Imagine you’re preparing for a paint project, and you know that Behr is the brand for you. Then, you head to the store, only to discover that two Behr paint lines could meet your needs: Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra. As a result, you’re left wondering, “What’s the difference between Behr Premium Plus vs. Ultra, and which one is right for you?
Generally speaking, Behr Ultra is a higher quality paint than Behr Premium Plus. Behr Ultra offers better coverage, stain-blocking technology, scuff resistance, and other features you don’t get with Behr Premium Plus. However, Behr Premium Plus is less expensive and has its own benefits.
Ultimately, the best option depends on your unique needs and preferences. If you’re comparing Behr Premium Plus vs. Ultra and want to know how the two stand apart, here’s what you need to know.
Behr Premium Plus vs. Ultra: Key Points
When you’re trying to choose between Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra, the most notable difference at the store is usually the price. However, to select the best paint for your project, you need to look at more than just the cost.
Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra each have unique benefits and drawbacks, even though they’re from the same company. As a result, one might fit your needs better than the other.
With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of the key points you need to consider when comparing Behr Premium Plus vs. Behr Ultra.
|Behr Premium Plus||Behr Ultra|
|Use||Interior or Exterior||Interior or Exterior|
|Drying Times||Ready for a second coat in 2 hours, both for interior and exterior||Ready for a second coat in 2 hours for interior, 4 hours for exterior|
|Coverage||250 to 400 sq. ft.||250 to 400 sq. ft.|
|VOC Levels||Less than 5 grams per liter||Less than 50 grams per liter|
|Thickness||Very thick||Extremely thick|
|Number of Coats||1 to 2 coats||1 to 2 coats|
|Available Finishes||Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-Gloss, High-Gloss||Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-Gloss|
|Maintenance||Low to Moderate||Low|
|Ease of Application||Slightly challenging||Slightly challenging|
|Cost||Low to Moderate||Moderate to High|
What’s the Difference Between Behr Premium Plus vs. Ultra?
When you want to learn more about the difference between Behr Premium Plus vs. Ultra, the chart above can often serve as a solid starting point. However, before you purchase any paint, it’s smart to look at each aspect more closely. That helps you see how the paints stand apart, making it easier to choose the best option for your project.
Here’s a detailed look at Behr Premium Plus vs. Ultra paint.
When it comes to potential paint projects, both Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra come in home interior and exterior versions. As a result, they can largely be used for similar purposes.
However, you want to make sure you purchase the correct variant for your project. For walls in your home or similar surfaces, stick with the interior version. If you’re planning on painting the outside of your house or items exposed to the elements, choose the exterior paint instead.
Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra come with primer built into the formula. As a result, you can often apply them directly to the surface you want to paint.
However, this doesn’t mean that preparation isn’t necessary. Depending on the surface, you might need to wash it first. Some may even require sanding, particularly if the existing finish is glossy.
Additionally, there are situations where a separate primer could be beneficial, if not a necessity. For example, Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra are acrylic latex paints. If you’re painting over oil-based paint, wood stain, or similar surfaces, using a bonding primer is necessary if you want proper adhesion.
Similarly, using a primer before painting raw wood is advised, as it will give you the best surface for painting. It’s also wise to apply primer if you’re painting over bright or dark paint with light paint, regardless of whether they’re all the same type of paint. With primer, you’ll get better coverage and a more even final look with fewer coats of paint.
In many cases, one of the most important factors people consider when choosing paint is the availability of their preferred color. Since Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra are made by the same company, the color options are the same. You can choose from more than 1,400 pre-designed Behr colors regardless of the Behr paint line you select.
Many of the more popular hues are available for purchase online. Additionally, you can get the exact Behr hue you want in-store, as they typically offer on-demand mixing services, allowing you to purchase your preferred shade even if it isn’t available on the shelf.
For interior paint, Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra both have similar drying times. Usually, they’re dry to the touch in about one hour and ready for a second coat in approximately two hours. However, the drying time can vary depending on ambient humidity, temperature, airflow, and similar factors, often taking longer if it is colder or more humid than if it’s warmer or drier.
There is a difference between the drying times of Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra exterior paints. With Behr Premium Plus, the drying times generally match the timeline for the interior paint. However, with Behr Ultra, it may not be dry to the touch for two to three hours, and it won’t be ready for a second coat until approximately four hours pass, depending on temperature, humidity, and more.
When it comes to the coverage for a single gallon of Behr Premium Plus or Behr Ultra paint, both can provide between 250 and 400 sq. ft. Additionally, the general recommendation is to apply two coats of either option, so you’ll need about the same amount of paint regardless of what you choose in most situations.
The only exception to the equal amount of coverage is if you’re dealing with discoloration or are trying to cover a very dark or bright paint with a lighter shade. In that case, Behr Ultra performs better since it has more volume solids, allowing you to apply fewer coats or get more coverage out of a single gallon than if you use Behr Premium Plus.
However, if you’re covering an existing paint with a similar shade, the coverage will likely be quite similar. The same is typically true if you choose to apply a coat of primer before you paint.
If you’re concerned about volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint, Behr Premium Plus is generally your better option. It has less than 5 grams per liter, a figure that’s low enough for it to be considered a zero-VOC paint.
Comparatively, Behr Ultra has less than 50 grams per liter and as a result, it doesn’t qualify as a zero-VOC paint.
However, it’s important to note that Behr Ultra is still considered a low-VOC paint. Any amount below 50 grams per liter falls in that category, so neither option is technically a high-VOC paint.
