Review: Martha Stewart Living vs. Glidden Paint

March 15, 2010 | by Fred (email) |

martha-stewart-and-glidden-paint-cansI’ve been raving about Ralph Lauren Paint for give years — since I first used it to paint a beige dining room in “Dark Mocha” in our current home. It did that job in just one coat, with one gallon of paint, and I was very impressed! We’ve since repainted that room (as part of a complete first floor remodel), and again used Ralph Lauren (in a lighter shade) with great success.

Last year, Jocie (another author here at One Project Closer) ran a comparison between Ralph Lauren,Valspar, Duron, and Behr, and found that Ralph Lauren outperformed the others in everything except price. She concluded that Ralph Lauren was the best value when one considers that less Ralph Lauren paint is required to cover the same surface area.

[Related: Valspar, Duron, and Behr Paint Objective Test]

Despite our good findings, Home Depot saw fit to stop selling our favorite brand of paint and replace it with Martha Stewart’s new line of paint. Home Depot now also carries Glidden interior paints as an “upscale” alternative to Behr. According to the paint desk worker at our local Home Depot, both Glidden and Martha Stewart Living paints are manufactured by the same company; however, they clearly use differing formulas, based on our findings below.

We decided to give both brands a try before picking the best one to paint a loft at my friend’s townhome over this past weekend. At our local Home Depot, Glidden costs $19.95 / gallon, while Martha Stewart commands $4.00 more for $23.95 / gallon. So, based on price alone, we’re expecting the performance of Martha Stewart Living to be about 20% better than Glidden. Ralph Lauren used to retail for around $28.00, so both brands are less expensive than our old favorite.

Performance Comparison

Before committing to either, we bought a quart of each and tested both on sample areas of the walls. We used the same paint brushes and rollers on both paints to get the best comparison of quality. Here’s the pics:



If you look closely at the brush pic, you’ll notice that the coverage of the Martha Stewart Living isn’t nearly as good as the Glidden. Martha’s brand shows white streaks through the tan, while Glidden puts on a relatively even coat.

The difference is less obvious with rollers, and we had trouble getting a picture that could really show you the fine detail of the paint. But, in this case too, Martha’s paint didn’t do as well covering as the Glidden. When we examined the wall closely, we could see tiny white spots on the Martha Stewart side while the Glidden maintained a very uniform look.

Our little non-scientific experiment led us to choose Glidden for the job. We purchased five gallons of Glidden Interior and were successful in painting the room. We still cut in twice in most places, but rolled the walls only once. The project turned out great. More pictures from the whole job are coming in a future article.

[See also: Valspar, Kilz, and Behr Primer Review]

All in all, though, we still miss Ralph Lauren. And the collective judgment of everyone with us–all of whom were previously sold on RL as the best paint for the price–didn’t think Glidden was as impressive as RL. But, it could just be our bias; we’ve never done a side-by-side comparison.

89 Responses
  1. Katharine says:

    I chose glidden for a project based on their free quarts. I had a brick-ish red kitchen, which I took to a true red. In two coats, It still hasn’t covered well in some places, it is transparent through to the original paint. On the other hand, I bought true-white Behr, and painted over a seafoam green wall in one coat.


    I won’t be buying Glidden again.

  2. derek says:

    We buy the mid-grade Benjamin Moore (spec. grade), which is about the same price as Behr, and seems a lot better. It could cover in one coat, but I like to do 2 coats, just because I always go too thin in some areas. For interior we’ve been buying Ecospec which is low-voc.

  3. Fred says:

    Katharine, Good feedback on red Glidden. We had a similarly negative experience with red Behr. I was told later that you must apply the appropriate dark-paint primer (a dark grey) for the red behr to “take” – suspect the same may be true for Glidden. We haven’t painted any walls red since the Behr wall, so I’m not sure if RL or Ben Moore would do better in this situation…

    Derek, we’ve had a universally mediocre experience with Behr products. I am anxious to try their new “premium plus ultra” which claims no priming is necessary. We’ll see how it performs. I think it’s funny that they used “premium” and “premium plus” and still came out with yet a better paint.

  4. Amanda says:

    I always use Kilz paint, which I think you can only get at Wal-Mart. It is a little harder to roll on than other paints, but it washes and lasts beautifully. Have you ever used it?

  5. Kelli says:

    Wow! Do I feel your pain. I just went to look at some paint chips last night at my local Home Depot and discovered that they quit selling the Ralph Lauren! I am devastated. This coming from a person that just remodeled and painted 35 GALLONS of Ralph Lauren paint in my new house. My second choice is always Glidden, I NEVER use Behr it drapes horribly, however I love Ralph Lauren because it has the BEST coverage and GREAT colors that just aren’t the same with other brands. Thank you for the Martha Stewart/Glidden comparison, I was wondering the same thing. I am now on a mission to find out where I can get the Ralph Lauren!

    • Linda says:

      I web searched as well on how to find RL. I’m furious that Home Depot caved to the Martha Stewart empire. I have not been to Dillard’s yet; but the RL website gave me that location when I entered my zip code. I am currently testing Martha faux paint in my own experiment.

  6. Fred says:

    Kelli – check for information on where to find a local reseller. We’re going to do a separate article on this… RL contacted us after we ran this article to let us know that they still intend to sell their brand of paint, and that there will be no change in the formula!

  7. Janna says:

    The only reason I am on the web right now, is that I am trying to figure out what paint to use instead of Ralph Lauren. I give up on home depot, because I have not had good luck in the past with Glidden or Behr. In my previous 2 houses I have used Ralph Lauren and loved it. In addition, the one coat coverage the sheen is a little higher for RL Satin, than other paints. So I am trying to find something that covers as well and match the sheen of the RL Satin. Has anyone tired Valspar or Benjamin Moore?

  8. Janna says:

    FYI, on they still list Home Depot as retailers in my area–oops!

