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After a year and a half of remodeling our house, there has been a lot of painting projects. Practically every room needed new paint…bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathrooms, hall, everything. Needless to say, we have had several visitors come over in the middle of painting a room and we get a lot of questions about how to pick the best interior paint.
For us, it has been a little bit of trial and error. Even now, I still feel that I learn something new with each paint can and room that I paint. We’ve been all over the board with all different brands, but our most tested and most-used brands have been Sherwin Williams, Behr and Valspar. We have talked to friends, contractors, the people at the paint counter inside Home Depot and Lowe’s. Some gave better advice than others, but in the end we came to a single conclusion. There is good paint and there is better paint. Here’s the dirt on paint, ah er, should I say here’s the color on paint. (Insert obligatory laugh 🙂
How to Pick the Best Interior Paint
How to pick the best interior paint? Buy the best quality paint. That’s it, it’s pretty simple. After testing out those three major brands of paint we realized that every time we tried a paint that was anything less than the best quality they had to offer we ended up with more frustrations and more layers than we wanted. For those of you who would like a few more details, here’s the breakdown on each paint we tested.
Behr paint is found almost exclusively at Home Depot. We tried a couple of different cans of the Behr Premium Plus, what they call a medium-quality paint. It didn’t take long before we had to buy 2-3 cans of the paint + primer in this quality and 2-3 three layers to do just one bedroom before we decided to upgrade. That’s when we tried the Behr Marquee. What a difference. The extra cost upfront more than made up for just a simple one coat and a touch up second coat before the room was complete. The time saved in our case was well worth the extra $12-15.00.
After visiting a friends newly remodeled home, we discovered a freshly painted bathroom in a cool robins egg blue. We fell in love with the color and we asked what type of paint they used and where they bought it from. This time it was a Valspar paint from Lowe’s. Valspar is Lowe’s leading paint brand. Having such a success with the premium paint and our earlier projects this time we didn’t hesitate and went straight for the Valspar Reserve. It did not disappoint. We felt it was right on par with the Behr Marquee paint. One solid coat of paint + primer Reserve and followed by a light second coat of touch-ups went quickly and the project was done in a day. One catch to this paint is that it is an in-store purchase only.
Many a trip has been made to the Sherwin-Williams store to get paint samples and look at paint. In fact, we just purchased some exterior paint from Sherwin Williams to paint the brick on the outside of our house. More before and afters to come. Once we finished the 1st floor painting we moved down to the basement to paint rooms and halls of what seemed like endless wood paneling down stairs. We made a stop in to Sherwin Williams and bought their best quality paint that is specifically engineered to stick to slick surfaces, perfect for all that wood paneling. It worked so well, we highly recommend the Sherwin Williams Premium Wall and Wood Latex Primer in ultra pure white.
A Before and After of Sherwin-Williams Paint
Here is a before and after of our downstairs guest bedroom with the original wood paneling and then the painted wood paneling. The bright white made a huge difference in the amount of reflective light in the room. What started out as the darkest least attractive room in the house has now become one of our favorites. Read more about the dramatic transformation in our article here.
When it comes to paint, it can feel overwhelming when you first start out. As long as you stick with the best quality of any of the major brands you shouldn’t be disappointed. And extra $10-$20 for the top of the line paint + primer will save you more money in the long run along and Time. All those extra coats and trips to the store for more paint add up if you are anything like me, just cause more frustration. Stick with the best interior paint and you’ll have more time and money for those other projects on your To-Do list.
Let us know what you think about these three brands of paint in the comments below. What has worked for you?