Are you preparing for a painting project but not sure whether to use Behr or Benjamin Moore?
Behr is sold exclusively at Home Depot and is marketed as premium paint for DIYers, while Benjamin Moore is a go-to brand for professional painters.
But which paint is right for you? Besides marketing, what are the key differences?
In this comparison of Behr vs. Benjamin Moore, I break down the pros, cons, and details about each brand.
- What types of paint and colors are available
- Where you can buy it
- How much it costs
- The reputation of each brand
- What experts think
- And much more
By the end, you’ll have enough facts to choose the best paint for your project.
Use the links below to navigate this comparison:
- Paint Offerings
- Where It Is Sold
- What Experts at Home Depot and Benjamin Moore Authorized Retailers Say
- What Others Are Saying
- Bottom Line: Should You Use Behr or Benjamin Moore?
Behr and Benjamin Moore both offer a variety of interior, exterior, and specialty paints.
Behr features streamlined offerings with three distinct paint lines: Premium Plus (low VOC, most affordable), Ultra (mid-range, excellent scuff- and stain-defense), Marquee (best coverage, highest cost).
Benjamin Moore’s selection is more nuanced. For example, it offers dozens of interior paints.
Here’s a quick breakdown of Behr and Benjamin Moore’s most popular paints.
Behr Premium Plus® Interior/Exterior ($): This low-cost formula offers good coverage, durability, a washable finish, and easy application. Two coats are recommended for the best coverage. The interior paint is GREENGUARD Gold Certified, low-VOC, and low odor. It’s also stain- and scrub-resistant. The exterior formula resists stains, moisture, and fading in direct sunlight.
Behr Ultra® Interior/Exterior ($$): This formula is designed for high-traffic areas. It’s stain- and scuff-resistant, easy to clean, and durable enough to withstand the busiest areas of your home. Two coats are recommended for the best coverage. The interior version is GREENGUARD Gold Certified, features built-in primer, and is resistant to mildew. The exterior version boasts a mildew-resistant finish and guards against fading and moisture. Ultra is more expensive than Premium Plus but cheaper than Marquee.
Behr Marquee® Interior/Exterior ($$$): This Behr’s most premium and expensive paint. It delivers the best coverage and comes with a One-Coat Guarantee. In other words, if you need a second coat to cover the surface you’re painting, Behr will give you a refund (specific colors are excluded from this offer, so read the fine print for details). The interior formula blocks stains and is just as durable as Behr Ultra. The exterior formula is made to last, keep its color, and endure cleaning without paint degradation.
Most paint brands sell paint and primer separately, but all Behr products are paint and primer combos. It’s part of what makes this brand unique.
Benjamin Moore Paints
Benjamin Moore offers a wide range of interior, exterior, and specialty paints, plus professional paint for commercial spaces.
Below are the most popular choices for residential paint jobs.
Benjamin Moore ben® Interior/Exterior ($): A user-friendly paint for the budget-conscious consumer. This paint and primer formula is designed to go on quickly with a smooth finish. The interior paint boasts zero VOCs and low odor. The exterior version can handle rain within two hours of application without degrading.
Benjamin Moore Regal® Select Interior/Exterior ($$): This formula features a smooth application, includes paint and primer, and is perfect for ceilings and moderate traffic areas in the home.
Benjamin Moore ADVANCE® Interior ($$): This formula combines paint and primer and offers a high-end finish. It is ideal for trim, doors, and cabinets. The paint is easy to apply, provides excellent adhesion, and can be sanded between coats.
Benjamin Moore Eco Spec® Interior ($$$): This is Benjamin Moore’s greenest formula: zero VOCs, zero emissions, Green Seal Certified, and certified asthma- and allergy-friendly.
Benjamin Moore Eco Spec® WB Silver Interior ($$$): This is the Eco Spec® formula infused with silver and other additives to fight microbes and mildew.
Benjamin Moore Aura® Interior/Exterior ($$$$): This is Benjamin Moore’s most premium and expensive paint line. It’s a paint and primer combo with proprietary Color Lock® technology for lasting, true color. The interior formula is durable, can endure washing, and boasts low odor and zero VOCs. The exterior formula is just as long-lasting and stands up to harsh weather.
Benjamin Moore Aura® Grand Entrance Interior/Exterior ($$$$): This formula can be used indoors or outside for doors and trim. It’s easy to apply and has excellent color retention and fade resistance.
Both brands offer multiple finishes, from flat or matte to semi- or high-gloss.
Overall, Benjamin Moore offers more paint options, including specialty paints for specific jobs.
Behr has a sufficient product offering to cover you in most situations, but Benjamin Moore is the top choice for commercial projects or unique applications like glazed, metallic, or faux finishes.
