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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ouch!!
after 32 years dumping mighty bm, wow!! lol
what was the reason?
product quality?
terrible corporate customer service?
extremely low discounts for professional painters?

spill the beans pls ;)
Company buyout. BM pulled out after the company sale was announced. Our paint division basically turned into a department overnight. We went from 50 employees down to around 10. I'm glad all of our BM inventory is finally gone. It was a long 2022. IMO, BM has gotten very expensive.
 

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I have never had the chance to use California Paints but have heard good things about them here on PT over the years.
I am sure the decision to drop BM and go with CP was not made lightly. I would agree that BM has gotten rather too expensive. When customers requested I use it and they were fine with the cost, I liked their products, but I never felt they were so much better that it justified the higher price.
 

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After 32 years of selling Ben Moore, my company has switched to California Paints. They do have some excellent products. Feel free to ask anything.
I used a bit of Muralo back in the day before California deleted their brand and closed the NJ factory, and to me it was absolutely the best paint around and the only paint that really wowed me. Benjamin Moore by comparison was always mediocre compared to Muralo to me, and the working qualities of BM paints have always not been my taste, though Muralo/Cali is on the thinner end for most paints it seems (I used Muralo Superfinish and Ultra, nothing else) but I still prefer that to thick draggy sludge paints. I've used the newer California Ultra in around 2018, and it was almost as good as Muralo, but just not quite. Still handled similarly but just not quite as good overall. My local dealer said feedback was similar, and told me it was less pure white and didn't cover as good as Muralo used to. We had a Cali dealer on here named PACMan who swore up and down it was the same, but I didn't believe it. It was very close, but also getting rid of the high gloss Ultra was a bad decision. My old dealer also said if you were say, painting furniture, to use BM Advance for dark colors and Muralo for whites, because the BM Gennex would lead to a better cured product in deeper bases.

For me though, availability just was awful for California and it had almost no name recognition, and in New England BM even if "the emperor has no clothes" it's what high end customers wanted, but by far Muralo/Cali was the best paint brand I ever used. So I wish you luck. Maybe though for Cali as a company it might be better to focus on the international market instead of US, someone I know in Vietnam was getting their house painted and surprisingly the color codes and possibly the paint was presumably under license from a small company named Richard's Paints in USA. (They say on their website they sell paint internationally...) California still has positive connotations abroad, especially in Asia, so maybe it's a market they should pursue.
 

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Company buyout. BM pulled out after the company sale was announced. Our paint division basically turned into a department overnight. We went from 50 employees down to around 10. I'm glad all of our BM inventory is finally gone. It was a long 2022. IMO, BM has gotten very expensive.
If I may ask, where are you located? We recently went through a buyout as well, had to start completely new account with BM. I'm told that we were one of the lucky ones, oftentimes the option to apply for a new account is not even offered. I don't envy you, changes in a brand you're familiar with are difficult, let alone starting over with a whole new (to you) manufacturer. Good luck!
 

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If I may ask, where are you located? We recently went through a buyout as well, had to start completely new account with BM. I'm told that we were one of the lucky ones, oftentimes the option to apply for a new account is not even offered. I don't envy you, changes in a brand you're familiar with are difficult, let alone starting over with a whole new (to you) manufacturer. Good luck!
I just applied for a new account. Took less than 24 hours
 

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Good luck with California Paints. When do you find out if you qualify?
Ah well I meant BM and PPG, California paints logistically wouldn't make sense here I wouldn't be able to ship it half the year.

BM already got back to me within 24 hours and my bank just got back to me with SBA approval that's taken several months. 10% is going to sting a little
 

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Ah well I meant BM and PPG, California paints logistically wouldn't make sense here I wouldn't be able to ship it half the year.

BM already got back to me within 24 hours and my bank just got back to me with SBA approval that's taken several months. 10% is going to sting a little
Sorry to hear that. Maybe after you’ve been open for a while, you could re-apply.
 

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I've had the opportunity to use both Cali and Muralo. Muralo was hands down my favorite and I used Cali after they bought them and it was still great. Name recognition is their problem, I'd put their paint up against anything SW and BM have to offer.
 

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focusing back on the OP's topic
wonder if California Paints will consider marketing campaign to gain name recognition, or perhaps even name change

edit
wonder if "Muralo Paints" would catch on in place of "California Paints"
Muralo Paints sounds good to me
Muralo was a heavy hitter in the 1970s and prior. The original "Spackle" was a Muralo product, and Spackle is still owned as a trademark by Muralo or presumably California now. Another interesting thing was the Godfather was shot in the Muralo owner's house. Supposedly the house owner accepted zero payment, he just required a can of paint on the shelf in one of the scenes.


