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.
The top three, in alphabetical order, ranked five out of five for other hide and stain resistance.
In order they’re:
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
HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Showcase
Behr Premium was listed as a “best buy” due to a combination of low price and a reasonably high score.
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.