While painting your home can be fun, it can also be very tedious. The fun parts include picking out the colors and seeing the finished product. Unfortunately, those activities only make up about 1% of the time spent on the project. The other 99% is spent on the grueling labor of sanding, tedious brush strokes, and constant clean-up. Since no one will pay me to paint my own home, I have to do it in my free time which I prefer to enjoy as much as possible. That’s why it’s important that I always have two additional supplies on hand; music and beer. I’m not talking about drinking and jamming out while up on a ladder painting my second story window frames. I’m also not talking about throwing a keg party where I offer free beer to any friends willing to help me paint. I’m talking about a few beers and good music making the tedious parts of painting feel more like relaxing on the porch on a spring afternoon. But if drinking on the job isn’t your thing, I’ll tell you another way in which beer can help you paint. You should shop them the same.
Most of your big name beer companies have a light beer, a regular beer, and a premium beer. What’s the difference? Many would say calories. If you want to stay skinny, stick to light beer. Some would say alcohol content. Lighter beers have less alcohol. If you give up the calories, you give up the alcohol. You may get fewer calories per beer but you have to drink twice as many to get the job done. Others would say taste. Premium beers have more taste than their lighter counter parts. It would be hard to argue that an Imperial Pale Ale has less taste than a Miller High Life… though if you’d like to see someone argue that point, come to the store and ask for Tommy Blankenship. However, the general conclusion is that premium beers are higher in calories, alcohol, and taste. The liquid volume of a light beer fills up the same 12oz can as a premium beer; but with less calories, alcohol, and taste. So what makes up the rest of its contents? The answer is water and the same is true with paint.
Most paint manufacturers offer various grades of paint at different price points; cheap, not so cheap, and expensive. But they don’t want to market their products as cheap, not so cheap, and expensive. So they call them “Good, Better, and Best.” In reality, these products are Bad, Better, and Good. The premium paints are the good paints. Whereas premium beers have the most calories, alcohol, and taste; premium paints have the most pigment, resin, and additives. The pigment provides the color. The resin bonds the pigments to each other and the painted surface. The additives enhance certain properties such as ease of brushing, mold resistance, scuff resistance, drying, and sag resistance. These elements are added to a solvent which acts as a carrier. This solvent is water. Just as the calories, alcohol, and taste of a beer can be diluted with water; so can the pigment, resin, and additives of paint. While beer manufacturers market their watered down beer to those looking to lose weight, paint manufacturers market their watered down paint to those looking to save money. The beer manufacturer hopes the weight conscious beer drinker will not consider the amount of additional beers they have to drink to get the same effect. The paint manufacturer hopes the price conscious painter will not consider how many more gallons of paint it will take to paint the same room.
Unless you prefer polishing off large quantities of beer to sipping a couple delicious pints, you should always go with a premium beer. You may enjoy the surplus of empty beer cans to stack in a pyramid on the hood of your truck. The premium beer sipper can’t do that with just a couple empty bottles. But if you don’t want to work so hard for the same calories, alcohol, and taste; buy premium beer.
The same goes for paint. If you don’t want to paint a room twice and have to buy two gallons of paint for the price of one premium gallon, go with the premium paint. Maybe you are trying to collect paint cans for an art project and you really love long, drawn-out painting projects. If this is you, sure, buy the cheap stuff. But if you don’t want to work so hard for the same color and coverage on your walls, buy premium paint.