  9. mike says:

    Dude, do you not realize that Glidden, Ralph Lauren, and Martha Stewart are all from the same Manufacturer? Look at the back of the label it will indicate ICI or Akzo-Nobel as the parent company. Designer colors like Martha Stewart doesn’t mean the quality of the paint is any better, than the competition. Do you obviously think Martha Stewart or Ralph Lauren know much about how to manufacture a quality paint product? No, of course not – they just have a contract to have a manufacturer produce it for them so they can make money off their brand name! The paint companies use the designers’ names to boost sales, and profits with higher prices. It’s the oldest trick in the book in marketing!

  10. Fred says:

    mike- sort of true but not completely accurate. in many cases the designer brands negotiate the formula to be used (sometimes exclusively) with their name brand. paints created by the same manufacturer are not all created equal, do not cost the same to produce, and do not provide the same benefits. To get through the marketing hype to see what the real product is, you need to run the test.

  11. Dave says:

    You are correct in saying that each formula is exclusive to each label (brand). Martha Stewart is a brand new product. RL is exclusive formulation as well.

  12. mike Johnson says:

    Of course they may have a an exclusive formulation, but that doesn’t mean it’s ‘better’! LOL Do you think they would produce a formula ‘better’ than their own? No, of course not, designer paints come-and-go. Name brands such as Glidden have a reputation to hold on to; and although they have the same manufacturer, Glidden’s Premium paint, isn’t about to be upstaged by Martha Stewart. Even your own test of the product is self apparent of this fact isn’t it?
    This paint is only designed to be bought by the Martha Stewart Cult followers, and they’ll pay anything for the crap she’s coming up with. As far as I’m concerned she still needs to be behind bars! Maybe she’ll come up with a few decorative ideas for the ‘Big House’.

  13. Kelli says:

    Mike, can you then explain why Ralph Lauren paint is superior to both Glidden and Martha Stewart?

  14. Dave says:

    Let me see if I can address a few things I have read here and maybe (just maybe) shed some light.
    People have opinions about everything, and this holds true with paint. What one person may like; someone else may dislike. Test results and ratings for coatings are posted everywhere but true evaluations are performed by Marschall Labs ( Thats all they do is test coatings withno bias like some consumer type publications. Anyway, after all that being said you will still have your own opinion, and thats fine. No paint producing manufacturer tries to upstage or outdo any other paints being produced in their same stable. They do indeed try to reach different buying groups; and alot of times, that’s where the designer names come to play. Fact of matter is that Martha Stewart being sold at the Home Depot is a brand new product with brand new ingredients and quite frankly I really like this product. I have had the opprotunity to try almost all comparable paints in the marketplace, and for the price point and performance I was impressed. I am not easily impressed. As far as the typical MS comments; I can think of bigger crooks that still walk among us. Don’t worry about who’s name is on the label, try it for yourself and decide (plus its alot less money for paint of the same caliber).
    As far as the RL loyalists. I was sorry to see it go as well, but unfortunately thats how business goes sometimes. The paint is only available in RL Home stores like in NYC and there are a few Ace and True Value harware stores that are still carrying the paint. HD is still carrying the faux finishes; but I don’t know for how long on either.
    And alas I would lie to address the parent company manufacturing thing along with all the other labels. Akzo Nobel makes Glidden, RL, Martha Stewart, Flood, Liquid Nails and a whole slew of other commercial labels. The parent company of Behr (Masco) also owns Kilz, Kilz Casual Colors, along with Delta Faucets, etc. Sherwin Williams also owns MAB, Duron and Purdy. The list goes on and on. This is all listed on the net; just a fyi.
    You are just going to like what you like, and all paint jobs cannot be created equal!!! Trust me, every one is truly unique.

  15. mark says:

    The Glidden Premium in Home Depot is an excellent product, very competitive in price and performance. The Ralph Lauren product is a top-notch formulation to compete against the SW Duration, BM Regal, PPG Manor Hall, etc. This product is now distributed in its original formulation through Independent Dealers throughout the US (paints stores, lumber companies, etc).

    As Dave says, products are manufactured with exclusive formulations to fit with the expectations of the end users.The end users (homeowners, professional contractors, remodelers, DIYers) have different performance features and benefit expectations (coverage, spatter resistance, touch up quality). What some people value, others may not. Accent colors, especially reds, have the poorest coverage ability, and require tinted primers or multiple coats, no matter who the manufacturer is. By the way, SW also owns Pratt and Lambert.

  16. Jane says:

    In response to your comment about Glidden not being as good as Ralph Lauren, the formula in the can of Glidden is exactly the same as what was in RL. You can have any Home Depot associate put a formula of RL into Glidden paint (to truly test this, have the associate assume the can under the tinting machine is RL, even though the true product is Glidden). You will find the colors and texture will be exactly the same.

    Also, in paint data sheets, the solids content, both weight and volume, are identical for both products.

    • not giving it says:

      don’t know if anyone will actually be reading this as it’s in reply to a 2year old posting but anyways. you are sorry to say mistaken in saying that it would be the exact same thing putting a RL formula into a Glidden can. as a current HD employee and 2+year associate in paint i can tell you this is absolutely false. we’ve done it here on purpose before just to prove to people that it’s not just a name gimmick it IS formulated differently. and besides add to that , since RL is no longer sold at the HD you can’t just assume the RL can is under the machine as the can needs to be scanned in order to confirm the right can is being used as to prevent mistints.

  17. Rachael says:

    I used the Martha Stewart paint it is is the most awful paint I’ve ever used. I agree 100% with the comments on covering. The more you roll on, the more it comes off.

  18. James says:

    I was never a fan of RL clothes, but there paint was the only paint I purchased in the last 5 years. I was sad to see HD stop carrying RL paint. I was even sadder after painting a room with Martha Stewart. They may be manufactured by the same parent company, but they can’t be the same formula. Not that I am a professional painter, but I have never had a problem with visible brush strokes until I used Martha Stewart paint. I have some RL paint that is 4 years old. After mixing properly for a minute, the paint looked brand new and went on without any problems. I guess I’ll be driving 90 miles to the closest RL paint distributer.

