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What is the Best Paint?

Here at Highland Park Custom Painting, we’re often asked, 

“What’s the best paint?

Anytime you are asking about what is the best of anything, of course there are some obvious differences that make one thing better than another, but once the basics are covered, you’re talking more about personal preference than anything else. 

What you really need to know to answer the question more accurately is as much information as possible about the location and needs of the person asking the question. 

You’ll need to know exactly what the person is looking for. Are they looking for interior or exterior paint? Residential, commercial, or other heavy-duty industrial usage? Color preferences?

Once you know more specifics, then you can start dialing in to more specific products that might meet their needs in the best way possible. This is where Top Coat Painting works together with our customers in a consulting capacity to determine best fit products for their project. 

The truth is that when most people look at a can of paint, they see the same thing no matter what’s inside. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t matter what the label says, even if it’s in big red letter, it won’t mean a thing to you. Unfortunately, due to this lack of information and understanding, most people will end up buying paint solely based on cost. This is not a good outcome because certainly not all paint is created equal, and more cost of the paint is probably not determinant of whether the paint will best suit the needs of your project.

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Let’s go over paint that most DIYers buy for their home projects. These buyers are most likely lining up at a big box retailer and roaming the isles trying to find the right product. In these retail environments, manufacturers know that certain buzz words will prompt consumers to pick up the can of paint, so the paint is marketed to meet those needs. Just like any other consumer product, buzz words like “washable” and “high endurance” can be confusing and steer you far away from the more important issues. 

More importantly, is the paint manufactured with a focus on coverage? How difficult is that particular paint to apply? Does the paint do better in a sprayer, or is it better from a brush? All of these factors will give you a better sense of whether the paint is better for a DIY homeowner, versus needing some professional equipment and skills to apply. Washability is a major marketing factor for homeowners because it sounds like something they should want to be able to do. We recommend that you also make sure the paint is easy to apply in any DIY project. 


As far as ease of application, there’s a lot of marketing focused on “one-coat coverage.” This is a great marketing buzzword that draws consumers in very easily. First, they can imagine that they are going to be able to use less paint and save money. As an added bonus, they will be able to do less work because they will one have to apply a single coat. The problem with this is that the one-coat coverage is done under very controlled circumstances, “in the laboratory” if you will. 

Will you be able to cover your walls or ceiling with a single coat of paint? You won’t know until you actually get into the project, but I know manufacturers sell an awful lot of paint based on this promise. Another consideration here is that the way these single coat paints are made up, they adhere to surfaces in a different way than normal paints. The issue with this is that by getting the single coat application, you can sacrifice texture, feel and look of the final paint surface. The paint will go on much thicker by nature and that is how it affects the texture. 

It’s important to be aware that there are so many considerations to take into account when you are buying paint for your project. Certainly, there’s no such thing as a “best” paint by any standards because the standards will be different depending on the environment and the person who will be enjoying that environment. 

There is some truth that buying higher-end paints will equate to higher performance of the paint overall and again, you really want to be clear about your own needs and how the paint will be used.

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List of Services:

  • Residential

  • Commercial

  • Interior Painting

  • Exterior Painting

  • Kitchen Cabinets

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  • Wood Staining

  • Custom Stain and Lacquer

  • Color Consultation

  • Decks, Fences, Railings

  • Fence Staining

  • Carpentry

  • Drywall Rapair

  • Much more!

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