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This is a question for contractors who do painting. I do a combination of carpentry, renovation, cabinetwork, etc. and also do a fair amount of painting. Usually it's picky work for people who want a nice job. For years I used Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo on interior trim. Anyone who's used it knows that it dried like glass, with a beautiful finish. But in the past several years there have been changes. BM has been bought by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway gang, and EPA regulations have forced the reformulation of paints.
Satin Impervo original formula was product #235. BM then came out with C235, which was downgraded and doesn't dry as smoothly. Then they came out with Z235, which is similar to exterior stain. The brush strokes don't settle and the sheen is poor. I've also had trouble with it just falling off of cast iron radiators. Meanwhile, BM has also been coming out with their "waterborne" line of water-base paints, which cover well but go on too thin to produce a consistent sheen.
In addition to the BM product changes, the company has been very aggressive about pushing their products into paint stores. Store owners have told me that BM doesn't allow them to have a BM account if they sell paint from competing companies. The result is that nearly every paint store I know of sells Benjamin Moore and little else. For some reason BM puts up with California, but other brands seem to be disappearing. (One store told me that BM forced them to discontiue Cabots stains. Another store told me they had to keep the Cabot's in the back.)
I can't continue to use BM paint. It just isn't good enough anymore. I've been switching to Pratt and Lambert, especially for interior oil. I like their Red Seal product. But I also like their other products that I've tried. Unfortunately, it's a long trip for me (even in a big city) to get PL paint.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I wanted to describe my experience to see how it compares to others' experience. I'd be interested to hear any thoughts about paint brand experiences in high-end residential work, especially where satin oil has been used for interior trim.
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You were so winded, you forgot to ask a question!
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On 3/21/2014 12:49 PM, Jerry wrote:

My brief time with a contractor, he used as cheap a paint as he could find ;)
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| You were so winded, you forgot to ask a question! |
Right at the end:
"I'd be interested to hear any thoughts about paint brand experiences in high-end residential work, especially where satin oil has been used for interior trim."
I'm looking for opinions, from people who do painting professionally, about what they think is best.
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'Frank[_17_ Wrote:

That often happens with contractors who offer a 1 year guarantee. Almost any paint will stay on for 12 months. Homeowners, on the other hand tend to buy the best they can afford so as to not have to do the same work over again in only a few years time.
I'm always had good results with Pratt & Lambert "Accolade" paints.
--
nestork

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On 3/21/2014 9:16 PM, nestork wrote:

It was a general contractor building a house next door to me when I was a kid and he hired me to paint. I remember him changing the color of one room because it took more than one coat.
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Have you checkec Consumers Reports? They do a fairly thorough job of evaluating all types of paints.
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| Have you checkec Consumers Reports? They do a fairly thorough job of evaluating all types of paints. |
I haven't read it recently, but someone told me they rated Behr tops. So... so much for CS. :)
I generally don't put much stock in their analyses of things, anyway. They usually end up with a complex chart of mixed reviews: A product was slightly better than average in this category, slightly below in that category. Coming up with true ratings out of that seems dubious to me.
With paint, the main issues are durability, color retention and especially the surface of the finish (for interior trim paint). CR makes up a lot of irrelevant categories in an attempt to be "objective". Things like "ease of use" or "ease of cleanup" or "brushability" that really don't mean much but are easier to measure than "elegance of luster". Some years ago, back when Benjamin Moore had the best interior oil paint around, CR rated them low middle.
The other problem with CR is that they haven't rated oil paint for years -- if they ever did. What I'm especially concerned with is interior oil trim paint. Water base paint quality is not so much of an issue. It's mostly for walls. For trim any decent brand is generally serviceable, but inferior in terms of surface finish when dry. "Consumers" don't generally use oil paint and don't generally care very much about ratings except for exterior paint. So CR rates exterior water-base paints. I can't remember the last time I used exterior latex/acrylic paint.
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Consumer Reports rates Behr paints as "Best Buys", which means they give you better value for your dollar.
If I had only $18 to buy a gallon of paint, I would buy Behr too.
But I would object to having to use $18 paint on any painting project I do.
I've used both Behr Satin "Enamel" and Pratt & Lambert Accolade Satin, and there is no comparison. The P&L paint virtually eliminates my having to spread drop cloths because there is virtually no spatter. Also, it doesn't soften up nearly as much when it gets wet, and that makes it stand up better when removing marks from it.
I disagree with Mayayana on colour retention.
It's the pigments in a paint that give it it's colour, and certain pigments retain their colour when exposed to UV light far better than others. For example, the reason why the planet Mars is red is because of all the iron oxide rich rocks at it's surface. We use exactly that same iron oxide as the pigment "Red Oxide" in tinting paints. By using inorganic pigments like yellow oxide, red oxide, brown oxide, raw umber, titanium white and black, you can formulate colours that don't fade whatsoever from exposure to the Sun. Mars is just as red as the rust on my car, and it will be for another 5 billion years of direct exposure to the Sun. So, if you take the rust on my car, pulverize it into a fine powder and use that powder to tint your paint a reddish brown colour, you'll have a paint that, barring other factors, will retain it's colour perfectly for 5 billion years.
Also, my experience with interior paints is that walls will gradually get dirty due to dust in the air settling on those walls. If there's a smoker in the house, you'll see lines form over the studs on exterior walls, and even black spots form over the drywall nails or screws in those studs. This is the result of microscopic particles of soot settling on the coldest portions of the wall, and will happen with any paint. If you have to repair damage to a wall like that, you'll never get the paint to match because the old paint is dirty whereas the new paint isn't.
So, colour retention isn't a good indication of paint quality because the ability of the paint to retain it's colour is dependant on many factors that paint quality plays no part in.
--
nestork


