guess but I think it's a pretty good one - just about guarantee that all of the sudden he'll have a couple other brands in mind that would be a better fit for your project.

Move him off the circular discussion of which brand of paint is "best" and onto how he intends to manage and guarantee one of YOUR top priorities, which I think I'm picking up is color, and I suspect it could be a very different conversation from prior discussions.


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RE: Paint brands

If a 'painter' preferred Behr over SW or BM or any decent paint, I'd fire him on the spot.

Btw, Consumer Reports is far from 'unbiased', plus their methods for testing products are circumspect. Especially paint. That's been discussed elsewhere on this forum (re:paint) and other GW forums (appliances and laundry, in particular).


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RE: Paint brands

"If a 'painter' preferred Behr over SW or BM or any decent paint, I'd fire him on the spot."

Why?

Btw, Consumer Reports is far from 'unbiased', plus their methods for testing products are circumspect. Especially paint. That's been discussed elsewhere on this forum (re:paint) and other GW forums (appliances and laundry, in particular).

I have not seen that kind of criticism. Can you give us a synopsis?


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RE: Paint brands

Sweet5-

YOU'RE writing the check.

First...find out EXACTLY what Valspar line He likes.
Then....ask what BM-series He didn't like.

If He doesn't like Aura, or the Regal-series...hire a new painter. There's something wrong with him then!!

>>> What other brands are in your area??

Color-matching-
Depends on the skill @ the paint-counter!
I'm getting pretty damn good at it too!
(Been doin' it for almost a decade now...UFFDA!)
* I've got my hands in ACE-Royal, Ralph-Lauren, & C2 everyday too...
* An addition to your contract COULD BE...."Actual paint used must be XX..." NOT matched into any other brand, etc.

A painter that "can't get good coverage" from BM-
ISN'T A GOOD PAINTER....

Faron


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RE: Paint brands

I would like to retract the second request:

:Btw, Consumer Reports is far from 'unbiased', plus their methods for testing products are circumspect. Especially paint. That's been discussed elsewhere on this forum (re:paint) and other GW forums (appliances and laundry, in particular).

I have not seen that kind of criticism. Can you give us a synopsis?"

Just to keep on topic, what is biased about their paint testing?


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RE: Paint brands

oh hell...someone explain the quality difference I would see in my dining room if I painted one wall with Behr and on with SW and one with BM. Once all are painted and the walls sit there for 10 years...what measureable quality diifference will I see.


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RE: Paint brands

Behr's really not the great of a value any more. Of course, there are those for whom even if it were free it'd be worthless. :~D But I'm talking broader scope, sans the strong opinions, pro and con.

There are brands where you can get better grades at the same price or less than a can of premium Behr.

For my personal tolerance, Behr has a coagulated resin aspect to it. In other words, with some colors it reminds me of a lo-shine Saran Wrap (if there was such a thing) once on the walls and I don't like it. And for what you have to pay per gallon, I just think consumers can do better as far as quality of final finish and price-point.

As far as consumer reports, well, they think like consumers in order to report. Kinda what they need to be doing, right? However, the problem, the elephant in the room, is just like typical consumers they don't know where to find the best value for the price in paint and color world.

Pro's do... or they should. Which, I think, is one reason why everyone is somewhat appalled the op's painter candidate would suggest a big box as a resource. It's kinda like, really?, that's how he does business?, seriously? It just doesn't fit or add up for me and I'm sensing it didn't for others as well.

Now, the question is where do pro's go. How do they know where to find those great values in paint? The short, quick answer is independent paint stores, local hardware stores, neighborhood paint & dec shops.

That's not a conclusive statement, however. Meaning not ALL independents know how to rock their expertise so they are an ultimate paint/color destination -- some are still using a cigar box for a cash register. So,there is a bit of sleuthing involved to find the caliber of independent like I'm talkin' about.

However, the ones that do keep up their businesses don't let grass grow under any of their inventory. If space is made on the store's planogram for a product, it can't be crap. And it has to be priced so it will move - sell.

