When you’re looking for paint for a project, it’s easy to assume that every brand is the same. Both Behr and Valspar come in a slew of colors, have similar price points, and make many of the same claims. But when it comes to Behr vs. Valspar, there are some key differences, too.
Behr and Valspar are both solid choices when you need paint. However, each is better in different situations. Behr offers incredibly smooth coverage in fewer coats, but it’s tricky to apply. Valspar is exceedingly durable, easy to clean, and simple to use but requires far more coats.
If you want to figure out which option is right for you, here’s what you need to consider when comparing Behr vs. Valspar paint.
- Behr vs. Valspar Paint: Key Points
- What Is Behr Paint?
- Behr Paint Types
- What Is Valspar Paint?
- Valspar Paint Types
- What’s the Difference Between Behr and Valspar Paint?
- Color Matching Behr and Valspar Paint
- Do You Need a Primer with Behr Paint?
- Do You Need To Prime Before Using Valspar Paint?
- Where to Buy Behr Paint
- Where to Buy Valspar Paint
- Are There Alternatives to Behr and Valspar Paint?
- Which Paint Is Better, Valspar or Behr?
Behr vs. Valspar Paint: Key Points
When choosing a paint line, most people focus on color first. While finding the perfect hue is important, it should only be part of the broader equation.
For Behr vs. Valspar paint, it’s critical to look at a few key points to determine which is best for you. Here is an overview of what you’ll want to consider.
|Behr Paint||Valspar Paint|
|Product Line Variety||Extensive||Extensive|
|Texture and Consistency||Thick||Thin|
|Quality||Moderate to High||High|
|VOC Levels||Low to Moderate||Low to Moderate|
|Ease of Use||Slightly challenging to use||Easy to use|
|Coverage||250 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon||200 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon|
|Number of Coats||1 to 2||2 to 4|
|Drying Time||Dry to touch in about 4 hours, ready for a new coat in 8 hours (12 to 16 hours for certain wood surfaces)||Dry to touch in less than 1 hour, ready for a new coat in 2 to 4 hours|
|Cleaning||Challenging to clean, doesn’t stand up well to scrubbing||Easy to clean, stands up to scrubbing|
|Price||Moderate per can, moderate total||Moderate per can, higher total if you need more coats|
What Is Behr Paint?
Founded in 1947, the Behr Paint Company is one of the world’s largest paint manufacturers. The company has dozens of product lines, including interior and exterior paint, primers, surface preparers, stains, etc.
Generally speaking, Behr is best known for its Premium Ultra paint lines. Also, its wide color selection and exceptional coverage make it incredibly popular with professional painters and DIYers alike.
While its thicker consistency can make it hard to use for beginners, it goes on gloriously if you use a sprayer. However, it’s critical to note that not all Behr product lines are known for durability, which isn’t ideal for high-traffic areas.
- Full coverage in 1 to 2 coats
- Can disguise discoloration or stains
- Lower total cost if covering dark colors with light paint
- Thicker consistency may lead to drips
- Best suited to sprayer application
- Lower durability and harder to clean
Behr Paint Types
Behr has numerous paint lines, each designed with specific purposes in mind. Which is best for your project depends on what you’re painting and your overall goals. Here is a list of the available options:
- Behr Premium Plus
- Behr Ultra Scuff Defense
- Behr Marquee
- Behr Dynasty
- Behr Ceiling
- Behr Urethane Alkyd Enamel
- Behr Oil-Base Enamel
- Behr Multi-Surface
- Behr Cabinet and Trim Enamel
- Behr Premium Plus
- Behr Ultra
- Behr Marquee
- Behr Masonry, Stucco & Brick
- Behr Barn & Fence
- Behr Multi-Surface Roof
- Behr Urethane Alkyd Enamel
- Behr Oil-Base Enamel
What Is Valspar Paint?
Valspar is another industry-leading paint manufacturer. The brand – which is part of the Sherwin-Williams Company – was originally established in 1806, giving it over 215 years of history.
