When you’re looking for affordable paint, Valspar and Behr are brand names that always pop up. These are both paint companies that offer a variety of affordable, good-quality paints for homeowners, DIYers, and professional painters. While neither brand is first choice for most pro painters, they both offer something unique that’s worth taking a second look, especially if you’re painting your own home.
Behr has some of the best quality interior/exterior paints you can get at an affordable price. Their best paints are pricier than Valspar, but they offer superior coverage and bold colors that go on well in 1 coat. Valspar offers a more budget-friendly set of paint products than Behr, helping you paint larger spaces on a slimmer budget without sacrificing too much quality.
What are the main differences between Behr and Valspar paints? Which paint would work best for you? Let’s take a look at what each paint company has to offer and how you can make the best choice for your needs.
What Paint Lines Do They Offer?
Behr and Valspar have a similar range of products. They’re a great direct comparison since they sit in the same price ranges, and both have categories of paint meant for specific interior or exterior applications. Although they’re similar, each company offers something unique.
Let’s take a look at the types of paints Behr and Valspar sell and who they’re ideal for.
Valspar has a complete range of paint products made for different uses. The 4 main categories of paints they offer are:
|Product||Finishes||Characteristics||Interior or Exterior?||Coverage|
|Valspar Reserve||eggshell, flat, satin, semi-gloss||Acrylic paint & primer mix, resistant to scratches, scuffs, and fading. Low odor. Rich, long lasting colors||Interior||High. One-coat paint|
|Valspar Ultra (2000 & 4000)||eggshell, flat, satin, semi-gloss||Low odor acrylic latex paint. Comes with primer (2000) or without primer (4000). Stain resistant.||Both||Medium. Multiple coats needed|
|Valspar Signature||eggshell, flat, satin, semi-gloss||Paint & primer combo, smooth application. Resists scuffing, easy cleaning. 100% acrylic.||Interior||Medium-high. One-coat paint in some colors|
|Valspar ExpressCoat||eggshell, flat, semi-gloss||Quick-drying acrylic paint for fast applications. Ideal for maintenance or touch-up||Interior||Low-medium. Multiple coats needed|
Valspar offers a “Love Your Color” guarantee. If you don’t love the color your bought, they will replace it with a different one. This lowers the risk of painting with a new color since you can always change it out if you end up disliking it.
Out of all the Valspar products, Valspar Reserve comes away as a favorite for contractors and homeowners alike. It has great color clarity and durability, even with just a single coat applied.
A recurring issue with Valspar is coverage, especially in their more saturated colors in the ExpressCoat and Ultra lines. The darker the color, the worse the coverage and the more coats of paint are needed. You may have to apply 3 or more layers for some dark colors to get a clean result and hide brush marks.
Overall, Valspar offers a good range of products to fit a variety of situations, except for their limited exterior paint options. While some of the low-end products have questionable coverage, especially with darker colors, Valspar Signature and Reserve are solid options for DIYers and professionals alike.
Behr has 4 main types of paints, with 2 out of 4 having both interior and exterior varieties. These are the paint products Behr offers:
|Product||Finishes||Characteristics||Interior or Exterior?||Coverage|
|Behr Premium Plus||flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, hi-gloss||Stain and mildew resistant, low odor, acrylic paint||Both||Medium. Multi-coat paint|
|Behr Ultra Scuff Defense||flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss||Highly scuff resistant acrylic paint, anti-mildew, paint & primer mix, washable surface||Interior||Medium. Multi-coat paint|
|Behr Marquee||matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss||1000+ bold color choices, great protection from scuffing, scratching, and staining. Highly durable acrylic paint||Both||High. One-coat paint|
|Behr Dynasty||matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss||Thick texture, smooth application, acrylic paint & primer mix, great for intense colors||Interior||High. One-coat paint|
The Behr Marquee is the most popular paint they offer because it has fantastic coverage and a clean finish. The paint is pricey, but it’s also their best quality interior paint.
