With many consumers embarking on do-it-yourself painting projects as a low-cost method of home improvement, a customer's experience with interior paint application is critical to their overall satisfaction with the paint brand, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Interior Paint Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.
The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction among those who have purchased and applied interior paint during the past year and examines five key factors of the painting experience: application; offerings (including variety of colors and finishes); durability; price; and warranty/guarantee.
Pratt & Lambert, included in the study for the first time in 2010, ranks highest in customer satisfaction with interior paint with a score of 788 on a 1,000-point scale. Pratt & Lambert performs particularly well in two factors: application and warranty/guarantee. Following in the rankings are Benjamin Moore (784) and Dunn-Edwards (781). Benjamin Moore performs particularly well in the offerings factor, while Dunn-Edwards performs particularly well in the durability factor.
The study finds that application is the most important factor contributing to overall satisfaction with interior paint. This is not unexpected, considering that 87 percent of customers applied the paint themselves. Customers evaluate paint application based on ease of application, level of fumes, spatter and drip resistance, and adequacy of coverage.
"Many consumers want to save money by doing painting projects themselves and of course, they want to be able to do the job well and see the completed project as what they've envisioned," said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
Overall, approximately one-fifth of customers report they experienced problems with their interior paint. The problem reported most often is that the paint drips and runs during application. In addition, in 2010, a greater percentage of customers report having received painting advice while shopping for and purchasing interior paint, compared with 2009 (55% in 2010 vs. 48% in 2009). Among customers who received application advice, only 17 percent experienced problems with their paint. In comparison, 22 percent of customers who did not receive advice experienced problems.
"Clearly, choosing the right paint for a specific project and receiving the necessary advice to do the job well are a great combination to ensure a satisfying painting experience," said Cooley. "Following three consecutive years of spending declines, sales at home improvement retailers are now on the rise, and paint sales are a major contributor to that increase. Those paint manufacturers and retailers that expend extra effort in helping their customers with advice on painting projects may be able to differentiate themselves as the home improvement market regains momentum."
J.D. Power and Associates suggests that consumers who are shopping for interior paint ask for advice about the following aspects of their projects:
- Choosing the right paint or finish for a specific surface
- Which tools and supplies are necessary for the job
- How much paint should be purchased for the project
- Which color combinations work together
- Whether priming is needed prior to painting
The 2010 U.S. Interior Paint Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 9,800 customers who purchased and applied interior paint within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2010.