Competent, faster, and easier, but not pricier.

From the looks of it, you probably wouldn’t consider BEHR a true contender as a  professional painter because it doesn’t say PROFESSIONAL on the can and it comes from a big box store rather than a paint store. Well, there are a few dirty secrets in the paint industry to keep you one-up on your competition, and one of the best-kept is BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA—paint contractors know about it but almost no one actually uses it or admits to using it, but that’s quickly changing.

Painting any color three, four or five coats is almost NEVER an option, it’s expensive and labor intensive. Who has time to tie up their busy schedule repainting walls especially when you have no idea what the dried coat will look like?

Paying $68 a gallon for wall paint is not an option either for many of you and we understand the challenge you face with bold colors. Besides, those of you paying $68 a gallon for paint have materials costs more than twice that of ours, plus the headache applying it. Prior to this BEHR review, there was barely a peep about BEHR paint on this site, and for good reason— it’s been our little secret.

gallons each total
BEHR 3 32 96.00
DURATION 3 46 138.00
DIAMOND 3 46 138.00
AURA 3 68 204.00


*If you go to Sherwin Williams for SW6866 Heartthrob red, that color can only be mixed in Duration Home $46 or Color Accents Ultra-Deep Base $40.99.

Years ago we set out to find an affordable wall paint that covers in two coats with bold paint colors and we stumbled upon BEHR Premium Plus Ultra. If you’ve been following Jack Pauhl for years then you probably know my stance on priming walls—I’m against it for many reasons except very specific applications.

Today, BEHR’s heavy TV commercials span a wide variety of channels promoting the self-priming BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA for inside and outside painting. BEHR® takes advantage of NANOGUARD® Technology to gain tighter packing of extra-small particles, which are one billionth of a meter in size – less than 1/80,000 of the diameter of a human hair. These tightly packed particles create a more durable coating with better surface protection.


With all that said, lets take a look at what BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA can do for you. We already covered the material cost savings, the labor and no need for a special primer. We randomly selected Sherwin-Williams SW 6866 Heartthrob red as our test color pallet across all three paints mixed in a similar sheen.

We set out to follow manufacturers recommended methodology for applying the appropriate tinted primers to achieve the correct color depth represented by the color chip.

Step 1: apply designated gray primer to bare drywall for ICI Dulux Diamond (right) and Duration Home (left). BEHR does not need a base tinted primer. The BEHR test board has a coat of tan wall paint picked randomly to reflect a simple color change to red.


STEP 2: apply the first coat of SW 6866 Heartthrob Red to each sample boards below

STEP 3: After sitting overnight, our 2nd and 3rd coats were applied seen in the following photos.

NOTE: The Left Side of the board is 1 coat, the Right Side is 2 coats and the Upper Right portion above the arrow is 3 coats. The arrow points to the line where we stopped. Pay no attention to the sag, theses were sample boards previously used for other testing.

STEP 4: Coverage test over black spray paint to determine how many coats it would take to achieve full solid coverage.













Sherwin Williams Duration Home

Sherwin Williams Duration Home Satin BEFORE

Sherwin Williams Duration Home

Sherwin Williams Duration Home Satin AFTER 1 COAT

Sherwin Williams Duration Home

Sherwin Williams Duration Home Satin AFTER 2 COATS

The following three photos show the sheen between products after 1 coat of red paint.





Sherwin Williams Duration Home

Sherwin Williams Duration Home Satin

The next photo is 1 coat of each product over bare drywall. Each sample is one cut and one roll.


The next photo shows the color match on the SW paint chip

CONCLUSION: There is no question BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA has the capabilities to achieve color accuracy in 2 coats. The product excels in coverage, application and ease of use. Simply rolling the product was effortless and it felt best rolling of the three. Using BEHR gives a sense of confidence immediately upon use. There is no need to figure out how to make it work. What puts ULTRA over the top was the ability to touchup a bold color without any indication as to where it was touched up. We had a 4’x8’ test board 15 people rolled randomly on with a 6” roller. You can imagine what that might have looked like. When you look at the board from a side angle into the light, not one single indication was present that the test board wasn’t factory sprayed. The sheen looked as if it were as consistent as looking at the sheen reflection off a piece of Formica and I NEVER witnessed that with any paint in all my 30 years painting. If you are serious about productivity and profitability, BEHR is serious about your business and making that happen. Visit and stop dickin’ around with paint.