The downside with Behr paints is that the texture can be difficult to work with if you’re painting a large space. Paints like their Marquee line are thick, which increases their durability but also makes them more challenging to apply if you’re not used to it.
Behr paints are divisive. There’s a lot of love for the color choices and durability, but complaints often mention weird color lines in darker paints and needing more than 1 coat of paint, even with the paints that claim to be single-coat products.
Higher level Behr paints tend to be worth the money, with most homeowners preferring them to equivalent Valspar paints. Coverage, color, and durability are better, even with texture differences being a little off-putting to some.
Where to Buy Valspar and Behr Paints
Paint brands are usually locked into exclusive or semi-exclusive deals with specific sellers. Valspar and Behr are no different, with each having agreements to stock their paints with certain companies online and in-store.
Valspar paints can be purchased online or in-store from specific retailers. Lowe’s is the largest seller for Valspar paints and the only chain hardware store that’s allowed to stock this brand. You will not find it at Home Depot, Tractor Supply, Ace Hardware, or elsewhere.
Lowe’s has the basic Valspar colors and seasonal color sets, but they also offer custom paint color mixing and color matching. If you bring in a paint sample, you can get that color scanned and matched with an equivalent Valspar color.
Valspar paints are also available for purchase online. Lowe’s is the main place where all Valspar paint products can be ordered, but you can also find a large selection on Amazon. When you order from Amazon, you are ordering from a third-party seller, not from Valspar directly or from Lowe’s. Because of this, not all the Valspar paint types or colors are available on Amazon, although you will find a lot of the basics.
Ordering from Lowe’s is the only way to get access to all the paint types, colors, and finishes online. You can order with in-store pickup or home delivery.
It’s not always easy to get your hands on Valspar paints if you need them in a hurry, such as if you run out of something in the middle of a project. Unless you’re using a common paint type that you can get locally, it might be difficult to get your hands on anything non-standard if you don’t live nearby a Lowe’s store.
Behr paints can only be bought from Home Depot. This is an exclusive deal, so you won’t find Behr products anywhere else. They do not have any existing partnerships with independent retailers or online sellers.
For online orders, Behr paints are available from the Home Depot website. You can get any of their products online, except for custom paint colors. Online orders can be delivered to your door or ordered for in-store/curbside pickup.
With the custom mixed paint option, there’s no limit to the colors you can get from Behr, but you do have to go to a Home Depot to have it mixed for you there. Every color also comes with different finish and texture options, so you can buy exactly what you need.
Because Behr paints aren’t easily available, you need to make sure you have everything you need before you start a painting project. If you’re using a custom color or a specialty product, you may not be able to go get more if you run out halfway through the job.
Both Behr and Valspar have a wide range of colors available, with Valspar having more flexibility for custom colors and Behr offering more services to help you pick the right color. Valspar’s Love Your Color guarantee gives an extra layer of protection for you, since you can replace your paint with a new color if you’re not satisfied with how it looks on your walls.
Valspar has more than 2,000 colors available for both interior and exterior paints. They have a wide range of neutrals and basics as well as a huge catalog of bold and vibrant colors. Since there are so many colors, they’re divided up into color families and palettes that can help you see what works together and how colors can be combined for a more uniform feel.
Neutrals are some of the most popular colors from Valspar. They have so many cozy neutrals that fit perfectly into different color palettes, with a favorite being their eggshell white. It’s a warm white instead of a cool white, so you won’t find blue streaks all through your walls as they dry.
Beyond the existing range of colors, Valspar has a color matching service you can use to have any color you want made from a sample you bring in. This is a service you can only get from Lowe’s stores.
Valspar’s eggshell and satin finishes make their colors stand out. These finishes work well with the subtle colors Valspar is known for, matching these calm tones with a low-medium gloss look. Every year, Valspar releases their own color of the year collection which showcases some of the company’s picks for colors that matching ongoing home design trends.
