Pros paint pretty picture for premium products

by Jim Williams

AssSets-01As a premium coatings manufacturer, it’s easy to talk about the importance of using a superior-quality paint. However, John Lahey, lll has a less self-serving reason: customer satisfaction.

Lahey, president of Fine Paints of Europe, a nationally distributed New England-based paint manufacturer, understands that many customers want to get the best deal possible, but not at the expense of quality.

“The best painters in the country use fine paints almost exclusively because they know they only have three things to bring to a job: their skills, their tools and their paint—that is it,” Lahey said. “I can, without question, give them one out of the three. The clients they are painting for or the designers they are working with don’t care what the paint costs. They are looking for something better and different, and I deliver that.”

It’s important to know your customer, Lahey adds.

“You must understand that at the exceptionally high-end, the cost of the paint is a throw-away commodity to the overall cost of a paint job,” he noted. “When working on some of these projects, less than 1% of the overall cost of the job is spent on paint. Do you think these painters are going to have their jobs judged for the single purpose of saving a few dollars?”

Lahey understands it’s a tough argument when it’s all about the money.

“If someone is looking at price, and only price, that is going to be a tough argument,” he said. “You have to be willing to look at the job a little differently. For instance, the vast majority of the cost of a paint job is labor, and that is going to stay the same if you use a better can of paint. I think you should also consider how long you expect the quality of the paint to last? I speak to clients constantly who tell me that they painted something over a decade ago and it still looks great. I could also take you to clients’ homes all over the country that have paint jobs that are close to 20 years old and still look amazing. With that in mind, I ask you what is expensive at this point?”

Chris Polidoro of Shoreline Painting & Drywall, Inc. in Connecticut agrees. He buys his premium paint from Fine Paints of Europe. His philosophy is simple: buy the best. “Since labor is 85% of painting cost, it only makes sense to use the highest-quality paints, primers and varnishes available to us,” Polidoro said. “Our clients deserve it.”

For Glenn Targac, who owns a San Antonio-based ‘home solutions’ business called Fix Your Home, educating his customers on why he uses a premium coating is one of his top priorities. “My goal is to always educate the customer to use the highest-quality paint their budget will support and aid them in making an informed decision after they fully understand the long-term benefits.”


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