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Thread: "Professional" paint (Sherwin Williams, etc) vs Box-Store paint

  1. #1

    "Professional" paint (Sherwin Williams, etc) vs Box-Store paint

    In our new house, I bought Valspar Signature paint from Lowe's to paint the entire interior, but ended up hiring professional painters to do the job. Nice, honest guys, who very timidly pulled me aside after putting on 2 coats of the Valspar and asked if I'd be offended if they went and bought Sherwin Williams ProMar 200 to finish the job because they weren't impressed with the Valspar (and, further to their credit, they refused to let me pay for the SW paint).

    So, I'm a pretty discerning guy, and I can't tell the difference. I have both the Valspar and the ProMar, and after painting some walls myself with them, as far as I can tell, they're the same.

    I've tried SW Cashmere and Proclassic, in the past, and just couldn't see what was special. Proclassic was hard to use.

    I want to be the kind of snob who pays twice the price and goes out of the way to buy fancy professional paint, but I just don't see it. This seems to be reflected in the reviews of SW products on their website, which all seem very negative.

    Can someone tell me: "Buy a gallon of [xyz] and you'll see why the pros only use..."?

    Or, at least: "Yeah, if you're paying for it with your own money, Valspar/Behr is the better value"?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    3,901
    I use the Behr Ultra something for interior paint after Consumer Reports rated it as recommended.

    SW makes fantastic exterior paints that are not cheap. SW has 30% off sales often and 40% off sales maybe quarterly. Pros have accounts and get discounts year round.

  3. #3
    I'm a painter too and I had a customer supply Valspar Signature Paint for the their house I was painting. After using it for a day I could see it was so watered down it was never going to do the job. I also asked to change brands. I was working by the hour and I couldn't see putting four coats on everything with the Valspar paint to do the same job I would do with one coat of Glidden paint so they agreed. I have also used the Promar 200 and have found it to be watered down as well. It's better than Valspar though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    49,630
    I pretty much stick to SW or BM for "house" paint because I get consistency and great results. I have used the top level Behr for a few things and it was fine, but it did go on differently than the SW Emerald or BM Aura. And ProClassic acrylic is my go-to for trim. I find it extremely easy to apply. In fact, when I repainted my kitchen lower cabinets, which are white, I used it for that job because I couldn't spray my normal Target Coatings finish and the result was stellar with zero brush marks.

    It's probably harder for a "casual" painter to notice differences, but for the folks who paint day-in-day-out, they are going to notice differences between products very quickly and that will affect their ability to execute with the quality they try to achieve.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Sometimes, the difference between 2 brands is not evident until you see how it wears. I use only Sherwiin Williams. Excellent coverage going on. Very durable. I wait to buy it on sale.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    4,057
    I have tried the box store paints, and only will use Sherwin-Williams paint any more.

    We painted one house a couple of years ago with Behr top of the line exterior, because the owner had read on Consumer Reports that it was the highest rated, and that's what he wanted. The difference that he paid us for putting on the extra coats needed was way more than if we had used Emerald to start with. Also, the Behr didn't bond to some of the caulking in old shutter dog holes (we went with a completely different shutter stay system), so long story shortened a little bit, we repainted the whole house with Emerald. That owner, and I are good friends now, and now, he only asks me what he should do.

    I only use whatever the best that Sherwin-Williams offers. Cost of paint is usually not a large part of the overall cost, expecially when you have to redo it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I only use whatever the best that Sherwin-Williams offers.
    +1. My Dad painted his house 25 years ago. The SW guys told him to pressure wash it, then put on 1 coat of oil-based primer and 2 coats of SW's best latex paint at the time. Believe it or not, their house still looks fine. It's astonishing how good paint, properly applied can last.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    That was probably Super Paint. We have some horse jump rails that we painted with that 20 years ago. I remember it was 20 years ago, because our Daughter was 12 then, and she's 32 now. They've been on jumps sometimes, and sometimes just left on the ground. They've never been repainted, and still have probably 3/4 of the paint still on them.