The best consumer strategies for paint and color are not within the pages of Consumer Reports well meaning as they may be.


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RE: Paint brands

The best consumer strategies for paint and color are not within the pages of Consumer Reports well meaning as they may be.

right on


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RE: Paint brands

I have always done the majority of painting in the 2 homes we have had. I have used just about all brands at one time or another. At this point, based on my own experiences with the paint...I would not buy Behr again...nor would I buy Glidden(dear Lord, what was I thinking)....SW and BM both gave me exceptional coverage, ease of application and a beautiful product. Valspar Signature High Def. Matte is the last paint I used(didn't want to drive the 75 miles to a BM store and SW was closed) and I can't gripe at all about my experience with it. Went on great...looks beautiful on the wall. I always use quality brushes and rollers.

Another point...you must have confidence in those you hire to do work. When I paint, if I make a mistake and don't like the final product I am just out of time and a little paint..I can go and buy more and redo(have only had to do that twice in my lifetime...bad color choices for the lighting in the rooms)...but, if you are paying someone, then that option isn't always open.


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RE: Paint brands

seriously...
someone explain the quality difference I would see in my dining room if I painted one wall with Behr and on with SW and one with BM. Once all are painted and the walls sit there for 10 years...what measureable quality diifference will I see.


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RE: Paint brands

Andreaplume. My mind is mostly on exterior paint these days. That is a very different world of chemistry. For interior, however, one thing comes to mind first when reading your question. There might be a big difference if you have a bunch of sticky-handed kids running around and you have to wash the "stick" off. Some paints are more easily cleaned than others. In addition, truly cheap paints can rub right off when you try to clean them. What happens when they run into the walls while playing tag and holding their fav toy? You might see a difference there too.


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RE: Paint

"As far as consumer reports, well, they think like consumers in order to report. "

It is nice that an independent organization will provide objective data on consumer items and make the test results available at a reasonable cost. If they are not to think like consumers, would you have them think like the sellers? The sellers have one goal, to get the consumers' money and maximize their own profits. Without an independent rater/watchdog, there is no where to go.

"The best consumer strategies for paint and color are not within the pages of Consumer Reports well meaning as they may be"

What alternative can you suggest? I have seen no other data that can guide me to choose the best quality of paint for my money. Be constructive, show me the data!


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RE: Paint brands

ionized, that's not what I said. You took my words out of context and failed to post the quote in full. That's not okay and it's not cool. Kind of a desperate and smarmy thing to do, actually.


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RE: Paint brands

1) Quoting out of context is not really a valid complaint when you can scroll up and see the full text.

2) The clipped quote did not, in my view, change the meaning. If it did, I am sorry. It was not intentional. I may not be to blame. If the clipped quote meant something different than what I thought, your writing might have been a little better to give clearer meaning. Since I still do not see the difference, and you do, I suggest that you explain fully what you meant and how that differs from what was conveyed by the clipped quote.

Thanks


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RE: Paint brands

re:
For interior, however, one thing comes to mind first when reading your question. There might be a big difference if you have a bunch of sticky-handed kids running around and you have to wash the "stick" off. Some paints are more easily cleaned than others. In addition, truly cheap paints can rub right off when you try to clean them. What happens when they run into the walls while playing tag and holding their fav toy? You might see a difference there too.

Well, then I currently do not have Behr in the cheapie category since its been 5 years and my walls have been scrubbed here and there now and then...(kids) and they still look fine....maybe there will be a huge deterioration over the next 5 years....


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RE: Paint brands

I've been a fan of C-R for a long time....

EXCEPT when it comes to stuff like Paints & Stains!!!

>>>> SO MUCH <<<<
of the results depend on the prep, substrate, applied mil-thickness, cure-out time, tools used to apply, etc., etc.....

