Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

August, 2003

Selecting House Paints

Q. I realize this question has been asked previously, but consumer reports didn't have any of my local brands listed. I'll be painting the interior of my house & was wondering how the paint manufacturers (i.e. Benjamin Moore, Rodda, Miller Paint)compare to one another? I'm also wondering how the lower VOC (enviromentally friendly) paint compares to the 'normal' paint; in both performance and cost.

A. With regard to a comparison of paints, I can't help you. Only laboratories such as those used at Consumer Products can do such work. However, in general I can tell you that the quality of paint depends in large part on how much you pay. The more expensive the paint, the more likely it contains higher quality ingredients. The less you pay, the less you get in terms of quality. Since paints are highly competitive consumer products, you can assume that competing vendors make a very small profit on their products. Bearing that in mind, you can assume that higher priced paints from competing vendors will have similar quality levels.

In general the very low VOC-containing house paints do not as yet have the same quality as the higher VOC-containing house paints. Some states require that paint manufacturing's lower their VOC contents quite dramatically, but I have read articles that indicate the quality of the paint is compromised.

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