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Q&A: Are kitchen and bath paints better than regular paints?

Consumer Reports News: May 16, 2009 12:09 AM

I'm going to be painting my kitchen and a bathroom. Is it really necessary to use paints designed for these rooms?

Probably not. We tested Behr, Olympic, and Valspar paints specifically designed for use in the kitchen and bathroom as well as standard semigloss finishes from the same manufacturers. (Semigloss is the closest sheen to the kitchen and bath paints.)

Interior Paints Review By Consumer ReportsWhile all three kitchen and bathroom paints performed well in our tests, they weren't better at resisting stains or holding up to scrubbing than our top-performing interior paints. Plus, the satin version of the regular Behr paint was better at hiding in one-coat and didn't show signs of gloss change when cleaned as much as its kitchen and bath version.

Kitchen and bathroom paints did an excellent job resisting mildew, but the regular paints proved very good at mildew resistance. So unless your kitchen or bathroom is particularly humid, stick with the standard paint and save yourself a couple of bucks per gallon.

Essential information: Use the right paint roller, brushes, and tools to get a professional-looking job on your next painting project. If you're feeling a bit more artistic, learn about specialty paints, including chalkboard, metallic, and faux finishes.

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