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Glidden Diamond vs. Premium: Key Differences Explained

What’s the difference between Glidden Diamond and Premium? Is Diamond paint worth the higher price?

In this comparison of Glidden Diamond vs. Premium, I explain the similarities and differences and give you helpful tips on choosing.

I also reveal what paint experts say about both paints.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Glidden Diamond vs. Premium: Key Takeaways

If you only have a minute, here’s a quick comparison of Glidden Diamond vs. Premium.

Glidden Premium and Diamond paint on a shelf
Glidden Premium and Diamond paint

Similarities

  • Acrylic Latex Paint: Both are acrylic latex paints, so they’re easy to apply, dry fast, and wash out of brushes and rollers with just water and soap.
  • Paint and Primer: Both have built-in priming capabilities.
  • VOCs: Both are zero-VOC paints, containing 0 grams of volatile organic compounds per liter.
  • Colors: Both can be tinted to over 1,200 colors.
  • Dry Time: Both dry quickly and are ready for a second coat within 2-4 hours.
  • Coverage Per Gallon: Both cover 400 sq. ft. per gallon.

Key Differences

  • Versions: Diamond is interior only. The Premium line has interior, exterior, and hybrid options.
  • Finishes: Diamond is available in ultra-flat, flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. Premium is available in all of those finishes except ultra-flat.
  • Volume Solids: Diamond paint is thicker, with volume solids ranging from 39% to 44%. Premium ranges from 34 to 39%.
  • One-Coat Coverage: Diamond is marketed as a one-coat paint for specific colors.
  • Price: Diamond costs about $10 more per gallon than Premium.

What Experts Say

I spoke to a Glidden paint specialist, and he said Diamond cures harder and is more scrubbable than Premium. I also talked to the paint manager at a local Home Depot store, and she said Diamond is a much more durable and washable paint due to its higher solids content. Premium covers well but isn’t nearly as durable as Diamond. Skip ahead to see direct quotes from these experts.

Bottom Line

Glidden Diamond costs more than Premium, but it’s a superior paint with better durability, washability, and coverage. Premium still delivers quality results if you’re on a tight budget or painting low-traffic rooms. But it’s more likely to fade when you wash it and requires more than one coat in almost all scenarios.

Comparison Chart

Glidden DiamondGlidden Premium
TypeAcrylic latexAcrylic latex
Paint and PrimerYesYes
Interior VOCs0 g/l0 g/l
Exterior VOCsN/A< 50 g/l
Colors1200 color options1200 color options
Dry Time2-4 hours to recoat2-4 hours to recoat
Coverage Per Gallon400 sq ft400 sq ft
Interior Volume Solids39-44%34-39%
Exterior Volume SolidsN/A31-36%
Interior FinishesUltra-flat, flat, eggshell, satin, semi-glossFlat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss
Exterior FinishesN/AFlat, satin, semi-gloss
One-Coat CoverageYesNo
Price Per Gallon (Interior)$23 – $37$20 – $26

Similarities Between Glidden Diamond and Premium

Glidden Diamond and Premium interior paint lines are similar in many ways. Here’s a quick breakdown of the features you get with both.

Acrylic Latex Paint: Glidden Diamond and Premium are both acrylic latex-based paints. They go on smoother and dry faster than oil-based paints. This type of paint is easy to clean out of brushes and rollers, too. You don’t need paint thinner or any other harsh chemicals. It washes out with warm water and soap.

Paint and Primer: Both paints also come with built-in priming capabilities, eliminating the need for a separate primer coat in most cases. Both formulas adhere well and conceal the colors you’re painting over without a coat of primer. However, a coat of primer is still necessary when making dramatic color changes (light over dark) or painting new drywall or glossy finishes.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Glidden Diamond and Premium interior versions qualify as zero-VOC paints. According to their technical data sheets, both contain 0 grams per liter (g/L) of VOCs (Diamond data sheet and Premium data sheet). Paints with high levels of VOCs create a pungent odor and release fumes that can make you dizzy and cause other health issues. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that with these Glidden paints.

Colors: Diamond and Premium are both available in the same 1200+ colors. However, only certain hues marked with a “1” paintbrush icon qualify for Diamond’s one-coat coverage. So, if one-coat application is essential to you, focus on that color collection.

Dry Time: Speed is another shared trait between Diamond and Premium. Both paint lines dry to the touch in 30 to 60 minutes and are ready for a second coat in 2 to 4 hours.

Coverage Per Gallon: Both paints provide approximately 400 square feet of coverage per gallon.

Difference 1: Versions

The first key difference between Glidden Diamond and Premium is that Diamond is interior paint, while Premium is available in interior and exterior options.

Glidden Diamond interior paint
Glidden Diamond interior paint

So if you’re painting outdoors, Premium is the only option. Premium exterior paint contains biocides, fungicides, UV inhibitors, and other additives to protect it from weather and exterior elements. Since Diamond is an interior paint and doesn’t contain those additives, it won’t last long on outdoor surfaces.

Glidden Premium exterior paint
Glidden Premium exterior paint

Premium also has a specialty Fill & Finish version with a High Gloss sheen. This specialty paint provides a durable glossy sheen on cabinets, shutters, metal doors, and furniture.

