Is Behr Paint Good? In-Depth Review After 10+ Years (2024)

Behr is sold exclusively at The Home Depot and is displayed prominently in over 2,000 stores across North America.

But is Behr paint good? Or is its retail partnership with Home Depot the driving force behind its popularity?

In this review, I break down the pros and cons of Behr paint. After painting with it for over ten years, I’ll explain:

  • The differences between each Behr paint line
  • How it performs (coverage, durability, ease of application)
  • Its downsides
  • How much it costs relative to other brands
  • What the professional painters I interviewed said about Behr
  • And more

So, if you’re planning a paint project and want to know if Behr is good, keep reading.

Use the links below to navigate the review:

  • Paint Lines
  • Volume Solids
  • VOCs
  • Where It Is Sold
  • Colors
  • Price
  • Downsides
  • What Professional Painters Say About Behr
  • What Other Experts Say
  • Bottom Line: Is Behr a Good Paint?

Paint Lines

Behr offers an extensive range of paint products that cater to various needs and preferences. With four primary paint lines and a range of specialty paints, there’s a formula for every project.

Is Behr Paint Good? In-Depth Review After 10+ Years (1)

Here is a breakdown of each Behr paint line.

Interior paints:

Premium Plus: Premium Plus is Behr’s most affordable paint line. It’s a paint and primer in one with low VOCs and low odor. This stain-resistant paint provides solid coverage and a scrub-resistant finish, which is excellent for areas that tend to get messy, like a kitchen or entryway. Premium Plus is available in five sheens: flat, eggshell enamel, satin enamel, semi-gloss enamel, and hi-gloss enamel. It is also available in a ceiling variety.

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Ultra Scuff Defense: Advertised as Behr’s too-tough-to-scuff option, the Ultra Scuff Defense line is highly durable and protective of walls in high-traffic areas like hallways. It’s one step up from Premium Plus in terms of coverage quality and price. It is available in four sheens: flat, eggshell enamel, satin enamel, and semi-gloss enamel. Another paint and primer option from Behr, the Ultra Scuff Defense, has an impressive one-hour dry time that makes painting projects quick and easy.

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Marquee: Marquee offers a one-coat guarantee on all one-coat hide color collection tints. There are 1,000 of these tints available. It is offered in four finishes: matte, eggshell enamel, satin enamel, and semi-gloss enamel. The matte sheen in the interior Marquee line contains the highest percentage of volume solids of all Behr paints. Until Behr launched its Dynasty line in 2021, Marquee was its best-performing (and most expensive) paint.

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Dynasty: Behr came out with Dynasty in 2021 to compete with premium paints like Benjamin Moore Aura and Sherwin Williams Emerald. Similarly to Marquee, Dynasty offers a one-coat guarantee on all one-coat hide color collection tints. It is praised for its high degree of stain-repellent qualities and scuff resistance. Dynasty is available in four sheens: matte, eggshell enamel, satin enamel, and semi-gloss enamel.

Is Behr Paint Good? In-Depth Review After 10+ Years (5)

Exterior paints:

Premium Plus: Outdoors, the Premium Plus line acts similarly to its interior counterpart. This product offers all climate protection along with moisture, fading, and stain resistance. You can use it on wood, vinyl, fiber cement sidings, stucco, brick, masonry, or fences.

Ultra: The Ultra exterior line works well in low-temperature applications. It is a versatile paint and primer in one product that supports long-term mildew resistance and durability. It’s available in flat, satin enamel, and semi-gloss enamel sheens. Use Ultra on cleaned, coated, or uncoated exterior surfaces like wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiber cement siding, metals, brick, masonry, stucco, steel, and fences.

Marquee: Marquee’s exterior line boasts a one-coat coverage guarantee on over 700 exterior tints. It also provides exceptional adhesion on chalky outdoor surfaces and can resist rain as soon as 60 minutes after application. Marquee can be used on almost all exterior surfaces except floors.

Dynasty: The Dynasty line stands apart from the other exterior lines with its 10-year color fade protection plan. This protection only applies to colors in the exterior color fade protection palette. Low-temperature application and early rain resistance mean you can use it in any season. It is available in flat, satin, and semi-gloss sheens. Like Marquee, it can be applied on almost all exterior surfaces except floors.

Behr also offers several specialty paint lines for specific project needs. You can buy specialty Behr paint for:

  • Cabinets, doors, and trim
  • Masonry, stucco, and brick
  • Barn and fence projects
  • Roof projects

Specialty oil-based paint, alkyd paint, and concrete and masonry waterproofers are also available.

Volume Solids

Volume solids refer to the proportion of solid components (pigment and binders) present in paint after it has dried.