It looks like what ended up killing Muralo was they bought a joint compound company named Synkoloid in 1981 and then got flooded with asbestos lawsuits after, and that caused their bankruptcy in 2003. Knowing that lawsuit perhaps killing the Muralo name makes sense as protection against another lawsuit.

I've read on here that Muralo Ultra was essentially what BM was trying to aim for in creating Aura, Muralo Ultra was around since at least sometime in the 90s I think, and Aura I think came in the early/mid 2000s. Muralo also bought Graham Paints, and I think got the "ceramic" technology from them.

I don't think BM is going anywhere though, if anything they seem to be expanding and doing very well despite the prices. Besides the color accuracy thing, in my experience BM is a LOT better for exteriors, I've been on houses painted 20 years ago with Mooregard that looked like they were painted a couple years ago. Interior I think price matters more because interior is easier and people change colors when they're bored and beat their house up more, but exterior price per gallon matters quite a lot less as the labor hours are very high and people won't just redo their exterior every 3-4 years because they're bored. Supposedly Muralo and California do make great exterior paints, but I can't personally attest to the longevity of them.
 

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thank you very much
great educational and entertaining info

i wonder if today's exterior paint from bm is as good as the one made 20 years ago considering today's enviro regulations
It's early to tell but I drive by a cell phone daily store my ex-boss painted in about 2016 or so with Aura exterior that still looks fantastic, in a dark blue/black, no sun fade/etc. The super dark colors imo are an advantage of BM, too, in that the BM Gennex colorants are water based and mix properly with water based paint, whereas other manufacturer colorants were oil based (not sure as of now if they still are or are not.) That's why sometimes super dark colors or even things like yellow/orange that require a lot of pigment look more shiny like another sheen (ie, flat or matte turning to eggshell or satin), usually take longer to dry/cure, and/or can even develop sort of latex over oil adhesion issues when you go over them again. Also being oil based the colors can more rapidly fall out of suspension without enough stirring. So BM I would say has an advantage for dark colors with Gennex as well, inside and outside, but seemingly especially outdoors. Anecdotally too even with mediocre paints like BM Ben indoors, I've had almost one coat coverage in darker colors, but then white would need 3-4 coats. It's also why my California dealer that also sold BM told me to use Muralo if I was doing lighter colors, and BM for darker ones, due to the Gennex being better for BM, and Muralo still using Universal Tint. I think (but am not sure) PACMan said he experimented with tinting Cali with Gennex tints and liked the results, but it's against BM's licensing rules to use Gennex for anything besides BM products.

Again, no outright hate towards BM, despite the snobby/stuffy attitude of some of the retailers and customers of it, it's got advantages and disadvantages.
 

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we mostly use SHW and Behr paints, sometimes we do use BM paints too upon customers' requests
yes, dark color retention-fading of exterior SHW paint and stain is not on the same level as the BM
as to interiors, we have very good results with Behr Marquee in dark colors, it covers extremely well
over last 4 years my painter friend who mostly uses BM took few samples of interior dark colors Behr Marquee paint to do tests,
and he said that it covers almost as good or in some instances as good as Ben and Aura

interesting that BM paints are not that great performers in light colors, light colors being the most frequently used
i guess extra coat of paint with BM is extra money for BM's bank account
but i guess as a customer or a painter you can not put a price tag on the bragging rights, lol
Reds would be another BM advantage, and in fact my local BM store used a bright red in their sample of Aura coverage vs a competitor, bright red benefits a lot from the Gennex tint system, too. I think Gennex is/was weak in yellow, though, I've had trouble with BM yellows covering. (Something like BM Lemonade.)

Color accuracy is a big deal, too, though. BM is most color accurate, but trades coverage for it. SW can somewhat meet BM color accuracy but needs to use the "High Reflective White" base, which also needs 3-4 coats in colors like Chantilly Lace, etc. If you're doing rentals or lower end houses, color accuracy doesn't matter, if you're doing a historical museum house, or a wealthy person where price is no object, you want the color accuracy. However, it's very embarrassing to explain that the $80 a gallon paint they wanted needs 4 coats in beige.


This video illustrates graying bases out and color accuracy well. "Colorplace" made by PPG for Walmart was outright gray, PPG Timeless is also a bit gray, Emerald is slightly more gray than Behr Marquee, and ironically Marquee looks the most pure white of them. He said Behr Marquee is as thick as Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer, though. I didn't even like the way Ultra Scuff handled (but it does have good coverage and durability) so I doubt I'd like Marquee.

It's all just paint at the end of the day, but to get back to California, it would be cool if California could make a push again and regain some market share. So I hope OP does well.
 
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