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Behr paint quality vs other brands

Hello Everyone,


I am looking into repainting my whole home (interior only; drywall and wooden trim) and I am researching paint brands.  I have not painted in almost two decades and I think it was with a Sears brand, possibly Easy Living when Sherwin-Williams was making their paint for that level.  My walls have done well over the years, just need a touch up after so long to match new renovations and decor.


I am confused about brand since I have many of my family, friends, and co-workers telling me a whole assortment of brands including Behr, Valspar, Benjamin Moore, and Sherwin-Williams.  I am looking for a good quality paint and willing to pay for premium cans of $30+.


I have done a google search on all of the brands and read positive and negative reviews on all of them, I guess with any products.


I usually use Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping as my 'go to' guides for purchases and I notce that Behr has been and does perform well, even with their latest issue this past March going back since Ultra has been around.  However, customer reviews are much less than favorable.  I know this is a Home Depot forum and Home Depot is exclusive with Behr, so my feedback from this forum may be biased -- but could someone who is an expert painter (maybe outside of Home Depot) comment as to the quality of Behr (specifically the Ultra eggshell interior) as compared to the leading competition brands I have mentioned above (quality, durability, performance, odor, VOCs) etc.  Is this a paint you continue to use and refer to your clients and even your own homes?  I just ask since there are so many negative customer reviews yet positive Consumer Reports so it's interesting to hear from painter experts and understand the level of competition.  Why would someone choose Behr over the other brands, what makes it stand out as the choice?


Thank you for your time to review and reply.

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Posted 2013-05-10T04:50:54+0000  by bettie21 bettie21




In the interest of full disclosure, I have been employed by Home Depot for several years in its paint department, after 35 years as a paint contractor.


I have read some of the negative reviews to which you referr. Quite frankly, I just don't understand where these people are having problems. I have used both interior and exterior Behr on  my own house and have had absolutely no problems with them. These pople are presumably using the same paint. How can it be that some people rave about it, and some people rant about it!


I do feel that some confusion exists as to the "paint and primer in one" phrase.  This does not mean tha Ultra is neccessarily a one coat product, but merely that it can be used where a traditional dedicated primer would normally have been used. If you are going over new drywall, a very porous low quality contractor grade paint, or stains, two coats will probably be neccessary for optimum results.


You specifically mention Behr's Ultra Eggshell which you are considering using. In truth, I have not used every  product Behr makes, but I have used the Ultra Eggshell in my own home. Again, I have had no problems and it has performed very when as to application and end result.s. Eggshell is actually my favorite sheen as it gives a tough, washable finish without the glare of satin or semi-gloss.



Posted 2013-05-10T05:29:37+0000  by ordjen

:smileywink:So, I too am a painting contractor of 25 years and have used just about every brand and level out there that is offered. I value giving my customers a high quality job - and a high quality paint goes hand-in-hand with that. 


When I started working for the HOME DEPOT (in the paint department) I must admit that I was not using any of the BEHR products.  Instead I was using another well known high ranked paint and had comfortably developed a "devotion" to the name brand (as well as my clients requests).  When the BEHR ULTRA came on the scene it was the first of it's type and naturally I wanted to test it out.  Much to my satisfaction - it clearly out performed the high end product I was using for all those years. Since that initial experience I have introduced the BEHR line to my clients (who were open to change) and have not had a negative reaction either from them or my crews.




In my opinion, some of the negative remarks out there are due to a couple of misconceptions;

  • First - the BEHR paint is somewhat thicker than traditional paints and will require a little getting used to. As a result - sagging or dripping may occur due to excess amounts of paint being applied.  Correction - just apply two minor coats as opposed to one thick coat.
  • Second - There is a perception that the BERH ULTRA (paint/primer in one) is a "one coat" product.  Although the paint is so good that in many cases one coat is all you need - two is always recommended.

Bottom line is - the BEHR ULTRA and now MARQUEE for exterior is right there at the top in all markets.  Test it for yourself with the 3oz testers in any color.


Please let me know your progress in your selection of paint for your home (even if you don't choose BEHR).:smileywink:


Posted 2013-05-12T18:57:37+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

I personally think Behr is a good product and at a quality level with other brands.  I think that Home Depot wants customers to come in and buy paint and they need an incentive for customers to buy so they need to sell a quality product.  I personally think the price can be lower since HD sells other products to assist with cost whereas a couple of other brands are only at stores that sell paint, which increases the price.


I do agree with you that I have read the brand has done well with Consumer Reports but customer reviews are not too kind to the point of detest.  


I have used Behr Ultra in my whole home with great results.  I can tell you that I am neither an associate of HD or a professional.  I am a homeowner.  What I can tell you that may make sense with comments from reviewers, my first room didn't come out well, it was a learning experience.  My last room looks like it could have a bow wrapped around it.  I learned along the way.  I learned that preparation of the walls is over half the battle with sanding and cleaning.  I wait 4+ hours for my second coat.  Weather and temperature plays a factor in dring/curing as well.


I also think the reason why people complain about Behr being too thick could be how many gallons they buy at once and when they start using them.  I come from family school of thought you buy your gallon the day you paint since it went through a heavy mixer at the store and is ready for you.  Yes, you can stir it, but that mixer can't be beat.  I have known people who don't open their gallon until much later and I think this could be adding to their thickness problem.


Also, I used two coats, but I expected to.  It's a paint primer in one.  Meaning the step of the primer is removed, not the two coats.  I just recently covered navy walls with one of the whites in two coats and it looks great.  


I would personally choose the Ultra Behr and not the Prem Plus.  I think it is just a better product overall and even though Prem Plus is no VOC or something like that, I find the Ultra has a less lingering smell and goes on like a higher quality product.

Posted 2013-05-13T02:07:39+0000  by beth00
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