  19. Donna says:

    I am soooo disappointed to hear Home Depot has stopped selling RL paint, this is the only one coat paint available as far as I know, well Kilz comes in a close 2nd. I paint a room a year because I get bored and redecorate, so I have asked a paint salesperson at HOme Depot what paint would be comparable to the RL paint, and he told me the Glidden paint is exactly the same as RL and they produced the RL paint anyway. I am going to hesitantly try the Glidden, but before I do can anyone tell me about their experience with the Glidden Paints? The comments I have read so far are helpful, but I need more feedback please.

  20. Diane says:

    Donna, don’t do it!!!

    I’m having a hard time with Glidden and will never buy it again. I’m in the middle of our huge basement project (5 colors plus Premium Plus trim paint), using mostly Behr products, which have seemed adequate, though I’m also cutting in two coats, mostly rolling once. However, the Glidden paint has been VASTLY INFERIOR. I bought a second can 4 days ago and am about to finally use it. It was already separated, which the Behr products didn’t do after only a few days. I stirred it up, poured some out and it’s already separated again–worse–20 minutes later! I called the store to ask if it was bad and was told that they would be happy to remake it. When pressed, he said it would probably be the same and that he has seen far worse from Glidden products. Yikes!

    PS – My Home Depot does NOT prefer Glidden over Behr. Based on this forum, I cannot believe that Glidden is the same as RL.

  21. Mike says:

    It is laughable that people are bashing Glidden here. It’s the ONLY paint that guarantees your project, call the 1800 number on the can if you have an issue and you’ll get your money back. I work for HD and they do not prefer either brand. In the past Behr was the favorite but the New Glidden kicks Behr’s ass up and down, even the Ultra. Read the label and you’ll see that Ultra recommends primer in any situation you NEED to prime. Simply put 90% of people who have an issue don’t prep right and then blame the product, Paint, Adhesives, Plants, you name if you don’t do the prework the final result will suck!

  22. Mike says:

    Oh really? Behr Ultra was rated #1 by consumer reports last I’ve seen, and has a lifetime guarantee as well…but maybe I should listen to you then, eh? Since your so qualified to make that assumption! LOL
    And yes, Ultra recommends priming obviously if you must use a oil based primer in certain situations, duh!
    I can hardly believe your a HD employee when you say something that retarded, but then again it very well could be true! LOL 😉

  23. Damien says:

    I too am surprised at Mike’s BEHR bashing. I too work for the Home Depot, and am in fact the dept. supervisor in paint. I have personally spoken with both the Glidden and BEHR reps and even the Glidden rep says that Glidden cannot touch BEHR’s new Ultra line of paint, and that is simply because it is the best paint you can get. It is NOT just paint with primer added. It is in fact a reformulated line that utilizes what BEHR calls “nanoguard technology”. It is so good that you can often times get by without using a primer, there are obviously some certain situations outstanding. For example…anytime you are painting a red color that uses a lot or gets a majority of it’s color from the “V” tint (TiO2). Almost any deep shade of red will require a tinted primer…even the Ultra. Glidden’s premium line is however good as well. Both BEHR and Glidden use 100% acrylic as a bonding agent in their paint…therefore you get high quality paint either way. I believe that BEHR may hold a slight edge over Glidden merely because BEHR has a larger quantity of the bonding agent (acrylic) in comparison to the water base. I have personally compared the Glidden premium to BEHR premium plus, and it really is a toss up…However you cannot knock Ultra…it really is simply the best paint you can buy, even compared to Ben Moore, Valspar and Sherwin Williams…they have nothing that can touch it.

  24. Matt says:

    The New Glidden (replacement of old Evermore Glidden) Is almost the same paint as Ralph Lauren. The tinting is the exact same color . I will Garentee you that if you bring them them the Formula from you Ralph Lauren can and have them put it in the New Glidden it will be the exact same color. This straight from The ICI rep(who made both) and seeing and tinting it myself. Martha However is a new line of paint and I will give it some credit. It uses speciality tints that helps reds in her line cover well.

    • stefano says:

      I’m trying to find the modern equivalent of Glidden Evermore Antique White paint, any one know?

  25. Paul says:

    I just made the mistake of using Martha Stewart paint. It doen’t cover for S*** and doesn’t dry well either. It took three coats to cover primed (Kilz II) walls. I used it because of the color selection.

    I used Kilz II as a primer and compared to oil based Kilz, it’s crap as well. The pigment settled out into a glump in 2 days. I had to use a mixer beater attached to my drill for 20 minutes get all the lumps out.

    I used Behr on the ceiling and was completely satisfied with it. One coat, stirred with a stick, and it dried quickly.

  26. sv says:

    Lowe’s still carries RL paint if anyone is interested.

  27. SFpainter says:

    I just painted my son’s room with MS Salt Water. I was very disappointed with how it went on. It does go on streaky and looks like it’s drying that way too. I’ve used all kinds paint brands and this is the worst! I also liked Ralph Lauren…went on like butter. I even prefer the Fresh Air paint over this. I also chose another MS color for our living room and painted a swatch…terrible! The colors are not true either.

  28. Trillium says:

    Still upset with what happened at Home Depot yesterday in the paint dept. This summer we repainted the entire interior and used Behr paint. We love it. Well come to find out that Home Depot has a contract with their other vendors they stock not to use their colors in Behr paint. I keep picking Glidden colors and Home Depot will not make those colors in their paint. They will take other colors from Miller Paints etc but not Glidden or others they sell. Some how Home Depot decided these vendors own the colors. One Home Depot store never made a fuss of this and twice at this other Home Depot it was like pulling teeth to get them to make the paint the color we wanted. We have spent thousands of dollars at Home Depot this year remodeling our modest obode, new tile floors, repainting inside, molding, etc and I am totally dumb founded that Home Depot will put their vendors wishes before what their customers want. We have decided not to go to that Home Depot anymore and if we have any more issues again with the other Home Depot we will shop elsewhere altogether. Since when did anyone own colors? I also decided to research other paints just in case since we still have more painting to do down the road and I really don’t want to be told once again that the color I picked is not one they can honor. The irony here is I tried to find a Behr color we liked but they have this broshure of all their colors and the samples are so small it is hard for these old eyes to determine the color. We have been so busy working on the house that the only time I get to check out colors is when we are picking up more supplies at Home Depot and I end up picking Glidden colors everytime. How about Behr making better colors and marketing them better than having Home Depot hassle us about who owns which color? We love the Behr paint and primer all in one but much too pricy at 32.00 a gallon so we reverted back to the just the Premium Plus at $17.00 a gallon. Who makes a reasonably priced version of a Premium Plus Behr type paint and will they honor any paint color I ask them to make? Please do not say Glidden or other Home Depot paint they sell since any vendor that signs such an agreement with Home Depot is a consumer bully that I do not want to support.