Where It Is Sold
Another major difference between Behr and Benjamin Moore is where you can buy it.
Behr is sold exclusively at Home Depot (in-store or on HomeDepot.com). That partnership has been in place since the 1970s.
Benjamin Moore paint is sold at Benjamin Moore stores, ACE Hardware (and AceHardware.com), and select independent hardware stores.
Use the store locators from Behr and Benjamin Moore to find the closest Home Depot or Benjamin Moore retailer.
When it comes to colors, both brands offer a wide range of options. Behr offers over 1,000 colors, and Benjamin Moore boasts more than 3,500.
While some options may look similar, always select the color after you’ve chosen the brand.
Both brands also offer a collection of online tools to help you choose the perfect color for your paint project.
Behr features an online color studio, which allows you to browse all colors and color tools. Its most popular resource is the Behr Visualizer, a tool that lets you paint a room virtually with Behr colors.
Benjamin Moore has a similar tool called the Personal Color Viewer. While Behr has preloaded images of rooms to paint, with Benjamin Moore’s color tool, you have a choice of using preloaded images or uploading a photo of the room or object you wish to paint.
Overall, both brands offer a wide range of colors and support to help you pick the best option for your specific paint project.
While Behr and Benjamin Moore are both considered higher-end paint brands, Benjamin Moore costs more than Behr in general.
The actual price varies by paint line and finish. For example, Benjamin Moore Aura is more expensive than Benjamin Moore Ben, and Behr Marquee is pricier than Behr Premium Plus.
Also, glossier finishes are more expensive than flat or matte finishes.
Click the links in the chart below to compare current prices of Behr’s and Benjamin Moore’s most popular paint offerings:
|Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Interior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Ultra Stain Blocking Exterior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Premium Plus Interior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Premium Plus Exterior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Marquee Interior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Marquee Exterior||HomeDepot.com|
|Benjamin Moore Aura Interior||AceHardware.com|
|Benjamin Moore Ben Interior||AceHardware.com|
|Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior||AceHardware.com|
|Benjamin Moore Ben Exterior||AceHardware.com|
|Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior||AceHardware.com|
What Experts at Home Depot and Benjamin Moore Retailers Say
One of the most interesting aspects of paint is that everyone has a different opinion about which brand is the best.
Some people swear by Benjamin Moore, while others claim Behr is just as good at half the price.
I called the paint department at several Home Depot stores and Benjamin Moore retailers to get opinions from the experts.
I asked each expert the same simple question: what is the difference between Behr and Benjamin Moore?
Expert Feedback From The Home Depot
The paint experts at The Home Depot mentioned that the performance ultimately depends on which paint line you compare, but Behr and Benjamin Moore offer similar coverage and durability overall.
They mentioned that Benjamin Moore markets to professionals while Behr markets towards homeowners, which creates the perception that Benjamin Moore is of higher quality. However, they claim that you won’t notice much of a difference if you test them side-by-side.
Another interesting point the paint experts at The Home Depot suggested was that there’s a good chance you’ll want to change the color in five to seven years, so, in many cases, it’s a waste to buy expensive paints with special additives.
When I asked why most professionals use Benjamin Moore, they said that most people stick to what they’re used to, and Benjamin Moore has done an excellent job getting its product in the hands of pro painters.
The overall sentiment I got from speaking with Home Depot is that Behr is on par with Benjamin Moore in terms of coverage and durability, but it’s a much better value.
Expert Feedback From Benjamin Moore Retailers
When I spoke with experts at several Benjamin Moore retailers, I got a different story.
Although they agreed that the performance, durability, and overall quality vary by paint line, they claimed that Behr and Benjamin Moore aren’t even in the same category.
They said Behr is a low-cost paint for homeowners who don’t care if they have to repaint a few years later. They continued by saying that if I wanted to compare Benjamin Moore to a similar-performing brand, I should look at Sherwin-Williams.
At Ace Hardware in Canton, Massachusetts, the paint expert said, if the price is a concern, Benjamin Moore has affordable options, such as its Benjamin Moore ben paint line. He admitted that every job doesn’t require Benjamin Moore Aura, which is their most expensive paint, running around $80 per gallon.
I also spoke with a paint expert at Babel’s in Needham, Massachusetts, another authorized Benjamin Moore retailer. He said that Behr and other brands, such as Valspar, design their products around low prices. In contrast, Benjamin Moore aims to create the best-performing paint and prices it accordingly.
When I asked the expert at Babel’s if Benjamin Moore is really worth twice as much as Behr in some cases, he claimed that Benjamin Moore is one of the best paints you can buy. It has superior coverage and scrubbability and features a tight film, so there is no place for dirt or stains to stick. He also mentioned that it goes on smooth, unlike Behr Marquee which is thick and notoriously challenging to work with.
