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Should You Buy Expensive or Affordabe Paint?

As with paint products around the globe, there are affordable paint brands and expensive paint brands, but do you really need to pay more to get a quality paint?






This article is about whether you need to pay more for quality paint and is a brand name worth the extra cost, especially in light of the fact that I have personally used the majority of paint brands on the market during my time as owner of and founder of



Paint is said to be the most affordable way to update a home - both interior and exterior, and there are paint products for every solution. We all know how hard it can, be to choose paint colours but with prices skyrocketing around the country, we are all looking for a bit of price relief when and where we can and this begs the question of whether you need to buy an expensive brand to have a quality paint?


Different brands indeed offer different paint solutions but at the end of the day, Wall & Ceilings Paint is pretty much the same across all the brands. Or is it? I decided to put this to the test.









Do You Need to Buy Expensive Paint Brands?

For many years, I was an advocate for Prominent Paints. The reason for this was that I used Prominent Paints for plenty of different applications and was very satisfied with the product and price. I still believe that Prominent Paints is a leading brand but do wish their products were more easily obtained. I do all my shopping at Builders Warehouse and don't want to be bothered to have to get in my car to drive to another destination just to buy a 5 litre can of paint and, add to that the fact that I can buy everything I need at Builders online and have it delivered to my home. So, while Prominent Paints is a good brand and is reasonably affordable, they are excluded from the list due to ease of availability.



Shown below are the three paints that I used in the room as well as the current prices, with the highest first and the lowest last.




I had to purchase a 5 litre can of Dulux Wall and Ceiling paint as they didn't have a 10-litre option.



What are the Top Paint Brands in SA?

Looking at what is available on the shelf at your local Builders store, there are more than a few reputable brands to choose from, whether you prefer Dulux, Plascon, Fired Earth, Duram or one of the many others. When taken as a group, these 4 manufacturers offer a selection of paints for different finishing inside and outside the home. What I wonder is why there is such a huge difference in the prices? Are all these brands good or are some better than others and why?







An Exercise in Affordable vs. Expensive

The point of this project is not to knock any paint brand but to show my personal experience using all three paints on different walls in the same room. The room in question, I am embarrassed to say, is my son's bedroom. I let him have free reign in the room and now I am stuck with the result. It isn't going to be easy to cover up the walls and I decided that this would be the perfect experiment.



As you can see below, the room is currently painted in purple and a sickly green colour - including the ceiling. Never let your teenage kids pick the colours for their room! I originally thought it would be a nightmare to cover up these colours but it worked out quite easy.









After scrubbing down the walls with sugar soap, Dulux Universal Undercoat was applied. Be warned, this paint really, really stinks and the house was full of the smell for a few days. The undercoat did hide the bold paints underneath which will cut down on applying the topcoats.






Image Left: After applying universal undercoat - Image right: After applying the first coat of paint





For all three paints used, all required two coats on top of the universal undercoat. None was better than the other and all three paints performed well and were easy to apply. The ceiling looked amazing after painting and I was surprised that it was so easy to cover up that sickly green colour.







The result speaks for itself. I used 3 leading paint brands ranging in price from expensive to affordable and achieved the same results for all three walls (including the ceiling) painted. Yes, Plascon Polvin did not smell as much as the others, but I opened the windows and door and allowed air circulation and the smell quickly disappeared. Would I choose the two expensive options over the affordable option? I have used Fired Earth paints for plenty of projects both indoors and outdoors and am impressed with the high coverage, easy application and longevity, and let's not forget about affordability.



I will leave you to decide on what paints to use for future projects.







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