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Behr Ultra vs. Marquee Paint: What’s the Difference?

Are you preparing for a paint job but not sure whether to buy Behr Ultra or Marquee?

Both paints are good quality, affordable, and available at The Home Depot. 

However, there are significant differences you should know before deciding which paint to use.

In this comparison of Behr Ultra vs. Behr Marquee, I break down those differences. You’ll learn how these paints compare in terms of coverage, durability, price, and more.

I also reveal what paint experts have to say about these two options.

So, if you’re getting started on your project and need advice on which Behr paint to use, keep reading.


Use the links below to navigate this comparison:


Coverage

One of the major differences between Behr Ultra and Marquee is coverage.

In the context of painting, coverage refers to how well the paint covers existing paint or stains on your walls. Higher quality paints offer better coverage in fewer coats.

Both Behr Ultra and Behr Marquee are paint and primer in one, but Marquee has a One-Coat Guarantee, while you’ll need two coats with Ultra.

Behr Marquee One Gallon Paint Can

If you use Marquee and one coat doesn’t do the job, you can get a full refund from Behr by contacting customer service.

Some customers report that Marquee can take more coats depending on what you are covering, but the consensus is that Marquee is the best-covering Behr paint.

It’s important to note that Behr Marquee’s One-Coat Guarantee only applies to the One-Coat Color Collection. So, if you’re using the color Ultra Pure White or other lighter colors, you’ll likely need two coats. 

Behr also mentions in the fine print that you’ll need two coats when painting over porous or heavily textured exterior surfaces, woods that contain tannins, and when painting over heavy stains.

Paint that offers excellent coverage, like Behr Marquee, features a high ratio of prime pigments, which improve the color and coverage.

Marquee also includes extender pigments, binders, and liquids.

Extender pigments add body to the paint, and binders hold the pigment to the surface of your walls. Liquids are the vehicle that allows you to take the pigment and binders from the can and apply it to your wall.

While both Behr Ultra and Marquee are good quality, Marquee has a much higher ratio of solids (pigments and binders) to liquids. Therefore, it offers better coverage.

Durability

Both Behr Ultra and Marquee are marketed as long-lasting and durable paints, but this is where Ultra really shines.

Behr Ultra One Gallon Paint Can

While Marquee’s specialty is coverage, Ultra’s is its durability. Behr Ultra is marketed as stain-blocking and scuff-resistant paint. It’s known for holding up well in high-traffic areas like family rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Both paints prevent mildew, and you can wash them without fading.

Price

Another key difference between Behr Marquee and Ultra is price.

Behr Marquee is its premium paint line. Therefore, it’s the most expensive. On the other hand, Ultra is Behr’s mid-tier paint, so it is more affordable than Marquee.

Behr also offers a Premium Plus paint line, which is the cheapest, but it still performs very well. Check out my in-depth comparison of Behr Premium Plus vs. Marquee to learn more.

The price varies based on finish and paint types, so make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

To make it easy for you, I’ve put together the price comparison chart below. 

PaintView Price
Behr Ultra Interior (Eggshell)HomeDepot.com
Behr Ultra Interior (Semi-Gloss)HomeDepot.com
Behr Ultra Exterior (Satin)HomeDepot.com
Behr Ultra Ceiling Paint (Flat)HomeDepot.com
Behr Marquee Interior (Eggshell)HomeDepot.com
Behr Marquee Interior (Semi-Gloss)HomeDepot.com
Behr Marquee Exterior (Satin)HomeDepot.com
Behr Marquee Ceiling Paint (Flat)HomeDepot.com

Finishes

Behr offers flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and hi-gloss finishes.

Flat has virtually no sheen, so it touches up easily, although it’s not the most durable finish. Matte has a minimal sheen, but it cleans easier than flat paint.

Eggshell features a soft velvety appearance, while satin has a sheen similar to satin bed sheets. Both finishes are matte enough to hide imperfections, but they are easy to clean and “pop” off the wall better than matte or flat finishes.

Semi-gloss and hi-gloss are both shinier finishes, with hi-gloss being at the top of the spectrum. These finishes are expressive and hold up very well to cleaning. However, they will show any imperfections in your wall texture.

Both Behr Ultra and Behr Marquee are available in eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss finishes.

The only difference between the offerings is that Behr Ultra is available with a flat finish and Marquee is available in matte.

These finishes are similar, but matte has the faintest sheen to it and will clean easier.

Neither paint is available in the hi-gloss finish. If you want hi-gloss, you’ll need to go with Behr’s other paint line, Premium Plus.

Colors

Behr Ultra and Behr Marquee offer the same color options; there’s no difference between the two.

Behr Ultra versus Marquee colors

Regardless of which Behr paint you choose, you get access to a suite of tools to help you choose the best color for your project.

