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Top 6 Paints by Consumer Reports

17 March, 2022

Consumer Report Top Paints 2022


The Consumer Reports annual paint article is out, and the top-ranked coatings are often a source of pride, controversy or even dismay for many painters and paint manufacturers. With an eye towards helping consumers pick the best brands for their needs, the magazine’s testing mainly takes hiding and stain resistance into account, and price plays a significant role as well.

The article, published in early March, clearly states dissatisfaction with the industry. “We tested paints from notable brands and found that few excel across the board,” says author Tanya Christian, who covers lifestyle, news, and policy at the magazine. Christian brought up two issues of concern: first that brands could be uneven, a high performing paint in a particular brand didn’t mean all its products followed suit; second that many times a paint that make high marks in hide scored low in stain resistance. The article warns consumers to use paint that scores well in both categories so they don’t have to keep touching up as time goes by.

To measure hide resistance, the products were applied over cardstock that had been painted black, then measured to see how well they covered. “If the paint hides well, there’s no need to prime,” stated the article. 

For stain resistance, paints were applied over a plastic panel, then were tested by staining them with coffee and a soot-like substance. After cleaning, the ratings were given depending on how close the paint remained to its original color.


Paint of the Year


The top three, in alphabetical order, ranked five out of five for other hide and stain resistance.

In order they’re:

  • Behr Marquee
  • Behr Dynasty
  • HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Infinity

Paints that still came in as “recommended” but had a somewhat lower overall score, based on these criteria, were:

  • Benjamin Moore Aura
  • Valspar Reserve
  • HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Showcase
  • Behr Ultra

Behr Premium was listed as a “best buy” due to a combination of low price and a reasonably high score.

The bottom five in this list of 23 are:

  • Glidden Premium
  • Sherwin-Williams Duration Home
  • PPG Diamond
  • Color Place Ultra Interior
  • Color Place Interior

The vast majority of the products scored well on hide, while there were some greater discrepancies on their stain-resistant power. See the entire list at Paint Ratings & Reviews - Consumer Reports.

We asked some contractors what they thought of these rating systems and if they helped them in their business. Some responses are below, but make sure to add your thoughts in the comments!

Patrick Smith,  VP Painting Company, Cartersville GA

Absolutely. It’s a great selling tool. I use the paint rated #1 and tell my customer I use it because CR rates it #1. End of conversation, they are satisfied with the quality and very few verify.

Michael Federoff, Alacrity Painting, Kihei, HI

I have had clients tell me about CR and about what they like from it. It has never even come close to me using their suggested paints. As a contractor, I read the (M)SDS sheet info for my picks of materials to use. They tell me exactly what I need to know.

The tool of CR is apparent in the big box stores are the heavy $$ contributors. You can't tell me they don't influence people buying paint. That said I will stick to the sheets.

Michael Craine, Craine Painting LLC, Lake Geneva, WI

Aura only [of the top-ranked paints], although with all the shortages, I wonder if we will all have to get familiar with the other products.

Jerry Fancher, Fresh Coat of Eden Prairie, MN

It's not bad to remind them it is Consumer Reports, NOT Contractor Reports.



Gerard E Chevrette (not verified)

I have been using BEHR paint for years now, excellent paint, easy touch up, coats well, and not overly priced such as Sherwin Williams.

Sat, 03/19/2022 - 10:16 Permalink
Walter Van Tie… (not verified)

I'm a big fan of Behr paint and have used all those mentioned in this article. Dynasty was a big hit with my foreman who does most of our spraying. Ultra is one of our go to products and has great coverage but is really thick and tends to sag if put on too heavy. We have used all the name brands and have had good results with Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams products. Home Depot didn't seem to be adversely affected by supply chain issues so we've always been able to get out Behr paint.

Sat, 03/19/2022 - 16:26 Permalink
Mike Byers (not verified)

I have never understood how the Big Box store paints score highly every year. What they do not seem to test is when repairs need to be made on walls. Every time I scrape a wall to do any type of repair, if I get under certain coatings and I can take off practically sheets of paint, I know it's a Big Box product. I never have that problem with the lower scoring Sherwin-Williams products.

Sat, 03/19/2022 - 17:11 Permalink
Behr (not verified)

Behr paint has been rated #1 for years and has been site proven at our facility. Our painting contractor used Sherwin Williams paint which would calk up if your hand ran across it. I had them repaint a section with all the different higher higher quality Sherwin Williams paints. The only one that didn't call up was the gloss. We did not want gloss walls. Finally the SW company rep said there was a problem with our building leaching through the paint. I was at Home Depot to grab a few things and the Behr paint rep was parked next to me. I happened to mention my problem and he gave me 5 gallons for our painter to try on our facility walls. It was an amazingly different result. Behr Eggshell did the job. We have had the paint on our walls for 12 years now. It still looks fantastic. We have used Behr on all of our buildings and projects ever since. Extremely satisfied with the results.

Mon, 06/27/2022 - 18:47 Permalink

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