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| I've used both Behr Satin "Enamel" and Pratt & Lambert Accolade Satin, | and there is no comparison.
That's good to know, though Accolade is acrylic, which doesnt help me in finding a good satin oil paint. I'm especially interested in knowing peoples' experience with interior oil trim paints since the EPA regulations took effect and since Benjamin Moore's formula changes.
| I disagree with Mayayana on colour retention. | | It's the pigments in a paint that give it it's colour, and certain | pigments retain their colour when exposed to UV light far better than | others.
I wouldn't argue with that. Though there have been cases of poor color retention. As I recall, Olympic was sued at one point for unusual color fading with their stains.
But my reason for listing that was just to list the aspects of a paint that might be really relevant in choosing a paint, as opposed to the list that CR is likely to test for. I don't consider "ease of cleanup" to be one of those important details. :) And of course I wouldn't really think of color retention being an interior paint issue in general.
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On 3/22/2014 7:59 AM, Mayayana wrote:

...
Well, I generally don't much agree w/ CS, either, but I wouldn't write Behr off because of them.
I get the feeling your comment is mostly based on the relationship w/ HD rather than anything else, but Behr was a well-established west-coast manufacturer long before they got the national exposure.
Like other manufacturers, they manufacturer grades from the low-end to high and generally you tend to "get what you pay for"....
...

...
I've not used any interior oil-based wall paint in years so no real input on that part, per se.
I'm wondering why you're so hung over oil for that purpose, specifically???
I used some 80 gal of Behr oil exterior on the barn and was pleased and remain so 7-yr or so later. It was the premium level and other than HD giving some discount based on the volume, no cheaper than S-W or the other names at the time.
For the last interior oil I used, I was very pleased with a Glidden product, also at least the next-to if not the top-level in their line. Its brushability and flowout was quite enjoyable, actually. But again, it wasn't the walls; can't see any need/advantage over a good quality latex enamel for that purpose.
--


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| I've not used any interior oil-based wall paint in years so no real | input on that part, per se. | | I'm wondering why you're so hung over oil for that purpose, specifically??? |
I wasn't talking about wall paint. I was talking specifically about oil-base trim paint. People seem to be answering about just about everything else. :) I don't see any reason for oil paint on walls, either. On trim it settles better, provides a more elegant finish (where acrylic tends to look "rubberry") and is tougher. I just haven't found a water-base satin paint that can provide a finish on trim that looks like oil.
| I used some 80 gal of Behr oil exterior on the barn and was pleased and | remain so 7-yr or so later. It was the premium level and other than HD | giving some discount based on the volume, no cheaper than S-W or the | other names at the time.
I guess you mean Behr oil-base solid exterior stain? I didn't know they had oil-base products. It's interesting because exterior solid oil stain has become another problem product. At this point I use Cabot's but they seem to keep changing the product, while BM discontinued it altogether.
I've only tried Behr a couple of times and found it very thin. I don't have anything against HD, but wouldn't expect them to carry the best products, so I'm not inclined to spend time testing Behr paint for use on high-end work. But, again, since Behr doesn't make satin oil paint for interior, it's a moot question.
| | For the last interior oil I used, I was very pleased with a Glidden | product, also at least the next-to if not the top-level in their line. | Its brushability and flowout was quite enjoyable, actually.
Interesting. I used their exterior oil stain once, years ago. I didn't know they had interior oil paint. I used their stain only because a customer insisted on it. The original contractor had used it. I tried to talk them into BM at the time, but they were insistent. As it turned out, the price difference was $10 for Glidden and $27 for BM. But the Glidden was odd. It went on thick but immediately "melted" into thin foam, providing poor coverage. As it turned out the store had spec sheets for their stain. According to their own specs, their oil-base stain was 30% water! The product was thinned by 1/3 with emulsifiers added. No wonder it was so thin.
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Mayayana:
You can't fight the EPA. Alkyd paints are going the way of the dinosaur because the mineral spirits used to thin them cause low level ozone pollution in the air. All the research money is going into developing water based coatings that can match the durability and hardness of oil based paints.
If you have a General Paint, Kwal Paint, Frazee Paint, Colorwheel Paint or Parker Paint store in your area, ask anyone at the sales counter to shake up a quart of Monamel satin for you. Use a Q-tip to paint some of that Monamel onto a paint mixing stick and see how it spreads and what it looks like when it's dry.
Monamel is a water wash-up paint, but it forms a film that's nearly as hard and durable as an alkyd paint and that's what you need on door frames near light switches where dirt always collects.
At least it'll be a start in finding a paint to replace the BM satin Impervo you've been using.
Envirogard is another water washable paint that's worth looking at. Different chemistry, but it still forms a film that's much more durable than conventional latex paints.
--
nestork