HOW WE TESTED: We used a Wooster pro doo z 3/8” roller cover for each product and a Wooster Silver Tip brush. The bare drywall sample was created using a 6” Wooster SuperFab which you should note that the coverage with a SuperFab is not as good as the coverage with a pro doo z on the ICI Dulux Diamond sample (middle above).

We have results for BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA SATIN too mixed in a dark chocolate milk color over white semi-gloss bathroom paint achieved in an easy 2 coats. We will publish a separate review soon.

The following 2 photos are 1 coat of BEHR ULTRA over bare drywall just in case you were wondering. Click any photo in this review for a larger view.





18 Responses
  • Frank Reply

    Thank you for this artilce. I was one of those paint contractors that never considered using Behr products. I accepted the fact that I had to use a pricer product that required using a primer as well as as two coats of product.I see the benefits of trying Behr paints. This will give me the ability to lower my costs , but more likely leave them where they are at and increase my profit margin.

  • Jim Reply

    Hey Jack, it’s been quite some time since I last used behr paint, probably five years or so. My question is this- does the behr premium plus ultra paint have the consistency of peanut butter and sag like crazy when cutting. This is the reason I havn’t used any behr paint in awhile. I’m sure it’s a different formula and like You said in Your review, nice to work with. I think the next accent wall I paint will be with the premium plus ultra. Thanks for the insight.

    • jackpauhl Reply

      Here ya go.

      As far as sagging.. I am familiar with paints that sag on the cut but I did not experience anything like that or get the impression that it would in others hands. I’ll have more cutting in articles this month using BEHR ULTRA so stick around and check it out for yourself.

  • GadgetPig Reply

    Hi Jack, thanks for the Behr information, especially the youtube clip which showed the consistency of the paint. I’ll definitely give Behr a second look. I was wondering, how does the the new Glidden 6011 eggshell perform compare to Behr? I understand ICI reformulated 6011 to give even better coverage.


  • Surface Protection Expert Reply

    I’ve used Behr paint in the interior of my home and I’ve been quite happy. It provides good surface protection and this new paint with the primer will even help me save time. Used to purchase the stain for everything but now am buying flat for the walls with the most blemishes as they hide the imperfections better.

  • Damon T Reply

    Hi Jack, nice article. You didn’t show any examples of the Aura, but I’m guessing it would have looked better than the SW or Diamond. Sounds like the Behr is similar for $20 less a gallon (our price is approx $52 a gallon). I had an issue on one job where the brushstrokes were so thick they actually smoothed out some of the texture more than the roller texture, so you could see the difference in sheen because of differences in textures. This was with one coat (great hiding ability) and with experienced painters. Made me a little gun-shy but am willing to try again. Also, had a beef with HD while they were trying to sell painting services, but that seems to have died out, at least around the northwest.

    • jackpauhl Reply

      We have not included Aura with any paint review comparisons to date because Aura’s price is almost double or triple the cost of paints we have reviewed.

      The million dollar question now is what will such an expensive paint get you over paint a third its price if Aura can take up to 3 coats for coverage or one specified primer coat and 2 top coats?

      We talk about Aura next month.

  • michael Reply

    Paul …I really like your testing..but I have had serious problem with
    the BEHR product over the years…not every can .but certain lines of
    the product..most contractors I know hate the stuff…we will lose money
    in labor .

  • Lou Reply

    Yes in real terms Behr Ultra IS exspensive..
    The labor part is the pitfall takes work to appiy not easy however “Ultra” does look great and really COVERS exceptionally well . Two coats builds a High Quality coating with unrivaled performance in the abrasion tests. Got kids? YUP get Ultra! Yes I know its extra work but in the LONG RUN this paint LASTS therefore its cheaper. I have used it in on exterior shutters and in children bedrooms …swore at it but marveled at the end results. SO if you don’t want to repaint for a very very long time and have time for application then consider this one. ITs VERY durable unmatched in long term performance,,,!