One of the main problems with Valspar colors is that many of them are thin, so they require multiple layers to show up well. This can greatly increase the cost and work involved in a painting project.
If you’re having trouble choosing a color for some part of your house, you can get a free color consultation from Valspar to assist you in picking from their catalogue.
Color consultations are available for free to everyone. All you have to do is provide a little information about your style and preferences along with photos of the space you want to paint.
Love Your Color Guarantee
When you buy a paint from Valspar, it’s covered by the Love Your Paint guarantee. This means that within 30 days of purchasing your paint, you can get it replaced with a different color if you don’t love the results.
In total, Behr offers more than 3,000 colors. The variety you can choose from depends on the finish you want and the type of paint you get. Colors are separated out by curated color palettes and pre-made selections for different room types.
One area where Behr stands out is their vibrant colors. They offer a lot of bold colors that you can thin out with a white base to make them more subtle. With their top level paint products, Behr can tint and mix colors to get you a unique shade for your home.
Unfortunately, there’s some inconsistency with Behr paints. While some colors come with the one-coat guarantee in the Marquee or Dynasty paint lines, not all colors are given the same guarantee and some may need more coats of paint.
The Behr color visualizer gives you a chance to get a feel for how a color will look in your room and on your walls before you actually start painting. You can upload pictures to their website and choose the Behr color you want to preview.
There’s also a mobile app version that you can use on your phone or tablet.
Color Wheel Selection
A quick way to browse through Behr’s colors is to use the color wheel selection tool. When you open this tool, you can move a selector around a color wheel and see which Behr paint is the closest equivalent to each color.
Both Valspar and Behr fall into a similar price range, but Valspar tends to be a few dollars cheaper per gallon. The exact price varies based on the type of paint you’re buying, with each level being a little more expensive as you go up in quality.
For each size and type of paint, there’s a range of prices based on the finish. Matte finishes are on the lower end of the price range while glossier finishes are on the higher end of the price range.
The average price for Valspar paint is $33 per gallon or $14 per quart, but the actual range varies a lot. Valspar ExpressCoat is the cheapest paint because it’s normally used for touchups and quick jobs. Valspar Reserve is the brand’s high-end paint, giving better coverage and results, which is why it’s on the higher end of the price spectrum.
|Average cost per gallon||Average cost per quart||Average cost per 5 gallons|
|Valspar Ultra (2000 & 4000)||$30-$39||$15-$18||$131-$169|
With Valspar paints, you may need to put on multiple coats of paint to get proper coverage, especially with the Ultra or ExpressCoat paints. This should play into your decision-making since you may need to buy significantly more paint if you need to put on multiple coats.
The average price for Behr paint is $35 per gallon or $20 per quart. These costs will vary a lot, with the low-end paints like Premium Plus being closer to $30 and the high-end Dynasty paints reaching upwards of $65. With Behr, the price is heavily affected by the finish you choose, with matte finishes always being cheaper than semi-gloss or hi-gloss finishes.
|Average cost per gallon||Average cost per quart||Average cost per 5 gallons|
|Behr Premium Plus||$30-$41||$15-$19||$148-$200|
|Behr Ultra Scuff Defense||$39-$48||$19-$22||$191-$233|
Behr tends to avoid producing thinner paints, which is why many of their paint types sit in similar price ranges. The high-end Marquee and Dynasty paints are one-coat paints for most colors, which can end up reducing the cost of your project since you may not need to purchase as much paint.