Behr’s Paint Your Place Visualizer is particularly helpful. This tool allows you to apply colors to rooms using augmented reality. The digitally advanced system helps you imagine how a specific color will look with your space.

The company also offers a Color Discovery Tool that asks you which room(s) you’re painting and the mood you’re looking to achieve ( trendy and stylish, relaxed, bold, functional). Then, it recommends an ideal color palette based on your answers.

What Experts at The Home Depot Say About Behr Ultra vs. Marquee

Since Behr is sold exclusively at The Home Depot, the paint experts employed there should know more than anyone about these two paints.

So, to get their take on Behr Ultra vs. Marquee, I called two local Home Depot’s, and I asked a simple question: What’s the difference between Behr Ultra and Behr Marquee?

I also asked about Behr Premium Plus, which is the brand’s third paint line.

The consensus between both paint experts was that Marquee is top-of-the-line paint, Ultra is one step down, and Premium Plus is the bargain line.

The paint department at the Mansfield, Massachusetts, Home Depot told me that Marquee is the best quality paint that Behr offers. It’s a one-coat paint, offering the best overall coverage and durability.

They also said that Ultra could cover in one coat, but you often need two. Premium Plus is always a two-coat paint.

They said that people typically choose Premium Plus when renting or selling their homes to keep their expenses low.

Besides the affordable price, the main advantage of Premium Plus is that it has the lowest VOCs. However, all Behr paint is considered low-VOC.

Lastly, they told me that Ultra is the only line that includes stain-blockers in its formula.

For a second opinion, I called The Home Depot paint department at the Natick, Massachusetts store.

The representative told me that Behr Premium Plus is good, Ultra is better, and Marquee is the best.

They said Premium Plus is good paint, but it’s not great, and you almost always need two coats (sometimes three).

It’s low-odor and considered a no-VOC paint, but, in reality, it has trace amounts of VOCs.

They mentioned how Behr Ultra has scuff and mildew resistance baked into the formula. That makes it great for moist environments, like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. They also mentioned that it’s the most stain-resistant Behr paint.

The paint department in Natick agreed that Behr Marquee offers the best coverage.

However, they warned me that Behr Marquee is thicker and stickier than most paints, so many customers find it difficult to work with.

They mentioned that Behr Ultra is their most popular paint because it feels like paint that most people are used to, and it falls between Premium Plus and Marquee in the price range — not cheap, but not too expensive.

What Others Are Saying About Behr Ultra and Marquee

You know what the paint departments at The Home Depot think about these two paints, but what is everyone else saying?

What’s Behr Ultra and Marquee’s reputation in the market?

Although both receive high marks, Behr Marquee gets more attention and accolades from media outlets and independent product testers.

Consumer Reports gave Behr Marquee an 89 out of 100, with perfect scores for hiding and staining metrics. In addition, its testing found that Marquee is excellent at covering old colors and is resistant to stains.

Experts at Wirecutter (owned by The New York Times) spoke with several painters, and one recommended Behr Marquee, while another described it as “terrible.” Ultimately, neither Behr Marquee nor Ultra made the list of the Best Interior Paint. Instead, Wirecutter awarded Benjamin Moore Regal, Sherwin-Williams Cashmere, and Benjamin Moore Ben those honors.

Country Living chose Behr Marquee as its Best Coverage pick. The reviewers praised its coverage and stain resistance, although they weren’t thrilled with the price.

Lastly, The Spruce listed Behr Marquee as one of the best one-coat paints, along with Sherwin-Williams Infinity, Pittsburgh Paramount, and Glidden One Coat.

Bottom Line: Should You Use Behr Ultra or Marquee?

Now that you know the differences between Behr Ultra and Marquee paints, it’s time to decide which one is right for you.

Ultra is known for its durability and scuff resistance, while Marquee is lauded for its ability to cover existing colors with a single coat.

Due to its high ratio of solids to liquids, Marquee is thicker, stickier, and more challenging to work with than Ultra. However, that makeup is what results in superior coverage. 

Another significant difference is the price. Marquee is about 50% more expensive than Ultra per gallon (price varies by sheen), which can add up in a large project.

Other than that, the paints are very similar. Both offer excellent coverage and durability, and they are available in the same colors.

Both available in eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss finishes. The only difference is that Ultra is also available in flat and Marquee’s unique finish is matte.

No matter which paint you choose, you’ll be happy with your results. However, if you are worried about stains or scuffs, Ultra is the best value.

If you’re painting over a dark color or want to avoid a second coat, go with Marquee. Even though it’s more expensive than Ultra, the One-Coat Guarantee means you won’t need to use as much paint, which could save you money.

To learn more about Behr Ultra and Marquee, check them out on HomeDepot.com or at your local store.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for over a decade and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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