PLUS: The "Human element" comes into play as well.
* If you have 10 different people applying paint to a wall, you WON'T HAVE 2 COATS THE SAME...
* Everyone will have a different thickness applied.
* Cure-time will be affected, as will the films' "hardness" relative to a given cure-out time.
* This in turn will reflect into their burnishing ratings!!!

Would I buy "Behr"??
NO.
No reason to!
I've used all the brands I work with (ACE-Royal, Ralph-Lauren, & C2), and we have very good luck with all of these!

I've also used FPE, which is simply a PLEASURE to work with. It's hard to describe how good it is!
Cheap...NO.
Do I want to use it again??....HELL YES.

Faron


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RE: Paint brands

Faron, you appear to think that that CR's results are flawed by inconsistent application. Is that what you mean? If you mean anything else, you don't make much of an argument against using their ratings.

What is C2 and FPE?

You indicate that you have never tried Behr. Is that true?


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RE: Paint brands

faron and funcolors

please just ignore 'ionized' and please continue to share your knowledge with us all. Thank you both so much I have learned so much from both of your posts


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RE: Paint brands

Ionized-

With regard to my opinions on CR's testing-regimens ON PAINTS:

* I described the variables above that WILL lead to variations in people's results WITH A GIVEN BUCKET OF PAINT.
* "Inconsistent application". This is ONE of the factors I mentioned above. I am not privy to THEIR testing procedures however.
* I was trying to state that if 10 people are using "Brand X" paint, EVEN IF CR RATES IT HIGHLY....there WILL be 10 different results out in the real-world of homeowners.
* I have NOT used Behr paints. We haven't handled it in 5 years.
* CR'S PAINT results IMO are only valid for the application-methods, substrates, mil-thicknesses, cure-out times, and tools used FOR THOSE RATING-TESTS ONLY.
* There are MANY more scenarios out in the real world....

I'll graciously let you do some research on C2 and FPE.
(It'll be easy, I promise!)

Faron


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RE: Paint brands

Faron, I love your information and opinions about those obscure paints... I want to use the best quality paints, not the ones that are so heavily advertized to make us think that they are the best and that's why I drove over one hundred miles to the paint shop in Warrenton VA where they carry FPE, C-2 F&B and BM and I spent $200.00 in F & B sample pots. I was talking to the paint guy there about painting cabinets with BM... and he told me he thought the FPE paints were the best for cabinets and that BM is a close second So again thank you (and fun colors) for educating me.


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RE: Paint brands

Thanks for the comments debbie. :)

My point kind of got lost. Consumer Reports is but one resource. It's a subscription based magazine and -what? - once a year runs an article on paint brands?

If you want to get their input and read about their testing and their findings, buy the issue or subscribe Again, it's just one resource to reference if you choose. They take a consumer slant because that's what they do.

Paint and Color Professionals do not refer to Consumer Reports because their slant and findings as they sell them is of no value to a pro. Pro's have many other resources that speak to not just a very short list of paint-performance-type factors but the ENTIRE industry of coatings. And most importantly, publications are merely an optional supplement to information and experience gleaned from every-day, hands-on work in the trenches of paint and color.

Paint world is way bigger than the annual paint report from Consumer Reports -- they're only focusing on their tiny corner. They have to have focus because they have a demographic to satisfy. Nothing wrong with that -- that's simply their business.

Point being some folks on our forum are able to bring you a much broader view and perspective of paint and color worlds than the Consumer Reports business model.

It's a collective here. Not a single issue or subscription. And each person who reads the information is free to choose and do as they please. The goal here is to share hands-on experience and knowledge specifying, using (DIY or pro capacity), and yes even selling product.

Experience-based knowledge is not what Consumer Reports has to offer. They bring something different to the table, they offer a different point of view.


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RE: Paint brands

andreaplume, not sure if your question got answered in the kerfluffle about CR, but the big differences over time come through in scrubability and fading. This is dependent on the shade chosen and overall environment, however, higher quality paints tend to have more and higher quality pigments and binders and, thus, do not fade as quickly as cheaper paints. Cheaper paints use other fillers as well (There's a fair amount of chemistry involved here, so it's a slight generalization - no flaming, please.) Higher quality paint is also going to wear and last better under 'life' conditions. (Cleaning, touching, etc.)