  • chris Reply

    good paint jobs are based on good prep
    painting kitchen ceiling and previous wallpaper walls washed and rinsed all grease and glue residue off put on two coats of 123 primer will behr ultra white 2750 be good for ceiling

  • Jason Reply

    I just finished using this product in my home and there is no way that it covers in 2 coats. I had to apply 3 coats to all my walls to cover it properly. Even at that I wonder if I should consider a 4th! I am not a pro so maybe that is it? I was covering a previously painted med/dark tan with a yellow color behr ultra premium eggshell. Am I doing something wrong or is this product not what it used to be?

  • Bruddah Mike Reply

    I’ve used Behr on a bunch of jobs, including my own house. here are my findings:
    It has changed over the years in consistency.
    I find it to sag, especially when spraying thick coats, but even when cutting with too thick a coat
    If your primary concern is speed, it applies quickly, but if you like paints with “body” this is not it.
    I have also had a fair amount of adhesion problems with it, tearing off the wall, edges peeling up when trying to sand etc.
    I also feel like the hardness is not there with this paint. I’ve used others that grip better (Perma White – which can picture frame something awful, but a durable finish) Use to love the way the Ben Moore paint went on, but too damn expensive! For Exteriors, Fortis 450 was a pretty good bet but lacked Mildewcide to any degree, so I added my own. Duration Exterior seems to be somewhat like the Fortis 450 (from PPG) at least in body. Haven’t used the 450 in years and supposedly it has improved, but the Duration Exterior seems to Adhere vey well and dry nice and hard and sand well. Behr is a Bear to work with (for me) Brian seems to like it for his purposes. I use to use it mainly because of Consumer Report’s paint tests (which are based mainly on longevity, and not on much else). I tried the Marquee Interior recently but may not have had a fair experience because of a rare problem where the paint I painted over turned into cottage cheese and caused a really bad finish and made the Marquee drag excessively. I will say that the so-called one coat coverage, at least with my application technique was not favorable, but it did seem to hide well. To me, there is no real one coat solution, and as Brian pointed out in one of his articles, it wold be faster to apply two coats than to nurse one coat enough to cover, even if it did.

    • Lina Evans-Davies Reply

      Hi Jason;
      I had the same problem. I was covering a golden color with grey. My husband did two coats and I could still see the old color thru. If we happen to hit the wall at a wrong angle it chips the new paint right off. I just hope it cures stronger because I will Never buy Behr paint again and will discourage anyone to do the same. We are seasoned painters and change our colors every 5-7 yrs.

  • Mike Pope Reply

    Awesome post! Earlier this year I had a customer who had already purchased paint. Behr Premium Plus. I was impressed. Great product

  • Michael B Bryant Reply

    The Behar premium plus is the worst paint I have ever and I mean ever used. A 23 foot hallway same color and in not so bad shape. One gallon and still has not covered it.
    I recommend anything but this.

  • Shay Reply

    I’m not a pro but am a complete perfectionist. As such I have a hard time hiring things out & done to my satisfaction. Sometimes it is actually less stressful to do things myself how I want. I painted my 3200sf house including walls with 18ft ceilings, trim and even paintable wallpaper in the baths. Behr ultra is my favorite interior wall paint by far. I want to try Marquee. BM is great too, but why pay more when Behr does the job as well? I have VERY active children and the Behr and BM both hold up well. I cannot stand SW! If the kids look at it cross eyed I have to touch up and it took 3 coats and in some rooms 4 for initial coverage. The workers at SW tried to upsell me on rollers and brushes claiming that was the issue which didn’t make a darn bit of difference. Plus I used the Purdy rollers, shorty brushes (Wooster?) and even foam brushes in some spots (can almost hear the pros cringing) on the Behr and BM with great results so again why pay more. I would like to find a truly no shed roller.
    For trim, I prefer SW and BM paint. The self leveling worked better for me with fewer brush strokes using that same shorty brush compared to the Behr alkyd. Obviously I’m a novice painter/homeowner versus a pro.

  • james Reply

    Strange that, apparently, the chemistry of the BEHR paint has changed, and this is mentioned on the Jack Pauhl forum, with many mentions of poor adhesion, etc. What was apparently the “favored paint” of the forum, and Mr. Havanas, apparently is no more. Do not take my word for it, look at the forum. Around April of 2016, they pretty much said it was no longer the product that it was, and they were done with it. Unfortunately, folks don’t see this info, only the previous 6 years of info saying it is “great”.

  • james Reply

    Re: Drop in Behr paint quality

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