    • not giving it says:

      don’t know if you’ll read this 2 years later but here goes anyways.
      not sure of the exact reason they would NOT make a paint color for you. a vendor has no say over what colors we can or can not make with regards to customer wishes. if a customer brings in a color swatch from another vendor but wants Behr paint or vice versa we’ll gladly attempt to color match it for them provided they understand it’s not a 100% guarenteed match but is usually so close they can’t tell. that is if they’re covering the whole thing not just touch ups thats where you can run into issues with using color swatches from company A to put into company B’s paint. but as for whole projects i don’t see the problem long as you know again it’s not a 100% guarenteed match.

  29. Deb says:

    Made the mistake of using Martha Stewart paint in a bathroom. The paint is runny and doesn’t go on nicely at all. Whatever you do, don’t put painters tape on it. The paint had been on the wall for a month when I put the tape on to redo the trim. The painters blue tape was only on for 24 hours and when I pulled it off, the paint came with it. Using the same tape on Lowes paint, none of it came off, even though it was taped within 24 hours of painting and the tape was on the wall for at least a week.

  30. joe says:

    Just so everyone knows Martha Stewart is a division of glidden to replace the loose of the Ralph line. It is now a home depot exclusive as is all of m.s. products such as carpet. Just an fyi. Give Behr premium ultra a shot. Great coverage with a primer and paint all in one. Just two coats will give the best coverage money can buy.

  31. Lori says:

    Yup- Dirty little secret is that Martha Stewart Living Paint is made by Glidden. Hop across the street to Lowe’s and get the far-superior Valspar paint or Behr as someone mentioned.

  32. Toolman says:

    @trillium–one of the reasons the Home Depot won’t mix any color in any base is you will NOT get the same color…each color was formulated for a particular base….you can’t put a Martha Stewart color into an America’s Finest base and expect to get the same color. Think of the bases as a cake mix–they all use different proportions of flour, eggs, etc…and if you add the same amount of chocolate to them, each one will turn out differently, some drastically so.
    Another reason they won’t put the high dollar colors into the base is exactly that–money. Tint costs money, particularly the Vu and Ru (I think) tints they use in the premium paints. They come from automotive applications. It cost HD money to put expensive tint into cheap base that you will probably return anyway because the color will be off.
    Haven’t used MSL paint yet, but LOVE the new Glidden formulation. That will probably be my “go-to” paint from now on…

  33. Anna S says:

    I hate Behr paint, despite the fact it’s been rated #1 by consumer mags for a long time. I have never tried Ralph Lauren, but my favorite of those I’ve used is Valspar, hands down. Goes on nicely, covers great (although I always do 2 coats anyway) and lasts. The only place I’ve ever had an issue with it is on some closet doors. It started coming off after a chair bumped it a couple times, but I then realized I forgot to prime. After priming and re-painting, it’s holding up great.

  34. mdmiller says:

    We just finished painting quite a few doors — we ended up using Martha Stewart Living paint from HD because the color we selected was a MSLP chip sample and I’ve always had problems with exact color matching in different brands. To summarize, I won’t use this paint again. Coverage was awful. We always use the same process for doors, we take them down, remove all hardware, strip off most of the previous coat with coarse sandpaper and then sand smooth with a fine paper, wipe down with denatured alcohol, and then tack-rag. The doors are painted flat on saw horses. I’ve built furniture for years, and I expect a good finish. These doors were old house panel-type doors, and my wife uses a sash brush and does the detail which I then backroll these and paint the flat areas with a smooth foam roller. I’ve never had such problems with bubbles that would not flow smooth – roller properly loaded with paint, no pressure, zillions of bubbles, I tried several brands of foam rollers and there was no difference. The first door looked like it was coated with thousands of little bubbles after drying. I finally mixed in 1:8 Flotrol:Paint to get the paint to smooth out properly. Usually this process gives a finish that looks like it was sprayed, but not with this awful paint, what a pain. However I do like the color.

  35. Wilma says:

    I just used Martha Stewart paint because I liked the colour and could not get it mixed in another brand of paint. Never again….the paint is so sticky that you cannot brush it on evenly, it leaves white streaks and looks ‘globby’ on the trim when you’re finished. When you roll it’s drying so quickly that if you roll over your previous rolls it’s taking some of the paint off….bathroom is finished now but it took a long time and a lot of patience (and some sanding)…..colour looks good, but next time I if I like the MS colours I will match them up with Benjamin Moore or Para colours.

  36. Penny says:

    I just finished painting my bathroom with Martha Stewart paint that I bought at Home Depot. It was the worst paint I have ever used; like another poster, the paint had lots of little bubbles in it that did not go away after stirring. It reminded me of a greasy mixture. I used Kilz primer (which I also used for the first time-don’t like it either) and had to use two coats of the Martha Stewart paint. The coverage was wildly uneven, the primer bled through-the areas around the doors where I had to had to use a brush were the worst. Horrible coverage. I normally use Benjamin Moore paint, and I have never had this problem. While I like the color selection of Martha Stewart paints, I can’t say the same for the quality.

    I will probably have to repaint the room, and I will go to the nearest Benjamin Moore dealer, and get them to match the Martha Stewart color. It does not have to be an exact match-close enough will do.