If you're the sort that likes to change room colors often, then it may not be as much of a concern. Me, not so much.

It also depends on what is important to you. Some people are really cost-driven. They freak out that paint can cost upwards of $50-$100+ per gallon. I, conversely, value my time and the painting experience. I'd rather pay more for better coverage and less frustration. That's just me. I also have a decent paying job, as does DH, so it's not that big of a concern. I can appreciate that for some economics play a larger part of their decision. One should be cautioned, however, that cheaper paints, especially in deeper colors, can require more coats to get full coverage and depth of color. This often makes some 'premium' paints comparable. (I doubt FPE would ever fall into this category, but it's so decadent.......)

My issues with CR echo what has been mentioned above. They don't test 'good' brands (Muralo, Pratt & Lambert paints or Miele appliances? How the h*ll does Kenmore score so freakin' high all the time when the exact same machine or fridge, just rebadged, doesn't do as well?) and they use really bizarre testing methods to determine their recommendations. These methods do not mirror real-life conditions. It's a racket, imho. However, everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. People come here for an opinion on paint because there are many professionals, hard-core DIYers and people who just love paint. Other people go to CR for an opinion. Ymmv.


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RE: Paint brands

I'm repainting my kitchen, last done 12 years ago using Behr premium latex. The Behr premium latex stood up very well, and I have no complaints. I did the job myself, and it went on well, was good to work with, and it has stood up to cleaning and scrubbing.

Last year I painted our master bathroom. At that time I found that the new Behr paint had a very foul smell, and I returned it to the store. I then used Valspar, whose smell was acceptable. I didn't think I could stand waiting for the Behr stench to subside in the bedroom. I've been happy with the Valspar so far; it is a vivid blue historic color, and it didn't stink when I first opened the can.

The exterior of my house is BM, in 5 shades of blue, now 15 years old. Everything was primed, then sprayed. In my very hot dry climate even the darker shades have held up very well.

Just my 2 cents.


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RE: Paint brands

Faron, all of the variables you mention will be controlled in a good paint test so I can not tell what point you are trying to make. It has disappeared into a cloud of words.

Funcolors, yes, you are correct. CR is supported by subscribers' contributions as a nonprofit. Since it does not rely on manufacturers, marketers or suppliers, it is more able to be objective. Once a year would seem to be plenty often to run a paint article. It takes a long time to do even accelerated aging tests.

I am beginning to believe that paint cost really does not matter to people that paint for a fee or their customers. It really becomes insignificant when compared to the labor costs in preparation and painting. The painters go to a store that gets them in and out and gives them a good discount.

A homeowner, on the other hand, invests their own sweat equity and will want a good quality paint unless they plan to sell soon. The difference between two excellent paints at twenty-something or fifty-something dollars will be pretty significant.


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RE: Paint brands

Ionized-
Sheesh!
I don't know how to make it any clearer!!

The ONLY way to test a given paint with 100% comparability, is for CR to use Draw-down bars.
* These devices leave exactly the same WET mil-thickness on test sheets.
* PAINTS however, dry down to DIFFERENT mil-thicknesses when dry.

>>> Follow me here now...
* Some HUMAN testers MAY unknowingly be applying TOO THIN, OR TOO THICK of a coat.
* This varies a lot by the substrates porosity, TOOLS, etc.
* Now if the same person applies THE SAME PAINT...AT A GIVEN WET thickness...on bare sheetrock, and on a previously painted wall....
* The coating applied on bare sheetrock will perform worse.

WHY?
* Because the bare sheetrock is obviously SO porous, that you lose a lot of "wet thickness" into the substrate.
* The paint on the previously applied wall isn't porous anymore!!! Therefore, this paints resins can develop and cure ON TOP OF its substrate....THEREFORE BEING MORE DURABLE.

