Benjamin Moore Vs. Behr: Which Paint Is Better?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. With a little bit of time and a gallon of paint, you can transform the way that a room looks. It is a great alternative to performing costly renovations that can run into thousands of dollars.

Behr and Benjamin Moore are two of the most well-known paint brands on the market today. They are both of great quality, but which is the better choice? Benjamin Moore offers the best overall paint but Behr tends to deliver the better overall value. For those with a budget, Behr would be the better option. Those with more financial flexibility may find that Benjamin Moore delivers higher quality.

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What Makes for a High-Quality Paint?

Before we get into a comparison of the two major paint makers, it is important to know what comprises quality paint in the first place. The most expensive and predominant pigment within paint is titanium dioxide.

Titanium dioxide is a white powder but it has the ability to hide quite well. Some of the best paints on the market have a high percentage of titanium dioxide. You will find talc, silica, and clay in both low- and high-quality paints, though they tend to be more prevalent in the former.

In short, high-quality paints have more resins in them. These resins are sometimes known as binders and they help the paint stick. When a paint sticks better, it tends to be more difficult to pull up and will last longer as a whole.

Benjamin Moore vs. Behr

There are other well-known manufacturers out there but these are among the most recognizable. That is because they both offer a diverse array of paints. So, what are the differences between the two? What separates them from one another?

Here is what you need to know about both before making your next purchase. Consider this your paint guide.

An Overview of Benjamin Moore

You can’t find Benjamin Moore paint at just about any of the major home improvement and paint stores out there. They are only sold through owner-operated stores. They have three common offerings: flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss. These offerings are designed for both commercial and residential projects. They are also splatter-resistant, durable, fast-drying, and easy to spread.

Benjamin Moore also offers a high-end luxury paint that runs somewhere around $50 per can. It covers just about any surface in two coats or fewer. When it fully dries, it has a sheen that is unlike most of the others on the market.

Benjamin Moore’s Aura line is one of the most popular options available. It is particularly great for those who have children. It can be washed over multiple times without fading, perfect if stains, dirt, and grime are a normal part of life.

An Overview of Behr

One of the major limiting factors of Behr is that it is only sold at Home Depot. Given that Home Depot is one of the largest chains for home improvement in the world, that may not be so much of a limitation to some.

Behr also has only three premier products: Behr premium, Plus Ultra, and Behr Marquee. The latter is Behr’s luxury offering, similar to the Aura line that Benjamin Moore puts out. Marquee is quite durable, has great coverage, and is easy to spread.

Behr Premium Plus ultra has a huge array of colors and even allows you to create your own unique color combinations. The only downside is that it may take more than one coat to cover any particular surface. That can mean spending a bit more to paint a space than you would otherwise.


Perhaps the biggest difference is the availability of each. Behr can be found through the Home Depot, one of the largest chain home improvement stores out there. You would be hard-pressed to drive more than a few miles without finding a Home Depot.

On the other hand, Benjamin Moore is only sold through their owner-operated stores. Those stores are not nearly as frequent as Home Depot locations and could present challenges in terms of selection between the two.

The one major benefit of going to a Benjamin Moore location is that they will be much more informed on the product as that’s all they sell. Going to Home Depot, the representatives are less likely to know a lot about Behr paint comparatively speaking.


When it comes to their high-end offerings, Behr and Benjamin Moore are quite similar in price. Those offerings come in at around $50 per gallon can. It is with the more traditional offerings that the price differences can show.

Benjamin Moore stores control the pricing of their products. That means less room for deals when it comes to price. Behr being at Home Depot, they could see much steeper price reductions in comparison. If cost is a major factor in your next painting project, Behr may be the better overall choice.


Both make high-quality paint. You really would not go wrong choosing either one of them. That said, there are some differences in quality that can make one stand out above the other. Aside from the cost, quality is the next most important factor.

Benjamin Moore has been shown to be a better performing interior paint than Behr. Consumer Reports even evaluated the two and recommended Benjamin Moore over Behr in most of their categories.

Benjamin Moore tends to be a higher density paint with slightly better adhesion than Behr. The application qualities, though marginally better, are still better. That means a smoother, better coverage compared to Behr.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) refer to the toxins that are most commonly found in paints. Prolonged exposure to these compounds can lead to potential respiratory issues and even contribute to air pollution. In California, for instance, paints cannot have more than 50 grams of VOC’s per liter.

The good news is that most top-rated paints have little or even no VOC’s. That is becoming the norm as well. Benjamin Moore uses no VOC’s in any of their products. Behr uses some, but their colors are low in VOC.

One last thing about VOC to consider is this. If the VOC percentage is higher, it is harder to spread the paint. Not only that, they tend to require more coats to apply, which may turn a cheap paint into a not-so-cheap paint in the end.

Comparing the Different Paint Types

When it comes time to paint, the first question to ask yourself is whether you will need interior or exterior paint. Don’t try to save a little money by using one for the other because the overall quality will most certainly suffer.

That said, there are three different kinds for each: flat, eggshell and satin, and semi-gloss. We’ll break down the differences in those three as well as exterior versus interior paint.

Interior Paint

The main difference, other than one being for indoor use and the other being for outdoor use, is in the durability. Interior paint is durable when it comes to scratches, dings, and other imperfections that can impact the overall look of the finish.

Because of the smoother finish, it is also more resistant to fading, gloss change, mildew, and sticking. You are also less likely to see chipping with interior paint for the same reason.

Exterior Paint

Exterior paint has been graded to stand up against moisture and other weather conditions so as to not fade. That said, it is also less durable in that exterior paint of a lower grade will chip and become susceptible to imperfections over time.

Exterior paints come in a variety of sheens with some being better resistant to color change, dirt, mildew, and cracking.

Flat Paint

Flat paint is the dullest of the three options. But if you are just looking to cover up blemishes and imperfections, it is a great option for cheap. Flat finishes tend to do well in low-traffic areas because they are also the least stain-resistant option out there.

Eggshell and Satin

This type of paint is best for smoother surfaces. That is because the shine can actually accentuate any imperfections that may be on the wall. That said, they are pretty tough and versatile enough to hold up in kids’ rooms, family rooms, and hallways. They are not so durable, however, as to not fade a bit when scrubbed enough. Keep that in mind.


One of the most popular options out there, especially for trim. It is shinier than the previous option and they are also generally one of the easiest types of paint to clean. Depending on which brand you go with, they could potentially fade with enough scrubbing. But they are also very durable, standing up well in homes with children.

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Which is the Better Choice?

When it comes right down to it, both Behr and Benjamin Moore make a quality paint. That is ultimately what you are looking for regardless of price, availability, and volatile organic compounds. Still, those are factors to consider.

Benjamin Moore makes a better overall quality of paint. It adheres to surfaces better, lasts longer, and spreads more easily. The Aura line is popular because it holds up against wear and tear, does not fade easily, and looks great when finished.

That said, Behr may be the better value overall. The difference in cost may be too much to overlook for some. The Ultra line is very similar in nature to Benjamin Moore’s Aura and is great for homes with children. If you are looking to save a bit of money while still getting a high-quality finish, Behr would be the choice.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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