Consumer Reports recently tested interior paints to see which ones are most likely to streak, bleed or peel.
Contractor Bill Bradsell said paying more for high-quality paint can actually be a money saver.
"It's more economical because a lot of times we can do less coats," he said.
Consumer Reports tested to see how well paints cover in one coat. Testers evaluated dozens of interior paints that cost anywhere from $8 a gallon to more than $60. They painted over increasingly darker stripes. Painter Rico de Paz found big differences.
"You can see here how this paint covered better than this paint with just one coat," he said.
Another important test -- how well paints resist stains. Testers apply a greasy mixture and let it sit overnight.
Then they use a machine to scrub the paint to see how well the grease comes off. Some come clean in just a few passes. But the cheapest paint in the tests -- Color Place from Walmart -- didn't clean nearly as well as some of the best paints.
Another question -- what type of interior paint to get.
Satin paint, which is also called eggshell, is the best way to go for most walls, said Consumer Reports.
Among satin paints, Benjamin Moore Aura Satin earned the highest score, but it costs more than $60 a gallon. For about half the price, Behr's Premium Plus Ultra Satin Enamel from The Home Depot did just about as well.
Both did a great job covering in one coat, as well as resisting stains.
Consumer Reports says there's another plus with the Benjamin Moore and the Behr satin paints -- both are self-priming, so they can go over bare wood and wallboard without a prime coat- which saves you both time and money.