So in this little example:
ONE person applying the SAME "wet" PAINT THICKNESS on 2 different subsrates, will have 2 different results/appearances.

(yet many people will blame the PAINT........)

>>>> This is ONLY ONE OF MANY VARIABLES OUT THERE!!

BTW....
I just checked-out the 2010 paint-tests CR issue.

>>> It showed a PERSON applying paints to a wall.
NOT impartial dry-down bars.....they also didn't describe their testing methodologies.

A sub-$20 can @ Walmart faring better than a "California Paints" Ceramic-resin based paint??!?!?
>>> I DON'T THINK SO.....!

Faron


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RE: Paint brands

Faron, how can you make it clearer? Well you just did! Thanks for that. You are, however, getting rather self-righteous and indignant for no substantive cause. I only asked for an explanation of your, less than detailed, reasoning. If you had earlier included the detail that you did in your most recent post, I would have understood.

Now I can see that you are assuming that CR does not monitor or control the application of paints in their tests. My assumption would be that they do. From what I have seen, they use very good test methods. The picture that you cite might well just be used for illustrative purposes. Note that I have complained to CR about their decreasing detail about testing methods. I think that they used to include more of that kind of information. As a laboratory scientist, I know that it is far too easy to let uncontrolled variables creep into experiments, but paint tests should be relatively straightforward.

Please bear with me when I ask, does anyone else provide impartial, controlled test results comparing the performance of wide variety of paints from different manufacturers? SOTP opinions are nice to have, but nice, controlled data stating with controlled application like you describe are so much better.

Changing the subject to something that you mentioned, what is a "ceramic-resin based paint"? The term indicates that the resin is ceramic. That would be a neat trick! I can't think of a way that a ceramic could perform as a resin, but it has been a long time since kindergarten chemistry and materials science is a little out of my field of expertise. I would love to read about it if you have a link.


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RE: Paint brands

I'm not a paint expert but have been reading about this paint, and a more understandable name might be "ceramic and resin based paint." There are tiny ceramic beads in an acrylic resin based paint. Is that correct, Faron or anyone else?


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RE: Paint brands

The Paint Quality Institute does some paint testing. It would be really cool if one day they would put out a comprehensive guide on paint brands. Then we could maybe stop bashing Consumer Reports.

Here is a link that might be useful: PQI


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RE: Paint brands

They test over 100,000 paints and sit on the data? What kind of business model is that? Interesting.


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RE: Paint brands

Ionized-
Yeah...I could word stuff a little better sometimes!
Sorry if I was starting to sound sarcastic and impatient.

Sometimes the minutia of describing a procedure or variable more than one way is too taxing for Me-LOL!

Gray-
Yes-
Small ceramic beads are increasinly used in better paints to help make resins "denser/tighter".
KIND OF the same idea as comparing a Micro-fiber towel to a regular "larger-looped" version.

>>> ACE Paint has a new development along these lines...coming this Fall!!
(Been in the works for a while now....)

Paintguy is right about PQI's site.
Very good info. there about all things paint!

Faron


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RE: Paint brands

It's the denser and tighter resins that bring a more refined *hand* to the final finish. It's at that comparison level that Behr starts to look like Saran-Wrap-ish upholstery for you walls.

And it's that type of comparison that narrow testing and data fails to address.

i.e. Lower price-point paints may "perform" quite well and if Saran Wrap chic is what you like. . . well, then according to certain data it will hold up quite well and you got 10 to 20 or so years to enjoy.


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RE: Paint brands

" Saran Wrap chic"

I don't like that. It's high school.

There are all sorts of levels of paint quality, and all sorts of levels that suit the needs of buyers.

Outlining why you think a certain product has quality is fine, outlining why you think another product has unsuitable qualities is equally valuable. Each of us has painting wants, requirements and as well, a budget, so buyers must consider all three when making a purchase.

Making up taunting names is not OK.


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