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Valspar vs. Benjamin Moore Paint: What’s the Difference?

Are you getting ready for a new project but unsure whether to use Valspar or Benjamin Moore?

Should you save money and use Valspar, or go with the brand the pros use and splurge on Benjamin Moore?

In this comparison of Valspar vs. Benjamin Moore, I break down the similarities and differences between these popular paint brands.

You’ll learn how they stack up in terms of offerings, availability, colors, price, and more.

Plus, I share what paint experts have to say about these two brands.

By the end, you’ll have all the facts to decide if Valspar or Benjamin Moore is the right paint for your project.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Paint Offerings

Valspar and Benjamin Moore are both large producers offering a range of interior and exterior paints. Within their respective collections, there’s paint for just about any project.

Valspar Paints

Valspar has a popular lineup of products, including primers and specialty paints. This summary offers a brief overview of Valspar. Learn more about its collections on Lowes.com or the official Valspar website.

Valspar Reserve® Interior Paint & Primer: A premium, stain-resistant acrylic paint backed by Valspar’s limited lifetime warranty, Valspar Reserve® Interior Paint & Primer uses a formula designed to prevent fading, scuffs, scratches, and other damage.

Valspar Reserve Paint

Valspar Signature® Interior Paint & Primer: Marketed as a paint that stands up to anything™, this Valspar offering is damage-resistant and “high-hiding.” The smooth finish provides thorough coverage on all properly prepared surfaces.

Valspar Signature Paint

Valspar Ultra® Interior Paint & Primer: This option is Valspar’s solution for everyday jobs requiring adequate protection against wear, tear, scuffs, and stains. It includes a mold and mildew resistant finish and boasts a Greenguard Gold certification, marking it an eco-friendly, low-emissions product.

Valspar Ultra Paint

Valspar Simplicity® Interior Paint & Primer: Scrub resistant and designed to provide a reliably smooth finish, this choice is “virtually odorless” and ideal for those who need a dependable coating that does the job and holds up to everyday levels of wear-and-tear.

Valspar® 2000™ Interior Paint & Primer: As Valspar’s answer to customers who want “professional grade performance” at an affordable price, this product provides thick coverage and reliable quality, especially if you’re doing touch-ups or color changes.

Valspar® 4000™ Interior Paint & Primer: A commercial-grade product for professional contractors, the 4000™ collection is excellent for new construction, residential repaints, remodels, or large-scale projects in commercial settings.

Valspar ExpressCoat™: As one of Valspar’s most affordable products, this paint is ideal for routine maintenance or touch-ups around the house. It dries quickly and provides decent coverage for the price.

Valspar® Duramax™ Exterior Paint & Primer: Intended for exteriors that face even the most extreme weather conditions, this paint and primer has built-in sealing and bonding features that keep cracks, peels, and splits from forming or causing damage over time. It’s a thick paint that dries to a mildew-resistant finish.

Valspar SeasonPLUS® Exterior Paint & Primer: If you live in a sunny climate, this paint is ideal, as it features a UV-blocking finish and offers extra protection against blistering and peeling.

Valspar SeasonFlex® Exterior Paint & Primer: This 100% acrylic paint option features a flexible finish and good protection against cracking and peeling. It boasts strong coverage, and when dried, it is both mold- and mildew-resistant.

Valspar Storm Coat® Exterior Paint & Primer: The Storm Coat® collection is Valspar’s answer to customers living in cold, moist environments that require extra protection against mildew, frost, and low temperatures. It can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Valspar The Perfect White® Exterior: As the name suggests, this option is Valspar’s “cleanest, purest white” paint and ideal for outdoor applications such as siding, doors, trim, and accents.

In addition to these options, Valspar also offers an array of specialty paints for concrete or brick masonry, as well as options suited for covering exterior stains on all outdoor surfaces.

Benjamin Moore Paints

The variety of paints and paint products available through Benjamin Moore is astounding, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by their catalog. To simplify things, below is a snapshot of Benjamin Moore’s most popular paints.

Learn more about all Benjamin Moore paint lines on BenjaminMoore.com or AceHardware.com.

Benjamin Moore Ben and Aura Paint

Benjamin Moore ADVANCE® Interior Paint: This is a premium paint crafted to utilize a “total waterborne” system that can handle alkyd surfaces, providing users with the cleanup and durability benefits of traditional oil-based paints in a safe, water-based formula.

