Why Companies Choose Expensive Paint Brands | ImageWorks Painting

Jeremy Holderness

Expensive versus cheap painting companies PittsburghOut on an estimate one Summer day, I presented a homeowner with the bid to repaint her large, turn-of-the-century, 2-story home.  Her eyes skipped by the details and straight to the bottom of the page to my price.  She looked up from her estimate at me and said, "Couldn't we knock a few hundred bucks off of this if you bought the paint at Wal-Mart?  It's all just paint."  

I'm sure there are many of you out there that would agree with her statement, and many others who are shaking their heads while they're reading this.  A great deal of our customers understand the value of using the highest quality products, but some folks are just simply looking for the cheapest price.

For those of you out there who are about to undertake a painting project and don't know why the painting companies that are giving you bids insist on using expensive paint brands...this article is for you.

I'm not going to get technical in this blog post about the content of volume solids, ease of application, or one-coat coverage products because a lot of people just don't care about all of the jargon.  What I am going to do is go into a couple of very specific reasons that should matter to anyone who's about to shell out a large amount of cash to paint their home.



It makes sense to start with the warranty because you often see it prominently printed on the label of every paint can no matter where you buy your paint.  In fact you're likely to see the same length of warranty on the cans of the shelves of your local discounters that you will see in the specialty shops.  If both cans say '25-Year Warranty' then people are going to assume that the products should be of equivalent quality.

Here's the thing -- a paint manufacturer's warranty is little more than a marketing gimmick designed to differentiate between the lower-priced and the higher-priced paints sitting next to each other on the shelf.  It demonstrates to the consumer that the $15/gallon paint is of lesser quality than the $20/gallon paint right beside it at the bargain outlet.  They're justifying to you that you're getting more for your money.

What are you really getting?  You are most likely getting a product that will cover better, last longer, etc, but does that mean it's equivalent to the 25-year warranty paint at Benjamin-Moore? -- highly unlikely.  Specialty paint manufacturers have a proven track-record of providing a quality product that has been independently tested and that lasts, so the painting contractor feels comfortable putting their own reputation on the line to apply it on your home.  

Are you really getting a paint that will last you 25 years at either place?  Probably not, but I would be more concerned with the labor warranty that the painting company is providing you and not the one on the can.  Many of them just won't stand behind what they perceive to be a bargain product when their livelihood is at stake.  If they're willing to warranty their labor for a length of time using Brand A but not at all with Brand B, then that should give you a good indication about their level of confidence in a particular company's brand of products versus another's.



This is one that is not as well understood, but probably of equal importance to your contractor -- and should be to you as well.

Problems happen on painting projects, just like on every other type of home improvement project.  Environmental factors, unforeseen issues, and even manufacturer's product defects all happen from time to time. Lots of these bumps in the road are quietly handled behind the scenes by veteran painters, and the homeowners are never even aware that there was a problem to begin with.  Some issues, however, are not so simple to fix.

When a seasoned painting contractor runs up against a big problem they need to know that they can call on a trusted partner where they purchase their products who will put their expertise to good use to quickly and painlessly resolve the situation so it doesn't become a nightmare.  Being in complaint-resolutions for Sherwin-Williams myself for several years I can tell you that we regularly worked hand-in-hand with painting companies of all sizes to get them out of a jamb that they would otherwise have had a very difficult time navigating on their own.

What this means to the homeowner is that they're not left having to continue to look at an eyesore on their home while they're waiting for their contractor to fight it out with the manager of the big box home center who doesn't know the first thing about paint.

The peace of mind of having the trusted support from a vendor-partner who has your contractor's back -- and your's -- is worth the extra money...without question.



To learn more about the technical differences between paint products please read our other articles.

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