    Like some of the other posters, I don’t like Behr paint (in spite of the rating by Consumer Reports); I am going back to using Benjamin Moore.

  37. RenaMarie says:

    Yeah I agree with the Martha Stewart “non-scientific” experiment. I bought MS bedford Grey and I am now needing another gallon, as the first gallon didn’t cover as well as expected. This was the first time using MS paint, and for the price I won’t buy it again. My husband was disappointed I bought the MS paint as we have tried with great results, the Glidden and Behr.. but Behr is a bit runny I think – especially when mixed to a specific color. So I will just use Martha’s Wonderful color pallet on other paints. Thinking I will get Glidden in Eggshell and have them tint it into Bedford Grey.


  38. Ashemi says:

    I LOVE Ralph Lauren paint. I have used Behr and Sherwin Williams in the past and prefer Behr over SW, but as many others have stated, RL is my fav. Just discovered HD does not carry RL anymore and I was hesitant to try Martha Stewart, so I was planning on using a Behr paint with the primer included. I could not find a true gray color (they don’t have very many swatch colors up), so I ended up with a MS color and tried to get them to match it and use the Behr paint with the primer included. Well, MS uses her own “decoder pen” and Home Depot could not guarantee a match. I was going to have to paint a huge master, dressing area and bathroom and prime the whole thing first or try to match as close as possible with the Behr paint /primer. Uggh!!! I asked the guy to get as close as he could and I would cross my fingers for the best, as I only have a day and a half. Well, of course, they are out of the Behr paint with the base that I needed, so back to MS and he did “throw in” a complimentary gallon of primer, (if only he could have thrown a little man in to prime all of the walls.) I REALLY don’t want to prime everything first and I was planning on doing two coats anyway. I am going from a medium gold color to a medium gray color, to match black/white with a little bright green for pop comforter and accessories. I have solid white panel curtains, so the gray color isn’t really matching anything. Would love to know thoughts on whether I really need to prime first. Fingers crossed.

  39. CJ says:

    I used Behr paint throughout my house and have really regretted the decision. It went on smoothly and coverage is ok – BUT – it marks up and stains easily and you absolutely can not wash it without leaving permanent streaks.. In other words, the durability stinks.

    Any suggestions for paint that is durable after it dries?

  40. Mark says:

    Washing painted surfaces should be done with a cellulose sponge and water, or a bit of dishwashing liquid (if necessary). This should be done after the paint cures (30 days). No abrasives, no ammoniated cleaners, which may ruin the paint film. Most low or no-VOC products will not dry to a hard film as it did in years past (the latex paints had alkyd resin, glycols, formeldehyde, and other extenders).

    Regarding bubbling when painting doors- a foam roller is probably the worst tool you can use, as it does not absorb paint. Instead, it pushes paint across the surface, as opposed to distributing it, and the roller dries out fast. The friction and the propensity to roll into the film (which sets up quickly) can result in bubbling. The roller to use is a short napped (1/4″ or 3/8″ ) shed resistant smooth roller. This is a much better applicator. Again, the current chemistry of paint (regardless of manufacturer) makes a difference, as it sets up quickly to touch. Hope that this helps.

  41. JANE says:


  42. Joe says:

    I know someone in the paint department at a home depot and was told that Ralph Lauren paint was actually Glidden’s top-of-the-line paint in a Ralph Lauren can. Now they’ve switched to Martha Stewart line of colors and it is also made by Glidden.

  43. Joe says:

    Also, I have used the Behr paint with primer and can say without hesitation, DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY! It still requires the same number of coats and did not cover any better than if I had used regular Behr paint and saved myself $20 a gallon!

  44. Abby says:

    One reason the color matching doesn’t work if you take a Ralph Lauren or Martha Stewart chip and have it color matched in the computer is because they treat the paint chip paper with something that skews the color in the computer. If you can get the person at the paint counter to write down the formula for the paint color you want, it will match in any brand paint.

  45. Fred says:

    Abby, this isn’t 100% true. The white base of different paints and how they absorb dye varies. However, the colors will likely be close if a similar base is used.

  46. Mark says:

    Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, and the Glidden Paint products (also America’s Finest) are manufactured by Akzo Nobel Paints. Ralph Lauren products are still being made- they are sold by independent dealers throughout the US.

  47. john says:

    I have been a paint contractor for over 15 years. I notice that a lot of people on this forum pay too much attention to Consumer Reports. Please note that they do not compare apples to apples when making comparisons. You can google “NAD and Behr” or “NAD and Home Depot” and you will find some very interesting articles regarding how Behr was rated #1. NAD stands for National Advertising Agency, which conducted an investigation on their claims of #1. After trying the Behr Ultra and then researching, I have lost complete faith in Consumer reports.
    I have since gone back to using Glidden.

  48. Susan says:

    I used Behr once, off white over white with a primer, and it took three coats for an even coverage. (Consumer Reports recommendation)

    I just love Ralph Lauren, the luminosity, the coverage, the colors. It can be obtained by Mail Order but shipping makes expensive. Might as well buy Farrow and Ball at $80 a gallon.

    I have also used Pratt and Lambert in a flat and a satin. P & L. doesn’t drip and even the cheaper option covers in two coats, both light and dark paint shades. Used to be carried by my local Ace but now they have discontinued and a 50 mile round trip if I want to buy. So……..if I take in the lid from a Ralph Lauren color I have used and love can Home Depot mix the formula into their best paint brand? Not sure what paint brand that would be. I bought a sample of Martha Stewart and it is watery.

  49. Brad says:

    Hate to break it to you but Glidden, Ralph Lauren, and Martha Stewart paint lines are made in the same plants with the same exact formula’s. Akzo Nobel makes all of them and I happen to work for them. We will literally get what we call low volume SKU’s and pull one “brand” of paint and relabel it to send off as a different brand to a customer that needs that particular brand. There is a huge list we use to verify what product code of one paint matches the exact formula of a product code of another line. If you want to compare the actual paints quality. Glidden has three main ranges of quality/cost for the paints they sell: the economy brands like Glidden’s Speed-Cote and ProMaster, the midrange paints like The Glidden brand sold at Home Depot which uses the same formulas as the Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart lines, and finally the Glidden Professional lines sold only in certain specialty stores and Glidden’s own company stores around the country. It just really seems funny you “compare” three brands of paints at three different “ratings” and they are literally the same paints.

