The Benefits Of High-Quality Paint
Saving a few bucks on cheaper paint is tempting, it won’t seem like such a great idea when your walls start to chip and fade. If you’re going to put money into painting your home, make sure you use quality paint so you won’t have to repeat the process in the near future. To help you save a time and money, here is some useful information about the benefits of using High-Quality Paint.
Imagine the perfect latex paint. It sticks to anything, covers in one coat, levels smoothly, is strong yet flexible and lasts for decades. It never fades or chalks. It discourages mildew growth and is formulated so you can apply it in cold weather. And it doesn’t drip. Unfortunately, that perfect paint has yet to be developed. Never will be, either. The ingredients in a batch of paint just have too many limitations and trade-offs. But while there may be no such thing as perfect paint, there are definitely high- and low-quality paints. Here we’ll look at the differences, particularly as they apply to exterior latex paints. And why it’s worth it to buy the good stuff.
High Quality vs. Low Quality
High-quality paint has more total solids (pigments plus resins) and fewer solvents than lower-quality paint. So while the two may go on with the same thickness, when the solvents evaporate, a high-quality paint leaves a thicker, tougher paint film.
Low-quality paint has fewer solids and more solvents. Once the solvents evaporate, the thinner paint film left behind is less durable and doesn’t cover as well. You’ll spend more time and money repainting to achieve the performance of a high-quality paint.
High-quality paint has better pigments, so it hides better
The predominant and most expensive pigment in paint is titanium dioxide, a very pure white powder with exceptional hiding qualities. High-quality paint contains a high percentage of this pigment. Other, less expensive pigments such as clay, silica and talc are found in expensive paints but are more prevalent in cheap paints. They’re not as white and pure, and they’re poorer “hiders,” meaning you’ll need to apply more or thicker coats of paint to cover existing colors. You can’t really judge the quality of a paint by theamount of pigment in it; for instance, flat paints always contain more pigment than glossier paints. But you’ll certainly find better-quality pigments in expensive paints.
High-quality paint has additives that improve its application and protective qualities
All latex paints contain additives, but high-quality paints contain more or better ones that also cost more. Thickeners, which can significantly increase the cost of a gallon of paint, slightly slow down and smooth out your brush stroke so you leave an even, thick coat of paint. The high-quality latex paint now available will brush on almost as smoothly as oil paint. Surfactants help paint soak into the wood and adhere better as well as help stabilize the color and viscosity of paint. Mildewcides limit mildew growth after the paint has been applied (at least for a few years).
Other additives protect the quality of the liquid paint if it freezes a time or two, prevent the paint from foaming when mixed or help the paint flow better from brush to surface. These additives increase the cost of high-quality paint.
Even if exterior latex paint ingredients were listed on the can like the ingredients on a can of soda pop, it would be tough comparing paints and sorting the good from the bad.
So most experts—both chemists and pro painters—will just tell you this: Buy paint that’s 100 percent acrylic, and buy paint that’s expensive (preferably on sale). You’ll get more for your money and labor!
A high-quality exterior latex paint can last 10 years or more, compared with three to four years for a cheap paint. That makes it less expensive per square foot per year in the long run and easier to maintain.