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Why is Benjamin Moore paint so expensive?

Why is Benjamin Moore paint so expensive?

Benjamin Moore paint is known for being one of the most premium and expensive paint brands on the market. But what exactly makes Benjamin Moore paint so costly compared to other brands? There are several key reasons why Benjamin Moore commands such high prices.

The High Quality Ingredients

First and foremost, Benjamin Moore paints are made with top-notch, high-end ingredients that drive up the cost. Benjamin Moore uses only the finest pigments and resins to produce its proprietary colorants and bases. These superior ingredients result in paint that offers better hide, coverage, durability, and longevity compared to cheaper brands.

Here are some of the high-quality ingredients used in Benjamin Moore paint:

  • Titanium dioxide – A premium grade white pigment that provides excellent hide and brightness.
  • Zero VOC colorants – Custom-made pigments that are VOC-free and provide better color accuracy.
  • 100% acrylic resins – Best-in-class binders that offer superior adhesion and durability.
  • Silicone additives – Enhances flow and leveling for a smooth, uniform finish.
  • Antimicrobial agents – Added protection against mold and mildew growth.

All of these superior ingredients enable Benjamin Moore to produce paints that outperform other brands in terms of hide, coverage, color retention and longevity. But these high-end ingredients cost more, driving up the price.

Strict Quality Control

Another reason for Benjamin Moore’s high price point is the strict quality control enforced during the manufacturing process. Benjamin Moore goes to great lengths to ensure consistency and perfection in its paints.

Here are some of the quality control steps Benjamin Moore employs:

  • Raw materials screening – Thorough testing of incoming raw ingredients to ensure they meet specifications.
  • Mill base adjustments – Precise calibrations and tweaks to achieve optimal paint properties.
  • Hegman grind readings – Frequent testing to verify proper pigment dispersions.
  • Draw downs – Checking wet and dry paint films for flaws and imperfections.
  • Color tolerances – Rigorous tinting and testing to match colors perfectly.
  • Aging tests – Validation of paint durability through accelerated aging.

This meticulous quality control requires more time, labor, and care – factors that get built into the retail price. Benjamin Moore also quality tests certified applicators and retailers to ensure proper paint storage, mixing and application.

Specialty Coatings and Primers

Benjamin Moore offers a number of specialty primers and coatings designed for specific use cases. These enhanced paint formulations are more expensive to develop and produce.

Some examples include:

  • Stainblocking primers – Superior at sealing stains from smoke, grease, tannins, etc.
  • Masonry primers – Designed for use on concrete, stucco and cinder block.
  • Alkyd primers – Fast drying oil-based primers for raw wood and metal.
  • Enamel paints – Super durable and ultra-smooth gloss finish.
  • Epoxy coatings – Extremely hard resins for garage floors and basements.

These specialty products contain proprietary resins and additives tailored for specific surfaces and conditions. The complex R&D and ingredients justify the higher cost for these niche primers and coatings.

Brand Reputation and Marketing

As one of the most recognized and trusted paint brands, Benjamin Moore also commands a price premium for its reputation and brand identity. Through extensive advertising and marketing, Benjamin Moore has built an image as a top-tier paint brand used by professionals.

Benjamin Moore spends heavily on brand marketing, as seen by its frequent TV/print ads and its partnerships with celebrity designers and decorators. This brand reputation allows retailers to charge more for the Benjamin Moore name.

Additionally, as a predominately dealer-based brand, consumers cannot directly buy Benjamin Moore paints without a paint retailer as an intermediary. This dealer network allows retailers to mark up the wholesale price from Benjamin Moore.

Labor-Intensive Manufacturing

Producing Benjamin Moore paints is a labor-intensive process, as they make paint using traditional methods involving skilled supervision as opposed to complete automation. This hands-on approach allows for nuanced adjustments by technicians but requires more labor hours per gallon.

Some of the hands-on steps used in manufacturing Benjamin Moore paint include:

  • Custom tinting – Pigments are carefully measured and dispensed by technicians.
  • Testing and quality checks – Done manually at multiple points.
  • Mill base adjustments – Made by experienced technicians, not just by software.
  • Special orders – Custom colors are mixed by hand in a controlled process.

This meticulous hands-on production results in higher quality paints. But it comes at a cost – requiring more skilled labor hours per gallon produced. This drives up the fixed overhead costs, which translate to higher prices for the end consumer.

Limited Economies of Scale

Unlike giant paint conglomerates like Sherwin-Williams and PPG, Benjamin Moore operates fewer manufacturing facilities and has lower production volumes overall. This limits their economies of scale.

With fewer plants and lower output volumes, Benjamin Moore cannot take advantage of mass production cost savings. Their fixed costs per gallon produced are higher. And they lack the same bulk purchasing leverage for raw materials.

If Benjamin Moore doubled their manufacturing footprint and volumes, they could lower costs. But their boutique dealer network and hands-on production places constraints on their growth potential. So consumers pay a premium for smaller batch production.

Green Manufacturing Methods

As part of their brand identity, Benjamin Moore is committed to environmental stewardship and green, sustainable manufacturing practices. But these methods typically incur higher costs. For instance:

  • Zero VOC paints – More complex formulations, pricier resin systems.
  • Recycled paint cans – More expensive than plastic containers.
  • Renewable energy – Higher cost than traditional energy sources.
  • Responsible waste disposal – Costs more than landfill dumping.

So in keeping with their green principles, Benjamin Moore accepts higher production costs. But they pass these costs along with higher retail pricing.

Premium Painting Tools

Benjamin Moore also manufactures and sells its own branded line of premium painting tools and accessories. This includes rollers, brushes, trays, sprayers and more. Similar to their paints, these Benjamin Moore tools are priced higher than generic painting tools.

Benjamin Moore can charge more for its paint tools because contractors know these brushes, rollers, etc. are optimized for use with Benjamin Moore paints. So consumers are not just paying for the materials, but the performance and results the Benjamin Moore tools enable.


In summary, Benjamin Moore paints ultimately cost more because of the premium ingredients used, strict quality control, specialty paint formulations, brand reputation and marketing, hands-on production methods, smaller economies of scale, green manufacturing initiatives, and premium painting tools.

While Benjamin Moore paints cost approximately 30-50% more than value brands, consumers are paying for a product backed by decades of paint expertise and technical innovation. For those seeking the highest-quality professional-grade paint, Benjamin Moore is worth the premium price.