Why Better Paint Costs More – “Covering” Exterior and Interior Paint

cans of interior paint

Why are there so many different exterior and interior paint choices?

Why do the paints range from $20 per gallon to $89 per gallon?

What’s the difference between the $20 paint and the High-Quality Paint?

Longevity In Interior Paint

When you decide to use a high-quality paint, you are not only paying for the quality now, you are paying for not having to paint as frequently in the future.  A high-end paint will extend the lifespan of your paint job by up to two or three times. With an interior paint like Sherwin-Williams Emerald, you get a lifetime warranty.


Two types of pigments are in your paint. First are “prime” pigments. These provide color and hide. Second are low-cost “extender” pigments. They add bulk to the product, yet add little value.

Higher-quality paints have more prime pigments, which provide easier application, greater durability and better color retention.

pigments for interior paint cans


There are a variety of binders in paint. Latex paints contain either 100 percent acrylic, styrene-acrylic or vinyl acrylic binders. Oil paints typically contain linseed oil, soy oil or alkyds. The type, quality and amount of binder affect everything from stain resistance, gloss to adhesion and crack resistance.

Higher-quality binders adhere to surfaces better and provide enhanced integrity and longer-lasting performance. This makes them more resistant to cracking, blistering and peeling.


The liquid provides no added performance benefits. It’s simply the vehicle that allows you to get the paint from the can to the surface. Top-quality paints have a greater ratio of solids – pigments and binders – to liquids.


Additives are ingredients that give paint a specific benefit that it might not otherwise have. Common additives in higher-end paints include:

Rheology modifiers to provide better hide through flow and leveling of the coating.

Mildewcides to keep mildew in check.

Dispersing agents to keep pigments evenly distributed.

Preservatives to prevent spoilage.

Cost per year of service

Before you specify paint based on price, consider this: Lower-quality paints require more coats to cover and, because they aren’t as durable, need maintenance much sooner. This is especially true with exterior coatings.  Infinity Painting only uses Duration and Emerald for a high quality S-W paint.

So, to get a true idea of costs, look beyond the initial price tag and compare the cost per year of service. For example, say you’re painting a home that requires 20 gallons of exterior latex. You have two options:

Option 1

Buy a lower grade paint at $20 per gallon with an expected life span of six years.

Option 2

Buy a high-quality 25-year paint at $65 per gallon.

In the first scenario, your out-of-pocket cost would be $400. Since the paint is expected to last six years, the cost per year is $67. In the second scenario, your material cost is $1,300. But because the paint has a 25-year lifespan, your cost per year is only $52.  Plus, the labor savings of applying the paint 4 times. Which is why Infinity Painting estimates may be a little higher than competitors. We look at the long-term investment.

On some estimates we may be a few hundred to a thousand higher in our initial bid.  But, when we look at the bids, we aren’t comparing apples to apples. Those lower bids may be using cheaper product, which in the long run ends up costing you more down the road.

Even if you plan on selling your home before the paints life cycle is up, it pays to go with a high quality paint as it can be cleaned easier, blended if damages easier and makes for a faster, selling home.

By choosing the higher-priced, higher-quality paint, you actually save $15 per year in paint. And that’s just the material cost add labor into the equation and the money you save in the long run increases significantly.

Why You Should Buy The Best Exterior and Interior Paint

When it comes to selecting paint, quality does matter. Whether you’re looking at interior or exterior paint, and whether you’re considering adhesion, durability or hiding properties, a better-quality paint will give you better service – both short and long term.

Have any questions about paint, give us a call about your project or schedule an appointment online now!

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