Whilst working on a painting  job in Glasgow yesterday a customer asked me why most painters  and decorators prefer to use trade  paint over normal retail paint from DIY stores such as Homebase. This question has came up several times over the years and although trade emulsion usually costs slightly more than retail emulsion there are very good reasons for this and we believe overall, trade paint is better value for money, hands down.


The Myth Surrounding Trade Paints

The majority of people however, don’t even realise that trade paints exist and that there is a differences between trade quality and retail paint quality paint. The problem arises because nearly all big DIY chains only stock retail paint therefore most people don’t know that there is even such a thing as trade paint and wrongly assume they are all just the same and that the decorator is only recommending supplying the paint so they can get a discount, however, this is definately not the case for many reasons.


What are the Differences?

The first thing to mention here is that there is huge differences between the quality of trade paint compared to retail paint. Most painters and decorators tend to buy their products from the three main decorator centres which are Dulux, Crown and Johnstones all have branches all over central Scotland including ~Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Falkirk and Stirling.

There are several factors which make trade paints different and better than DIY paint. Firstly as decorators we want the best paint available for our customers. When we are carrying out a painting job, our customers’ expectations are high and for good reason.

Our reputation is on the line so we use the best. If  you come across a painter who buys cheap paint from DIY stores this should definately raise a red flag and is the sign of a COWBOY. We recommend avoiding any painters using retail paint at all costs.

One reason a professional painter will buy from their local decorator centre is they tend to buy a Dulux trade 10 litre tinlot of paint, in larger quantities therfore they can usually aquire the paint for less than the public. Sometimes they will also purchase larger tins in quantities of 10 or 20 litres which the painter can use for an entire job, or sometimes more than one job, compared to the typical DIY enthusiast who might buy for a specific room in their property.

Any painter worth their salt will usually offer a guarantee with any work they carry out so this becomes a factor when customer wants to supply the paint. If you or them buy cheap retail paint the finish will not be as good and the painter is less likely to gain referrals or might have to re-paint the entire job eating into their profits.


So What makes Trade paint Better?

There is more pigmant (the coloured dyes) in trade paint which means that often where DIY paint might take 3 coats to cover evenly, trade paint will only take 2 because the paint has a better opacity. This translates into a better job for the customer and more profits for the painter in saved time, win/win for both the customer and the painter.

What is Paint Opacity?

When something is described as opaque it means light can’t pass through it. In terms of paint Paint opacity chartwhen we talk about the opacity of paint we are talking about the paints ability to hide the substrate underneath (the wall or previous coat of paint) from being seen through the top coat.

Paint from DIY stores, even those that claim to be one coat paints tend to have terrible opacity meaning there is a good chance the old paint will show through resulting in the space having to be re-painted.


The Main Differences between Retail and Trade Paint

Trade paint cover far better after they have been thinned saving time and money for both the customer and the decorator.

• Trade paint have a higher spreading rate than retail paint – another money saver.

• Trade paints tend to come in larger tins making trade paint more econimical.

• Trade paints are routinely tested by the brands technical team to make sure they consistently meet the high standards required by professionals and their customers.

• There are tens of thousands of different shades of trade paints compared to hundreds for retail paint so customers have a far better choice of colours.

How Bathroom and Kitchen Paint Differ From Standard Emulsion

Paints marketed as Bathroom and Kitchen paints are simply used as a marketing gimmick to sell paint. Within the professional trade, bathroom and kitchen paints do not exist. These type of paints are aimed at the retail sector and usually don’t delvier on the claims made.

Johnstones Trade vinyl soft-sheenBathroom and Kitchen emulsions are simply softsheen emulsions. What this means is rather than being completely matt they have a subtle shine to them, the ingredient that gives them the slight shine differentiates softsheens from standard vinyl matt emulsion.

This ingredient gives the paint a non-stick skin on the surface so they don’t scuff as easy and when they do they are easier to clean. This same ingredient also gives the paint a slightly water resistant quality which is why they are used in bathroom and kitchens. However, its worth noting that if your bathroom regularly steams up due to insufficent extraction the paint will eventually start to peel regardless of the type of paint used. If you want a professional finish then you need professional paint which is exactly what trade paint is.

Good Preparation Is The Key To a Professinal Job

No matter what paint you choose for your decorating project it won’t matter if the areas being painted are not prepared properly prior to painting. There are many steps in the process that professional painters will carry out several of which are missed by the typical DIYer.

Surface preparation

All interior walls need to be checked over, cracks and pin holes filled and sanded and all small imperfections sanded. All wood work should be keyed to give the new coat of paint being applied a large surface area to stick to to prevent the paint coming off easily. The woodwork should always be undercoated before the final coat is applied to give a professional finish, a step often missed by DIYers.

The Right Tools For The Job

There is a wide range of brushes and roller sleeves available today, knowing when and how to use Purdy Paint Brushesthe correct one is paramount to a successful outcome. So make sure you employ a professional to give your home or business the best finish possible.

I have lost count of how many people think they are a painter and believe its just about throwing paint on a wall. However, there are many factors in play which make a professional painter and decorators finished result one hundred times better than those of an amateur for example; years of experience, correct surface preparation, correct brushes, selected from a wide range of dufferent sizes and types, paint rollers and poles, and of course trade quality paint. So make sure you employ a professional to give your home the best finish possible.

Should I Use “Trade” paint?

In summary, overall we believe that trade paint is worth paying that little bit extra for. Trade paint is of a much higher quality than retail so over the years it will save you time and money. With its superior pigmentation and opacity, trade paint helps your deocrator easily finish the painting faster saving you money and, giving your surfaces a more professional looking finish that can be wiped that will last far longer.

Why choose us for your next painting and decorating project?

Customer Service

Providing a customer focused service is at our very core. We will always supply you with a free written quotation, work to suit your schedule and we will always tidy up at the end of every shift.

Speed & Efficiency

We have deliberately and carefully honed our processes over many years to bring you a service that is centred around speed and efficiency to cause minimum disruption to your business or home life.

Value For Money

We work hard to provide a service which is truly value for money we understand our customers are working to a budget and we do our best to accommodate everyone no matter the size of your project.

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