Buyer's Guide to Home Depot Paint

Glidden Premium Room Scene
Glidden Premium Room Scene. © Glidden

If you are standing in Home Depot's paint section now, you may be wondering which of the two brands to choose from: Behr or Glidden. You might even be considering that third option, Ralph Lauren Paint.  

Paint contractors may tell you to skip Home Depot altogether and instead purchase from a standalone store, like Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore. But if you're on a budget, or are working on a smaller project, like your kids' room or a guest bathroom, Home Depot paints are perfectly acceptable.

So the question is which one?

Home Depot's Paint Brands

  • Behr: Since 1978 Behr has been Home Depot's house brand. As such, it often receives prime display placement.
  • Glidden: Glidden is a less-expensive brand, and is also carried at Wal-Mart stores across the country.
  • Ralph Lauren Paints: RLP is typically the most expensive brand carried by Home Depot. Considered a "designer paint," Ralph Lauren has beautifully-crafted palettes you can duplicate in your own home.

Behr Marquee

Marquee is Behr's highest end paint and is marketed as such. From the favored display locations to the swanky labeling, Marquee is positioned as the paint that Home Depot hopes you will choose. While Marquee is a quality paint, folks on a tight budget may not want to spring for this option.

Ralph Lauren Paints

Did you know? When you buy Ralph Lauren Paint, you are really buying a Glidden product. Glidden makes Ralph Lauren Paints, however, RLP might be as much as 40% more expensive than Glidden Premium.

Why? Things like trademarks and licensing fees drive up paint costs.

The Best Bargain Paint at Home Depot

One thing that most homeowners don't know is that Home Depot has a line of paint designed for contractors called Behr PRO. Introduced in April 2015, Behr PRO offers paint at steeply lower prices than its consumer line.

See the chart at the end of this article for examples.

Buying Paint in Large Quantities May Be More Expensive

Just like any other consumer product, buying in bulk doesn't always pay off. Before you grab that allegedly cheaper 5-gallon bucket, price it out on a per-gallon basis and see if single gallons might be cheaper. For example, you may find that one gallon of interior paint is $16.68. You may be tempted to grab the 5-gallon bucket which retails for $87.50, but if you calculate the price per gallon you'll find it is actually more expensive: $17.50. Prices may vary near you, so always do the math to find your best deal.

Recommended: Glidden Premium.

Though Glidden doesn't have the name recognition of Behr paints, the brand gets consistently high marks from both consumers and professionals.(it's even rumored that Home Depot's distinctive orange stores are painted using Glidden Speed-Cote Exterior).

Consumer Reports, too, recommends Glidden Premium as a paint that performed just as well as paints costing three times the amount. Except for Behr PRO, it's Home Depot's least expensive paint.

Martha Stewart Paints

The erstwhile brand, Martha Stewart Paints, comes and goes at Home Depot. Currently, it is gone; but if you happen to run across it, you'll be interested to know that, according to maker PPG Architectural Coatings, Martha Stewart's "280 custom colors...are exclusively tinted into Glidden paint." This may be another instance where skipping the brand name yields some savings.

Home Depot Price Spread Charts

This chart is a snapshot of one set of prices in time; naturally, prices will change. However, the price differences between the paints likely will not change. To summarize:

  • Behr PRO is the cheapest paint available at Home Depot.
  • Behr Marquee is actually more expensive than Ralph Lauren Paint.
  • Any kind of "paint plus primer" will drive up prices by at least $3/gallon. Glidden Duo is the "paint plus primer" version of Glidden Premium and is one example of this $3 price jump.
  • Going up or down in paint sheens (semi-gloss, satin, etc.) increases or decreases price by $1 per sheen level.

White Paints

Product (1 Gal. White Interior)Semi-GlossSatinEggshell
Glidden Premium$24$23$22
Glidden Duo$27-$25
Behr Pro$22-$17
Behr Premium Plus$29--
Behr Premium Plus Ultra$35$34$33
Behr Marquee--$43
Ralph Lauren---

Base Paints - Medium or Deep Tone Enamel, No Color

Product (1 Gal. Interior)Semi-GlossSatinEggshell
Glidden Premium$24$23$22
Glidden Duo$27-$25
Behr Pro$22-$20
Behr Premium Plus$29-$27
Behr Premium Plus Ultra$35$34$33
Behr Marquee$45-$43
Ralph Lauren$41--