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Don't Gamble on Housepaint: Invest in the Best


Since your home is likely your biggest investment, would you even dream of gambling it away?  Probably not, but you are rolling the dice if you apply a poor quality paint to your home’s exterior.

A low grade of paint can fail very quickly.  It can flake and peel, expose a home to the elements, and result in costly structural damage.  Why run the risk, especially when it can actually be cheaper to invest in a better quality paint that offers more protection for your home?

“Too often, homeowners try to save a little money by trading down to a run-of-the-mill paint.  The better approach is to trade up to top quality paint, which will protect better, last longer, and actually save money in the long run,” says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

According to Zimmer, top quality 100% acrylic paint can last 10 years or more when applied to a properly prepared surface, while lower quality paints last only about four years.  What’s more, the cost of paint is a small part of the overall job -- most of the expense goes for the contractor’s labor – so why not apply the best possible coating?

Consider the following hypothetical, involving a home with 3,500 square feet of exterior surface that requires 20 gallons of paint:

  • At $50 per gallon for 20 gallons of top quality paint ($1,000) and $6,000 for the contractor’s labor, it would cost $7,000 to paint the home.  Assuming the paint job lasts 10 years, the cost per year of service would be $700.
  • At $25 per gallon for 20 gallons of lower quality paint ($500) and $6,000 for the contractor’s labor, it would cost $6,600 to paint the home.  Assuming the paint job lasts four years, the cost per year of service would be $1,625 – more than twice as much!

Even if a contractor were not involved, it would still be more economical to apply top quality paint:

  • Twenty gallons of top quality paint would cost $1,000 and the life expectancy of the job would be 10 years – for a cost per year of just $100.
  • Twenty gallons of lower quality paint would cost $500 and the life expectancy of the job would be 4 years – for a higher cost per year of $125.

How can you be sure that top quality 100% acrylic latex paints last so much longer than other paints?  The estimates are based on decades of research conducted by the Paint Quality Institute at outdoor testing sites nationwide.

According to Zimmer, these findings are no surprise.

“Top quality paints are specifically designed to adhere much better to properly prepared exterior surfaces, reducing the likelihood of peeling, chipping or flaking.  They also are very flexible, so they continue to adhere even when the surface expands or contracts due to changing temperatures,” she says. 

These and other performance benefits lead to a longer lasting paint job and a better return on your investment in paint.  So, don’t gamble when purchasing house paint:  Go with the best and get the best value!

To learn more about exterior paints and painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at


The Paint Quality Institute was formed in 1989 to educate people on the advantages of using quality interior and exterior paints and coatings. The Paint Quality Institute's goal is to provide information on the virtues of quality paint as well as color trends and decorating with paint through a variety of vehicles, including television appearances, newspaper and magazine articles, and instructional literature. Please be sure to visit the Paint Quality Institute at PAINT QUALITY INSTITUTE and PAINTQUALITY.COM are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow.



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