  50. Fred says:

    Brad, I have no reason to question whether you’re being honest, but look at the picture above of Martha Stewart and Glidden:

    both purchased on the same day,
    both applied to the same wall, with the same paintbrush,
    in the same manner
    with the same paint color.

    The two absolutely do not cover the same. Something’s wrong with your claim…

  51. Dave says:

    Boy, were you correct. I’m not sure where Brad works in OUR company, but he couldn’t be more incorrect. All formulas are different for all labels we manufacture under. We have been known as a company to improve our products when new discoverys are made; and may add the new, better component to several different lines. Plus there are some formulas that are real close to each other, but not identical.
    Martha Stewart paint has been introduced to the Home Depot just a short time ago. It is a brand new product, with brand new ingredients. It is thinner in cosistancy than Ralph Lauren because it has a new no VOC binder in the product. Both RL and Martha are (still) made by Akzo. The new Glidden formula has recently been upgraded to a no VOC binder as well; also providing better overall performance. The Glidden and Martha products are now very similar, but definately not the same. If you use the new Martha (the Akzo version, not the SW version) you will notice how fast it dries and how hard the paint film is once it has time to cure. Plus now the only VOCs in the paint is the tint that is added to color the product.
    Well, hopefully I helped the consumers a bit, and helped my company save a little face. Don’t you just hate getting incorrect information?!? Thanks to everyone who continue to support all of our labels. Like I tell people, there is a product out there for everyone. You just need to find the product that works the best for you and the job you are doing.

  52. Mark says:

    Well put, Dave. Clarity is a good thing, indeed.

  53. Sandra says:

    Well, if you guys really want the RL paint, you can always go to Amazon or Yahoo! Answers had this comment about RL/Home Depot:

    “Home Depot was pulled as a supplier because Home Depot used RL colors to mix in other brands. of paint. It was really very unprofessional of both company’s it left customers in the lurch especially those who were half way through a project.”

  54. Sandra says:

    Btw, reds are notorious for needing more coats than other colors. In our house,
    my husband (who has done ALOT of painting over the years) swears by Benjamin Moore. Yeah, it might cost more per gallon, but the coverage has always made him happy (and the colors make ME happy!). We recently used their New London Burgundy (an Aura color, which at first struck us as being $$$) in a media room and it actually only took two coats. So, does the cost vs quality even things out? We think so!

  55. Heidi says:

    Ralph Lauren paint is the best and they carry it at Miller Paint stores now! 🙂

  56. Mark says:

    Ralph Lauren is sold through Independent paint dealers.

    Paint is like many other things- you get what you pay for.

  57. Emily says:


    Sorry the paint associates were rejecting you. The paint vendors think that they own the colors, and I’ve been accosted more than once by one when I made a glidden or martha color in behr. (I used to work at Home Depot). Some managers are super crazy about it too, if there is another Home Depot in your town, try going there. Even though I really disliked working at home depot, the people who work there are usually really great people and do want to make you happy because its sad to deal with unhappy costumers. =] I don’t know if all retail jobs are the same, but at home depot, everytime someone’s project is hard or goes bad they will come to the store, seek you out, and yell at you. And all you can do is stand there, take it, and tell them that you’re really sorry. But! When you get a really nice, enjoyable costumer, every associate will go so far out of their way to help them! Because the longer time you spend with an enjoyable person, the less you spend with an unhappy person! Yay! Just be sweet to associates, you will surely get your way.
    As for the paint, I love Behr and Ralph Lauren, Glidden is OK, and Martha is not so great. When you buy Martha you are buying her name, she is made by Glidden but is an inferior product. Just don’t buy her, you will only be sad, I was sad to sell her and would always suggest something different to customers. I am so heart broken that Home Depot stopped selling Ralph, that was a silly decision, especially now that they have even replaced the specialty RL finishes with Martha’s. Beware that an associate may tell you that Martha is great and just as good as any other paint, HD makes a huge profit on her paint. Be especially ware of the paint vendors. Some are honest, most are not.

  58. Sue says:

    Just finished “trying” to paint a hallway w/ Martha Stewart. Terrible quality. Old light pink shows through even after 2 to 3 coats. Finally took it back to Home Depot and got my money back. Bought Behr (light cream) and it’s doing the job at last. Would have preferred RL but HD dropped it. I’m looking at my beautiful office wall I painted at least 10 years ago and it is still terrific. I’d gladly give an extr $10 to get this color, coverage, and ease of putting it on+ still enjoying it 10 years later. Not a bargain..Martha Stewart. Oh, also,the paint chip is correct but Salt Glaze ( light light blue green) looks so weird and sort of glaring. The MS colors just don’t work. Behr is a good fall back.

  59. Anne says:

    Five years ago I had to paint my whole house and I had never painted. Tried a few brands (Debbie Travis was the absolute worst) and then got MS paint. It was heavenly. Even a light blue covered the old forest green with ONE coat. Loved her colours and painted my house with ease and actual pleasure.

    Now I’m reading here the formula is different and the quality no longer high? Very disappointing since I just now brought home a gallon of MS paint. I guess quality is hard to come by these days.

  60. Anne says:

    Okay so painted an average size bedroom today with the Martha Stewart paint. I was covering brown with yellow. Took two coats only and I have a bit left over. Looks great, so I’m not sure why others are having problems with this paint.

  61. Gatorb8 says:

    Wow!! I would really like to know what Business Unit “Brad” works for in Akzo Nobel. I, too, work for Akzo Nobel and I, too, am familiar with the different base formulations and can without a doubt agree with “Dave” that the Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, and Glidden base formulations are not the same. Try it for yourself and you can see the vast differences.