When it comes to durability, Valspar shines. It’s also easy to apply, clean, and maintain. Plus, many Valspar paints come with primer built-in, reducing the work associated with a painting project.
However, Valspar paint is thinner, so it usually requires more coats. Additionally, it dries fast enough that streaking may be a problem, particularly in arid, warm climates.
- Easy to apply
- Usually, has primer mixed in
- Easy to clean
- Fast-drying can lead to streaking
- Up to 4 coats required
Valspar Paint Types
Valspar has a large selection of paint lines, each with unique features. Which option is best usually depends on the nuances of your project. Here is an overview of what’s available:
- Valspar Reserve
- Valspar Signature
- Valspar Ultra
- Valspar 2000
- Valspar 4000
- Valspar ExpressCoat
- Valspar Ultra Ceiling
- Valspar Signature Ceiling
- Valspar Color-Changing Ceiling
- Valspar Cabinet & Furniture
- Valspar The Perfect White
- Valspar Defense
- Valspar Duramax
- Valspar SeasonPlus
- Valspar SeasonFlex
- Valspar StormCoat
- Valspar Ultra
- Valspar Door & Trim
- Valspar The Perfect White
- Valspar 4000
What’s the Difference Between Behr and Valspar Paint?
Valspar and Behr paints have a lot in common, including vast product lines and a rainbow’s worth of color options. However, there are also some notable differences, potentially making one product a better choice for you than another.
Here’s a look at Behr vs. Valspar paint in several key categories.
Produce Line Variety
Both Behr and Valspar have extensive product lines, giving homeowners plenty of options for their projects. Whether you’re looking for a one-coat wonder, an exterior paint designed to withstand the elements or a particular gloss level, both brands typically have you covered.
Similarly, Behr and Valspar can create paint in nearly any color imaginable. Both have a slew of pre-generated colors available, and you can typically use color-matching services to get even more options.
Texture and Consistency
Texture and consistency are areas where the paint brands stand apart. Behr paint is noticeably thicker than what you find with Valspar. Due to that, you usually get better one-coat coverage with Behr. Additionally, Behr may be a better option for certain problems, like covering discoloration and getting an even final look.
Since Valspar is thinner, there can be streaking issues, too. It dries surprisingly fast, so if you don’t work quickly, crossing over tacky paint can lead to streaks.
However, that doesn’t mean the thinner consistency of Valspar paint is always a weakness. While you’ll usually need more coats to get complete coverage, the thinner consistency means you’re less likely to have texture problems. While Behr paint might clump a bit, Valspar typically won’t.
Durability is typically a high priority for any homeowner. If the paint isn’t suitable, it’ll show signs of wear and tear faster or may experience other issues – like cracking – far quicker. If that occurs, you might have to repaint far sooner than you’d like.
While you might assume that a thinner paint wouldn’t be as durable, that isn’t the case. Typically, Valspar comes out ahead in this part of the Behr vs. Valspar paint debate. It’s known for standing up to wear and tear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. Plus, Valspar paint withstands scrubbing.
Behr, on the other hand, is more likely to crack, particularly if exposed to high temperatures. Additionally, it doesn’t hold up nearly as well against wear and tear or scrubbing.
Generally speaking, both Valspar and Behr are considered premium paint brands. However, some feel that the quality of the Valspar ingredients is higher, making the paint far more durable. Plus, it’s very simple to use, causing many people to give Valspar extra credit.
But that doesn’t mean Behr is a low-quality paint. Instead, it’s a competitive quality that doesn’t bring everything to the table that you may get with Valspar, depending on the paint line.
Valspar and Behr paint come out similarly when it comes to VOC levels. Both brands have low-VOC paints in their product lines. For example, Behr Premium Plus Ultra and Valspar Signature Colors in satin finishes come in at 50 VOC grams/liter, making them low-VOC paint options.
