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Pro Painters
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading the post about whether Behr paint is crap or not which made me want to bring up this topic which has baffled me for years:

I hear of painters here and elsewhere talk about offering clients any brand of paint they wish. Not just offering but in some cases encouraging the client to pick the paint brand like it's a great selling point.

This I don't understand for several reasons.

You are the expert. You know what paint is going to provide the best results when you apply it. It's not like their picking different brands or styles of ceramic tile. If they don't trust you to use quality paint why would they hire you in the first place. This is exactly what I ask my clients that start demanding a specific brand. Almost all of my clients back down and let me choose.

I walk away from the jobs where the clients still insist. Why? I've owned my painting company 18 years and in my experience the clients that insist choosing the paint are the same clients that question everything you do every step of the way slowing down production and costing you money. Which brings me to my second point.

By purchasing your paint anywhere and everywhere you never develop the close relationship with a supplier that gets you great prices and benefits. My supplier offers me better and better prices each year as my company continues to grow and I purchase more product. I guarantee you don't get those prices if you're splitting your money among multiple suppliers. Most will offer the typical 20% off to any unknown contractor.

What benefits you ask? Well the greatest benefit is the ability to walk in the back door, pick up your paint and walk back out when there is an hour long line in the front of the store. Before I became loyal to SW I lost so much money from standing in lines while my guys were waiting at the job site for paint.

I specifically chose SW because of their loyalty to me and I can find a store in any city I'm working in.(In my neck of the woods anyhow). In my opinion, no other supplier caters to painters like SW does.

Running all over town trying to find where you can purchase todays clients brand of choice sounds like a bad business model to me. My company runs like a well oiled machine that I feel could never be achieved if I wasn't a loyal SW customer.

What are the benefits of offering any brand a client demands?
 

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Fine Handcrafted Opinions
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994 Posts
I find that the service at Sherwin Williams varies greatly from store to store. My local SW was awesome up until 2 years ago when the manager left. He was tremendous, and when he left, the service dropped off a cliff.

That said, SW is still my go to store. I like that all my stuff is on record and can be accessed from any store I'm at. I like their products.

Also, I can't see offering to let owners pick out any brand of paint they want. If they want Walmart paint for instance, that's out of the question.

However, I have run into people who for some unknown reason don't like SW paint, or who are stuck on using Behr from Home Depot, or some such, so I try to leave myself some room to be somewhat flexible with the brand.
 

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Thom
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4,137 Posts
Picking it up at the back door is good service?

I use Dun Edwards. I have it delivered to my house the day before I want it then take it to the job in the morning.

When I was building new homes they just delivered to the jobsite. If I call before noon it will be delivered that day otherwise the next morning.
 
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I totally agree with you. I also use SW for everything, it's nice to have your own rep you can call any time you have a problem with one of their products or have them bring out paint to job sites and once they brought me out a new sprayer when mine took a dump on me. The customer service is great. They will work with you on prices of there products not the store manager but the rep. I think the only this I don't buy for SW is drywall primer, I just like the Valspar primer.
 

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I'm "just a handyman", so at first, I figured Home Depot was about my speed. But once I tried SW, I was hooked. Service is just that much better. And I don't even buy that much paint. At Home Depot, half the time there won't even be anybody at the paint counter and you'll have to go hunting. Giant waste of time.

BM stores seem competent at mixing paint, but not nearly as helpful and friendly. They just seem like order takers. Maybe if I opened an account and built up some rapport, my tune would change. But I really have no urge to do that since SW takes care of me so well.

Often, customers don't understand that there are different lines of paint even at the same company. They had a bad experience with Promar 700 and now they will never touch SW again.

Another problem is when they already have the colors picked out from HD or BM. There is no guarantee SW will match those colors perfectly. What do you do in that case?
 

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Pro Painters
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another problem is when they already have the colors picked out from HD or BM. There is no guarantee SW will match those colors perfectly. What do you do in that case?
There is no such thing as a perfect color match. If you go to three HD's and pick up a gallon of the same color paint(Behr color), you will have three slightly different variances. This is true for any brand. Most matches are with-in an acceptable tolerance. The general rule is buy all your paint at the same location for each project.

Not very often but on occasion I do get unacceptable matches. I bring it back in and have them manually fix it.

TIP: I buy them "Colors in Concept" books 100 at a time. I put stickers with my company information on the back. Great promotional gift and encourages them to pick SW colors. If you ask SW for a few every time your in there buying paint they will give them to you free.
 

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I use SW as well, or the Do It Best line which is SW. I had one job where I let them talk me into using Miller Paint and it was a nightmare. Bad matches, no record of my purchases and it was a two hour trip to get a gallon, and then to have it be way, way off. Funny thing is as soon as I met the regional manager, who I knew from years before, things got better.
 