The higher the percentage of volume solids, the thicker the dried paint film will be. More volume solids typically result in better coverage and increased durability. Essentially, it provides more bang for your brush stroke — more pigment and binder per coat means you may need fewer coats to achieve your desired coverage and finish.

The tables below show the volume solids percentage of each Behr paint by finish. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from each in terms of thickness and coverage.

As you can see, Behr Marquee and Dynasty, the brand’s two premium lines, have more volume solids than their more affordable lines, Premier Plus and Ultra.

Interior Volume Solids

Flat/MatteEggshellSatinSemi-GlossHigh-Gloss
Behr Premium Plus43%41%39%35%33%
Behr Ultra Scuff Defense44%38%40%37%N/A
Behr Marquee46%45%42%41%N/A
Behr Dynasty43%42%42%40%N/A

Exterior Volume Solids

FlatSatinSemi-GlossHigh-Gloss
Behr Premium Plus40%36%35%33%
Behr Ultra45%37%35%N/A
Behr Marquee45%41%39%N/A
Behr Dynasty45%38%37%N/A

Knowing Behr’s volume solids is helpful, but how does it stack up against other major brands like Valspar, Glidden, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore?

To help you compare, I’ve put together the table below that lays out the volume solids percentages of these brands side by side.

As you can see, Behr Marquee and Dynasty interior paints have higher volume solids than some premium (and much more expensive) competing brands, including Sherwin-Williams Emerald. And Behr Marquee exterior paint is within 1 or 2 points of Aura, Benjamin Moore’s top-tier paint line.

FlatEggshellSatinSemi-Gloss
Valspar Signature (interior)46%43%36%37%
Glidden Premium (interior)39%36%35%34%
Sherwin-Williams Emerald (interior)41%N/A40%37%
Benjamin Moore Aura (interior)N/A48%42%40%
Valspar Duramax (exterior)39%N/A48%40%
Glidden Premium (exterior)36%N/A32%31%
Sherwin-Williams Emerald (exterior)42%N/A39%N/A
Benjamin Moore Aura (exterior)46%N/A40%38%

VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are part of the solvent elements of paint. These compounds react with and evaporate into the air when the paint dries.

VOCs can be harmful, causing dizziness and headaches when inhaled. They are why you should always paint in a well-ventilated area. Paint with a maximum of 250 grams per liter (g/l) is designated low-VOC paint, while paint with five or fewer grams per liter is considered no-VOC paint.

Evidence shows that long-term exposure to VOCs can increase your risk of developing chronic conditions like asthma, allergies, or even more severe diseases like cancer.

Besides paint, you can find VOCs in other household products, like cleaners and adhesives.

VOCs can remain in the air for up to six months after application, so I recommend low or zero-VOC paints when possible.

Fortunately, all Behr paints are considered low-VOC, with Behr’s Premium Plus Interior qualifying as zero-VOC. The table below shows VOC levels for each Behr line.

Is Behr Paint Good? In-Depth Review After 10+ Years (6)
Interior Paint VOCs (g/l)Exterior Paint VOCs (g/l)
Behr Premium Plus<5 g/l<50 g/l
Behr Ultra<50 g/l<50 g/l
Behr Marquee<50 g/l<50 g/l
Behr Dynasty<50 g/l<50 g/l

Since research has emerged about the dangers of VOCs, nearly all paint brands offer low-VOC formulas, and many have at least one zero-VOC paint.

So Behr is doing the right thing by reducing their VOC levels, but its approach to health and safety isn’t unique.

Here’s a quick look at the VOC levels in several other paint brands:

Interior Paint VOCs (g/l)Exterior Paint VOCs (g/l)
Valspar Signature< 50N/A
Benjamin Moore Aura< 546
Glidden Premium< 5< 50
Sherwin-Williams Emerald< 50< 50

Where It Is Sold

Behr paints have been sold exclusively at The Home Depot since 1978, when the partnership was established.

You can purchase Behr products in-store at any of the 2000+ Home Depot locations across North America or HomeDepot.com.

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You can start a purchase on Behr.com, but ultimately, it will redirect you to HomeDepot.com to finish.

Although its partnership with Home Depot makes Behr paint widely accessible, there’s one downside.

Home Depot, being a broad home improvement store, might not offer the same level of paint-specific advice as a dedicated paint store like Sherwin-Williams or an independent paint dealer.

The painting advice at Home Depot can vary depending on the expertise of the employees present at the time.

Colors

Behr boasts an extensive selection of colors. Fifty-nine colors make up the Behr Express color wheel, showcasing consumers’ most popular choices. And over 1,000 are included in the Behr Marquee and Dynasty One-Coat Hide Color Collection.

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In addition to the hundreds of color options, Behr provides handy online tools to help you pick the right ones.