However, both brands also have product lines with higher VOC counts. Since that’s the case, you’ll want to look at the paint lines you’re considering, specifically if VOC levels are a priority for you.
Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, Valspar comes out ahead of Behr. Since the consistency is thinner, it’s easy to apply with rollers and brushes. You can even avoid some of the streaking challenges associated with quicker drying paint by tackling your project on a cool day with moderate humidity.
Behr paint is thick enough that you may have trouble with runs or drips even if you apply it carefully. If you’re new to painting, that is a particularly challenging issue to overcome. Using a sprayer can help avoid some of the drips. Otherwise, you need to make sure you keep an eye on how much paint ends up on your brush or roller. That way, you can scrape off excess before moving forward if the need arises.
When it comes to coverage, Behr paint typically comes out ahead. Each gallon covers between 250 to 400 sq. ft., which is slightly better than the Valspar coverage of 200 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon.
Additionally, Behr usually requires fewer total coats. That means you’re not just potentially covering more area, but you’re also getting to your desired final look in fewer passes.
Number of Coats
If you’re trying to limit the number of coats you need to apply, Behr paint is the better choice. It’s a thicker paint, so you can usually get solid coverage in just one to two coats, even when covering a dark paint with a much lighter one.
Since Valspar paint is thinner, you typically need more coats, especially if you’re trying to cover dark paint with a light hue or vice versa. Generally speaking, you should plan for a minimum of two coats of Valspar paint, even if you’re using a similar shade as the one previously on the surface. If you’re changing to a significantly different color, then you may need four coats to get enough coverage.
Another point where Valspar and Behr paint stand apart is drying times. Since Valspar paint is significantly thinner, it dries much quicker than Behr paint.
Usually, Valspar paint is dry to the touch in less than an hour. Additionally, you can apply a new coat of Valspar paint in as little as 2 to 4 hours. Even if you need four coats and have to wait a full 4 hours in between, you could feasibly have all coats applied in about 12 hours.
With Behr paint, the thicker consistency means you’ll have to wait notably longer. Typically, Behr paint isn’t dry to the touch for about 4 hours, and sheetrock walls need 8 hours between coats. If you need to apply two coats, you’ll typically be able to wrap up the painting part of your project in around 8 hours.
When it comes to Behr vs. Valspar, Valspar wins in the cleaning category. It’s durable, allowing it to stand up well to even some vigorous scrubbing. Plus, it resists stains and dirt, reducing the need to clean the paint in the first place.
Behr does have some paint lines designed for durability. However, when examining the brand, it doesn’t measure up to what you get with Valspar. Many Behr paints aren’t particularly dirt and stain-resistant, and they often don’t stand up to scrubbing.
On the price side, both Valspar and Behr paints are largely at similar price points. While some variances are based on the slew of product lines, the cumulative difference is nominal on a per-can basis.
However, using Valspar paint can cost you more for your project if you need more than two coats to get full coverage. Since Behr is thicker paint, one to two coats cover almost anything, including discoloration or dark paint with a lighter hue.
Valspar is thinner, so you may need three or four coats for complete coverage in some cases. As a result, you need far more paint, bringing the total cost above what you’d spend on Behr paint for the same project.
Color Matching Behr and Valspar Paint
In some cases, you might favor the features of a particular paint brand but prefer a color option from another. If that’s the case, color-matching Valspar or Behr paint might be your answer. With a color match, you can potentially get your favorite hue in a different product line. If that’s what you’re after, here’s what you need to know about color-matching Behr and Valspar paint.
Can You Get Valspar Paint in a Behr Color?
Technically, you can’t get Valspar paint in a Behr color officially. However, Valspar does have color-matching technology. With that, you can either figure out which Valspar shade is the closest match to the Behr color you like or you can potentially get a custom color created to get the shade you’re after.
Can You Get Behr Paint in a Valspar Color?
