Builders Paint is Tough to Clean

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burnish builders paint
Builders paint is especially prone to burnish marks and poor cleanability.

Reputation Earned

"Builders' Paint" is low-quality paint (either outside or inside) that fails to hold up. Usually in the very dull gray and tan families, it is favored by Kansas City rehabbers and new construction builders. That means

  • Poor coverage
  • Poor hide
  • Poor cleanability
  • It's inexpensive

Poor quality paint can't really be "fixed", only covered by a better product.

Builders paint is used because it costs less. It costs less because, very simply, there is more water in the can and less "stuff". So, when it dries there is a much thinner and less-durable film of paint.

Builders often choose poor quality, low cost paint because they assume the home buyer will never know the difference. But they do - really. How can you tell if you're dealing with builders paint?

burnish marks paint Paint in family hallways see lots of rough treatment.

  • The paint burnishes easily when rubbed, whether from busy kid hands or an elbow carrying too many grocery bags (burnishing happens when the paint film won't hold up to friction and is actually polished to a different sheen)
  • The paint scrubs right off during routine cleaning. Very often, the newly cleaned spot looks worse than the original¬†dirty spot
  • You can see through the paint. This is the reason builders choose a limited color range - poor quality paint just doesn't cover very well

Poor quality paint can't really be "fixed", only covered by a better product. And a better product means it will hold up to the bumps and bruises of daily life.

Sometimes it's best to completely repaint, but often it's just as effective to repaint select areas.

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