Why I Buy Local
I was in the paint store that I purchase most of my materials the other day, and while I was waiting in line I heard a women ask, what I assumed was her husband, "why does a gallon of paint cost $60?" I almost turned to them and told them why, but I held my tongue.
What would I have told them? My simple answer would it have been....because it is darn good paint. Do not believe the hype from that box stores that continually tells us that they have the best rated paint. It is not the best. It is not terrible paint, but it is not the best. Quality paints that I use on a regular basis such as C2, Benjamin Moore, California, and Pittsburgh make better paints. Their paints are easier to work with, cover better, they hide (the paint underneath) better, and they retain their colors much longer.
I would have also told them, if they had the time, that the box stores pay minimum wage to its employees and the only thing that they know about paint is how to mix the colors--a box store employee once told me this when I was stupid enough to ask him a couple technical questions concern paint. And, sometimes they have trouble doing this simple task of mixing paint. When it comes to matching paint, the only ones that I trust are real paint store employees.
What does this lack of knowledge mean. Let me relate a story that a paint store owner recently related on a website for professional painters. An older women came into his store asking how to properly treat her deck. She had gone to one of the box stores and bought the thick deck paint/stain that is very popular with home owners lately...the stuff you just roll onto your weathered deck...and wallah...new looking deck. Well surprise, it did not work. To me this is not a surprise, I have been told by more than one home owner that have used these products that they do not last. The women went back to the box store and asked why the product had failed after three months. She was told that she did not do use enough. The second time she applied more, and then it failed after five months. Finally she went to a real paint store.
The paint store owner told the women how to properly prepare the deck to be stained. She had been told employee of the box store that not prep was needed. A very brief overview of proper deck prep is needed. At the very least a deck needs to be cleaned to remove mold, mildew and dirt. If grey wood is present it also needs to be removed. Good adhesion of stain and paint is not possible if dirt is present, and applying either to grew wood will lead to premature failure of the coating. So, yes, the women did need to prep the deck. But, the box stores are all about convince home owners that paint projects can be "easypeasy." When she was at the real paint store, she was told the proper products to purchase in order to complete the job. When she was told the price of the products she apparently told the owner of the paint store, that he was ripping her off and stormed out of the store.
The reality is that the box stores have turned a big project such as repainting a great room or staining a deck into an easy one day task. "No primer needed"..."No need to clean or sand the deck."...Just apply the product that is 50% cheaper than what is sold in paint stores and enjoy the rest of you weekend. Home owners have been so inundated with such garbage, that when they are told the real price of doing the job properly they believe that they are being ripped off.
The simple fact is that the paint in real paint stores cost more because they sell really good paint, and the employees are very well trained and very knowledgeable about what they sell. And, they are paid a good wage, and not a minimum wage with little more training than how to mix paint. Thus, in order to keep these well trained employees, the owners must have higher prices for their better quality paints. In the two paint stores that I frequent the most, they have have had almost no turnover of employees in the three years that I have been purchasing products from them.