Here’s a quick overview of their color-exploration resources.

ColorSmart Color Visualizer: Are you interested in seeing what a color would look like in a particular room? Check out Behr’s ColorSmart Color Visualizer. Upload a photo of the room you want to paint, and Behr’s color visualizer will allow you to virtually paint that room with any color in their catalog. If you prefer to use a generic room, Behr provides a series of sample rooms in a typical house so you can apply the colors for inspiration.

Pins to Palettes: For the DIYers with a Pinterest board full of ideas, Behr helps take the guesswork out of color matching with Pins to Palettes. This tool integrates with Pinterest to pull colors from your favorite pins and build a custom palette.

Color Discovery: Are you looking for recommendations? Behr’s Color Discovery tool is the perfect solution for you. An easy three-step questionnaire asks you to identify 1) the room you want to paint, 2) what mood you’re looking for, and 3) the style of the room. It then suggests a color to suit your vision.

Price

Behr is a more affordable paint brand than high-end brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and Farrow and Ball.

Behr’s pricing aligns closely with that of Valspar, its primary competitor. Valspar is available exclusively at Lowe’s, Home Depot’s main rival.

For example, Behr’s lowest-cost line, Premium Plus Interior, costs $29 per gallon. Similar competing paints are Valspar Ultra, Sherwin-Williams Captivate, and Benjamin Moore ben, which cost $37, $45, and $54 per gallon, respectively.

Ultra is Behr’s mid-range line, listed between $40 and $50 per gallon, depending on the finish.

Behr’s most expensive interior line, Dynasty, costs around $60 per gallon. The pricing is similar to high-end options like Valspar Reserve at $56 but significantly less than Sherwin-Williams Emerald at $86 and Benjamin Moore Aura at $99.

You can view the prices of all Behr paints on HomeDepot.com.

Downsides

Behr paint is generally well-regarded, but like all paints, it has downsides. Before investing in several gallons of Behr for a major project, here are a few things to consider.

Difficult to Apply

A frequent criticism of Behr paint, especially their Marquee and Dynasty lines, is its excessive thickness. Getting even coverage takes significantly more effort, so your paint job might take longer than you anticipate. Pay special attention to your corners to make sure the product spreads evenly.

Requires Additional Coats

While Behr Marquee and Dynasty paints are marketed as providing “one-coat hide,” many customers report needing multiple coats to achieve true color and coverage, especially when painting over dark colors.

Also, since these products are thicker than others, it may take additional coats to even out a patchy job on the first pass.

Durability Issues

There have been enough complaints in the marketplace that make durability a downside worth mentioning. Behr paint is advertised as highly scuff-resistant but can lose its finish if you need to scrub it. This is more of an issue with Behr’s budget line Premium Plus.

Color Matching

Some customers have reported issues with color matching when they need more paint for a project. This can lead to inconsistencies in color across a painted surface if additional cans are needed partway through a project.

Limited Availability

Although Behr is available in over 2,000 Home Depot stores, that’s the only place to buy it. If you don’t have a Home Depot in your area, you’ll be unable to purchase Behr paints.

Higher Cost for Professional Painters

While Behr is priced competitively for individual homeowners or DIY enthusiasts, it can be a more expensive option for professional painters. Other brands, such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore, often offer volume discounts for professionals, which Behr does not. So, while the initial price may seem lower, the overall cost for professionals may actually be higher with Behr.

What Professional Painters Say About Behr Paint

I contacted several professional painters to get a broader perspective on this topic. When I spoke to each painter, I asked:

  • What do you like about Behr paint?
  • What do you dislike about Behr paint?

Surprisingly, the feedback I received was all over the place. Some painters said Behr is excellent, while others warned me to avoid it. Here are direct quotes from the painters.

Andre Kazimierski, the CEO of Improovy Painters St. Louis, said, “I’ve used Behr paint fairly regularly and find that it’s a reliable choice for home improvement projects. Behr has a high-quality formulation with great coverage and professional-looking results. It’s also durable, both indoors and outdoors, making it a reliable option for homeowners looking for a long-lasting paint solution. It resists fading, chipping, and peeling (within reason).”

When I asked if he’s encountered any issues with Behr, he said, “We have found that Behr’s drying time is a bit long, especially in high humidity or low temperatures. This can create trouble when you’re painting on a tight schedule. However, for me, the benefits of Behr paint absolutely outweigh the costs.”

Chris Jordan, the owner of Boise Home Painting, did not mince his words when he expressed his dislike for Behr. He said, “Behr paint is terrible for contractors. We use Sherwin-Williams paint because it comes with a lifetime warranty. Behr’s warranty isn’t as good. Also, Behr has low-quality solids, the coverage is worse, and it’s more expensive than other paints.”

