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Compare Paints

... by any of these criteria

Price of a “Wet” Gallon This is how most of us compare paints. We go to the big box or local paint store. We look at prices and determine we don'’t want to use the lowest priced item, so we get something in a medium or high price range. PROBLEM: Price doesn'’t tell the story you need to be told. But if you’'re just looking at paint like you always did, then go to this comparison page.

Price of a “Dry” Gallon

Think of paint as having two (2) parts:

a) the watery part that evaporates into the atmosphere as it dries

b) the part that stays on your house.

If you could somehow take all of the water and other evaporants out of a bucket of paint, you’d leave only the dry ingredients, the part that stays on your house. Now, think of water as having a zero cost. What you'’re paying for are the dry ingredients that stay on your house, not the water and evaporants that float away.

Dry Thickness

Paint goes on wet. It has a certain thickness wet that needs to be achieved. This is referred to as the Wet Film Thickness, or WFT. Generally, the greater the wet film thickness, the greater the dry film thickness, or DFT. Think of the “paint film” as being the “skin” on your house. The greater the Dry Film Thickness, the more protection you have on your house. The “percent of volume solids” is the main determinant in how thick the final paint film will be. It’s a very important number. And you won'’t find that number on the side of the paint can either. It’'s hidden away from you. That’'s why we exist . . . to give you the relative facts about what to look for.

Evaporation Rate

Evaporation equates to LOSS. “Poof” is the words some use. All paints evaporate. If they didn'’t, they would stay on in the first place. If a paint product was 99% water, you’'d have more evaporation than if it was 50% water. Do you really want a paint product on your house that has a 70% evaporation rate? That’'s what you get when you use a paint that has only 30% non-evaporants in it. Those non-evaporates are called solids. Here, we compare paints by how much is LOST as it dries . . . those paints that evaporate the most and those that evaporate the least.

Environmental Friendliness (Green) – Low VOC

Generally speaking, if you smell paint, you smell the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Exterior paints need certain ingredients in them because they are exposed to ultra-violet (UV) rays, rain, heat and other elements. Interior paints, which are not covered here, don'’t have these issues to deal with, however, most zero and very low VOC paints are used for interior purposes because they’re safer, less toxic and almost odorless. Stronger chemistry is necessary to keep the outside paint on your house. But still, some products are no doubt more “green” than others. The Master Painter’s Institute (, our source for this information, rates paints as to their “E” factor, or how acceptable the product is to the environment.

Type of Solids Used

Since solids are the part of the paint product that stay on your house, wouldn’'t you think this is an important piece of information? The Paint Quality Institute ( says that after years of study, acrylic carriers work best for architectural (building) substrates. But what additional solids are used to provide some “body” to the paint itself? This comparison is between paint products that all use acrylic as their primary ingredient, so the comparison is based on the types of solids used to provide actual substance to the carrier when applied to your home.

"Painting is really about labor, so it ’s senseless to go to all of that trouble using a paint that won't last. What things cause paint to last or not last? Before spending thousands of dollars on a paint job using the wrong product, get the information you need to make the best decision. Don't let the lowest bid painter decide for you. He just wants to come back in a few years. Get the right facts from the start."

Once you’'ve got the facts you need, we’ll give you links to each company’'s website which will tell you how to buy their product.

Click here for a list of paint companies referenced herein.

Where you’ll experience many “gosh, I didn’t know that" moments.

Don’t judge a book by its cover and never compare paints by their label. Expensive, gold-foil and embossed labels are used to up your price and gives you the impression that it will last much, much longer. And it may last longer than less expensive brands, but there are much better ways to compare house paints.