Glidden Premium interior exterior high gloss paint
Glidden Premium hybrid

Difference 2: Finishes

The Diamond and Premium lines also differ slightly in their available finish options.

Glidden Diamond is available in ultra-flat, flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss finishes.

Glidden Premium interior is available in flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. So Diamond includes an ultra-flat matte finish that Premium does not.

Glidden Premium interior paint
Glidden Premium interior paint (satin finish)

This ultra-flat option reflects the least amount of light. It’s ideal for surfaces where minimal shine is wanted, like ceilings. The lack of reflectivity helps hide imperfections.

Glidden Premium exterior comes in flat, satin, and semi-gloss.

As mentioned, the specialty Premium Fill & Finish line only comes in high-gloss for cabinets, doors, trim, and projects needing a glossy enamel-like coating.

Difference 3: Volume Solids

The most significant difference between Glidden Diamond and Premium paint lines lies in their volume solids content.

Paint is made up of four main components: pigment, binder, solvent, and additives. When you apply paint, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind the pigment, binder, and additives. The ratio of these remaining components to the original volume of the paint is referred to as volume solids.

Paints with higher volume solids are thicker, require fewer coats, and provide more surface protection and resistance to elements that could wear down the paint over time.

As you can see in the table below, Glidden Diamond paint has higher volume solids than Premium across all finishes. In other words, Diamond is a thicker, more durable paint that provides better coverage.

This difference is also reflected in the weight of the paints. For example, a gallon of Diamond paint in a flat finish weighs 11.77 pounds. A gallon of Premium paint in a flat finish weighs 9.93 pounds.

FinishDiamond InteriorPremium InteriorPremium Exterior
Ultra-Flat44%N/AN/A
Flat44%39%36%
Eggshell39%36%N/A
Satin41%35%32%
Semi-Gloss41%34%31%

Difference 4: One-Coat Coverage

Diamond is Glidden’s most advanced interior paint. It has the highest volume solids percentage and is known for providing the best coverage. It’s also the one line that Glidden markets as a one-coat paint.

However, true one-coat painting is only feasible in specific scenarios. Painting over drastically different colors, new drywall, or other unfinished wood typically requires two full coats regardless of the paint’s quality. The exceptions are when similar colors are involved — for example, covering a light tan with a darker beige.

Also, Diamond’s one-coat capability applies to specific pre-approved colors. When browsing Glidden’s catalog, look for a paintbrush icon with a “1” in the middle.

Glidden Premium is not advertised as a one-coat paint. While it delivers decent coverage, two full coats are almost always required for proper color consistency and durability.

Difference 5: Price

All Glidden paints are inexpensive compared to premium paint brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams. The brand is geared toward budget-conscious homeowners looking for quality paint at an affordable price.

Between Diamond and Premium, Diamond is more expensive. Diamond costs about $10 more per gallon than Premium. However, the exact difference varies by finish. The table below shows the current prices of both lines on HomeDepot.com. These prices are subject to change.

PaintPrice
Glidden Premium Interior (Flat)$19.98
Glidden Premium Interior (Eggshell)$21.98
Glidden Premium Interior (Satin)$23.98
Glidden Premium Interior (Semi-Gloss)$25.98
Glidden Diamond Interior (Flat)$29.98
Glidden Diamond Interior (Eggshell)$30.98
Glidden Diamond Interior (Satin)$33.98
Glidden Diamond Interior (Semi-Gloss)$36.98

What Paint Experts Say

To get a broader perspective, I called the 800 number on Glidden.com and asked them a simple question:

What’s the difference between Glidden Diamond and Premium?

The paint specialist I spoke to was helpful and honest. He said, “Diamond cures to a harder finish, which makes it more scrubbable and washable than Premium. Diamond is also a one-coat paint. But there are caveats with that label. You still need two coats if you’re painting new drywall or a porous surface. One will act as a primer, and one will be the top coat. Also, if you’re painting over black, navy blue, or another dark color, you’ll need more than one coat.”

When I asked if Diamond is worth the high cost, he said, “If you have kids, a large family, or many people come through the house, Diamond is worth it because it’s more scrubbable. If a single person lives in the home and is not marking up the walls often, the Premium line is fine.”

I also spoke with the paint department manager at The Home Depot in Mansfield, Massachusetts. She said, “Glidden Diamond is much more scrubbable than Premium. It has 44% solids, so it’s a thicker paint similar to Behr Dynasty and Marquee. Premium covers well and gets great reviews because it’s inexpensive. But it’s not as scrubbable or durable.”

Bottom Line: Should You Use Glidden Diamond or Premium Paint?

So, should you go with Glidden Diamond or Premium?

The bottom line is that Glidden Diamond provides superior durability, washability, and coverage. For most homeowners, the extra $10 per gallon is money well spent.

Diamond’s thicker formula stands up better to wear and tear, and, in some cases, you only need to apply one coat. For high-traffic areas or surfaces prone to scuffs, stains, and frequent cleanings, Diamond is the better choice.

That said, if you live alone or are painting a room you rarely use and are trying to keep the project’s cost low, Premium will still deliver quality results. It may lack Diamond’s long-term durability and require an extra coat, but it can hold up for years if you avoid scuffs and heavy staining.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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