9 Major Differences Between Benjamin Moore and Behr Paint

Benjamin Moore and Behr make some of the most popular interior and exterior paints in the US. Both of these brands offer attractive paints but the differences in colors, coverage, availability, and even pricing can be determining factors for you.

While there’s certainly no perfect type of paint, your home DIY project or a professional painting job requires good paint.

The biggest difference between Benjamin Moore and Behr paint is the range of colors. Benjamin Moore has 2.000 more colors than Behr. This means Benjamin Moore is more suitable for professional use while Behr is mostly recommended for DIY projects or affordable painting.

While easier to source than Benjamin Moore paint, Behr is generally seen as a brand of paint for all projects with the exception of its premium line. Benjamin Moore is seen as a premium brand in all of its paint colors.

Paint is often a subjective product. What seems to work best for a home might not be best for another home. Some people care about low VOC while others only abide by unique fresh colors not easily seen in all homes. Which of the following criteria is most appealing to you? Find out how Benjamin Moore and Behr paints compare below.

Benjamin Moore vs Behr – Which is Best?

This comparison aims to look at the range of colors, price, ease of application, and other important criteria when it comes to paint. While you can’t go wrong with any of these brands, there can only be one winner.

1.       Benjamin Moore has extra 2.000 colors to choose from

Both Benjamin Moore and Behr interior paints come with primer. For example, Benjamin Moore Aura interior paint has included primer. Behr Premium Plus Interior Paint also has primer in it (as all Behr paints).

This means the coverage is excellent.

You can cover your walls with 1-2 coats of paint with either Benjamin Moore and Behr.

However, there’s no denying range of color is important.

Benjamin Moore has more than 3.500 colors while Behr has around 1.500 colors to choose from. Professionals argue that Benjamin Moore’s colors can be more modern, especially in awards such as the color of the year.

This being said, there are no reasons why you wouldn’t find a great color with Behr. It’s just that a vast color range is a higher priority for Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore interior paints – Aura, Aura Bath & Spa, Regal Select Interior, Ben Interior, Advance Interior, Muresco Ceiling Paint, Waterborne Ceiling Paint

Benjamin Moore exterior paints – Aura Exterior, Aura Grande Entrance, Regal Select Exterior, Regal Select Exterior High Build, Ben Exterior

Behr interior paints – Behr Premium Plus, Behr Ultras Scuff Defense, Behr Marquee, Behr Dynasty, Alkyd Paint, Ceiling Paint, Basement Masonry Waterproofers

Behr exterior paints – Behr Premium Plus, Behr Ultra, Behr Marquee, Masonry Stucco & Brick Paint, Barn, and Fence Paint, Roof Paint, Oil-based Paint

Both brands offer a good range of colors.

Many choose Benjamin Moore has a few more types of interior and exterior paints that last. Behr paints have just 3 notable lines of interior paint plus their specialized versions.

Benjamin Moore is known for having more than 3.500 colors to choose from. The range of colors is almost double compared to Behr colors.

However, both brands offer some very good options which are modern, minimalist, and even timeless.

Benjamin Moore sells many bright colors. Benjamin Moore Dove White is a common top-seller. Gray Owl from Benjamin Moore is another top-selling bright gray.

Behr also has many types of bright colors to choose from but the fact they say their recommended colors are darker than those from Benjamin Moore might mean Behr paints that sell the most are darker than Benjamin Moore colors.

Behr Swiss Coffee is one of the modern bright colors of Behr. It might not sell as well as Behr Frost or Behr Painter’s White.

Nonetheless, there are endless color options with both brands, and choosing the right color can take days.

You can choose Behr colors if you don’t have too much time for research and Benjamin Moore colors if you like to be very specific about the aspect of your paints.

2.       Benjamin Moore has better Coverage

Both Benjamin Moore and Behr have excellent coverage. Together with Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Behr have top results when it comes to easy coverage no matter which surface you paint on.

The included primer has a lot to do with these good results.

It can sometimes be impossible even for professional painters to say which brand paints better.

Benjamin Moore has better paint coverage even if you can sometimes apply a single coat of Behr paint. If you paint a home as an investment you can choose Benjamin Moore for a quick result ready for selling homes. If you don’t mind spending a bit more time to get to know paint better you may choose Behr.

Benjamin Moore vs Behr interior paints

While both brands make interior and exterior paint, many know they are very good due to interior use on walls and ceilings. Most homes get painted on the inside more frequently and the promotional materials show indoor pictures more for both brands. This shows where the focus is.

Benjamin Moore has a wider range of interior paint colors which are slightly more durable. Behr has east application for a slightly lower cost when it comes to interior paints.

Both brands are very good and you can get professional-looking results with both.

When it comes to which brand is closer in final results to the color you see on paper you might choose Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore vs Behr exterior paints

Benjamin Moore exterior paint has consistent application and results. Behr has just risen up to the plate when it comes to consistency and its surely a close second.

