Thursday, 12 May 2016

Cheap versus premium paint - what's the difference?

What makes expensive paint so much better??
We get asked this question a lot because of the premium brands that we carry at Valley Paint eg Benjamin Moore, Dulux and Pittsburgh paints. To answer this we need to look at what goes into paint and how this affects the price, and that brings us to the question of..... what exactly is paint?
Allow Val to explain.. (talking about paint is one of his favourite things)
Paint is magic in a can isn't it? A sort of wonderful, scientific technicolour magic.
Essentially, paint is made from three ingredients - binders, pigments, and liquids  (I'll try to keep this simple, but we are doing a mini science lesson, so bear with me..), the purpose of each ingredient is explained below:

Binders are 'the glue that holds it all together' providing adhesion, integrity, and toughness to the paint film by, as the name suggests, binding the pigment together.
The binder affects application properties like flow, leveling, and glossiness - its job is to impart adhesion and cohesion.

Pigments are granular solids which provide paint with its most important characteristic - colour and opacity.
The pigments used in paint are fine solid particles that are dispersed in the binder and solvent.

Solvent is a volatile liquid used to obtain viscosity and flow of the paint.
It keeps the solid components of paint in suspension and then evaporates after the application of paint to leave a solid dry film on the surface.
           As paint dries the solvent dissipates and you're left with the pigment and binder.
          The binder holds the pigment together and the two together create your paint film.
*It is the varying ratios of all the above ingredients that affect the overall quality of a paint* 
Right, that's the technical bit over. Thanks for hanging in there. The part about the pigments was the most important bit because this is where the main difference lies between premium and cheap paint.
One of the reasons a paint will cost more is because of a higher pigment content, and pigments are the critical component in paint because obviously they provide the colour!
* High quality paints contain a dense concentration of fine particle pigments,  and they use Titanium Dioxide as a pigment.
* Cheaper paints have fewer and larger pigment particles in the form of fillers. 
Fillers are other types of pigments such as clay, zinc oxide, silica, and talc, are lower in cost and are found in cheaper paint. They bulk out the product but don't provide the hiding qualities of Titanium Dioxide.

What does all this mean to you, the consumer?
The higher pigment percentage in a premium paint means you will require less coats to get the coverage.
The lower pigment percentage in cheaper paint, means the more coats you’ll need to apply.
This results in more time and labour and potentially you could end up spending the same amount of money as you will require more paint! Its ultimately a false economy.

    When it comes to buying paint the old saying  'You get what you pay for' is especially true!
Thanks for stopping by the blog,
your pal in paint...



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