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Q I see prices ranging from less than $10 to $25 or more for a litre of paint. Is there really any difference between one paint and another, or should I try to save some money?


As with almost any product, when you purchase paint you usually get what you pay for. Purchasing paint strictly on the basis of price will end up costing you more in the long run. Here's why. As long as you're comparing two similar types of paint (i.e. interior wall paint, exterior trim paint), price differences usually reflect a difference in the quality and/or the amount of the key ingredients. Since it's the ingredients that affect such important qualities as durability, flow, hide and leveling, the better the quality of the paint the easier it will be to apply and the longer it will normally last. In fact, a top-quality paint can last as much as twice as long as a low-end paint. This lowers the cost per year of service which saves you not only money, but also sweat if you do your own painting. If you use a professional painter, you save even more by insisting on a top-quality paint. That's because the paint represents only a fraction of the cost of repainting; most of the expense is for the contractor's labour.

By spending a little more upfront on your paint, you avoid frequent repainting. Naturally, if your budget is tight, watch for a sale on a top quality paint. However, remember to purchase the best paint you can afford. It will always be your best value in the long run. Consult your local independent paint retailer for the proper paint for your project.