Benjamin Moore Aura® Bath & Spa Paint: This paint is high-coverage and mildew resistant, ideal for high-humidity environments such as bathrooms. It remains bright and colorful through frequent washes and boasts less of an odor than most other paints.

Benjamin Moore Aura® Color Foundation: This quick-drying paint is intended as a base coat for other Aura paints. It is designed to hide darker surfaces and flaws before applying a primary product.

Benjamin Moore Aura® Interior Paint: Aura is Benjamin Moore’s most premium paint line. It’s thick and durable and protects walls from mildew, mold, scrubbing, scuffs, and any other form of wear-and-tear.

Benjamin Moore ben® Chalkboard Paint: As one of the brand’s most unique products, ben® Chalkboard Paint is a fun product that turns nearly any interior surface into a functional, erasable chalkboard. If you have kids or want to design a truly stand-out office space, this is a great option.

Benjamin Moore ben® Interior Paint: If you’re looking for a baseline Benjamin Moore paint that provides an easy, user-friendly painting experience, this may be the option for you. It’s perfect for beginners and gives homeowners the coverage and durability they need for everyday projects.

Benjamin Moore Professional Prep Products: This commercial lineup of products is designed for large-scale office, factory, or industrial workspaces. Professional contractors can find just about anything they need to prepare for a project within this collection.

Benjamin Moore Eco Spec® Paint: For the ecologically-minded or chemically sensitive, Eco Spec® paint provides both quality and certifications as a zero VOC, zero-emissions product. If you have pets or children, this is an especially attractive option.

Benjamin Moore Eco Spec® WB Silver: Benjamin Moore created this paint with all the same features as the basic Eco Spec® lineup but with the added protection of mold and mildew resistance, pure silver, and other antimicrobial additives.

Benjamin Moore Aura® Grand Entrance: This premium paint comes in high-gloss and satin finishes and offers rich color, smooth application, and durable fade resistance for indoor or outdoor home projects.

It’s worth noting that Benjamin Moore offers a far more extensive range of products than Valspar, especially in the realm of specialty paints intended for specific applications both inside and outside of the home.

If you need reliable paint for everyday jobs, Valspar has what you need. However, if you’re searching for particular specs and more project-specific features, Benjamin Moore has more to offer.

The unique ben® Chalkboard, Eco Spec® WB Silver, and Aura® Bath & Spa paints are good examples of where Benjamin Moore stands out.

Where It Is Sold

Valspar can always be found at every Lowe’s store, as this is the company’s primary retail partner. You can also find Valspar paints at numerous specialty or local stores, so it’s worth using the store finder tool or giving your community hardware store a call if you aren’t sure where to find Valspar products.

Benjamin Moore paint is available through Ace Hardware and numerous independent paint and hardware retailers. You can find a store near you by using the store locator tool on BenjaminMoore.com.

Where you buy paint is important. If you aren’t buying your paint locally, always purchase extra, so you don’t run out mid-project.

Colors

Both Valspar and Benjamin Moore offer various paint colors, and most are available in multiple finishes and formats. The most challenging part of your project might be choosing from the hundreds of available hues.

Valspar Paint Colors
Valspar Paint Colors

To make things easier, both brands provide free tools that guide you along the paint-picking process.

Valspar partnered with Lowe’s to create the “Lowe’s Paint Visualizer,” and Benjamin Moore provides a “Personal Color Viewer” on its website.

You should note that hues and shades vary between brands, even if they appear identical or have a similar name. Don’t assume that you can switch between them and get the same effect from both.

Valspar and Benjamin Moore have loyal fans, but Benjamin Moore colors are mentioned more often on interior design blogs and “top lists” curated by experts. For example, several Benjamin Moore colors are featured in The Spruce’s list of the best interior colors; Valspar colors didn’t make the cut. 

To view a complete list of Valspar’s paint colors, check out this guide. For Benjamin Moore’s catalog, use this tool.

Price

One of the most significant differences between Valspar and Benjamin Moore is the price.

Overall, Benjamin Moore paint is more expensive than Valspar. In some cases, a gallon of Benjamin Moore is more than double the cost of a gallon of Valspar.

That said, exact prices vary by the kind of paint you’re buying. Combination paint and primers are pricier than individual products, and higher-gloss finishes outprice flatter or matte ones.

So, if you compare one of Valspar’s premium paints (like Reserve) to one of Benjamin Moore’s more affordable paints (like Ben), the price gap is much smaller.

