Glidden vs Olympic: A Professional Painter’s Insights

Bob Thomas

Hi there! If you’ve found yourself on my blog, Hearth and Petals, chances are you’re in the middle of a paint decision. 

As a qualified painter and decorator who has been in the industry for years, I’m here to share some insights on two popular brands: Glidden and Olympic.

Let’s dive into it!

Quick Summary

Comparing Glidden and Olympic paints, we consider factors like coverage and durability, price, availability, color options, environmental impact, sheen and finish options, ease of application, and customer satisfaction. Both brands have their strengths, but your final choice may depend on your specific painting needs and budget.


Let’s start with a quick introduction to both brands:


Glidden has been in the paint business since 1875, offering a range of products from interior and exterior paints to primers.

It’s known for its affordability and ease of application.


Established in 1938, Olympic offers a broad spectrum of paint products, including stains, resins, and sealants, in addition to interior and exterior paints.

It’s recognized for its durability and wide selection of finishes.

Coverage and Durability

In my experience, both Glidden and Olympic paints provide good coverage.

With Glidden Premium Interior paint, I found that it usually takes two coats for a fully opaque finish, whereas Olympic ONE Interior paint often gives solid coverage with just one coat.

As for durability, Olympic tends to have the upper hand. Olympic paints are known for their resistance to chipping and stains.

However, Glidden is no slouch, either; its Diamond line is known for its durability.

Pro Tip: Always ensure the surface is properly prepared before painting. This includes cleaning and priming the surface, which can greatly enhance the paint’s durability.


Price is often a deciding factor. Glidden paints generally are more affordable than Olympic ones.

However, remember that the cost often reflects the paint’s quality and features.


Both brands are widely available in the U.S. Glidden is sold in Home Depot and various independent paint stores, while Olympic paints can be found in Lowe’s and Ace Hardware.

Check their websites for specific availability in your area.

Color Options and Environmental Impact

In terms of color options, both Glidden and Olympic offer a wide palette.

However, Olympic stands out in their commitment to reducing environmental impact.

Their paints are low-VOC, and their packaging is 100% post-consumer recycled material.

Sheen and Finish Options

Sheen and finish can dramatically change the look of a room.

Both brands offer a range of options, from flat and eggshell to satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

However, Olympic provides a greater selection of specialized finishes like metallic or chalky finish.

Ease of Application

Both brands go on smoothly, but in my experience, Glidden paints are slightly easier to apply.

They’re less likely to drip or splatter, and they dry quite evenly.

Customer Support and Satisfaction

Customer service can be a deciding factor.

Both companies offer robust customer support, but Olympic’s satisfaction guarantee gives it an edge in this department.

Personal Experiences

From my years of painting and decorating, I can say that both brands have served me well in different projects.

I once used Glidden to renovate a guest room on a tight budget.

The paint was affordable and easy to apply, making the process smooth and hassle-free.

On another occasion, I was tasked with painting an outdoor deck and opted for Olympic due to its durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions.

The finish held up beautifully despite the challenging environment.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. How do Glidden and Olympic compare in terms of coverage per gallon?

  A: Both Glidden and Olympic claim to offer excellent coverage.

However, the actual coverage can vary depending on factors like the color and texture of the surface you’re painting, the type of paint you’re using (e.g., primer, semi-gloss, flat), and your painting technique.

Generally, a gallon of paint from either brand should cover approximately 350-400 square feet with one coat.

For best results, two coats are often recommended.

Q. What is the drying time for Glidden and Olympic paints?

  A: The drying time can vary depending on the specific product and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.

Generally, both brands’ paints should be dry to the touch within a few hours.

However, it’s typically recommended to wait at least 24 hours before applying a second coat or before subjecting the painted surface to heavy use.

Q. Can Glidden and Olympic paints be used on exterior surfaces?

  A: Yes, both Glidden and Olympic offer paints specifically formulated for exterior use.

These paints are designed to withstand weather conditions and UV radiation better than interior paints.

Make sure to select an exterior-grade product if you’re painting an outdoor surface.

Q. Are Glidden and Olympic paints low-VOC?

  A: Both brands offer low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and zero-VOC options.

These paints are less likely to release harmful chemicals into the air as they dry, making them a more environmentally friendly and health-conscious choice.

Q. Can I get custom colors in Glidden and Olympic paints?

  A: Yes, both brands offer color matching services.

You can bring a sample of the color you want to match (like a fabric swatch or a piece of painted wood), and they should be able to create a custom paint color for you.

However, the colors may not match perfectly so just keep that in mind. 

Q. Do Glidden and Olympic offer paint and primer in one?

A: Yes, both Glidden and Olympic offer paint-and-primer-in-one products.

These can save you time and effort, especially on new or significantly altered surfaces that would otherwise require a separate primer coat.

Q. What are some specialty finishes offered by Glidden and Olympic?

  A: Both brands offer a range of finishes from flat and eggshell to semi-gloss and high-gloss.

Additionally, Olympic offers specialty finishes such as textured and anti-skid coatings, which can be particularly useful for certain exterior applications like decks and patios.

Q. How can I remove Glidden and Olympic paint if necessary?

  A: The process for removing paint can vary depending on the type of paint and the surface.

Generally, you may use a chemical paint stripper, a heat gun, or sanding.

Always be sure to follow safety guidelines when removing paint, particularly when working with older paint that may contain lead.


When deciding between Glidden and Olympic, consider your specific project needs.

If budget and ease of application are your main concerns, Glidden could be your go-to.

If you’re after durability and a wider range of finish options, you might want to lean towards Olympic.

Both brands offer a substantial color palette, so you’re bound to find the perfect hue for your project.

Remember, it’s not just about the price, but the quality and longevity of the product.

Always consider the surface you’re painting, the conditions it will face, and the look you want to achieve before making a decision.

Suggested Products:  


  1. Glidden Premium Interior Paint and Primer: This is a high-quality paint and primer in one, providing excellent hide and outstanding touch-up. It has a low odor, low VOCs, and is available in a wide range of colors.
  2. Glidden Essentials Interior Paint: This is a budget-friendly solution for repainting interior spaces. It provides good coverage and is easy to apply. Available in flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss finishes.
  3. Glidden Duo Exterior Paint + Primer: This exterior paint is praised for its excellent coverage and durability. It can resist cracking, peeling, and fading, even under harsh weather conditions. Available in a variety of colors and finishes.


  1. Olympic ONE Interior Paint and Primer: This paint and primer combo is highly rated for its excellent hide and durability. It has a low odor, is low in VOCs, and is available in a multitude of colors.
  2. Olympic Maximum Exterior Stain and Sealant in One: This product offers great protection for your deck, fence, or siding. It’s a stain and sealant in one, offering waterproofing and UV resistance. Available in various finishes and colors.
  3. Olympic RESCUE IT! MAX Resurfacer + Primer + Sealant: This is a high-performance product designed to cover worn or weathered wood and concrete. It locks down splinters, fills cracks up to ¼ inches, and provides a beautifully durable, slip-resistant surface. Available in over 140 colors.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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