He said that customers often come into the store who’ve used Behr, Valspar, Glidden, and other lower-cost paints and complain that they need to recoat their walls after only 3 to 5 years. A Benjamin Moore interior paint job should last at least ten years, but it can last even longer.
A Note on Customer Service
Although the experts are inherently biased toward the brands they sell, one thing was abundantly clear: the Benjamin Moore retailers offer superior service.
I had to call ten different Home Depots to find a few that had an informed opinion on the difference between Behr and Benjamin Moore. Most people I spoke with said they weren’t familiar with Benjamin Moore or that the only difference is the price.
On the other hand, the experts at the Benjamin Moore retailer are genuine experts. They not only seemed more excited about the topic, but they were much more helpful and insightful.
Each of my conversations lasted over ten minutes, and they not only answered my questions but walked me through the pros and cons of different options and things to consider when buying paint.
The point is, if you decide to buy Benjamin Moore, you can expect more personal and helpful service than you’d get at Home Depot, and that’s important when you’re investing in a large paint project.
What Others Are Saying
Now that you know what experts at Home Depot and Benjamin Moore paint stores have to say, let’s hear from paint pros, independent product reviewers, and DIY’ers.
On professional paint forums, Behr gets mixed reviews. The overall sentiment is that it is too expensive for the results it yields.
With Behr, pros either love it or hate it; there is no middle ground. They tend to love the color selection, quick drying time, and built-in primer. They hate the thickness of the formulas, complain about adhesion, and note inconsistent finish results across multiple cans.
Reviews on Behr.com and HomeDepot.com are favorable. They highlight the excellent finish, ease of application, and great defense against scuff marks. Negative reviews are centered around paint thickness and coverage issues.
Consumer Affairs reviews of Behr paint are overwhelmingly positive. Users like the color options, fade resistance, and inclusion of primer in the formula. Most complaints were about price, needing multiple coats, and an inconsistent look after the paint dries.
Good Housekeeping features a research arm known as the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. The Institute reviewed Behr Premium Plus Interior Paint and praised its stain and fading resistance, particularly in direct sunlight. It fell short in coverage, needing more than one coat to get the job done. It also produced spatter during application.
The Spruce named Behr Premium Plus Exterior Paint and Primer in One as the Best Overall in a recent list of the best exterior paints. Of note was the paint’s resistance to moisture, mildew, stains, and fading. The formula also got bonus points for its GREENGUARD Gold certification, low-VOC formula, and ease of cleaning. Yet, even with primer in the formula, a second coat was required for even coverage.
Consumer Reports tested three Behr paints: Behr Marquee Interior, Behr Ultra Exterior, and Behr Premium Plus. Testers gave Behr Marquee Interior the highest rating of the three for its superior ability to hide previous paint and excellent stain resistance. Behr Ultra Exterior and Behr Premium Plus had similar ratings regarding resistance to fading, cracking, and mildew, but Behr Premium Plus held up longer over time even without the built-in dirt resistance of Behr Ultra.
Business Insider chose Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Paint and Primer in One as the Best Exterior Paint Overall. The paint holds up over time and is versatile enough to coat multiple surfaces from walls to wood and even rusted metal. It boasts an even finish, but it is more costly than other brands.
Behr Premium Plus Ultra Pure White Eggshell Paint and Primer in One was named the Best Overall in a list of top interior paints by Business Insider. Calling it “one of the most solid options of the market,” Business Insider reviewers praised the paint for its low VOCs, durability in high-traffic areas, quick drying time, and resistance to mildew, stains, and fading. It’s the most affordable option in the Behr paint family, but the review notes that you will need more than one coat for full coverage.
Consumer Affairs reviews of Benjamin Moore are mostly favorable. The main likes are its longevity and the durability of the finish, quality colors that don’t fade, and coverage. The dislikes include the paint being too thick, the cost, and inconsistencies in the finish.
The Good Housekeeping Institute reviewed the performance of Benjamin Moore Regal Select Paint and Benjamin Moore Aura Paint and gave both formulas a five-star rating. The low VOC paints both exhibited “superior coverage” and an excellent finish. The reviewers noted that Regal Select could take a beating and still look good and that it was easy to clean without degrading the finish. Aura went on smoothly with one-coat coverage over black and white surfaces, held up over time, and was also easy to clean (they tested stains like coffee and crayon).
The New York Times Wirecutter chose Benjamin Moore Regal Select as the Best Interior Paint. It earned this designation after 30 hours of research and talking with professional painters about 55 interior paints. Wirecutter researchers also spent time using the product and reported that it was easy to apply by brush or roll, had low to no splatter, and presented an even finish when dry.