3.       Both Benjamin Moore and Behr are self-priming

One of the best kept secrets when it comes to painting results is primer. Both Benjamin Moore and Behr paints are (generally) applied without primer as they’re self-priming.

So, how come professionals have such different results when it comes to painting with the same paint?

It turns out many still use primers, especially on walls that need to look perfect such as those in the living room.

Benjamin Moore doesn’t specifically say you don’t need primer, but it says you may end up having better results with primer application.

Here are the types of primers Benjamin Moore recommends.

Behr paint doesn’t need primer application as their Ultra and Duration lines are self-priming. However, applying primer is recommended for better and more consistent results.

Behr has a limited line of primers you can learn more about here.

Neither Benjamin Moore nor Behr offer 100% consistent results without primer. However, once the primer has been applied, Benjamin Moore painting results are more in line with user expectations.

4.       Behr is more affordable

The price of paint can quickly get out of hand, especially with large projects. You need to set a budget and stick to it as there are many other purchases you need to make when painting and decorating a house.

Behr paint is generally cheaper than Benjamin Moore paint. The price difference can be as small as $1 per gallon of paint or as considerable as $30-40 per gallon.

The final results might not be as different as many expect, but they are still in the favor of Benjamin Moore. Here’s what you can expect in terms of pricing/

Affordable paints – affordable is a relative term in painting. Paint that’s cheaper to purchase but which needs to be reapplied in a couple of years ends up costing more. This being said, Benjamin Moore Ben Waterborne Interior Paint is cheaper (at least $48 per gallon). Behr’s cheapest interior eggshell paint is Behr Marquee (at least $49 per gallon).

Mid-range paints – Benjamin Moore’s mid-range paint is Regal select (prices start at$74). Behr Dynasty (at least $58 per gallon). Behr Dynasty is Behr’s midrange paint (at least $58 per gallon).

High-end paints (expensive paints) – Benjamin Moore Aura is the expensive high-end paint of Benjamin Moore (at least $89.99 per gallon). Behr Marquee (and some Dynasty paints) are the most expensive Behr paints (prices start at $55 per gallon).

*These prices are current recommendations. They vary from one retailer to another.

5.       Behr is easier to get

Paint availability is an important element when it comes to a headache-free purchasing experience.

Behr is found at Home Depot stores across the US.

You can find Benjamin Moore paint at Ace Hardware and independent Benjamin Moore stores. You can’t find Benjamin Moore at Home Depot.

6.       Both Benjamin Moore and Behr have online visualizers

Online visualizers can be a good stepping stone toward choosing a paint color. Many don’t know that Behr has its own online visualizers, just as Benjamin Moore.

  • There are a few reasons why this is important.
  • You can check out which paint colors looks best in a certain room
  • Some colors samples in stores are only seen on small sample papers
  • Online visualizers show the best results (the type of results you’d see when also applying primer)

Benajmin Moore color chart – color visualizer

Behr color chart – color visualizer

7.       Neither Benjamin Moore nor Behr have an upper hand in VOC (chemicals)

Most paints from Behr and Benjamin Moore are low VOC. Some are even zero VOC. However, neither one of these brands offers a truly zero VOC product as you’d expect.

Benjamin Moore informs us their zero VOC paint is within standards. These standards are zero volatile compounds 6 hours after application. There’s still a 6-hour window you need to wear a mask in.

However, both brands are now going towards the low VOC standard.

As a result, they can be safe in all types of situations including pregnancy.

Needless to say, you should still wear all the right protective gear and ensure proper room ventilation when painting.

Good preventive measures are still required for painters, as people are constantly exposed to paint. Even dust particles in rooms where you paint should be avoided so it’s best to wear a mask both with Behr and Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore zero-VOC paints (zero emissions)Behr zero-VOC paints (zero emissions)
Benjamin Moore Natura (not made anymoreBehr Premium Plus
Benjamin Moore Eco Spec 

8.       Benjamin Moore and Behr have similar reviews

Looking on the real-world experience is where you truly see all of these theoretical concepts in practice.

While all reviews can be subjective, we need to say these brands are very close together.

While it’s true people are more tempted to leave a bad review after a bad experience rather than not leaving any reviews after a good experience, both Benjamin Moore paint and Behr paint has good to very good reviews.

Both Benjamin Moore and Behr paints have 4.5/5 star user ratings on consumer affairs. Benjamin Moore confirms its status as a dependable premium interior and exterior paint while Behr surpasses expectations falling short only on color selection.

Applicability

Benjamin Moore and Behr are both very easy to apply. The included primer means these paints go on easily and they cover various surfaces as well as paint can cover them.

Given the history of these brands, it seems most users agree Benjamin Moore is as good as it claims.

The B.M. paint applies easily and the colors come out great.

Behr surpasses expectations and it confirms the quality improvement of the brand over the past few years. Things weren’t always like this for Behr as the company’s products were just another option among the faceless paint cans found in stores.