    Our organization has made great strides since being purchased by Akzo Nobel to increase the overall quality associated with the Glidden Brand name. If you haven’t tried our products within the last year I highly suggest you do before making assumptions. The product in the can is extremely better quality than previous years.

    Second, I see so many comments about coverage and hide of products and the first thing I look for is what color. Lighter colors are going to cover and hide better than darker. If you are painting deep rich reds, yellows, blues, greens, or whatever you need to use a tinted primer. Without, you are looking at several coats to achieve desired results. There are tints on the market today such as the RU and VU colorants used in Martha Stewart and Behr Ultra that will help in reds and blues which is why they use those colors in their ads and displays. If you color match a chip into these brands those colorants are not used meaning you aren’t going to get the benefit of the hi hiding tints.

    The short answer is call you local Glidden Rep when you have a problem. I guarantee you will save time, stress, and money as he/she is trained to analyze the issue and provide a solution before you spend more money! We have a complete satisfaction guarantee! I, personally, go out of my way to support my customers and have never had a dissatisfied customer even in a difficult situation!

  62. Gatorb8 says:


    Ralph Lauren was not pulled due to color matching of brands. The product is licensed by Akzo Nobel Paints whereas the Martha Stewart line is licensed by Home Depot. The RL product was pulled to make room for a internally licensed brand that took on a global effect; ie cleaners, carpet, flooring, and much more.

  63. Lesley says:

    Having just finished completely painting a large 2 bedroom apartment with Martha Stewart Matte and full gloss, I am VERY disappointed with the outcome! Colors were ok and because we were on a deadline had to proceed but the quality and coverage was extremely average to say the least! After two coats of high gloss on the trims etc, you can hardly notice it is gloss! At $25 a can…I expected a LOT more! We painted on many different surfaces but all with the same result, very poor coverage and quality.
    Would not recommend nor will I use it again!

  64. Risa says:

    Wow, I wish I would have found this website BEFORE I purchased MS paint. We are just completing a huge remodeling project – new office and new flooring throughout the main floor. MS paint went on the walls of the office – a big mistake. It covered so thin that just leaning on the wall scuffs the paint. And now that the new flooring is in – we have to repaint. Martha Stewart definitely doesn’t live at my house!!

  65. ron says:

    All three of these paints are manufactured by the same company. If you are looking for Ralph Lauren go to your nearest Glidden Professional location.

    • Gatorb8 says:

      Actually, the RL Products are not stocked in all Glidden Professional stores. If you contact the support number they can identify the nearest location.

  66. Mark says:

    Ralph Lauren Paints products are sold through Independent Dealers.

  67. Frank Hopson says:

    after a lot of reading and studying the above testimonials i have come to the conclusion that any paint can be the best paint on any given day, quality of application and application tools are just as important as the paint. a 25 dollar paint applied with a 25 cent brush. the weather effects finish. enough rant, my favorite is xxxx nope i aint gonna tell you. youll just have to spend your own time and money. lotsa luck

  68. steve says:

    Both Behr and Glidden are manufactured with 100% acrylic resins, Martha’s paint, made by Glidden also, has a mixture of acrylic and vinyl resins. Vinyl is cheaper and underperforms 100% acrylic is many areas, so you are getting a slightly inferior paint for the Martha price. All are made for low VOC regs, and now most all paint manufactures are switching over to zero VOC tints (that’s where most of the VOC’s come from in paints today, the tints).
    Behr Ultra is a great product…actually self priming on bare wood, drywall, aptching materials and it will not flash, so that does save you an extra prime coat in soem applications. The Ultra makes changing from light to dark colors (or visa-versa) easier with no priming and usually only 2 coats needed. The product also has mildew inhibitors and is moisture resistant, in effect a bathroom paint, and as such is priced very comparativly with any quality kitchen/bath paint on the market. The Ultra price is about $20 less that BM Aura or SW Duration.
    I’ve read on here quite a few comments on coverage with reds, but no one has explained why this happens. First, white paint has titanium dioxide (which is white) for hiding capability. If you put a couple ounces of red tint into a white gallon, you get pink…in fact, you could put half the can as red tint and you’d still end up with a pink. So deep colors are made with deep bases, which have little TiO2 so they are, in effect, a translucent base. Add red to a “clear” base and you will get the deep red color. But now when you put this on the wall, even though molecularly the red pigments are covering the surface evenly, the human eye, light and color now come into play. Light hits the wall, travels through the translucent red base and bounces back from the wall and whatever color was originally ont he wall (say white). Now the human eye perceives the light bouncing back from the red coating AND also the light bouncing back from the wall underneath. So you say “this paint doesn’t cover!!” A gray primer applied before the red coats does this….as the light passes through the translucent red coating, it gets absorbed by the darkened grey wall, and now the light bouncing back that your eye sees is almost all of the red color. Remember, white reflects and dark absorbs light. Simple physics and the human eye.

  69. Beatrix says:

    I never never ever had a extrior paint wash right off in the rain after it has been dry for 2 weeks. ~~~~~~~Martha Stewart ~~~~~~~~~~paint felt sticky for days and days and when the rain came… washed it off~~~~~~~~. Now I sit with a mess on my porch to clean up and then I will go back to good old Behr. Ps I hear the interior paint with her name on it washes off as well. Just so you all know.

    • Dave says:

      I saw this post and just had to respond.
      If your paint is washing off; you did something wrong. I don’t really care what kind of paint it is; you did something wrong. Its either tempurature, substrate or surface prep, it’s not the paint. Don’t waste more money; figure out what the problem is first. Minimally, buy a high quality exterior primer first, use that, check the weather for proper temp. and no rain; then paint away. Its uneducated responses on blogs about products that give them unearned bad reputations because other people will actually believe that paint washes off when executed correctly. I for one painted Martha exterior black over my steel garage doors two years ago without a hitch and used the interior just as easily.
      Seriously, if you dont know what you’re doing with a product, ask someone who does!!!