Good Housekeeping recently named the top interior colors for rooms. Both Behr and Benjamin Moore paint colors made the list and were top choices for several home scenarios:
- Best Overall — Benjamin Moore Regal Select
- Best Value — Benjamin Moore ben
- Best for Laundry Rooms — Behr Premium Plus
- Best for Covering Old Paint — Behr Marquee
Good Housekeeping reported that Regal Select offers ease of application, lasting coverage, and increased durability. The reviewers also shared that ben®, a paint and primer blend, offers good value for the quality you get and features zero VOCs. Behr Premium Plus® exhibited excellent stain and fade resistance and boasts built-in mildew resistance, making it perfect for damp areas. Behr Marquee® has coverage that is tough to beat.
For DIY projects, The Spruce named the 10 Best Paints for Interior Walls. Behr Premium Plus Ultra Pure White garnered the honor of Best White. The low-odor formula presented a pure white finish, glided on easily, covered existing paint well, and resisted mildew. Benjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint Ultra Flat was chosen as Best for Ceilings. It was praised for hiding imperfections, resisting splatter and gravitational drips, and “leaving a virtually flawless finished appearance.”
Behr and Benjamin Moore made the 12 Best Interior Paint Brands list by Pro Crew Schedule. While Behr Marquee was pointed out for being costly, it was praised for its covering ability, zero VOCs, and stain resistance. Benjamin Moore Regal Select Waterborne is high quality and fits into the average budget.
Real Simple named Behr and Benjamin Moore as two of the Absolute Best Paint Brands for Interiors. They highlighted Benjamin Moore’s longevity and popularity and Behr’s overall value.
Bob Vila also chose Behr and Benjamin Moore as two of the Best Interior Paints for Home Improvement Projects. The home improvement site selected Benjamin Moore Regal Select as the top choice, citing accolades from The Wirecutter and noting its resistance to stains, fading, and mildew. It’s a paint choice that is easy to clean, dries fast, and leaves a beautiful finish. Behr Premium Plus and Behr Alkyd Enamel were also in the top five list. Both were lauded for low odor formulas, great coverage, and fast drying time.
MoneyTalksNews interviewed homeowners about the best paint brands, and the response was overwhelming: Behr and Benjamin Moore paints are the top choices for interior and exterior paint. In fact, they both placed in the top three.
Bottom Line: Should You Use Behr or Benjamin Moore?
Now that you know how Behr and Benjamin Moore compare, which paint is better?
Let’s recap the main differences before you decide:
- Behr and Benjamin Moore both offer interior and exterior paint for most scenarios, but Benjamin Moore has more commercial and specialty paint offerings than Behr.
- You can purchase Behr at Home Depot or HomeDepot.com. Benjamin Moore is sold at Benjamin Moore stores, ACE Hardware, specialty hardware stores, and there is limited stock on Amazon.
- Benjamin Moore boasts more color options than Behr, but both have similar color selection tools and support to help you choose the right color.
- Overall, Benjamin Moore paints are more expensive than Behr paints.
- Paint experts at The Home Depot claim there’s no significant difference in the brands, but experts at Benjamin Moore retailers insist that Behr’s only advantage is its lower price.
- Overall, both brands have a solid reputation, but Benjamin Moore often comes out on top for its superior coverage and durability.
So, which paint is better?
Based on my personal experience and the opinions of trusted experts, I recommend Benjamin Moore. Regardless of the paint line you choose, with Benjamin Moore, you know you’re getting high-quality, long-lasting paint. Plus, the people selling it have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through all the options.
If you’re concerned about the higher price, consider Benjamin Moore’s ben line. It’s a low-cost option that gets excellent reviews.
Behr is more affordable at first glance but may end up costing more if you have to use multiple coats. If you go with Behr, I highly recommend choosing Behr Ultra or Marquee. The Premium Plus line is suitable for rentals or if you’re preparing your home to sell, but it won’t last as long as the others.
The bottom line is that both Behr and Benjamin Moore are solid options, but the choice comes down to your budget and needs.
To learn more, check out Behr and Benjamin Moore’s complete lineup at the links below:
- Valspar vs. Benjamin Moore Paint: What’s the Difference?
- Behr vs. Sherwin-Williams: Which Paint Is Better?
- Behr vs. Valspar: Which Paint Is Better?
- Behr Premium Plus vs. Marquee Paint: What’s the Difference?
- Behr Ultra vs. Marquee Paint: What’s the Difference?
- Glidden vs. Behr: Which Paint Is Better?
- Benjamin Moore Regal Select vs. Aura: What’s the Difference?
- Interior vs. Exterior Paint: Can You Use Interior Paint Outside?
- Satin vs. Semi-Gloss Polyurethane: What’s the Difference?