Painting and landscaping share a common trait for me – each has a meditative quality to the task. We start with a vision in our head, what we want the room or the yard to look like when the task is completed, however long that may be. We approach the work with that expectation in mind, slowly and methodically approaching each stroke of the brush or roller on the wall, each turn of the shovel in the yard.
The work is soothing, and all thoughts drop off.
- Valspar paints have a very mixed reputation that seems to be almost evenly split.
- Valspar is at the lower end of the price spectrum, and complaints suggest you get what you pay for, even with paints.
- There are brands of paint that will consistently live up to their label’s claims of self-priming and guaranteed one-coat performance.
The walls have been painted, and the day is done. We love the color of the room, exactly as we envisioned. We turn the light off and leave it to dry fully. In the morning, we return to inspect our work and are horrified by what we see: thin cover, paint peeling, and cracking.
What went wrong? Our calm has been disturbed, and our expectations demolished. Let’s get some good coverage for you on this. (See what we did there?)
Valspar is a paint manufacturer and dates back to 1806, so it’s been around for a long time. The Valspar Corporation was acquired by the Sherwin-Williams Company in 2017 and making it the global leader in paints and coverings.
Sherwin Williams also owns the following:
- Sherwin Williams paint
- HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams
- Dutch Boy
- Thompson’s Water Seal
- and more.
Sherwin Williams paints are sold exclusively by Lowe’s, one of the big DIY stores; you can not buy Sherwin Williams paints at Home Depot, as the agreement between the company and Lowe’s is exclusive.
It’s important to note that each of the wholly-owned subsidiary corporations continues to manufacture their own brands of paints and coverings. As such, Valspar stands alone, along with the others, in its paints.
Valspar paints are at a very low price point among paints and coverings. Its price structure is aimed more at the DIYer rather than the professional painters.
Complaints About Valspar Paints
While no one complains about low prices, we all know the saying that you get what you pay for. There are many Valspar customers who know that saying well, voicing various complaints about the paint on the many DIY online bulletin boards. In our research for this article, we found one such screed board that goes by the name “pissedconsumer” and were hard-pressed to find anything complimentary about the paint.
However, in the spirit of fairness, we did find a number of sources that include favorable ratings of Valspar paints. There are satisfied customers, too, in other words. Our very inexact and unscientific estimate based upon our research suggests a bit over half of the customers leaving reviews were mostly satisfied, while nearly half were not.
Paint Coverage and Coats of Paint Needed
Many of the complaints about Valspar paints have to do with coverage. Many of the paint products are “guaranteed” one-coat coverage, and customer complaints labeled this claim as false. They reported their walls as needing more coats of paint to give the coverage they were expecting.
To add insult to injury, though, customers also complained that the 2nd coat of paint did not adhere well to the first, and a lot of recovery work was necessary, including scraping and sanding to prepare the wall for an additional coat.
Paint peeling and Cracking The Next Day
Many of the complaints we found were about 1st coat of paint peeling and cracking the very next day. They included the cry of “awful paint” and recommended it not be purchased. The paint job on their home’s walls turned out poorly, and they needed to start all over again.
Scraping and sanding removed peeling and cracking paint and prepared the walls for another paint job. Rather than apply a 2nd coat of the Valspar that had already performed so badly for them, they chose another brand and got better results.
Valspar Paint Consistency
Many complaints had to do with the consistency of the paint, which they claimed was too thin. This is somewhat related to the issue of coverage, as you’d expect. But, it also leads to paint drips, and as you also would expect, paint drips lead to extra work.
They need to be scraped and sanded over once dried on walls you have already sanded as a part of prepping them for painting. The paint surface will be, at best opaque, and unless you have a primer or a color that is conducive to being painted over (we’ll get to that in a little bit), a thin paint will allow see-through.
This can be very frustrating for a customer who purchased a product that claimed to be self-priming paint, a paint that “guaranteed” a one-coat performance on your wall. When you expect a single paint application to do the trick and cover the entire surface of your walls, and it doesn’t, you’re likely to complain. The bulletin boards we read were full of them.
A thin consistency will lead to paint that also dries very quickly, and complaints we found mentioned this, too. When the paint dries too quickly, lines will tend to present when you refill the roller and return to continue down the wall. If the thin paint previously applied has already dried, the line where you next begin rolling will show, and the roller cover will suffer.
Once again, a repetition of work already done to prepare the wall for painting will be necessary and extremely annoying. You will have scraped and sanded the wall already, filled cracks, repaired blemishes, and then will have to repeat the work.
Primer and Under Color – Go With Gray
Some of the complaints had to do with bleed-through of color when using the “guaranteed” one-coat-will-do-it paint. White didn’t always cut it as a primer color, according to the complaints we read. Surprisingly, gray was found to be a more effective under color, especially for tinted paints.
Valspar has an extensive list of colors, perhaps more than most other paints. Complaints suggested, though, that the paint consistency and their experienced failure to cover and seal the entire paint surface led to the under-color showing through with poor coverage. They stated the quality of paint was not as represented on its label.
Poor Customer Service
We all know that sometimes a product works as advertised, and sometimes it doesn’t. What we hope for when it doesn’t is a good customer service department to help us out.
We were surprised to read so many complaints expressing disappointment in the way they were treated when they complained about what they considered a poor quality paint that did not live up to its claims and guarantees. These complaints, though, were not limited to Valspar; they were upset and dissatisfied with the inaction by Lowe’s, also.
They had expected a better and more helpful response from Lowe’s but were often told they must not have prepped their walls properly and readied them well for painting. While we have no way of knowing whether this was true or not, it seemed in many cases we read to have been a knee-jerk response common among unrelated complainants.
We can all be seduced by price, and when we find a sale price that is lower than most others, the thought of saving money becomes attractive. Valspar is at the lower end of the scale for paint prices and jeepers; it’s owned by Sherwin Williams, a company that enjoys a good reputation for its products.
We’d expect good products and good wall coverage with a minimum of problems. A single paint application has great appeal, and a paint that guarantees one-coat success becomes appealing, for sure.
There are many paint brands to choose from, and sometimes you really do have to trade up for a paint brand that really will live up to its claims. We don’t use Valspar paints, and the reason is an unsatisfactory past experience. Among the paint brands we do use now are Behr and Benjamin Moore.
We’ve always had good success with each, and because of that, we alternate between them based on which is having a sale at the local hardware or paint store at the time we need a good paint. Their paint products are good and really do live up to the claims they put on their labels, such as self-priming paint, one-coat paint application, and such.
Video Comparison of Paints
In our search for a video suitable for the subject matter of this article, we found one where a variety of paint brands are compared on coverage, consistency, and bleed-through of color. Valspar paints (2 of them) were included in the comparison, and one of them actually outperformed other brands. We do like to present opposing points of view, and so we offer this one.
You’ll get what you pay for when it comes to paints. Our own experience, frankly, is that it is worth the extra money to use a quality of paint that consistently lives up to its claims and won’t disappoint. We found our favorite brands that do so, and we’re sticking to them.