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  • Writer's pictureFletcher Decorator

What are the best/worst brands of paint?

This is a tricky question. Partly because painters - like all people - disagree. Added to that, the big brands have a habit of changing the chemical makeup of their paints every now and then, meaning that you settle on a specific paint for a while, recommend the hell out of it, and then booosh - they do something to ruin it. Anyway, there are always a few things to remember:

• If you purchase cheap/discounted paint off the shelf in say B&Q, it’s very likely to be a bit ropey. Cheap means cheerless. Also a false economy - with cheap (thin) emulsion paint, you will likely have to give a wall 3 or 4 coats. Trust me, you don't want that.

• If you go for high end stuff like Farrow & Ball or The Little Green Paint Company, don’t expect it to be worth every penny. Sure, It’s good, but is it twice, thrice or quatrice(?) as good? No, it is not. You’re paying for bragging rights as much as anything. I mean, if you really want to put one over your neighbour, go for it. My friends Nik and Ross have this ongoing battle of one-upmanship and it’s hilarious. They consequently can never afford to leave the house. To push home the point, we did one job where the clients bought Farrow and Ball. The total bill came to £8000. It was a huge house, naturally, but I reckon I could have done a similar job with a van load of white emulsion and a few pots of colour tint for about £500. But the paint is good.

So what should I buy? Simply put:

• Valspar. They have three versions now - 1.Rubbish 2.Ok and 3.Great. Always go for the more expensive one of the three (called V700). It covers well and goes a long way. I’ve heard complaints about Valspar (probably the cheaper ones), but never experienced problems myself (apart from with the junk one which is junk). I use Valspar V700 in my own house. It's about £38 for 5 litres.

• Jonstones, Dulux or Crown – but only when mixed at their specialist paint stores. I don’t know why, but off the shelf paints (at B&Q or Homebase) are different than mixed at the proper stores. Another good thing to know here is that you can go into any of these stores and tell them which Farrow & Ball colour you like and they can mix you the same colour but in their paint – which is (in my opinion) better and (factually) about a quarter of the price.

So that's it. There are certainly other decent paints out there. We use various other brands now and again, but it's tricky to keep track of everything. Especially when you have another business making probably the best party games in the world. Check 'em out. They're called:

Valspar - Winner

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