I was at my local paint store today pricing some paint, and I simply can’t justify
any chemical mixture in a can that costs $50 a gallon.
But I did notice that Super Spec is half the price.
Is it really half the paint?
That’s a really good question. Paint prices are a topic I discuss almost daily with homeowners, customers, contractors and manufacturers.
In fact, two years ago, I asked a Benjamin Moore executive this same question and many others in an interview for Blogging Painters: Pricing and Value. And here is a subsequent related piece: Responses.
I think you will find this to be very interesting.
You will notice that part of the discussion revolves around the raw material titanium dioxide, which paint manufacturers use considerable amounts of in paint formulations. In recent years, there was a shortage, prices went up.
From a practical standpoint, I agree with you. A gallon of ANYTHING shouldn’t cost $50/60/70. Especially in a world where we pay premiums for basic needs that are also measured in gallons: water, milk, gasoline, etc. These are things we need more than paint in our lives, and we pay considerably less for them.
For me, both personally and professionally, I don’t really need a $60 gallon of wall paint. Especially when I use $30 wall paints that are perfectly suitable.
I have had to prioritize my painting needs in relation to paint prices. Trim paints are a more formal element in my paint jobs, so I am willing to pay more for a really good one. Cabinet finishes are the highest standard. I am willing to pay according to relative significance to my work.
What makes one better than another for me can be how it applies by brush, roller and/or sprayer. Dry times and recoat times. User friendliness. Availability. Color retention. Durability. All factors that I have to consider when specifying paints for projects.
The short answer to your question is no, a $50 can of paint is not necessarily twice as a good as a $25 can of paint. It is a subjective decision, though.
And it can be a slippery slope. Not all $25 cans of paint are created equal either. There are some very good ones, and there are some that are garbage. That is why it is important to put due diligence into research. And by that I do not mean Consumer Reports. Often, their ratings fly in stark contrast to what most pros experience with paints day in and day out.
Since your question was specifically about Benjamin Moore, I will tell you that I have used them all. I have reviewed many of them, including the pricier ones such as Aura and Natura. I subsequently used their “Ben” line on a project and was floored with how good it was at its price point, which is much more economical than the aforementioned ultra-premiums. You might want to give that a try if you are interested in continuing in the BM lines.
Hope this helps.