Our friends at Consumer Reports tell us that even though the price of exterior paints and stains has gone up a few dollars per gallon on average from last year (due to price hikes for many of the petrochemicals that go into paint), big box stores are keeping consumers isolated from manufacturers who would love to be passing on those added costs. It may be tempting to cut costs by buying a lower quality product, but CR warns against using crappy paint. Specifically, CR suggested Behr (sold at Home Depot), Valspar (Lowe’s), and Kilz (Wal-Mart) as competitively priced paints that “ranked among the top performers.”
As we reported in our June 2008 story “Scrimping Doesn’t Pay,” the Valspar Ultra Premium Satin ($24 per gallon) and the Valspar Ultra Premium Semi-gloss ($24) exterior paints are less expensive than the California 2010 ($38) and Kelly-Moore Acry-Shield ($32) finishes that we rated just above them…If you hire a contractor, then labor costs will add another reason to choose a longer-lasting finish. A finish that lasts for a decade will cost you less than a cheaper one that fails after five years.