Just as you can’t officially get a Valspar paint in a Behr color, the opposite is also true. However, Behr also has color-matching options that can get you a close match to shades offered by other brands, including Valspar. Behr might recommend their closest color or may be able to create a custom mix that meets your needs.
Do You Need a Primer with Behr Paint?
Whether you need a primer with Behr paint depends on the paint line. Some Behr products – including Behr Ultra – don’t necessarily require a primer, as it’s effectively built into the paint. However, not all paint lines offer that feature.
Additionally, even if it’s a paint and primer in one, you may still want a primer if you’re covering certain surfaces. For instance, if you’re dealing with raw woods (particularly those containing tannins), up to two coats of primer might be necessary. The same goes for stained wood or other hard-to-paint surfaces, like metal or plastic.
If you’re covering a dark color with lighter paint, you may want to use primer, as well. That will make it easier to get the coverage you want. In the case of Behr, a coat of primer followed by a single coat of paint might be enough to get your preferred look.
Do You Need To Prime Before Using Valspar Paint?
In many cases, you don’t need to prime before using Valspar paint. Most of the Valspar paint lines have primer mixed in, allowing you to potentially skip the priming step.
However, that doesn’t mean priming isn’t recommended for many situations. If you’re covering a dark paint with a lighter shade, a primer may get you to your preferred result in fewer coats. Since Valspar paint is thinner, using a primer if you’re dealing with discoloration or unevenness of the underlying paint is also wise.
Finally, if you’re dealing with a challenging surface – including raw tannin woods, metals, or plastics – primer is essential. It’ll prepare the surface for paint, ensuring there aren’t any adhesion issues.
Where to Buy Behr Paint
If you’re looking for Behr paint, you’ll need to go to a Home Depot. Behr paint is a Home Depot exclusive, so you won’t find it anywhere else.
Essentially every Home Depot in the country will sell Behr paint, typically having the majority of the paint lines available in-store. However, if you don’t find the version you want, your Home Depot can often order the paint line you want and have it brought to the store.
Where to Buy Valspar Paint
While Behr paint is only available in one store chain, that isn’t the case with Valspar. Being available at Lowe’s, you can buy Valspar paints through many independent retailers.
Generally, independent retailers are either individual stores or smaller privately-owned chains. Franchises of larger chains – even if they’re technically independently owned – don’t usually qualify.
That means you may find Valspar paint at your local privately-owned hardware store. However, that isn’t guaranteed, as independent retailers can typically choose the brands they carry, and some may decide to go with another brand instead.
Are There Alternatives to Behr and Valspar Paint?
Yes, there are alternatives to Behr and Valspar paint. Benjamin Moore is a popular paint brand offering both interior and exterior paints. Typically, Benjamin Moore costs more than Behr and Valspar paint, but it’s known for durability, ease of use, and excellent coverage, so it could be worth the higher price depending on your priorities.
Sherwin-Williams is another widely used paint brand. Technically, Valspar is part of the Sherwin-Williams family, as Sherwin Williams purchased it in 2007. However, Sherwin-Williams has its own paint lines, including the HGTV Home paints. The brand is also a bit more expensive than some alternatives, but it offers exceptional coverage and easy cleaning, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
For a low-cost paint, there’s Glidden. It’s cheaper than Behr but also has a lower quality overall. There are certain product lines that perform reasonably well, however, particularly the Premium, High Endurance Plus, and Color Place Ultra options. Keep in mind that you may need more coats to get the desired final look.
Which Paint Is Better, Valspar or Behr?
For Behr vs. Valspar paint, both shine in some areas while struggling in others. If you’re an experienced painter (or own a sprayer) and want great coverage in fewer coats, Behr might be your best bet. Valspar is the winner if you’re newer to painting, plan to use rollers, and want more durability.
Did you learn everything you wanted to find out about Valspar vs. Behr paint? If so, let us know in the comments below. Also, if you know anyone who’s trying to figure out which paint brand is best for them, feel free to share the article.