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paint brand specified vs paint actually used


It’s an interesting subject amongst interior designers and painters and of course the paint manufacturers, but can you specify a colour in one brand of paint, and then go and buy the same paint colour but in a different brand of paint? The short answer is yes, you can, and it happens every single day in the big wide world. But the question does come up from time to time – “what’s the difference between the paint brand specified vs paint actually used?”

So we’d like to quickly address the question.


All paint manufacturers create their own colours and then promote them to the market as being the most inspirational and trendsetting colours. By doing this, they hope to capture market share of people that like the colours also buying their paints.


But in reality, all paint is made from a base colour (ie. White) and then tinted with the same tint dyes. And as a general rule, these tint colours are universally used by all paint manufacturers. This means that any colour can be mixed up into any paint manufacturers base colour.


In fact, each paint manufacturer provides a detailed book to each paint reseller on the special mix they must use in their paint to match a different brand colour – as an example, Haymes will provide specific instructions on how to mix a Dulux colour in a Haymes paint to get the exact colour match.


Now the paint manufacturers have some arguments that the true colour can only be gained by using their own paint, and we’re not in the business of disagreeing with their arguments or trying to put our own opinion out there.


But the reality is that any discrepancies are mostly so minor or miniscule that the average person wouldn’t have a clue that there’s a difference between a specific Wattyl colour that’s been mixed up in a Dulux or Haymes paint – to the layman’s eye they both look identical.


And so what happens on the real world is that people develop preferences. Interior designers follow a certain brands marketing campaign on colours. Architects are influenced by the salesperson of a certain brand of paint and specifies it in their projects. Customers hear the promotions of a certain paint brand and their opinions are influenced by it. And of course, painters establish a liking for a particular paint.


And this last one is an interesting one – it’s often where the differences come in. As a project gets underway, colours are chosen by an architect or interior designer, using a particular brand such as Taubmans or Dulux, and then when the rubber hits the road later in the project, the painter goes and buys Haymes paint.


Why is this? As we’ve already mentioned, most of the answer around the broader question we’re addressing here is the influence of the market place. But a few other factors come into play with the painter – they’re the odd one out.


Here’s some of the reasons why they use a particular brand of paint –

1. Quality. Now we realise quality can be subjective – what someone may perceive as quality isn’t what someone else may see. But we’ve personally witnessed painters swear by a certain brand because they know it’s going to ‘cover’ better than all other brands, or its going to ‘wear’ longer than others, etc, etc.


2. Negative experience with other brands. This is really a flow-on of the previous point. They’re steering away from a particular brand – or brands – because of some problem they had in the past.


3. Price. This is a common one, where a paint company has stitched up a very good deal with the painter on price. It could be a rebate based on the amount of paint they use each year, or it simply could just be a better price than they can get anywhere else.


4. Terms. Another one, but often linked to price. Smaller painters are more exposed to cashflow challenges, so if a paint company offers them better payment terms it could make all the difference for the painter to use their paint.


5. Supply. Some painters may have had problems with a good supply of the paint they need, when they need it, where they need it. So if they’ve established a deal with a paint company that isn’t letting them down, then it’s fairly obvious that they’re going to buy their paint.


6. Relationships. May seem a funny one, but it’s very powerful. People sometimes only buy off people who they know as a personal friend or even relative and that’s all their is to it.


At the end of the day, we’ve never found any problem with specifying a colour from one brand of paint and then it being painted in another brand. Rocking the boat by stipulating that the paint used must match the brand specified causes more problems than it’s worth, and builders generally run with this principle.


Of course, there are customers out there that will want to make sure the 2 align and that’s fair enough. But just make sure you really spell this out at the start because there will be many painters that will walk away from a project for this simple reason.


And that can make for a colourful conversation, rather than a conversation about colour.

Disclaimer. This blog is our opinion only. The information provided in our blogs is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. The information presented in our blogs is for informational purposes only and we are not professionals, so the content we provide shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. We strongly recommend consulting with a professional before taking any sort of action. We reserve the right to change how we manage our blog and we may change the focus or content at any time.

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