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| If you have a General Paint, Kwal Paint, Frazee Paint, Colorwheel | Paint or Parker Paint store in your area, ask anyone at the sales | counter to shake up a quart of Monamel satin for you. Use a Q-tip to | paint some of that Monamel onto a paint mixing stick and see how it | spreads and what it looks like when it's dry. | | Monamel is a water wash-up paint, but it forms a film that's nearly | as hard and durable as an alkyd paint and that's what you need on door | frames near light switches where dirt always collects. |
Thanks. I can't seem to find anything like that where I am. (Boston.) I've never heard of those paint store names. BM actually makes a waterborne alkyd paint called Advance. I know a cabinetmaker who uses it for spraying, and it goes on very smooth. Unfortunately, it's extremely thin. If the surface is not perfect then every little imperfection will show through. Perhaps it would be worth trying another brand, though. I guess it's a question of whether the thinness is a BM problem or a limitation of that type of paint.
Also, there's a problem cleaning brushes with that kind of paint. They don't entirely clean with water and thinner is not recommended. When I did a job using Advance I ended up throwing out the brush at the end. I left it soaking in water but it got a bit stiffer each day.
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On 3/22/2014 12:02 PM, Mayayana wrote: ...

No exterior oil-based paint. Now, this was a few years ago, given the EPA and CA since then, perhaps they have discontinued it...
Hmmm....looks like they have entirely dropped any oil-based paints. Bummer.

Well, at the time HD carried the full Behr line from low to best.

Again, times are changing and it's possible they've been forced out of the market as well.
I expect you may as well just accept that the EPA has mandated oil paints out of existence by the VOC limitations they've placed on them. Even if you find one this month it'll be unlikely to be around next year just like the ones I've used in the past and have a few cans of still around aren't made any longer, either.
It's a shame and probably has no real impact on anything real for which it's supposed to being done, but that's the way it is...
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On Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:45:34 PM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

I have used Promar 200 from Sherwinn Williams for many years.
Great coverage, most cases take only one coat.
Andy
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| I have used Promar 200 from Sherwinn Williams for many years. | | Great coverage, most cases take only one coat. |
Thanks. I do have SW stores near me. I guess I should give them a try. I also came across a chat site, something like contractortalk.com, where SW seemed to be popular.
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On 3/23/2014 7:58 AM, Mayayana wrote:

BTW, in a piece of news you'll be bound to love ( :) ), W-Mart-branded paints were S-W at the time of the last house-painting here (4-5 yr ago). This is a small market locale so one S-W store and the other chain outlets for local suppliers so was a cheaper alternative for what appeared in use to be same product.
--



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| BTW, in a piece of news you'll be bound to love ( :) ), W-Mart-branded | paints were S-W at the time of the last house-painting here (4-5 yr | ago). This is a small market locale so one S-W store and the other | chain outlets for local suppliers so was a cheaper alternative for what | appeared in use to be same product. |
That's an interesting issue. I remember Consmuer Reports, years ago, recommending something like J.C. Penney as the top paint. I don't know how one can tell whether the Walmart paint is the same as branded SW or not. I avoid those store brands for that reason. That's always been an issue with Sears. If you buy their sewing machine was it made by Singer or by Ace and Acme? The answer might even differ from one batch to the next. They're not making any promises about that.
Another good example is Trader Joes. Their products could come from good companies, but it's likely they don't. Companies want to maintain their own reputation. Even if a good company is supplying TJ brand, it's likely they'd send TJ the bottom-of-the-barrel stock, since their name is not on it.
There was an example of that last year, due to a salmonella outbreak in peanut butter. The recall included TJ's peanut butter, as well as products from discount product companies like Little Debbie. It turned out it was all coming from a wholesaler in the Midwest, named "Big Nut" :) I'm guessing that the hipsters who shop at TJs don't usually think about that kind of thing, but it's really common sense: TJs focuses on low price and their suppliers remain anonymous. That's a formula for poor product quality. It's silly to expect a store brand sold at a low price to be high quality.
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"oil based" interior trim paint is virtually unavailable today. Even oil based primer or ceiling paint o paint "popcorn" textured ceilings is very hard to get. After patching some popped drywall nails, we had a terrible time getting a coat of primer or paint on without softening and blistering the drywall compound, untill I grabbed a can of off-white automotive touchup spray I had sitting around. A light coat of that to seal the compound from the water in the paint, and no more problems.
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