I'm planning to repaint my exterior wood trim this year, ten years
after the last paint job. No scraping or priming this time around -
it's just a little weathered on the south side of the house. Ten
years ago, Benjamin Moore seemed to be the only paint that the pros
would use on their own houses. Is that still the case, or has
something better come along in the last ten years?
Boy, are you opening up a can of worms!
Consumer Reports does regular paint evaluations. The results invariably
come out that all brands are OK, but that some brands are slightly
better than others. The brand on top changes every time they run the
tests, because the manufacturers are always tweaking their formulas. All
the brands are usually acceptable. None are found to be garbage. These
are accelerated tests, because they obviously can't wait 15 years to
report on 15-year paint. It won't even be sold any more. In fact, many
of the particular types of paint in the test are no longer available
when the report comes out.
Every painter has his preferences. I like Sherwin-Williams because the
paint is pretty good, the store is conveniently located, I get a good
discount there, the people treat me right, and they have free coffee. I
don't use SW's contractor-quality paint, because it doesn't cover as
well as their other grades. I'd rather spend more on the paint and not
have to sometimes do three coats. If a client wants to use another
brand, that's OK with me--they just wind up paying more.
A wise painter once told me that with good paint, you'll pay a little
more, then repaint in 5-7 years. With cheap paint, you'll pay a little
less, then repaint in 5-7 years.
It does appear that CR tries to cover this situation by discarding the
results of tests on a formulation that is no longer available. It is of
course possible that a tested formulation is still available when that
issue of CR goes to press but no longer available by the time you buy
I used Benjamin Moore on my exterior 8 year ago and Sherwin
Williams on the interior five years ago. I found the BM to be
adequate for exterior, the service to suck but their numbers
were spot-on. The SW paint was superior for my interiors, the
cost was good, and service OUTSTANDING. I will go back to SW
because of convenience, cost, and service for future painting
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