Buying Paint at Lowe’s vs Home Depot…Which Is Better?

While Lowe’s and Home Depot are similar in a lot of ways, they actually carry a fairly different inventory when it comes to certain things. And paint is definitely one of those categories.

The paint brands you can expect to find at Home Depot are almost entirely different than the brands you’ll find at Lowe’s.

For example, Home Depot carries Behr paints while Lowe’s carries Sherwin Williams paints.

But despite the difference in paint brands, Home Depot and Lowe’s offer fairly similar prices on their interior and exterior paint options.

Below, we’ll get into more details about what types and brands of paints each store carries.

Lowes Paint Return Policy

Types and Brands of Paint Available At Lowe’s

The most popular and recognizable paint brand available at Lowe’s is Sherwin Williams.

However, Lowe’s also carries the following paint brands:

  • Valspar
  • Giani
  • Beyond Paint
  • Rust-Oleum

Types and Brands of Paint Available At Home Depot

The most popular and recognizable paint brand available at Home Depot is Behr.

However, Home Depot also carries the following paint brands:

  • Glidden
  • PPG
  • Rust-Oleum
  • Kilz
  • Zinsser
  • Olympic

Paint Matching

Sometimes when you’re painting or re-painting a room, you want to be able to match an existing color perfectly. But when you’re using guesswork alone, this can be pretty challenging.

Thankfully, both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer paint matching services free of charge.

Here’s a simple breakdown of how to take advantage of paint matching services:

  1. Carefully remove a small (1 square inch) paint chip from the wall or surface you would like to color match
  2. Keep the paint chip safe in a sealed plastic bag
  3. Take your paint chip to the paint department at Home Depot or Lowe’s and request a paint color match
  4. When you receive your paint, perform a color test at home by painting a small section of your wall or surface next to or on top of the color you want to match
  5. Wait for the paint to dry and make sure the color matches perfectly
  6. If it does not match, you can take your paint back and request an exchange

If you do not want to purchase a full gallon or quart of paint before you’re sure the color match is right, you will have the option of purchasing a paint sample. However, paint samples do not qualify for exchange or return.

Lowe’s Paint vs. Home Depot Paint

To figure out which store truly has the best paint, we’re going to discuss a few different factors.

Below, we’ll be looking at:

  • Prices and deals
  • Paint quality
  • Return policy

Who Has More Affordable Paints?

The paint prices available at Lowe’s and Home Depot are pretty much neck-and-neck, with only slight differences. 

The most affordable brand available at Lowe’s is Valspar, while the most affordable brand at Home Depot is PPG. Let’s look at how these brands measure up.

At Lowe’s, a gallon of white, satin-finish paint starts at around $26 from Valspar, while the “top shelf” offerings from Sherwin Williams start at about $40.

At Home Depot, a gallon of the same type of paint also starts at $26 (from PPG), while the popular offerings from Behr start at about $37 per gallon.

Although it’s a marginal difference, it seems from this example that Home Depot offers slightly lower prices on their premium paints. However, their low-end paints start at the same price.

Winner: Home Depot

Who Has Better Deals On Paints?

As far as we can tell, there’s no real difference between the paint deals at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

All major home improvement stores tend to offer deals on interior and exterior paints during the summer months and holidays. So, you can expect to find these kinds of savings at both stores.

The best time of year to buy affordable paint is during the summer, particularly toward the end of summer in August or September.

Winner: Tied

Who Has Better Paint Quality?

To figure out who has better quality paint, we’ll be comparing the top paint brands at each store: Behr (Home Depot) versus Sherwin Williams (Lowe’s).

Overall, Sherwin Williams receives better feedback for paint quality than Behr, especially among professionals. Sherwin Williams paint is known for being thicker than Behr paint, meaning that you’ll need less of it to get an even coat, and you might not have to paint over the same spots as many times.

This also probably explains why Sherwin Williams paint is a bit more expensive than Behr.

Winner: Lowe’s

Do Lowe’s And Home Depot Accept Paint Returns?

Knowing whether or not you can return your paint is an important part of deciding where to shop.

At Home Depot, you can take advantage of their 30-day, satisfaction-guaranteed paint return policy. This means that within 30 days of your purchase, if you are not satisfied with your paint for any reason, you can return it to Home Depot for a replacement. However, you cannot receive a refund on your paint unless it is untinted and unused.

Surprise! Lowe’s has the exact same return policy for their paints. Return it within 30 days with your receipt and Lowe’s will provide you with a replacement can to meet your expectations. 

Winner: Tied

Other Factors To Consider

Since the race is so close, let’s look at some other factors to help break the tie…

Home Depot wins out slightly by having more locations nationwide, making them more convenient to find and access. Home Depot also generally rates a little higher than Lowe’s in terms of store atmosphere.

While this will obviously vary greatly from store to store, Lowe’s is sometimes talked about as having better customer service than Home Depot. This might be due to the fact that Lowe’s pays their employees a bit more, attracting more knowledgeable and skilled workers. 

Both stores offer painting tool rentals as well as curbside and in-store pickup.

Which Is The Best Place To Buy Paint — Lowe’s or Home Depot?

Based on all of the above factors, it’s pretty hard to choose a clear winner. Each store has its benefits and downsides, so it depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re prioritizing affordability and convenience, then Home Depot is the best place to buy paint by far.

If you’re prioritizing paint quality and customer service, then you probably want to choose Lowe’s.


Does Lowe’s or Home Depot take old paint?

No. Neither Lowe’s or Home Depot operate paint disposal or recycling programs. However, both stores encourage their customers to dispose of their paint properly and safely. Check out this handy article from Home Depot about how to safely dispose of old paint.

Can Lowe’s mix Home Depot paint?

No. While Home Depot is willing to re-mix and re-tint paints from other suppliers, Lowe’s does not offer mixing or tinting services for paints that were not purchased at Lowe’s.

What is the cheapest type of paint?

Valspar (available at Lowe’s) and Glidden (available at Home Depot) are among the least expensive interior paints on the market.

How do you match the paint color that’s already on the wall?

To create a paint match for a color that’s already on the wall, you will need to carefully remove a one-square-inch paint chip using a knife or razor blade. Once you have your paint chip, keep it in a sealed plastic bag and take it with you to the hardware store where they will be able to create a color match. If you cannot remove a paint chip, try using a camera to create an accurate representation of the color. However, a photograph is unlikely to create an exact match.

Can you return mixed paint to Lowe’s or Home Depot?

Yes. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot will take mixed paint back if you are not satisfied. However, you will only be able to receive a replacement for the paint. Home Depot and Lowe’s do not offer refunds for paint that has already been mixed.


At the end of the day, Lowe’s and Home Depot are pretty comparable when it comes to paint. Their prices are comparable, but Home Depot is slightly less expensive. Lowe’s is also known for carrying slightly higher quality paints.

So, if you’re looking for the top quality you can find, go to Lowe’s.

But if you’re just wanting convenience and affordability while still getting fairly high quality paint, shop Behr paints at Home Depot.

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