Retail Paint v Trade Paint is the million dollar question asked many times within the painting and decorating trade. We break down the retail high street paint versus the trade paint argument for you.
When you are about to venture in to painting or decorating your home or office the first thing you do is visit the decorating aisle in B&Q, Homebase, Wicks or any other high street retail paint store.
Armed with your colour swatches, you select your paint colours, from a household brand sold by convincing glossy TV commercials. Typically you’ll purchase brands like Dulux, Crown or store’s own brand and return home eager to parade around like you are Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, well hopefully not.
High Street DIY Store Paints
There’s nothing wrong with high street paint and they will do the job adequately. These familiar paints can’t be too bad, they are in nice fancy retail packaging with exotic paint names names which draw you in and buy in to their beige and yellow dreams.
However, what you need to know the main DIY brands can differ substantially from their trade equivalents. The most significant being that painting or decorating aisle in B&Q, Homebase, Wicks or any other high street paint store are aimed solely at the DIY user and not professionals, and the products reflect this.
DIY paint is aimed at the first timer, the novice, the homeowner and that is why you do not tend to see painters and decorators around the paint isle too often.
Professionals tend to shop at larger paint specialist and decorating trade centres buying in larger quantities of better quality paint which usually results in a reduction material costs for the customer in some cases. Although some trade equivalents are so superior, they may cost for or five times more than their DIY counterparts.
In Dulux’s own words:
The key difference is the consistency of the paint. Dulux Retail paints are ready for use straight from the can. Dulux Trade paints have a slightly different formulation
Would you like cream with your paint sir?
High street paints tend to be more creamer and therefore have more body than that of a professional trade paint as they are designed to convince you what a good paint should feel or look like.
A creamy consistency does not mean it’s a good paint. It may help you with the application, it may even offer less spillages and drips, however if it’s too dense (especially thick treacle consistency paint for kitchens and bathrooms), you’ll have problems ‘cutting in’ and leave unsightly dragging brush marks around sockets, door frames and other delicate edges. All of which effect the quality of the overall finish.
A word of warning. Some brands have jumped on the bandwagon and cleverly market their paint as Trade Paint. Don’t be fooled, this is often the same paint but in a larger quantity.
Trade paints are exactly that, genuine honest paint aimed at the professional tradesman (or woman) with no fancy packaging pretending to be the latest en-vogue paint. Trade paints generally contain no additives or fillers, therefore tend to be higher quality for ease and speed of application.
The added benefits of good quality trade paints is the flexibility. Depending on the application, trade paints can be adapted by the professional or diluted to obtain the exact consistency required without effecting the quality.
The other noticeable difference between trade paint v retail store paint is the paint pigment. Pigment is a coloured substance or dye used in paint which as the name suggests gives the paint it’s colour. A white base colour, the pigment/dye, water (in water based paints) and a binder (and lots of creamy fillers) pretty much make up a DIY paint.
DIY retail paint contains less pigments which results in less opacity or ‘the degree to which something is opaque’. The level of the opacity will not only effect the coverage, but also impact the finish and depth of colour resulting in more coats required to achieve bold colours.
Trade paints contain more pigments and therefore provide a better coverage and due to the higher opacity less paint and number of coats are required to achieve a rich depth of colour. Importantly, the greater the opacity the greater the finish increasing durability and less maintenance over the life cycle of the paint.
Don’t believe the hype!
Wonder paints such as bathroom paint, kitchen paint, one coat paint, Dulux Paint pod, self priming, self undercoating and the list goes on of different fad or fashionable paints you can pick up from the high street. These so called amazing paints are all designed and aimed at the uneducated novice. The only thing they don’t contain is snake oil!
We can’t stress enough that you steer well clear from anything that promises you a one coat solution. With their treacle like consistency, these paints are hard to apply for the professional, let alone the casual DIYer. As a result it is impossible to achieve a good satisfactory finish (and you usually need more than one coat!).
When you visit decorators trade centre and you will not find bathroom paint, kitchen paint, one coat paint or the Dulux Paint pod. Professional tradesman don’t use them. What does that tell you?
For demanding surfaces, we use a combination of high durability or extreme scrubbable paints for high traffic areas, bathrooms and kitchens. You will not find these in painting or decorating aisle in B&Q, Homebase, Wicks or any other high street paint store.
If you want a truly professional finish with durability, second to none coverage and real depth of colour, then you really should contact us for free helpful advice.