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Consumers are leading when it comes to deciding on paint brands

Painting is the most common home improvement job and consumers are the most important decision maker for brands that are used in residential paint jobs. First of all, because in most cases a professional is not involved. Second of all, because part of the consumers that hire a professional painter are decisive on the brand themselves. In the European Home Improvement Monitor, USP Marketing Consultancy have asked more than 5,000 consumers in eleven countries about their conducted paint jobs in 2017. The results of this article are based on the European Home Improvement Monitor Q4 2017 report, with the theme ‘Multi-year developments’.

Do-It-It-Yourself versus Do-It-For-Me

On average more than 60% of the residential paint jobs are done by consumers themselves. The research shows that in Belgium, France and the UK the consumers choose to do a paint job themselves more often than in the other countries. There is also a difference between interior and exterior paint jobs, since professionals are more often involved in exterior paint jobs. In general the share of Do-it-for-me (DIFM) jobs is the highest in Italy, Spain and Sweden. 

Deciding for the professional

When the professional is involved, he decides in most cases about the product choice and brand choice of the paint.. However, in some of these professional jobs, the consumer is decisive on the paint brand. Especially in Poland and the UK it’s more common for consumers to make the brand choice themselves instead of the professional. 

Moment of paint brand decision

As already mentioned before, it is clear that the consumers are influencers regarding brand decisions. For manufacturers and retailers, it is important to be aware of the fact that todays’ consumers are better informed in general and often orientate online before doing a home improvement job.

This results in consumers deciding on the brand that the purchase before going to the store. About 40% of the consumers in Belgium, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK decides on the paint brand before going to the shop. Among consumers in Poland the percentage that makes their brand selection before going to the shop is relatively high. A possible explanation for this could be a higher brand loyalty or consumers are more involved when it comes to paint.

When asked about the moment of brand decision, the majority of the consumers in all investigated countries still decides about the paint brand in the shop. So for the manufactures of paint it’s still critical to be well available on the shelved and to get good support for their brands in store, via point of sales materials and a well trained staff.


There is still a high percentage of paint jobs that is conducted by consumers, which means that the consumers are very much decisive on the products and brands. In the home improvement market we already see an increase of better informed and more demanding consumers and we expect this increase to continue. Therefore, creating awareness for the brand and increasing brand preference among consumers will become even more important for manufacturers in order to win the battle of the consumer.