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Paint Quality

April 18, 2014

To a home or business owner, painting is a significant investment.  As is the case with almost any investment, there are levels of cost depending on the catch all word "quality."

One should expect to pay a premium for a better quality product or service.  


What does quality mean when it comes to paint?  Is there any reason to pay a higher price for higher quality paint?  


Paints are made up of both solids and liquids and there is an optimum ratio in any paint.  The liquid provides no benefit to the quality, it is simply the carrier.  The RATIO of solid to liquid, however, does impact the quality of paint.  Because it is less expensive to fill a can with liquid than solid, it stands to reason that paints with a higher ratio of solid to liquid would be of higher quality and therefore would be a premium paint.


In terms of solids, there are pigments , binders and additives.  Let's take a look at these:



There are two types of pigments in paint, prime pigments and extender pigments.

Prime pigments (higher cost) are the agents that provide colour, extender pigments add substance, or bulk, to paint.  Extender pigments do not provide any benefit with respect to colour.  So it stands to reason that higher quality paints have a higher ratio of prime pigments than extender pigments.



This is the agent that determines the category of paint and are the terms that most people are familiar with.

Latex paints contain acrylic based binders.  They can be 100% acrylic or a combination of vinyl acrylic or styrene-acrylic.

It is the binder in the paint that affects properties like gloss, adhesion, stain and crack resistance.

Premium paints use a higher quality and more expensive binder and because of that, they are longer lasting and more resistant to peeling, blistering and cracking.



Every paint has some additives like preservatives, mildewcides, dispersing agents.  These agents provide features such as preventing mildew, evenly dispersing pigments and providing better flow and levelling.

The higher quality and number of agents in a paint, the better quality the paint!


So in summary, in the same way you would expect to pay more for a Rolls Royce than you would for a Ford Fusion, you should expect to pay more for premium paint.  But unlike the car scenario, the quality paint decision could end up being less expensive in the long run if for no other reason than a premium paint will perform better and last longer





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