Is Backdrop Paint Really Worth Its Premium Price?

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Looking for a home refresh that's not your parents' paint brand? Backdrop is a direct-to-consumer company offering interior and exterior paints in a thoughtfully curated range of colors. The company quickly gained popularity among millennials during the Covid-19 pandemic, when quarantined individuals stayed busy by scrolling through Instagram and reimagining their homes, but couldn't always visit the local hardware store for a can of paint. Backdrop's paint can be purchased through the Backdrop website or from Amazon, and at around $75 per gallon, their prices are comparable to some products by Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. In addition to boasting beautiful colors, Backdrop claims their paints to be low VOC, low odor, climate neutral, and green certified, or "Green Wise." 

Backdrop's trendy marketing style certainly draws attention, and there is definitely a "cool kid" vibe that comes with the brand, but do Backdrop paints really live up to their high-end price tag? On their website, reviews for Backdrop average 4.96 stars, but cautious consumers may want to search further before taking the leap with these pricey paints. In some ways, the brand makes updating your home incredibly easy, but the paints may not meet everyone's expectations. Here's what we know about Backdrop paints, where they impress their customers, and where some of their products tend to fall flat.  

Simplified selection process

Backdrop sells interior, exterior, and cabinet & door paint formulas. One of the highest praises for Backdrop paints is their charming color collection and high-coverage pigments. The website currently offers 78 paint colors — a limited range compared to some other companies, but the curated palette is an advantage for those facing decision fatigue with other brands. Backdrop's colors are all quite trendy and retro-inspired, with fun names like Barbie Dreamhouse Pink or Stromboli Chess Club. One major benefit is that most of the colors play well together, making it easy to repaint your whole home from their one-stop shop. When shopping online, Backdrop's website will also recommend specific color combinations, an experience that you may not get from standing at the paint counter in-store. 

Another thing that Backdrop does differently is that they only offer two finishes: semi-gloss and their "standard" finish, which can be described as a soft matte-ish look. The unique standard finish is generally well-liked by customers because it lends a modern, creamy appearance that isn't too chalky or dull. One frequently mentioned downside of Backdrop paints is that they only come in gallon and half-gallon sizes — no quarts or sample pots — so you may end up spending way more to finish a small room. However, they do offer high-quality 12" x 12" adhesive color swatches for $3 each. If you happen to over-order, Backdrop charges a $10 restocking fee per gallon on returns. 

Unboxing and application

Shipping with Backdrop has some mixed reviews — a serious downside for an online-only retailer. Despite the "green" labeling, some reviewers felt that their boxes came with an excessive amount of packaging. Even so, it seemed that the paint cans would still frequently arrive dented or damaged along the sides, but not enough to leak. While the aesthetically pleasing paint cans may have some practical design flaws, there is one smart aspect that reviewers seem to appreciate: the resealable cap and easy-pour handle. YouTube creator Becki (of Becki and Chris) explained, "I love the twist-on cap. It makes pouring and cleanup so much easier than a normal paint can."

Backdrop products are a paint and primer all in one, simplifying the process even further for impatient DIY-ers. All-in-all, most reviewers are very impressed with the paint's smooth, drip-free application and say that the paints provide impressively consistent and even coverage with just one coat. Plus, the paint dries quickly and with very little odor. On the other hand, more experienced and picky painters may feel that the pigment density is still lacking for such a high price tag. Spending so much per gallon might be excusable if you could get away with only one coat, but Backdrop's website still strongly recommends using two. 

Reviews and the final verdict

How do Backdrop paints hold up once dried? Most reviewers seem quite happy with their final results. YouTube creator Becki described the paint as having a beautifully flat semi-matte finish. "Supermoon" was the perfect neutral white for her and exactly the color she'd expected after viewing it online. Though she was initially drawn to the packaging, she claimed the paint now rivaled her favorite go-to brand, Benjamin Moore. Another reviewer tried the cabinet, door, and wood paint formula and found that it held up surprisingly well to daily use and cleaning. 

In conclusion, Backdrop paints aren't the best bang for your buck overall, and you run the risk of cans being damaged in shipment. If you're specifically looking for environmentally friendly paints, there are greener (and cheaper) options than Backdrop. Experienced painters may also realize that some common name brands, like Kelly-Moore, McCormick Paints, and True Value, also offer low-VOC and Green Wise-certified paints at a much lower price. However, Backdrop paints aren't a bad product, and they're a good choice for first-time painters and DIYers who want something trendy, easy to apply, fast-drying, and durable with good coverage. Backdrop may not be a perfectly green brand yet, but they are making an effort to be more environmentally friendly where many other brands are not. Plus, their irresistibly fun colors, all-in-one products, and user-friendly cans are a major win for any DIY paint project.