  70. Stephen Harmsen says:

    I have painted many years with Behr, Glidden, and even pricy Sherwin WIlliams. I never was able to determine wheter their relative quality differed enough to matter. I just bought a gallon of Martha Stewart flat exterior for my trim. If I believed the several of the above diatribes I would not even bother putting it on. However I don’t believe any of the nattering nabobs of negativity, even though the one about locking MS back up in prison was tasteful and humorous.

    Perhaps I am wrong and MS paint really is disappointing. I will learn this spring. In the meantime Home Depot seems to be discontinuing MS paints and selling their remaining stock off at 50% off and better. I am a sucker for such deals. Maybe you guys really were heard by the Home Depot management.

    • pattyS says:

      Home Depot discontinuing Martha Stewart paints? I was just there yesterday, and no such indication. I’ve read a lot about the lack of quality, and many disappointments with the paints, especially the metallics. The problem is that the colors are really wonderful. I’m going to give her metallic a try on a sample board to see how the much maligned streaking actually looks, trying different rollers. I’d love to mix the colors in another brand, especially Benjamin Moore lines, but I know how difficult that is because of the different bases. I’d like to get the recipe for the MS paint, see if that would work better than a computer analysis of the color chip.

      When I try the sample board, I’ll post my results.

      • pattyS says:

        Apparently, HD is discontinuing the MS regular paint. They are keeping the metallics and other specialty finish paints.

  71. Jennifer B says:

    I have used many different paint brands over the years and I have never used such crappy paint as Martha Stewart ever! It is my fault for not looking more carefully at the label, and just assumed it would be good with her name on it. Boy was I wrong! So it is no surprise when I go to Home Depot the other day and find out her paint is a Glidden product…worst garbage ever! I used top of line rollers, brushes and still had streaks and horrible coverage. Forget trying to clean your walls, the paint comes off instead! After painting many rooms and about 14 gallons later, I really don’t look forward to redoing it. Maybe Matrtha’s entourage should have to do it!
    @ Stephen H: Don’t waste your time!!

  72. Pat B says:

    Just finishing a wall with Martha Stewart Living Potters Clay paint-I have used Ralph Lauren suede paint before and had absolutely no problems. I have used Behr and Dutch Boy. I will never use Martha Stewart again!!! It does not cover well. We had to use THREE coats-it is not worth the price.

    • Jane Mc says:

      I too am a huge RL fan – did a 20 x 40 room that looked like antique leather and went bouncing back to Home Depot to use it on our kitchen re-do and found the Barboursville, WV, store quit carrying it too. I have already used 1 1/2 gals of MS light strokes chambray and can still see through the paint. Very disappointed and am 5 hours into this project and can’t turn back now. Live and learn. The sales clerk has no idea about the technique and they were out of one of the brushes to create the finish and he told me to “check the web site.”

  73. bee says:

    I found the opposite to be true. Ten years ago we purchased Ralph Lauren paint and used it for 2 rooms. The finished product looked like a 3 year old had done it. It was NOT user error. Though we are DIYers, we have been renovating homes for years, and not new to painting in the least. The Behr is almost as bad in my opinion. The finished product is ugly, splotchy, streaky, and shows every flaw on the wall. Martha Stewart paint was made by Glidden I believe, but they have stopped making it due to the extra marketing costs. It was by far the best paint I have ever used. I would rate it a perfect “10”, followed closely by Duron.

  74. Anna says:

    Wow too bad I did not find this website BEFORE buying Martha Stewart paint. We bought her Lighstrokes paint in canoe. HORRIBLE. We stirred the paint but on the walls the color is uneven alternating between brown and gold. We used good quality rollers but the paint is runny on the walls. I thought that because it had her name on it, it was good quality paint. Boy was I wrong. So back to using Behr.
    Please don;t waste your time and money for MS paint., very dissapointing.

  75. eleanor says:

    i am the painter in my house and have tried all kinds of paint from numberous paint companies. I recently decided to paint the ceilings, in my hallway and masterbedroom. The last owner painted them brown for some reason. I bought your glidden ceiling paint and well it was a major dissapointment when it took me two coats and i might have to give it another coat just to make it look really good..

    I find it a shame that not only do i have to buy double what i would buy of another paint product but the time it take to paint a ceiling ( going up and down the ladder).

    So i think the visitors to this sight should know that you are no better and maybe worse than martha stewart.

    • Fred says:


      Might help if you read the article. We aren’t Glidden, we’re an independent blog run by do-it-yourselfers. Yep – you can see that right there at the top right of every article! This review is of our experience with Glidden vs. Martha Stewart. You might also see that we actually prefer Ralph Lauren if you read closely. But all that said, you should also know that normally when going from a dark to a light color, no matter what paint you use, you’re going to have to do 2 coats – and if you want fast action, you should probably prime.


  76. Dan says:

    Don’t have a question. Just wanted to let you lnow that a Behr Rep and 2 Home Depot managers told me to give my Pro Rewards acct. number to as many people as possible so you can get 20% discount on all quarts, gallons, and 5-gallon buckets of all Behr, Kilz, Glidden, Zinsser, Flood,and Sykins (not sure about the spelling) products at any Home Depot store anywhere in the U.S. May also get it on Martha Stewart paints, not sure, haven’t asked yet. I am at the Gold level and get 20% off. My Pro Rewards acct # is 812-352-4171. Just tell the cashier that you have this number before you check out. They will also ask you for a job name, if you want to use it, but you don’t have to use one. They are hoping to get new customers this way.

  77. Dan says:

    Add Glidden to the 20% discount list above at Home Depot. I forgot that one.

  78. Cheryl says:

    My husband and I used Valspar Reserve for the first time this week. It does not cover in one coat, so do not be fooled by this advertising statement. It also dried too quickly and I was pulling paint off the wall as I was putting paint on UGH! Some walls I had to use 3 coats and this is after we used Kilz. I have to admit I used Martha Stewart paint that she sold thru K-Mart and We loved it. I guess we are back at the drawing board to find that perfect paint. Valspar Reserve is not worth the $41.95 a gallon that it costs. After our living room project was done and we are moving on to the kitchen, I am at a loss because we now have to continue with the Valspar Reserve because one room flows into the next then the hall.

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