So you decided to paint, you are not sure what kind of color you need. All you know is that you need to get a new coat on the wall to get rid of the boring old color left over from five several years ago. One thing to consider before or during your visit to your local color store is what color to buy?
There are many color marks, anyone claiming to get excellent results, usually you see the following three visits advertised to the common consumer. durability tearing titanium, color so vivid your eyes explode and easy cleaning properties (nothing special here). There are a handful of popular color manufacturers and they tend to have different geographical areas that dominate.
I am located in Toronto and here I can easily find Benjamin Moore, Para, CIL, Behr and Sherwin Williams as well as some others I can't remember at the moment (this shows first class brand success). The competition is fierce between color manufacturers and usually you will come out with a show-stop color and the others will follow suit, they are all competitive for your dollar and usually promote the world.
I had the opportunity to use many different types of color marks and so far my personal favorite color mark must be Benjamin Moore, their Aura product is amazing and really solves the problem I have experienced with reds taking 5 layers (and still looking spotted). The color also dries extremely fast, which enables a quick second coat and is reliably odorless, yes a little odor but very minimal compared to other paintings I have used.
I have also heard good things about Benjamin Moore's Natura, only using it to paint a house that I have not had much experience with but it claims that it is the only true zero VOC color. So if you're worried about VOC and want absolutely minimal smell then it's the color to go with. The house we painted turned out great and the color was great. Even if it was zero VOC I would not drink color yet.
If you are looking for primers to try over pencils or newly renovated spaces, I think the brand is usually the bottom of concern. All brands generally make a cheap primer that works almost identically. It is funny as a pudding, it is difficult to clean the hands and primes the surface well enough to cover with color. Unless you start using any kind of nastiness like old spots or other marks, you want to use an advanced primer to cover such problems. Zinnser has a large selection of primers for these purposes and be sure to ask your local color store for more information because this company makes primers for quite specific uses.
As for other brands, I also had good results with Para. Para is definitely my second choice for Benjamin Moore but I am not so knowledgeable in their color line. But from what I have said I have used; On the cheaper / lower product range, I prefer Paras low end to Benjamin Moore's low end. Overall, Para is a fantastic choice and I have never had any problems with it. Flows well, hides well, good colors and generally a nice color to work with.