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Why do we use Trade Paints?

The question we get asked time and time again is “what is the difference between trade paint and those that you can buy at a DIY store?” In answer to this we typically start with the counter question on “if there was no difference why would you get two types of paint?”

I appreciate that this can be countered by discounts, relationships, bulk buying and the final price to trade versus the margin that can then be made.

In reality these arguments do matter to the professional painter and decorator but more important it is their reputation at risk in getting it wrong.

On a recent visit to a prospective client requiring painting and decorating in Edinburgh they clearly stated that they would like to use a particular paint from a particular manufacturer. We gave them the option of the same colour but of a higher quality from the same manufacturer but part of their trade range. Some of the discussion covered the following points and we quoted and won the business. We got a happy customer with a professionally completed job using the right paint for the right conditions after the work was completed.

Consider exterior woodwork and a DIY store guaranteeing 3-years for a wood stain but trade counter paint is available guaranteeing 5 – 7 years before needing redone. The manufacturer obviously has mixed a commercially stable product for both but with a greater hardwearing compound in the trade version. Using the DIY version in an abnormally high weathering area may only last 2-years versus an area away from the prevailing winds and storms may last 4-years. A professional painter and decorator can advise that the paint they are using will last 3-years and longer thus protecting their reputation in providing advice and managing the expectation of the client.

So yes I have hinted at a difference in chemical compound for stability but also the consistency means that the application will often vary which ultimately means the coverage and quantity needed is different. For the professional decorator for a newly plastered surface might apply a base then one further coat which provides an even and consistent finish. The DIY’er with DIY paint will probably need the base and two coats or sometimes three applications. So the more expensive trade paint is often commercially a better option. This is the area where most manufactures will detail where there is a difference between their DIY and trade products.

Opacity is also a consideration, which is the light penetration through paint. This matters when you are considering a colour change. Consider an existing blue wall which is to be painted a magnolia. If a DIY paint is used the likelihood is that after numerous coats and over a period time the blue will show. A good trade paint will require less coats and not deteriorate in the same way.

The next question is what is the right paint for the room, conditions and traffic through an area of your house or office? Have you ever stood in a DIY store and looked at bathroom paint which is maybe options of Crown, Dulux and an own brand that all claim to do the same thing. What if the area is a shower room with a high steam level and condensation that will sit on the paint surface for a period of time? Do you need to have a fungicide component to prevent mould and mildew? The trade options will give you wider choice and different variations on the application, resilience and protection. So again maybe a premium product but fit for purpose. Experience and knowledge will always count for making the right paint choices.

A final point is considering the availability of trade paint has now changed, even some DIY stores have started stocking some brands and types, filling the common gaps where mass produced DIY paint just can’t cover, excuse the pun.

Borthwick Decorators have been trading for nearly 60-years and we have seen the good and the bad with paint manufacture over the years. Trade paint is definitely the right approach and should be your first consideration.

In conclusion DIY paint is a false economy, in our opinion, but if you would like to discuss a specific requirement we are always happy to share some of our extensive knowledge and always willing to learn something new.

We are based in Central Scotland and have teams regularly working in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Stirling. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss a specific area, painting requirement or project you are considering.

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Edinburgh: 0131 235 2733

Glasgow: 0141 374 2733

Stirling: 01786 625 133

Crieff: 01764 484 033

Dundee: 01382 792 133 

Perth: 01738 313 277

Freephone: 0800 772 3973

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