Phi Dang, the owner of Newline Painting in Melbourne, Australia, said, “Behr Premium Plus can cover up old colors and imperfections well in just one or two coats, which saves us time and resources. Also, the paint’s durability has proven to withstand regular wear and tear in high-traffic areas.”

When I asked about Behr’s downsides, he said, “Behr paint’s drying time is slightly longer than other brands we’ve used, and this longer drying time can potentially delay project timelines. Also, while Behr offers a solid range of colors, we’ve experienced slight variances in color consistency across different batches of the same shade. This hasn’t been a significant issue but does require careful mixing and attention to detail during application.”

Lastly, I spoke with Jay Sanders, the owner of Castle Dream Construction based in Baltimore, Maryland. He said, “For the premium price you pay for BEHR paint, you expect a quality product, but I personally don’t think it is worth the extra money.”

He also mentioned, “When I’ve used Behr, I needed double the amount of paint, often needing multiple layers to achieve the desired coverage. The quality of the paint isn’t bad, but I prefer paint that needs less than two coats for full coverage. Also, both times I used gray BEHR paint, the tint was off when it dried, leaving the wall an odd shade of lavender. After the second time, I began recommending a different brand, especially for shades of gray.”

What Other Experts Say

Now that you know what professional painters say about Behr paint, let’s review how the brand has performed in tests by independent outlets.

Good Housekeeping named Behr Marquee Advanced Stain-Blocking Paint and Primer the best overall interior paint. The judging panel cited its smooth finish, quick drying time, stain and scuff resistance, and one-coat coverage as attributes that set it apart from competitors.

Behr snagged two titles with Bob Vila on its round-up of best interior paints. The best for kitchen and bath went to Behr Premium Plus Interior Satin Enamel, and the best for ceilings went to Behr Ultra Stain-Blocking Ceiling Paint. Premium Plus was praised for its smooth finish, excellent coverage, and affordability. Ultra was celebrated for its low VOC, odorless smell, and smooth finish.

Country Living, another publication compiling a best interior paints list, highlighted two Behr lines among its top 10: Behr Marquee and Behr Premium Plus. Marquee was awarded best coverage, while Premium Plus won best zero-VOC paint. Country Living highlighted Marquee’s value in the 100% coverage guarantee and Premium Plus’ low odor and mildew resistance.

The Spruce focused on exterior paints for its top picks compilation. Behr’s Premium Plus Exterior came in best overall, and Behr’s Masonry and Brick Paint took the title for best on stucco. The team at the Spruce loved Premium Plus’ quick dry time, low-temperature application, and generous coverage. They appreciated the Masonry and Brick Paint’s 20-year guarantee, mildew resistance, and color selection.

Insider flagged Behr Premium Plus as the best exterior paint overall, citing excellent durability, versatility on various surfaces, and clean and even finish. They mentioned the product is great for worn or damaged surfaces and is particularly good at covering rust.

Bottom Line: Is Behr a Good Paint?

You now know the pros and cons of Behr paint, but the question remains:

Is Behr paint good? Is it worth using in your home?

Behr has been among the most popular paint brands for decades, especially among homeowners and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. I’ve personally used it to paint several interior rooms in my house as well as my porch and front door, and it performs as advertised.

It goes smoothly and covers well, and the Ultra, Marquee, and Dynasty lines can withstand intense scrubbing. The relatively high volume solid, low VOC levels, and fair prices make it an excellent value.

So, yes, Behr is good-quality paint. But it’s not without flaws.

The Marquee and Dynasty lines are thick, making them difficult to apply and clean out of brushes, and the Premium Plus line is notorious for fading and lack of washability. Unlike Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, which are both highly regarded by professional painters, opinions about Behr are mixed. Some pros consider Behr a good-quality paint, while others say to avoid it.

Bottom line — if you’re looking for affordable paint and live near a Home Depot, Behr is a reliable brand.

If you choose Behr, go with Behr Ultra, Marquee, or Dynasty. The Premium Plus line is the cheapest but the worst performing. It’s suitable for rentals or if you’re preparing your home to sell, but it won’t last as long and requires at least two (sometimes three) coats to cover the colors underneath fully.

Read my comparisons of Behr versus Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, Valspar, PPG, and Glidden to learn more.

Related Topics

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  • Behr Ultra vs. Marquee Paint: What’s the Difference?
  • Which Behr Paint Line Is the Best? (With Comparison Chart)
  • Behr Dynasty vs. Marquee: Which Premium Paint Is Better?
  • Behr vs. Benjamin Moore: Which Paint Is Better?
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  • Glidden Diamond vs. Premium: Key Differences Explained
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Is Behr Paint Good? In-Depth Review After 10+ Years (2024)
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