Professional painters are hired for their skill set, expertise, know how, product knowledge and quality service. Today, you might add in, honesty and integrity. Finding someone to ‘do the job’ is no longer enough, it helps if you can trust the person in your home.
In the area of product knowledge, every painter has an opinion and personal preference regarding brands of paint and the equipment used. At some point in the conversation the term ‘best’ will be used. Examples: Purdy is the ‘best’ paint brush, Sherwin Williams is the ‘best’ paint or Benjamin Moore has the ‘best’ colours. (I don’t actually agree with all of these examples) For most consumers, paint is purchased based on available funds rather than quality. Simply put: The best paint for you is the paint you can afford. Paint suppliers have various product lines within their brand for the consumer and professional alike. Choose the one that suits your budget. As a professional, I tend to offer premium brands of paint so as to ensure quality and reliability.
What is the best kind of paint on the market? According to www.consumersreport.org – a consumer’s guide to products – Benjamin Moore Aura wins their overall rating when choosing an Interior latex satin or eggshell paint. Please note the qualifications within the rating:
- Interior vs. Exterior
- Latex vs. Alkyd
- Satin or Eggshell vs. Matt, Semi, Gloss
There are other factors to consider in your purchase that are not included or mentioned in this rating, namely:
- Eco Friendly or Environmentally Safe – VOC rating (Zero, Low, other) Kid and Pet Friendly paint
- Wash ability and Scrub ability
- Paint vs. Paint/Primer in one
- Durability and ‘Stickability’ – can you scratch it off easily with your nail?
Benjamin Moore Aura is a premium paint that performs very well, however, there are alternatives. Even within Benjamin Moore’s own product lines – I prefer Benjamin Moore Regal line of paint. Why? It has GREAT coverage, you get more square feet per gallon, it’s a better price point, it’s a paint/primer in one and it dries quickly so you can recoat faster.
Sherwin Williams Opulence is a self-leveling product that has great coverage at a strong price point. However, it is NOT a paint/primer in one. Meaning, if you have patching or repairs you will need to pre-prime these areas or ‘spot prime’ (use the paint as its own primer – allowing for sufficient dry time between coats).
Sherwin Williams Emerald was introduced in 2012 to compete directly with BM Aura, it is a strong contender as a Zero VOC environmentally safe product with good coverage and
highly washable paint. However, it should be used in a well ventilated area as it has a 'paint' smell.
I used to be a Glidden/Dulux guy – but have moved away from their product lines in recent history. Why? I never liked their interior LifeMaster series – it did not roll out nicely, felt too slimy if that makes any sense. Other guys swear by PARA paints – another good company with strong products, but I haven’t used enough of them to formulate an opinion.
Behr Premium Interior paint sold at Home Depot has done a lot of marketing and is accessible. Consumers Report gives them a high rating. (no.2 to Aura) I recently used their product and had a completely different experience. It was AWFUL! It did not roll out well, you had to work the product unto the wall, very very poor coverage – even after two coats you could see shadows of the previous paint – thus requiring three coats in areas. Simply put, I am NOT A FAN of Behr Paint!
Overall Recommendation: Benjamin Moore Regal Paint or Sherwin Williams Opulence Paint