Whether you are looking at a gas, groceries, or clothing, it seems that there are always at least 3 different versions of the same product, with widely varying prices. This is just as true in the paint aisle: the variety of available paints is mind-boggling, and they range in price from $12 to $69 dollars per gallon. So what is the difference, and why in the world would anyone pay for the premium products when it is more than triple the price?
“You get what you pay for,” the old saying goes, and in paints, it is very accurate. Professional house painters agree that the price of paint is directly related to the quality of the raw ingredients it contains, and the better the materials, the higher the price. This means, then, that the more you pay, the better your paint will perform. Each paint manufacturer has higher and lower quality paints that they produce in order to be competitive in each market.
In residential painting, the quality of the materials is not immediately visible. For example, Sherwin Williams least expensive paint will be the same color and appearance as their most expensive when they are freshly applied. The differences become plain, however, in a surprisingly short time. Better paints will hold their color longer, resist scuffing and scraping better, cover in less coats, and reduce the frequency of paint jobs.
There are four main ingredients in all paint:
- Pigment: This creates the colors
- Binder: This causes the paint to adhere to the substrate (surface)
- Resins: These cause the paint film to harden, like a protective shell
- Solvent/Base: This is what makes paint a spreadable liquid. It evaporates as the paint dries
Each of these ingredients can vary in quality and cost, and the more money you spend on these materials, the longer a paint job will last. When customers seek a lower-cost product, the manufacturer must sacrifice the quality of some of these ingredients, and the paint will not perform as well. For example, Sherwin Williams produces some of the finest paints available, but their South West Builders product is designed for budget-conscious customers, and it costs about $12 per gallon. Because the pigments are not as good and the resins are cheaper, this paint will fade significantly in 4-5 years.
The bottom line for many customers is the overall price effect: will I save more by using a lower-cost product? The surprising answer is no! When you hire a painting company, the paint is only 10% to 20% of the total project cost, so getting better paints will have only a slight impact on the overall job cost. However, the difference in paint performance could double the life of your paint, reducing the frequency of paint jobs. The cost analysis in this case clearly shows that a larger up-front investment can save substantial cash and headaches in the long-term.
For more information about specialized paint ingredients and premium paints call Brooks Painting who is a Davis-based painting contractor serving the whole Sacramento metropolitan region. We gladly service Sacramento County, Yolo County, Placer County, Eldorado County, and Solano County.