Benjamin Moore vs Kelly Moore – Which is Better?

Benjamin Moore and Kelly Moore make premium interior, exterior, and mixed-use paints. These brands offer various sheen paint which can often be applied at low temperatures. Both paints can last up to 10 years with little to no fading and reduced risks of pealing.

Benjamin Moore is better than Kelly Moore through an extensive distribution chain and a larger selection of paints. While both companies offer a wide selection of colors and shades it’s Benjamin Moore’s paint that is often copied by customers wanting a similar look achieved with entry-level paint.

Benjamin Moore is the superior choice for professionals who use it in large percentages. This allows them to know the inner workings of the company and its applauded lines such as Aura and the Regal Line. Aura Bath and Spa paint were one of the most popular products from the company given its excellent moisture resistance as well as luxury matter finish aesthetics.

Kelly Moore doesn’t score about Benjamin Moore in most categories. The sole area where the company ranks higher is by its independent business model. This means Kelly Moore only makes Kelly Moore paints with plenty of focus on lower quantities which allows them to source superior ingredients for its paints, at least in theory. In practice, Benjamin Moore manages to create all types of paints (even for sub-brands at the same or higher standards).

Benjamin Moore vs Kelly Moore – Which is better?

You might mistakenly believe Benjamin Moore owns Kelly Moore by the last name resemblance. But Benjamin Moore is owned by Berkshire Hathaway while Kelly Moore remains an independent brand. Here’s how these 2 companies differ.

  • Benjamin Moore is ideal for DIYers and professionals

Benjamin Moore is easier to work with for beginners. It’s not necessarily that the paint is better but it’s the amount of free information you can find about each of its paints on forums, YouTube, and even from friends and professionals.

Most friends won’t know which way to guide you when using Kelly Moore paint. You have to be an independent person to test out various tools and application methods for Kelly Moore which isn’t as popular across the US as Benjamin Moore.

  • Kelly Moore is an independent brand

If you love to support smaller brands you should go with Kelly Moore. Sure, the company is not as small now as it once was. However, it’s always reassuring to see independent paint brands making an effort to offer customers good or better paint from a different perspective without corporate bosses dictating its direction.

  • Benjamin Moore is easier to find

While Kelly Moore is an independent brand it also comes with the pitfalls of a smaller company. For example, you can find Benjamin Moore’s interior and exterior paints in all US states. Kelly Moore is mostly available in 9 states alone.

Benjamin Moore is not as easy to find as Behr or Sherwin Williams. However, the retail locations of Benjamin Moore are typically worth traveling to, especially if you’d like your paint to last around or more than 10 years. If you like painting and refreshing walls, ceilings, and exteriors every 3 years it’s no point investing in more expensive Benjamin Moore paint as you can get cheaper Kelly Moore cans of paint instead.

  • Kelly Moore has painted for DIYers and professionals

While you might assume a smaller brand (compared to Benjamin Moore) is particularly targeting DIYers you need to know Kelly Moore is also used by specialists. Both of these groups have different products to choose from with the advantage of lower pricing for bulk buying.

  • Benjamin Moore is more popular

Benjamin Moore is the more popular paint brand. It’s arguable the best paint brand to consider for all things home living. If you live in a home and you love personal painting jobs this is going to be the brand for you. If you live on a farm where contractors only quote expensive paint jobs you might as well get a Benjamin Moore to paint and do it yourself.

Which should you choose between Benjamin Moore and Kelly Moore?

In summary, the main differences between Benjamin Moore and Kelly Moore are

  • Benjamin Moore is at least a few times more popular (both among DIYers and professionals)
  • Kelly Moore is great at matching colors
  • Homeowners don’t feel like missing out when choosing Kelly Moore paints
  • Benjamin Moore buyers are happy to pay more to work less (fewer coats and durable results)

You have to determine which type of user you are to buy the best paint

Benjamin Moore costs a lot compared to many other paints. However, those who’ve tried it say it’s worth it as it covers all surfaces well and the results last for years.

Kelly Moore paint seems to be one of the best quick fixes for homeowners who run to a KM shop or a nearby KM authorized dealer.

States, where there are no Kelly Moore, authorized dealers – New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minneapolis, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

As you can see, there are a lot of states where there’s no authorized retailer for Kelly Moore paints at the moment. Things aren’t going to drastically improve over the next couple of years either.


Most customers choose Benjamin Moore paint, even if it costs more. Limited Kelly Moore distribution as well as reduced knowledge of how to obtain professional results with the paint often turns contractors and homeowners towards Benjamin Moore.

But are you making a mistake by choosing Kelly Moore paint? No, both Kelly Moore and Benjamin Moore are premium paints for premium results. These paints are sold under different standards in the US and you can benefit from the best results compared to any other imported paint. You will have to pay a premium price for these paints but they’re also ranked among the best interior and exterior paints regardless.