Which brand of paint is best, or which brand do you use? … is a question I get a lot.
When I first started out I was a fan of Benjamin Moore and Ralph Lauren paints. A few years into my career Benjamin Moore closed their retail operations and began selling their products through hardware stores and other paint dealers. It was at this time that I noticed a distinct drop in the quality of their products. Coupled with a general lack of support or customer service, I moved to Sherwin Williams Paints. I have used Sherwin Williams paints and wood finishes for more than thirty years now and I can honestly say they have never let me down… not one time.
For stains and varnishes, I would say Sherwin Williams’ Wood Classics, or Old Masters products are the best. I also get excellent results with Minwax and Watco.
I have always believed that a poor craftsman blames his tools and I can get an excellent result with the worst paint… but I am a perfectionist. There are differences between the various brands, but for the most part, paint is paint. I believe that like most things, higher quality products cost a little more, and this is true with paint as well. Even my favorite brands have products I don’t like and won’t use. The less expensive, “contractor” paints are the ones with the least hide, and the lowest durability, and I won’t use them. I find the more expensive version of any brand is worth the extra money in ease of application, appearance of the final coating, and durability.
I agree with Consumer Reports that the best quality paint for the money, is Sherwin Williams.