Do Interior Paint Brands Matter?

Do interior paint brands matter? What about quality levels and cost?

As if picking a paint color weren’t difficult enough, you also have to choose among dozens of paint brands and varying quality (and price) levels within them. It makes choosing between Pittsburgh Gray and Peregrine seem easy. Our paint experts can help, though.

How Is Paint Tested?

Companies like Consumer Reports and the Good Housekeeping Institute test paint quality based on the traits that consumers say are most important. Can your paint cover old colors easily? What about standing up under repeated scrubbing and years of summer sunlight? How well does it resist mold and mildew?

Tests regularly show that hardware store brands rank on par with premium brands. But they also prove that the very cheapest paints don’t perform as well as the pricier ones. So, while spending more money doesn’t always get you better quality paint, if you’re thinking of buying the cheapest, check the ratings first.

What’s At the Top of Your Decision Tree?

And, as home improvement projects go, painting is one of the cheapest. One gallon of paint covers up to 400 square feet. So, the price probably shouldn’t weigh in at the top of your list of determinants.

If the price isn’t the most important factor, what is? Our experts say that the project should determine the paint type.

If you’re repainting a dark wall, for example, choose a paint that covers well in one coat. If you’re sensitive to chemicals, use a paint with low or no volatile organic compounds. If you’re redoing a basement bathroom, consider mildew resistance.

Do Interior Paint Brands Matter With Colors?

As for color, it’s possible to match just about any hue today. Even paints that cost $100 a gallon can be matched. Take a color chip or paint swatch to a hardware store, and the store clerks will use their software to find an equivalent that’s a 90 percent or better match — close enough to fool anyone’s eye.

You can also use an online color-matching tool, like PPG’s Color Matcher, to find an equivalent color by another company. Upload a photo of your desired hue, and the tool will recommend a match from the PPG paint library.

We also recommend our photo tool, which lets you upload a photo of any hue and get a color palette inspired by your photo.

Are There Any Watch-Outs?

The only watch-out? Sheen can vary from company to company, so that could make the color look different. This is why it’s important to paint a test patch on your wall before you buy.

So, do interior paint brands matter? Our experts say no. Instead, rank your paint choice according to project needs, paint quality, and price.

That said? We all have our favorites, and we like to recommend using PPG Paints.

Find out more about our services, request a free quote, or get 8” x 8” paint swatches.


Kelley Rebori

Kelley Rebori has written for national brands like Paintzen, HGTV, the DIY Network and Trulia for more than a decade. She loves home renovation projects, chocolate icing and small poodles. She and her husband split the year between their homes in Tennessee and Italy.