Click the links in the chart below to compare the current prices of Valspar and Benjamin Moore’s most popular paints:

PaintView Price
Valspar Reserve InteriorLowes.com
Valspar Duramax ExteriorLowes.com
Valspar Signature InteriorLowes.com
Valspar Ultra InteriorLowes.com
Valspar ExpressCoat InteriorLowes.com
Benjamin Moore Aura InteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Ben InteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select InteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Ben ExteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select ExteriorAceHardware.com

What Experts at Lowes and Benjamin Moore Authorized Retailers Say

To get an expert opinion on Valspar vs. Benjamin Moore, I reached out to the paint experts at Lowe’s and Benjamin Moore dealers.

I asked the same question to each expert:

What’s the difference between Valspar and Benjamin Moore?

The experts at Lowe’s said that it depends on which paint lines you compare. They mentioned that Valspar Reserve and Signature offer about the same coverage and durability as Benjamin Moore’s mid-tier paints but for a lower price per gallon.

Representatives at several Lowe’s stores I spoke with didn’t have an opinion about Benjamin Moore because they don’t know much about it, but said that Valspar could match any Benjamin Moore color.

The experts at Benjamin Moore dealers were much more helpful, and their superior level of expertise was evident. They mentioned that Valspar is a bargain paint designed to sell at a lower price point.

That said, they agreed with the representatives at Lowe’s that coverage, durability, and overall performance vary by line.

At Ace Hardware in Canton, Massachusetts, the expert was candid, saying every paint brand offers different grades, and sometimes the distinctions don’t matter.

He mentioned that when you consider how often people repaint and change colors, it might not be worth buying the most expensive paint with special additives and technology.

He said that Valspar has lower prices, but Benjamin Moore offers some lower-cost lines, too. For example, Benjamin Moore Ben is high quality but costs much less than higher-grade lines like Aura and Regal Select.

The paint expert at Babel’s in Needham, Massachusetts, a Benjamin Moore retailer, said that Valspar paint is decent, but they design their product around low prices. In contrast, Benjamin Moore puts the very best ingredients in the can and prices it accordingly.

He mentioned that Benjamin Moore Aura might cost over $70 per gallon but only needs one coat and offers the best coverage, scrubbability, stain-resistance, and has a tight film, so there’s no place for dirt to stick to it. 

When I asked if it’s really worth spending twice as much on Benjamin Moore, he reminded me that you could spend $70 on a gallon of paint, but if it lasts 10 or 20 years, the cost per year is pretty low.

He claimed that people who use Valspar, Glidden, and other lower-cost paints often come into the store complaining that they need to recoat their walls after only 3 to 5 years.

The key point I took away from talking to paint experts at Lowe’s and Benjamin Moore retailers is that both brands offer different paint grades, but Benjamin Moore’s lineup consists mainly of high-grade paints, while Valspar paint is geared toward budget-conscious shoppers.

Another thing I noticed in my conversations was the level of expertise and overall customer service. When I talked to the paint departments at Lowe’s, most of the people I spoke with had no opinion on Benjamin Moore and very little insight to offer on Valspar, which was concerning since that’s the primary paint brand they sell.

The experts at Benjamin Moore retailers were much more helpful and informative. They spoke at length about the differences in paint lines and provided helpful tips on picking the right paint. With so many different paint types, finishes, and colors, customer service is essential — and the retailers selling Benjamin Moore were far superior in that regard. 

What Others Are Saying

Professional painters, independent product evaluation companies, and everyday customers have written about their experiences with both paint brands.

Let’s review Valspar and Benjamin Moore’s reputation in the market.

Valspar

In the Good Housekeeping Institute Paint Test, Valspar’s v700 premium-blend paint won a gold rating. The institute’s experts noted the paint’s “remarkable” scuff-resistance, washability, affordability, and stain resistance.

The same GH Institute also featured Valspar Signature paint, giving it a four out of five star rating. Reviewers praised the paint’s resistance to fading, especially in direct sunlight. They stated that it provided decent coverage and possibly the same level of evenness as some five-star paints.

In contrast, Valspar’s Ultra Premium paint received a three-and-a-half star rating from the GH Institute as it did not provide enough coverage. With this paint, a second coat is necessary. However, the paint provides excellent stain and scuff resistance, and reviewers were pleased with the product’s low VOC content.

Business Insider included Valspar’s Signature paint & primer in their “Best Interior Paint” list, highlighting its ability to cover stains and touch-up mistakes. The reviewers also praised the paint’s durability, versatility, coverage, and stain resistance, and the review noted the appeal of the product’s satin finish.

