I am repeatedly asked what the “best Paint” is. Everyone has their favorites be it brand or a specific product. All paint manufactures make good paint and not so good paint. Sometimes a well known company makes paint that is so bad they go to great lengths to hide their name from it.
One time I spotted someone using a product that was obviously not good. I asked them why they were using that particular product and they said cost was the determining factor. I was curious who made it. They did a good job hiding their name but screwed up by having their phone number on it. When I called that number they answered Sherwin Williams.
A quick way to determine the quality of paint is to determine its percent of solids by volume. This information is available from a data sheet for the product or requested from the manufacture. Requesting this information will quickly establish you as someone that knows their stuff.
Using the examples above you see that one can has 25% solids so it has 75 % liquid (100% – 25% = 75%). The second can therefore has 50% liquid.
Most paints cure by evaporation. As the liquid evaporates the solids align with the resins and binders to form a paint film. The liquid in a latex paint is mostly water and in an oil base paint it is mostly mineral spirits.
The quality and type of solids is important too. Some manufactures load paint with clay to boost its volume solids. If you pick a high end product from a reputable manufacture its solids will be high and of good quality.
The solids are what remain on the surface when you paint. Anther way to look at it is like this. Would you rather buy a can of jelly beans that is 50% full or 25% full.