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Bob Vila's Top Paint Picks

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19 May, 2022

Bob Vilas top 10 paints


Nothing gets people talking more than a “Best Of” list. Bob Vila, a former personality on This Old House, has published some of his “best picks” of 2022. We’ll let you gauge the validity of his picks…

Vila names his top ten paint brands for consumers wishing to update their homes. His selection was based on criteria such as performance, product range, and product availability. While performance was important, Vila adds that accessibility is essential as well.

  1. Sherwin-Williams, with special emphasis on Emerald Interior, Cashmere Interior and Latitude Exterior. Easy access due to the company’s 4,400 locations weighed into this ranking as well.
  2. Benjamin Moore, with a special mention of Regal Select Interior, and availability at independent paint stores as well as Ace Hardware retailers.
  3. Behr Paint, with his favorite products being Marquee Ultra Pure Flat Exterior Paint & Primer, Masonry, Stucco and Brick Paint and Multi-Surface Stain-Blocking Primer & Sealer.
  4. Kilz, for both its primer and paint. Vila gives a nod to Kilz Interior/Exterior Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint and Kilz 2 All-Purpose Interior/Exterior Multi-Surface Primer, Sealer & Stainblocker.
  5. Rust-Oleum. Vila recommends this especially for customers who like the vintage styles many of these products provide. Getting a special mention are the brand’s Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint, Glitter Interior Wall Paint, and Home Interior Floor Base Coating.

Rounding out his top ten are Valspar, Diamond Brite, Glidden, PPG and online paint supplier Clare.


Bob Vilas Top Wood Stains


If stain is your game…

Finally, a quick nod to his deck stain-picks:

  • Best Overall: Cabot Australian Timber Oil 
  • Best Budget: Kilz Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain  
  • Best for old decks: Saver Systems #1 Deck Premium Semi-Transparent
  • Best for new decks: Ready Seal 512 Exterior Stain and Sealer 
  • Best for pressure treated wood: Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent 
  • Best for cold weather: Seal-Once Marine Penetrating Wood Sealer 
  • Honorable Mention: Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Low VOC Stain  

For his top picks in cabinet painting, he weighed features such as a company’s service area, its warranty, and additional services provided. The winners were franchised companies; however, the article does not state how many cabinet painters he considered or his criteria for consideration.

And the winner is… CertaPro, which Vila points out is the largest residential painting contractor in America with 350 independently owned franchises. CertaPro gets the top pick for various reasons, for example, pricing guidelines on its website to make budgeting easier for customers, ongoing phone support, and sharing detailed project plans with its customers. The company also provides a limited two-year warranty. Working against it: some locations may not offer color consultation.

Runner up was 360 Painting. Vila writes that this company makes sure to give customers what they want, such as increasing the home’s value or transforming the kitchen's look. While he praises the company for free minor carpentry repairs, he notes that the photo gallery on its website is limited.

Five Star Painting got the “Eco Friendly” pick; Vila reports that the company focuses on “green” coatings and ensures proper ventilation during the project, all in all, a plus for customers who might be working from home during the painting. He praised Five Star for honoring its upfront quotes but adds that not all franchises offer all services.

Ace Handyman got his pick for “Best Multi Project Service,” adding that this company provides “ala carte” services and phone support.

“Backed by decades of experience and thousands of successful projects, both CertaPro Painters’ and 360 Painting’s services will return high-quality results,” Vila concluded in his article. “CertaPro’s daily updates—which enable families to know when the room will be able to be used again—and 360 Painting’s proprietary painting process make either of these choices a sure bet.”

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