Are all paints created equal?
Having spent years completing a wide variety of painting projects, I have had my share of trials and errors when it comes to paints. Call me nostalgic, but my first real painting leap was taken with Ralph Lauren more than 15 years ago. Their very rich colors and designer label were alluring to women everywhere I recall.
Ralph Lauren was also great because it had a vast selection of colors organized in a user friendly fashion and the price was competitive. I was usually able to achieve one coat coverage (a real time saver and confidence booster!) and the best part was that years later, I could use it to touch up spots and it would still blend perfectly!! I’ve seen other “pro brand” paints not even able to do this without leaving what looks like spots that belong on a cheetah which meant repainting an entire wall.
The brand also went a long way toward taking some of the “I Can’t Do That” away from faux painting techniques. Suede, River Rock, Color Wash, Denim, Crackle…Ralph Lauren was the pioneer brand to offer these “out of the can” faux finishes and techniques in my opinion. Lowes followed suit eventually and I do love their Venetian Plaster, now Tuscan Accents and glazes.
After a while, you become accustomed to a certain brand and quality you expect. I’ve been in situations when I first began home improvement projects where I thought I couldn’t bear to spend $25-30 per gallon that Ralph Lauren used to cost, so I opted for the “other brands” . What I found was water thin paint and uneven coverage, which both required multiple coats. Time wasted eclipsed money saved. Is it really worth it? Call me silly, but for me, I got what I paid for…every time.
I’ve even had many “pros” laugh me away when I would say that my favorite brand was Ralph Lauren at Home Depot. Sure, I could probably make multiple stops by going to the “pro” paint store, spend a few bucks more per gallon, but why bother if I found everything I needed at my local Home Depot? Ralph never failed me.
Ralph was replaced by Martha?? Noooooooo!
I remember vividly when Martha Stewart joined forces with KMart for home furnishings in the late 90′s. Oh it was great…color coordinated pallets you could match together right off the shelf and decorating became so easy, anyone could do it. Martha was no doubt a big money maker for the discount store. Of course, Kmart and Martha have taken some licks since then.
Home Depot announced its partnership with Martha Stewart in late 2009 with the paints first hitting store shelves around March 2010. This also meant Ralph had to go so that Martha could be the new darling on the shelves. In my opinion however, the Martha Stewart line that is available in Home Depot takes us a big step backwards. It has minimal color selections and as far as I could tell, did not see specialty faux finish techniques. Unfortunately, if Martha is going to fill the big shoes left over by Ralph, the line should be expanded dramatically both with colors and the do-it-yourself specialty finish technique offerings.
A quick search also makes me leary of the quality. I’m not seeing many good quality reviews for the line and I really don’t feel like repeating history and spend the money for lesser quality paint only to learn that I got what I paid for. I know Home Depot is trying to lure more female shoppers into their stores which is great if it is successful at breaking down the gender barriers to home improvements. Just give me confidence I need in the products I will buy. The Martha Stewart line unfortunately doesn’t entice me. Come on Martha…Ralph Lauren doesn’t seem like a bad guy to sit next to on a shelf.