Ask a professional painter about the two most important aspects of doing a quality job, and he’ll likely say two things: surface prep and paint choice. Surface prep takes lots of elbow grease and some general know-how. But buying the best paint for the job is easy with advice from Spahn & Rose’s paint experts.

Our experts have decades of experience, and many are former professional painters—so they know which products contractors paint on for a job done right.

Here are our favorite paint products from Benjamin Moore and Valspar:

Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec SCUFFX. Simply put, this paint is a game-changer, says Nate Kluesner, paint territory manager in the Dubuque Spahn & Rose location. On high-traffic areas, doors and trim, SCUFF-X is a highly durable, hard paint. It’s so difficult to blemish that you’ll often find it in hospital hallways and emergency rooms, where carts routinely bump the walls. SCUFF-X has the hardness of epoxy but is as easy to use as latex. Available in eggshell and semigloss finishes, SCUFF-X cleans up easily and dries fast. “Some contractor customers who have been using the same paint for 30 years instantly switched over to SCUFF-X after using it once,” Kluesner says. “I really haven’t seen anything like it in 22 years of painting.”

Benjamin Moore ADVANCE Interior Paint. Spahn & Rose introduced Benjamin Moore paints in select locations about a year ago, and contractors and homeowners have since come to rely on it. With a hard, durable finish, ADVANCE Interior is a latex that brushes or rolls on as easy as oil paint. One of the best features of ADVANCE Interior is the way it levels out brush and roller marks. This paint takes a little longer to dry than SCUFF-X, so it’s good for larger areas—as well as for repainting kitchen cabinets.

Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa Paint. Use this and you might never need to paint your bathroom again. Mildew- and moisture-resistant, Aura Bath & Spa Paint is ideal for high-humidity environments. Because primer is formulated into it, it offers superior coverage with fewer coats. It’s also easy to touch up and stands up to repeated washing with no color rub-off. Unlike many paint brands, Aura Bath & Spa’s matte finish is just as durable as eggshell or semigloss.

ben Interior Paint. A perfect balance of price and performance, ben Interior Paint offers excellent coverage and minimal splattering. ben Interior’s high-solids formulation means it covers more than other paints, is easier to touch up and keeps its color longer. You’ll use less of it, too: A single gallon of ben Interior can cover a 10-by-12-foot room, a size for which you’d probably have to buy an extra gallon of another brand. It’s available in flat, semigloss and eggshell finishes. “Because ben is a thicker paint with more solids, it will spread farther,” Kluesner says. “Spending a little extra for Benjamin Moore will save you money in the long run. Plus you’ll get a better product and better-looking walls.”

Valspar Interior Latex Color Changing Ceiling Paint. Ceilings are easier to paint than ever with Valspar Interior Latex Color Changing Ceiling Paint. It applies as a light-purple color to indicate painted areas, then dries white. You’ll never miss a spot again. Its matte flat sheen minimizes surface imperfections for a smooth, even finish on all ceiling surfaces, even acoustical tiles. A gallon covers about 400 square feet, and Valspar Interior Latex Color Changing Ceiling Paint is splatter-resistant and easy to clean with soap and water.

Valspar Medallion Interior Paint. Washable and stain-resistant, Valspar Medallion Interior Paint offers a 100 percent acrylic coating for a long-lasting surface. It’s also easy to work with, drying quickly and cleaning up with soap and water. At Spahn & Rose locations, you can match any color in a Valspar Medallion Interior Paint. “When helping contractors and homeowners, we’ve had a lot of success with our Color Designer Color Match & Formula Computer,” says Regina Digmann, assistant manager at the Spahn & Rose Monticello location.  “Nothing is more fun than mixing a competitor’s color chip into one of our Valspar paints!”

Valspar Pristine Paint. With luxurious color, Valspar Pristine Paint helps resist dirt and stains, standing up to repeated washing and scrubbing. A paint and primer in one can, Valspar Pristine is formulated for single-coat coverage. It’s also easy to apply—it’s sprayable and rollable, with low spatter and odor. “About three to four times a year, Valspar offers a $10 per gallon mail-in rebate,” Digmann says. “Don’t miss those special rebates.”