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CR Ranks Store Paint Brands No. 1

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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House brands from Behr Corp. and Ace Hardware have topped the latest rankings of 67 interior paints tested by Consumer Reports—earning “excellent” ratings in hiding and scrubbability.

The Home Depot's Behr Premium Plus Ultra paints ranked No. 1 in both the satin and matte categories, while Ace Hardware’s Clark + Kensington took the top spot in the semi-gloss category. The top paints were priced at just over $30 per gallon.

“Our new ratings show that spending top dollar won’t always get you better paint,” said Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman, Consumer Reports’ deputy content editor of home and appliances.

Paints by Valspar, Benjamin Moore, Glidden and Kilz also were highly rated.

Paints
©  iStock.com / ozgurdonmaz

The testing agency examined scrubbability, hiding, smoothness and other performance features.

The influential non-profit organization issued its interior paint ratings Jan. 14, based on demanding testing methods of a number of important appearance and performance measures.

The agency said it had toughened its interior paint tests this year by applying water and oil-based stains to the painted panels, in addition to testing how well paints held up to scrubbing, their ability to hide old paint, and their overall smoothness.

Top Performers

Behr Premium Plus Ultra and Clark + Kensington paints were joined by a number of other products in earning Consumer Reports’ coveted verdict of “recommended” or “best buy,” according to a review of the rankings.

Other high-ranking satin paints included Benjamin Moore Aura Satin, Clark + Kensington Satin, and Kilz Casual Colors Satin.

As for flat paints, Consumer Reports ranked Valspar Signature Matte; Glidden Premium Flat; Benjamin Moore Aura Matte; and Clark + Kensington Flat Enamel in the top five, along with Behr Premium Plus Ultra.

In the semi-gloss category, Behr Premium Plus Ultra Semi-Gloss Enamel; Valspar Signature Semi-Gloss; Behr Premium Plus Semi-Gloss; and Benjamin Moore Aura followed Clark + Kensington in the rankings.

Changing Formulas

Kuperszmid-Lehrman warned consumers to be “wary of relying on past experience to pick a paint,” noting that brands frequently are tweaked from year to year, which affects the paint’s performance.

Consumer Reports cover
Consumer Reports

The full report and ratings of interior paints is featured in the March 2014 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine and online to subscribers at www.ConsumerReports.org.

The publication also offered recommendations on selection of paint products, including:

  • Use online resources to get ideas. Whites and neutrals are in style again, and warm grays are hot, too. Consumers can find inspiration at the manufacturers’ Pinterest boards and websites, where they can compare color palettes or play with additional painting tools.
  • Pick the finish. Many eggshell and satin paints have become much better at standing up to scrubbing, according to Consumer Reports’ latest tests. Flat paints are better than eggshell at hiding imperfections because they don’t reflect light, but they are also the least stain-resistant, so flat-finishes aren’t an ideal choice for busy rooms.
  • Nail the perfect color. Light affects color significantly. Once a hue has been selected, consider buying three samples: the desired color, one a shade lighter and one a shade darker. Paint a sample next to a window and in an area that’s dark, viewing the colors in daylight and at night, with the lights on and off.

About Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the non-profit rates thousands of products and services annually.

The full report and ratings of interior paints is featured in the March 2014 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine and online to subscribers at www.ConsumerReports.org.

   

Tagged categories: Ace Hardware; Behr Paint; Benjamin Moore; Coatings manufacturers; Consumer Reports; Interior coatings; Interior design; Laboratory testing; Painters; Performance testing; Valspar

Comment from John Benckert, (2/13/2014, 7:21 PM)

INTERISTING because as we all know that SWPaints have 3,500 locations and took over MAB and Duron paints and not one of their lines were mentioned in consumer reports. Now that they seem to have the market cornered are they cutting back on quality too? Not to mention their prices. I think this is all because they can't compete with the big brand name stores that focus their sales to mostly homeowners. I do use the bigger stores for mostly all other materials and I think I'll be trying out their rewards program as well.


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