Picking the perfect paint involves several decisions, from selecting that just right shade to settling on a sheen. But the paint point that can have the biggest impact on results is one that most folks don't really think about: paint quality.
Quality in a formulation of course means higher cost, but it's a worthwhile investment when you consider that labor is pretty much the only other expense involved in when you paint your home, and one you don't want to have to do over again any time soon because the paint you put on didn't hold up.
According to the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, here's what you get when you pay more for quality paint:
Perfected pigments: Best-quality paints have the higher levels of more durable, color-hiding pigments, and do a better job of resisting fading and chalking.
Better binders: You get better, smoother adhesion to surfaces when pigments are bound into a tough, continuous film.
Less liquid: Pigments and binders are carried by liquid, with the liquid being water in latex paints and paint thinner in oil-based and alkyd paints. With a top-quality formula, you'll have less liquid and more critical solids.
Advantageous additives: Present in low levels, additives provide extra advantages in quality paint, such as better flow and leveling, splatter resistance, and mildew resistance.
Quality paint gives your results greater longevity -- to the tune of about five years more -- than the cheaper formulations you might be tempted to buy. It'll also be more scrub- and stain-resistant, won't get that shiny, burnished look when cleaned or rubbed, and has less chance of blistering and peeling.
Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and co-author of My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. He delivers home improvement tips each week as host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program.