Generally speaking, the thickness of a paint impacts how well it covers a surface, as thicker paints usually do a better job in fewer coats. Additionally, they typically last longer.
Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra are thick paints, as each has a high number of volume solids. However, Behr Ultra does have more volume solids than Behr Premium Plus on average.
As a result, Behr Ultra is more effective at covering discoloration and outperforms Behr Premium Plus when covering a darker or bright color with a lighter paint.
However, Behr Premium Plus does have more volume solids than many other brands. Since that’s the case, it’s still a reasonable option for solid coverage, especially if you aren’t dealing with discoloration or painting over dark or bright shades with a lighter hue.
Number of Coats
The general recommendation for both Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra is to apply two coats, so their overall performance in this regard is about the same. However, Behr Ultra may outperform Behr Premium Plus slightly. Sometimes, that could mean your odds of getting away with a single coat are higher.
Additionally, if you’re painting a challenging surface – such as a discolored wall or an existing paint that’s darker or brighter than the new color – Behr Ultra may do a better job. As a result, using two coats may be sufficient. There’s a chance that Behr Premium Plus may require more, though that isn’t always the case.
When it comes to finishes, you get more interior options if you choose Behr Premium Plus. While Behr Ultra interior paint is only available in flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss, you can get those finishes along with high-gloss with Behr Premium Plus.
For exterior finishes, both Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra offer the same options. You can choose from flat, satin, or semi-gloss.
One of the reasons that Behr Ultra is such a popular paint line is its stain-blocking technology. You’re less likely to see discoloration if the paint is exposed to a staining material, keeping the original hue intact longer.
Behr Premium Plus doesn’t include the same stain-blocking technology. Since that’s the case, discoloration after being exposed to a staining material is more likely.
Another point where Behr Ultra stands apart is scuff resistance. This paint line includes technology to help make it more durable, reducing the odds that an accidental scuff will damage the surface or lead to issues like discoloration.
As with stain-blocking technology, Behr Premium Plus doesn’t use the same scuff resistance technology you find with Behr Ultra. As a result, scuffs may cause more damage or could be harder to clean up.
When it comes to mold resistance, Behr Ultra outperforms Behr Premium Plus. Behr Ultra includes antimicrobial properties that help resist mold and mildew and bacteria. As a result, you’re less likely to experience issues of that nature by choosing Behr Ultra.
Behr Premium Plus doesn’t include the same mold-resistant technologies as Behr Ultra. While that doesn’t mean it will be more mold-prone than most paint lines – including alternatives from Behr and many products made by competitors – it falls short of what you get with Behr Ultra.
When comparing the maintenance requirements, Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra are usually similar in many ways. Both are reasonably easy to clean, often requiring little more than some water and gentle soap – like ammonia-free and bleach-free liquid dish soap – to deal with small messes. A soft cloth is also necessary, as abrasive materials can scratch the paint.
However, there are some differences to consider, too. When it comes to mold, mildew, and stains, Behr Ultra has blocking technologies that can prevent their development, while Behr Premium Plus doesn’t. As a result, you may have fewer maintenance issues in those arenas by choosing Behr Ultra.
Ease of Application
Overall, both Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra have the same difficulty when it comes to the application. As thicker paints, using a brush or roller can lead to issues like dripping and unevenness, particularly if you aren’t an experienced painter.
Since that’s the case, it can be wise to apply either of these Behr paints using a sprayer instead. By doing so, you can apply a thinner layer, reducing the odds of drips. Plus, it’ll go on more evenly, resulting in a better final look.
Behr Premium Plus and Behr Ultra are thicker paints, so they’re generally better than other brands at covering discoloration. However, the higher amount of volume solids and stain-blocking technology you get with Behr Ultra means it typically outperforms Behr Premium Plus by a notable margin.
As a result, if you’re dealing with a significant amount of discoloration or color unevenness, you’re better off choosing Behr Ultra. If the underlying surface is primarily an even hue, then either option can work well.
When it comes to cost, Behr Ultra is more expensive than Behr Premium Plus. The exact difference does vary depending on the finish you select, whether you’re purchasing interior or exterior paints, your location, and other factors.
Generally, you should expect to spend about $10 more per gallon can for Behr Ultra. Primarily, this is because Behr Ultra has more volume solids, as well as additional technologies, leading to a higher price.
Where to Buy Behr Premium Plus Paint
Behr Premium Plus paint is a Home Depot exclusive. As a result, you have to head to a Home Depot or the Home Depot website to purchase the product.
Generally, that isn’t overly difficult if there’s a Home Depot store in your area. Since Behr Premium Plus is popular, the line is usually available on the shelf.
Where to Buy Behr Ultra Paint
Like Behr Premium Plus, Behr Ultra is only available at Home Depot. You can purchase it in-store or online, giving you options.
Most Home Depot stores stock Behr Ultra since it’s a widely-used product line. As a result, you don’t have to rely on online ordering in most cases. However, even if it’s out-of-stock, you can often get an order shipped to the store or your home instead.
Which Paint Is Better, Behr Premium Plus or Ultra?
Overall, Behr Ultra is a higher quality paint, offering beneficial features like mold, mildew, and stain-blocking technology. It’s also more effective at covering discoloration. However, it does cost more, so if you need a more budget-friendly option, don’t have discoloration to cover, and are okay going without those blocking technologies, Behr Premium Plus is a solid alternative.
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