ImageWorks Painting Blog

Why do many painters use good not great paints?

Posted by Steve Reutzel on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

We at ImageWorks Painting, Inc. are asked by customers a few questions, time and time again. Questions like, “What kind of paint do you use?”, “Why do you use this and the other guy was going to use Acme Whateverbrand paint?” or “Can’t I save money by using Super BigBox store paint?” There are a lot of reasons painters choose to use “okay” quality paint, and there is one good reason why we don’t.

As a former Professional Coatings Sales Representative for the largest paint manufacturer in the US, one daily aspect of my job was to discuss with painters why they chose to purchase the paint they used, and provide them compelling reason to switch to a product I was selling instead. Early in my career, I always believed that I could get any painter to buy from me if I could just get the opportunity to test my product head-to-head against the inferior product he was currently using. We would spend hours applying paint to test hide, coverage, durability, adhesion, mil thickness, viscosity, dry time, washability….. any of the many factors that separate one paint from another. As time went on, I came to the harsh realization that winning these paint-outs did not mean that I won the customer. When a painter chose to use a paint on his customer’s homes that was just clearly proven to be inferior, it invariably came down to one of two reasons. One, better paint was more expensive. Easy enough….and normally true. Two, better paint lasted longer. Yes….lasted longer as a negative. “If this paint looks good for 15 years instead of 7 years, I’ll be retired by the time the customer needs it painted again” was a sadly common response. A painter may say that paint is paint, and coming from a “professional”, they may sound so confident in saying it that you almost believe it. You may even believe the often true statement that in a more expensive product you’re just paying for the name.

There are some basic truths about paint that you, as a customer about to make a considerable investment in your home, are truly best served to understand before choosing which product should go in your home. First is that the choice of what product you have put on (or in) your home is almost as important as choosing what painter will be putting it on. Paint is not just aesthetic, it is protective of the surface below it. Also, if the surface prep is done correctly and the paint is applied properly, the remaining controllable factor that determines the lifespan of your paint job is the quality of the paint itself. To give a very basic, but real, example:

You spend 5,000 to have the exterior of your home painted. All other factors being equal (prep, application method, film thickness, weather), if you use a “good” paint and don’t need to repaint your house for 10 years, your beautiful, protective paint job costs you $500 per year until you spend your next $5000 10 years from now. If you spend the small amount of extra money on the “great” paint and that same paint job lasts you 15 years, your cost per year of keeping an attractive, protective coating on your home is now only $300 per year and you don’t have to mess with it again for an additional 5 years.

So…. What kind of paint do the quality conscious professionals at ImageWorks Painting use? We are not glued to a single label. As former coatings representatives, we understand the importance of choosing a product based on the type of substrate, the exposure to elements, existing coatings systems already in place, and the myriad of additional factors that combine to determine which product will work best on each project we complete. The manufacturer of the paint, the grandeur of the advertising, and the name of the store it’s coming from is not as important as resin type, quality of ingredients and additives, and characteristics of the paint itself.

In the end, on each and every job we do, we use the very best product for our customer. If the result of this is that we don’t get to repaint your house for another 20 years…..GREAT! We’ll happily accept the resulting confident referrals to your friends and family instead!

Thanks for reading!!

Steve & Perry, ImageWorks Painting, Inc.

Tags: how to choose a painter, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Painting Company, Paint and Coatings