Although Behr and Valspar are similar, there are distinct differences in what they offer and who it’s ideal for. Here’s a quick breakdown of how these paints compare against each other in the areas that matter most.
|Average price per gallon||$33||$35|
|Interior paints||Reserve, Ultra, Signature, ExpressCoat||Premium Plus, Ultra, Marquee, Dynasty|
|Exterior paints||Ultra||Premium Plus, Marquee|
|Coverage||Medium coverage, most paints need 2 coats||Medium-high coverage, best with Marquee & Dynasty|
|Value for money||Great value for money, especially for touchups or repainting in a similar color||Good value for money for high coverage paints, compared to high-end paint brands|
|Best feature||Wide range of colors, custom colors available||Thick paint with great coverage|
|Availability||Lowe’s exclusive + some independent stores||Home Depot exclusive|
|Criticisms||Paint is thin, coverage can be bad compared to other top brands||Difficult to work with, some inconsistency in the texture of the paint|
|Ideal for||DIYers, homeowners looking for a quick color change or touchup of existing paint||Long-lasting and durable paint on a budget, rich colors|
Every paint has a different formula and function. Behr and Valspar appeal to different audiences, but both offer something valuable for professionals and DIYers alike.
Which Paint is Better For the Interior or the Exterior?
Since both Behr and Valspar have interior and exterior paints, it’s important to look at which one works best for your situation individually. Here is how each paint brand works for interior and exterior projects.
Behr and Valspar’s interior paints are both good, but Valspar’s offers more value for money for the average homeowner. The Valspar Signature paints make great interior paints when you have a lot of painting to do and a budget you want to stick with.
The Signature paint has good coverage, with some colors going on perfectly after only 1 coat of paint. Other colors may need 2 coats, depending on the finish and how strong the color is.
Valspar Reserve paint is an even better interior paint that has excellent coverage and a wide range of colors. This paint is pricier than the Signature paint, but it’s even more long-lasting.
The Behr Marquee paint is on par with Valspar Reserve. They’re at a similar price point, with both paints filling a similar need for high coverage interior paint. The main difference is that Behr’s Marquee paint is thicker while Valspar Reserve tends to be a little thinner.
If you have a more flexible budget, Behr’s Dynasty paint is a fantastic, long-lasting paint that’s very durable to resist normal wear and tear. The downside to Dynasty is the high price point that makes it out of reach more many DIYers, especially if you’re painting a large area.
Behr has a wider range of exterior paints than Valspar. Valspar’s main exterior paint is the Ultra line, including the 2000 and 4000 lines. While they have some other niche exterior paints, there are limited options in their main product lines.
With Behr paints, the high-end Marquee paints are available as exterior paints. Behr Marquee Interior has a good reputation for coverage, which carries over to their exterior paint as well. In general, the Marquee paints last between 5-7 years on an exterior wall, with higher gloss finishes holding up better for the long-term.
This is a great option for homeowners and DIYers because Behr’s Marquee is a little less expensive than many of the other professional-quality paints on the market.
If you want to use Valspar, the best option is likely the Valspar Duramax, which is an exterior-specific paint product that’s similar to their Ultra line. Valspar’s Ultra exterior paints are good if you’re on a budget, but coverage can be an issue. If you want long-lasting paint, you may need 2 or more coats of paint.
Which Paint Should You Buy?
No single paint is best for all situations. Valspar and Behr both have paints that work well for different scenarios.
If you need a lot of paint on a budget, Valspar’s Ultra paint could be a good mid-range option for you as long as you stick with neutral colors and you don’t need a lot of coverage. The next step up with Valspar Signature, which is a good coverage paint that’s cheaper than the high-end Behr paints, but it offers a lot of value for your money.
If you need paint with great coverage, Behr’s Marquee line is a consistent favorite for DIYers and professionals alike. Its thick texture and high levels of solids makes it a top choice for both interior painting projects.
For simple touchup jobs, Valspar’s ExpressCoat is a great, affordable choice.
Selecting the right paint can make a world of difference in how your project turns out. Whether you go with Valspar or Behr, plan ahead and make the best choice for your specific budget and style needs.When in doubt, go for a lighter neutral color, because light colored neutrals can hide imperfections better and tend to have more even coverage than more saturated, vivid colors.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.