The popular home and design blog The Spruce included Valspar’s Duramax Satin Exterior paint in its curation of the “9 Best Exterior Paints,” noting the product’s exceptional performance on wood surfaces. The performance was credited to the paint’s mold, mildew, and algae resistance. The Spruce also noted the paint’s weather resistance and versatility in various climates and temperatures.

Benjamin Moore

Good Housekeeping had plenty to say about Benjamin Moore products as well, starting with their Regal Select paint. This paint received a five-star rating from the publication’s reviewers, and they were struck by its durability, fade resistance, and cleanability after enduring multiple rounds of testing.

The GH Institute also gave Benjamin Moore’s Aura paint lineup high praise, awarding it another five star rating and praising the paint for earning the title of “best of any in our test” from reviewers. People liked the smooth finish, excellent coverage, and stain resistance of the Aura paint collection. Best of all, it boasts a low VOC rating.

Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select paint also earned accolades from The New York Times’ Wirecutter, which named the product its “Best Interior Paint.” Reviewers stated that an impressive 50% of professional painters called this product their preferred interior paint. Furthermore, Regal Select paints earned high praise for their “coverage, durability, cleanability, and color selection.” It was also noted that this paint is ideal for “non-pros” thanks to its ease of use.

The popular home improvement and home goods magazine Real Simple named Benjamin Moore the number one interior paint brand. The reviewers had only positive things to say about the quality, purity, and long history behind Benjamin Moore paints.

Both Brands

Good Housekeeping included several color options from both brands in its list of the “20 Best Interior Paint Colors That Can Breathe New Life Into Any Room.” Among the contenders were Benjamin Moore’s Strawberry Red, Aegean Teal, and Light Pink paint, and they gave the brand’s Regal Select and Ben lineups high marks overall.

Valspar wasn’t left out of this ranking. The Bombay Pink paint received praise for its cheerful, springtime energy. Valspar’s Signature paint also received a “runner-up” rating as one of the best overall interior paint choices. The reviewers noted its potential as a less expensive alternative to some of the other listed options.

The Spruce had lots to say about both Valspar and Benjamin Moore. The reviewers listed Valspar Signature paint as the “best matte paint” and labeled the high-gloss paint as the best in its category.

Benjamin Moore’s Waterborne Ceiling Paint received The Spruce’s praise as the best paint to use on ceilings, thanks to its resistance to splatter and drippage.

A popular home improvement blogger, Bob Vila, named Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select interior paint his top choice, noting its mildew and fade resistance. He didn’t leave Valspar out,  noting Valspar Signature paint provides rich color and thick coverage.

Pro Crew, one of the most successful professional contractor software companies in the country, featured both of these brands on its blog and included them in a list of the “12 Best Interior Paint Brands.”

They highlighted Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select Waterborne paint for its blend-ability, quick-dry finish, and time-saving features such as the primer-free formula. Valspar’s Signature paint was also included in this lineup. The reviewers noted its stain resistance, low VOC content, and scuff resistance as the features that contributed most to this product’s quality.

Bottom Line: Should You Use Valspar or Benjamin Moore?

While Valspar and Benjamin Moore are both highly rated with loyal fans, they have some significant differences.

To quickly recap:

  • Valspar and Benjamin Moore have a range of interior and exterior paints, but Benjamin Moore offers more specialty paints.
  • Valspar is available at Lowe’s stores, on Lowes.com, and in local paint and hardware stores. Benjamin Moore is available at Ace Hardware and other specialty paint retailers.
  • Both offer a wide range of colors and tools to help you find the right hues. Benjamin Moore colors appear more often on “best color” lists.
  • Benjamin Moore paint is significantly more expensive than Valspar.
  • According to the people that sell both paints, there’s a clear consensus that Benjamin Moore is higher-quality (better coverage and durability).
  • Both brands are highly regarded in the industry, but Benjamin Moore gets more praise from experts. 50% of the painters that The New York Times interviewed highly recommended Benjamin Moore’s popular paint line, Regal Select.

Ultimately you can save money upfront by choosing Valspar, but it might not be economical if you have to use multiple coats to get the job done. And, since Valspar may not last as long as Benjamin Moore, you may need to repaint sooner than you would with Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore demands a greater up-front investment, but as the top choice of professional painters, many view the high price as worth it. This paint is durable, high-quality, and represents the best in the industry.

Read more reviews and learn more about both paint brands at the links below:

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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