The Inside Story On Paint

A can of paint is one of the cheapest ways to give a room a brand new look. But before you head to the store, see what Consumer Reports found in its latest tests of almost 60 interior paints.

Contractor Bill Bradsell says paying more for high-quality paint can actually be a money saver.

Bradsell says, "It's more economical because a lot of times we can do less coats."

Consumer Reports tests to see how well paints cover in one coat. Testers evaluated dozens of interior paints that cost anywhere from eight dollars a gallon to more than 60.

They pain over increasingly darker stripes. Rico de Paz found big differences.

de Paz says, "You can see how this paint covered better than this paint with just one coat."

Another important test-how well paints resist stains. Testers apply a greasy mixture and let it sit overnight.

Then a machine scrubs the paint to see how well the grease comes off. Some come clean in just a few passes.

But the cheapest paint in the tests-Color Place from Walmart-didn't clean nearly as well as some of the best paints.

Another question-what type of interior paint to get.

Bob Markovich of Consumer Reports says, "Satin paint, which is also called eggshell, is the best way to go for most walls."

Among satin paints, Benjamin Moore Aura Satin earned the highest score, but it costs more than $60 a gallon.

For about half the price, Behr's Premium Plus Ultra Satin Enamel from The Home Depot did just about as well.

Both did a great job covering in one coat, as well as resisting stains.

There's another plus with the Benjamin Moore and the Behr satin paints. Both are self-priming, so they can go over bare wood and wallboard without a prime coat, saving you time and money.

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