    Since then, the top end was Duration, and now Emerald. Each step has been an improvement. I have one 1828 house that we painted with Duration in 2007, and it stills looks like new after we pressure wash the mildew off of it. I like Emerald best of all, but it hasn't been out long enough to really know how it will hold up over time, but I don't expect anything but better from it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,163
    Had our house repainted a couple years ago with SW super paint and it appears to be awesome stuff. I just bought a gallon of the interior super paint this week to start cutting in our master bath and bedroom with a new paint color.

    Also painted our fence a few years ago with SW A100 and it has held up well.

    Previously we used valspar or behr paints but I really like the super paint.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 09-04-2019 at 9:43 PM.

  10. #10
    Ok, you've all twisted my arm. Jim, especially appreciate your recommendation for ProClassic Acrylic - I'm painting trim, next, and I see it's on sale, so I'll pick some up and give it another try.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
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    Not general house paint, but I needed something to paint rusty radiators (next to the men's toilet, ick) and solid wood doors and wood trim as well as steel handrails at some old children's restrooms at church. I ran across Behr Urethane/alkyd waterborne satin enamel at HD. Alkyd with water clean up? Sign me up. It went on beautifully, probably could have made it with one coat, but I wanted to to last and last, so I went with two coats. Dry to recoat in about an hour. Cleaned up easily with water while still wet. Dry on my skin 3 hours later, it took brake cleaner to remove it. Two days later it was as hard as nails on the wood and handrails. Only time will tell, but so far I am impressed.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I've used Proclassic for trim for probably about as long as it's been available. I painted a large room the owners called a Sunroom about a year ago. They wanted the walls, and trim to all be semi-gloss white, which of course required meticulous preparation.

    Since it was all the same color, I didn't mask anything but the vinyl sash in the Anderson casement windows. Since they were casements, I put positive pressure in the room with a fan, and put the very light wall drape plastic film over the sash, smoothing it out by hand, and closed the sash. That was all the masking we did. I used 7 gallons of Proclassic, and sprayed it with airless. It's a great sanding paint, so for the semi-gloss, we hit it with a quick pass of a ROS with 220 after the first coat, and it all came out like a top quality automotive paint job.

    I've seen the owners several times since then, like in the grocery store, and Ace hardware, and they always are glad to see me, and give high praise on that room. They used to call it their Sunroom, but when they talk about it to me, they now call it "that room you painted". They have enjoyed showing it off to their friends. They say people ask what kind of walls they are, and don't believe them when they say it's sheetrock.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Posts
    399
    Have had rentals for over 50+ years... Normally used SW promar 400 paint for interiors... Tried the highest quality (most expensive) BORG paint one time... guaranteed one coat coverage... after putting on second coat in one room and still did no cover properly (white on white!) took it back for refund... they did NOT give refund, only credit for unused paint...will never buy BORG paint again..

    SW Promar 400 is not their most expensive paint, but in my opinion it covers in ONE coat and lasts a long time... That is all I will ever use...

  14. #14
    Not impressed with Valspar, but have had good luck with Behr. Sherwin-Williams, Kelly-Moore, Benjamin Moore, are all good paints, and there is nothing more expensive then cheap paint*, learned that lesson with paint made by a company called United Coatings, they later made the house brand of paint for the now defunct Home Club/ Home Base home improvement chain.

    *Applies to masking tape too, now use only 3M tape.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Deep South
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    3,831
    We just finished a new house. The person who painted most of the house used Sherwin Williams brand for most of it. We did some painting ourselves and used the paint he bought and premium Behr paint from Home Depot, which we bought. We were able to compare the two materials side by side at the same time. I much prefer the Behr. It is smoother and covers better than SW. I would not buy SW if Behr is available. I can't say about Benjamin Moore, other than they have an idiot for a salesman in my town. We tried Valspar several years ago and I didn't like it but I can't remember whether it was the cheap or premium grade.
    Last edited by Art Mann; 09-04-2019 at 10:45 PM.

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