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SW also. And for me, walking in the back door and picking up my paint is good service. Try that at Home Depot and see how far it gets you.
I have heard really good reviews of Benjamin Moore Fresh start primer. I haven't used it.
We are not full time painters.
 

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Trailer park boy
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4,802 Posts
I am not particularly brand loyal. I do buy all my paint from a mom and pop outfit in town that deals in General Paint, as much for the service as the paint. But if a HO insists on getting Benny Moore, because they believe all the hype, I will put it on for them. I will put on Crappy Tire paint, too, if they want, but my estimates all say anything over 2 coats is extra.
 

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Today I tried working with Benjamin Moore's Regal Select. It was bizarre. I couldn't load the roller to save my life! I'd dip the roller in the paint, but when I went to roll it on the tray, it would just slide around all over the place. I couldn't get any paint on the top of the roller! Fast, slow, firm, delicate... It didn't matter. I was using my regular Sherlock frame with a Colossus cover and a regular metal pan. It works fine with the SuperPaint.

That's the risk of switching brands. Sometimes you don't know what you don't know.
 

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I also don't just paint, we only paint when we have to. But I always go to SW, I find them very helpful and always get good service. If they know you are a contractor they will act like they were waiting for you to arrive and put you ahead of Harry Homeowner.
 

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I am with Monk on SW. I am not a painter but a cabinet maker mainly and remodeling. So I will never be a big user but my SW treats me like I am and not being a painter gives me the knowledge base when I need it. I go nowhere else.
 

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Ace Quality Painting
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19 Posts
Hi Everyone,

Great read. I just started helping out the family paint contracting business. Our company has been loyal to Dunn-Edwards and receive great service because of the relationship built with the managers over the years. We recommend but are willing to use whatever brand of paint the customer wishes the advantage of being loyal to one brand is that it is great to be familiar with the product you trust and use. Fail safe. I would love introducing other brands just don't know enough about them since most don't have a store front like DE.

Cheers.
http://www.acequalitypaitning.com
 

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http://penncoatinc.com/
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91 Posts
We use SW too, but not exclusively. Their paint quality isn't in question, but their service is. We have to keep a very close eye on which material actually gets delivered because they often get our orders wrong. And not only wrong, but what they eventually charge us isn't always consistent with what our rep tells us. Our rep is good, but it's the people putting the orders together that prevent us from committing exclusively.

http://penncoatinc.com/
 

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Accidental Painter
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2,292 Posts
Delivery is a huge plus. If they won't deliver to jobsite, forget about it.

Hell i just ordered 12 fivers yesterday (6 primer/6 eggshell white). The numbers are close on these 2 jobs (14.06 gal) so they sent an extra gal of each for free.

THATS customer service.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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847 Posts
I'm brand/store loyal because of the great service I get. It doesn't make ANY business (or common) sense to drive around getting paints from different suppliers, and having to stand in line wasting time. My clients know my paint brand preference (Porter) up front and the others I'm willing to use (SW and Ben Moore - Interior only). If they insist on using something else, I'll either refuse the job or do it by the hour (and I paint slooooooow when I charge hourly :laughing:).

I have a great relationship with my local Porter store. As an example - A few weeks ago it was late afternoon and I needed another gallon, so I swung by the store and it was packed with HO types. I grabbed the cell and called in the order (standing outside the store). Paint was ready and sitting on the counter in 5 minutes. Walked in, grabbed it, and said "Put it on my account". Plus I get a very good discount.
 

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Can I get an Amen?
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1,310 Posts
I'm not a pro painter, but I do my share of prep and paint.

I'm 99% brand loyal, and it just happens to be SW.
Having my paint color history on file is awesome, and has helped me out on numerous occasions.

Phone call from client "hi remember me? I bought that red dresser you did, can you match me another pc?"
No problem I say.

I don't do any palm greasing other than bringing my business into their store.
That should be grease enough.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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554 Posts
I was brand loyal to Porter until they closed the local store about 5 years ago. In that time I've used a little bit of it all.



My current favorite of what I can get locally is Olympic from Lowes. But getting paint from Lowes is like a 3 ring circus and god forbid you need to touch something up down the road. No record whatsoever so you better keep your own.



I had a customer about 3 years ago that INSISTED on Sherwin Williams. I made the 50 mile drive to their store. And I will say this. That was the single biggest cluster :censored: of any trip I have ever made to get material. Store was staffed by high school kids on summer break. I spent 20 minutes arguing with a 16/17 year old girl. I finally asked for the manager and a 18 year old kid came out. :no:

I finally got back to the job and got to looking at the cans and half were flat and half were satin - they were suppose to be semi-gloss. Drove back down there and started cussing when I went through the door. 16/17 year old girl calls the regional manager to try and figure out what to do. I could hear him cussing over the phone. :laughing:

Got 16 new gallons and went back to the job. When I finally got started painting 4 of the 16 gallons had not been shook. :mad:
 
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