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Are Expensive House Paints Worth the Cost?

Whether you’re painting your kitchen, living room, bedroom, or house exterior, the cost of house paint can range dramatically, leaving consumers to wonder how to choose the right paint for painting your walls. Should you save money and go for the cheapest on the shelf, or will that mean you’ll end up sacrificing quality and durability? Or should you shell out the big bucks for the most expensive paint option, or will that mean you’re paying too much for quality that a less-expensive paint could deliver? It’s hard to know — are expensive house paints worth the cost?

What to Know About Cheaper Paint

Cheaper paints cost less, and that may seem like a bonus. But it’s likely to only be an upfront bonus. That’s because less-expensive paint typically requires that you buy more of it. Less-expensive paint often has a lower solids content, which reduces the paint’s ability to provide even coverage. You’ll end up needing to buy more paint to get a more even coverage on the wall. Otherwise, you’ll be left with uneven patches.

What to Know About Expensive Paint

The more-expensive paints, on the other hand, will give you a better coverage. It’s important to know that paint is made up of solvent (water or alkyd), pigment, and binder. The solvent dissipates as the paint dries, and the pigment and binder remain, with the binder holding the pigment together. The binder and pigment are the solids in a can of paint, and the more that is present, the better coverage you’re going to get on your wall.

The case for more expensive paint becomes even stronger when you’re painting over a dark color with a transparent base, as opposed to a white base found in lighter colors. A transparent base found in darker colors is harder to paint over. You’ll end up needing to use probably three or more coats of expensive paint to get a nice, smooth, even coverage on your wall. That may seem like a lot, but when you consider that it could take nine coats of cheap paint to achieve the same result, it becomes clear that in the case of paint, the pricier, the better.

When you factor in the cost of time, expensive paints come out on top again. It can take several hours to a day to allow a coat of paint to dry. If you’re using a quality paint with more solids, you’ll only need a couple coats of paint. If you’re using a cheap paint with fewer solids, you’ll need coat after coat after coat. Each coat — and subsequent drying time — equals hours and hours before your project is finished.

It is definitely worth it to pay for a paint with more solids so that your paint coverage is even — and so it takes less time and effort to paint your wall.

Be Sure to Prime

Even if you’re using expensive, high-quality paint, take the time to prep and prime your walls. Repair holes and damage, and apply a layer of primer. Primer helps to create an even surface before you paint your wall. It will keep your paint from being absorbed into the wall in unattractive, uneven patches. It also smooths blemishes that are beneath the surface of the paint. And if you’re painting over a dark color, primer helps to cover up the dark paint so you may be able to get by with fewer coats of paint.

At New Life Painting in Lompoc, we pride ourselves on using quality techniques and paint to give our customers long-lasting, beautiful finishes. Give us a call at (805) 937-9836, or contact us online for a free estimate.

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