The capacity to cover grease and wall imperfections

Most of those painting their own homes say they don’t use any primer with either Benjamin Moore or Behr paints. Even those mentioning contractors said these companies make excellent paints that need priming.

On the other hand, the experience of those painting old homes or uneven or imperfect surfaces has always been improved by applying the first coat of primer.

This means both Benjamin Moore and Behr might need priming on very demanding surfaces. What is demanding in this case?

Old walls – old walls of homes that are almost 100 years old seem to have issues in offering the best surface for primer-free painting. You can use any of the brands with the mention that your contractors should use a primer before when renovating an old home.

Uneven walls – less than perfect surfaces are covered well with these paints. A couple of people note Benjamin Moore surpasses more obstacles compared to other paints, but this isn’t sufficient to put it on top of Behr for uneven walls without being subjective.

Walls and ceilings with plenty of grease – dirty walls need good paint. Both Benjamin Moore and Behr do well with dirty walls if these have been painted in the past 5 years.

Walls and ceilings in the kitchen – walls in the kitchen and the ceiling in the kitchen tend to be the dirtiest. However, both paints are used in most kitchens without any primer.

Price – users agree neither Benjamin Moore neither Behr are truly affordable paints. These costs hundreds of dollars but yet again, many would not go back to more affordable interior or exterior paints.

Customer service – a higher number of customers say Benjamin Moore customer service is bad compared to what they get from sellers of Behr paint. Maybe people expect better customer service for the money or maybe Benjamin Moore just doesn’t have a full grasp on how to deal with customer complaints.

Color options – the only real repetitive issue customers have with Behr paints is limited color options. While Behr paint is available in many colors, Benjamin Moore has a better color selection. This is crucial and one of the few areas that can clearly separate the brands if you aren’t sure which way to go.

9.       Benjamin Moore is more of a contractor paint than Behr (it needs better tools)

After carefully analyzing all Benjamin Moore reviews and Behr reviews you’ll notice more contractors describe their experience with Benjamin Moore. This already indicates Benjamin Moore to be inclined towards contractor paint while Behr is more suitable for DIYers.

This also means you need more tools (professional tools) with Benjamin Moore to get the expected results you dream of. A good airless sprayer isn’t cheap, but it can help just as much as a premium roller. There’s no point in going with either Benjamin Moore or Behr if you only plan to use the cheapest painting tools.

Bonus – How do Benjamin Moore and Behr compare on the stock exchange?

Both Benjamin Moore and Behr are listed on the stock exchange. The successful nature of these brands can be best exemplified by figures when it comes to tangible results.

Over the past 5 years, both brands have seen increases in share price which means they sell a lot of paint.

Benjamin Moore share price variations have increased by 63% over the past 5 years.

Behr share price variations have increased by 37% over the past 5 years.

Summary – which is best between Benjamin Moore and Behr?

Benjamin Moore has more consistent results with any line while Behr paint has consistent results in their more expensive lines. You can guarantee consistent results with Benjamin Moore paints but you’ll find Behr paints a bit thin when it comes to the cheaper cans.

One of the only ways of telling which of these paints is best for you is to go with paint samples. You need to use the paint at home to see how you’re satisfied with its quality, application, and final color.

Durability might be harder to asses.

However, many contractors have specific requirements when it comes to the paints they work with. It can be a good idea to ask a contractor to paint a sample on your wall with Benjamin Moore and a sample with Behr.

Furthermore, you need to have a clear budget. Painting an entire home is expensive. You can expect to pay up to 30% more on Benjamin Moore paint compared to Behr paint to get very similar results.

Benjamin Moore is worth it if you have a higher budget and if you like to be very specific about your colors.

FAQ

Is Behr the same as Benjamin Moore?

Behr is comparable to Benjamin Moore in coverage. But these paints aren’t the same as Benjamin Moore has better durability and a wider color selection. Both can be used for professional-level painting.

Is Benjamin Moore more expensive?

Benjamin Moore is one of the most expensive paints in the US per gallon. The price is higher based on better durability, improved coverage, and a wider range of colors compared to other brands.

Do you need primer with Benjamin Moore paint?

Benjamin Moore paint doesn’t need a primer as it’s self-priming. However, old homes and greasy walls might need primer application for professional-looking results. Ceilings might also need a coat of primer for better paint adherence.

Which type of Benjamin Moore paint is best?

Aura paint consistently gets very good results covering perfect and less than perfect surfaces. This paint typically needs no primer.

Resources

Consumer Affairs | Benjamin Moore reviews

Consumer Affairs | Behr reviews

Share price and profitability of the share Berkshire Hathaway (Benjamin Moore & Co.) | Allbrands

Share price and profitability of the share Masco (BEHR) | Allbrands

Top Manufacturers of Paint in the USA and Worldwide | Thomasnet