The latest Metrostudy Residential Remodeling Index points to a banner year. But a busy year for pro painters means juggling more calls, project pitches, quotes, staff, materials, bookkeeping … and, oh yes, finished projects.

It makes sense to line-up partners that have your back in all the expected ways and some not-so expected. One supplier that’s been gaining more and more pro business may be a surprising name to some. It’s The Home Depot. Why the shift? How do they stack up to specialty paint stores?

Jud Walford has a pretty good idea. Walford runs the Pro paint business for The Home Depot’s 1,976 U.S. stores. Walford believes several things stand out:

Best Paints, Best Brands. Walford explains most property managers, remodelers, and general contractors look for quality paints, not whatever happens to be cheapest. “That’s why we carry top-rated names, starting with Behr. Behr Marquee has been the top-rated paint for years and years,” Walford says. Glidden Diamond and other PPG brands are also available.

The same best-brand focus applies to painting products too, such as Graco sprayers, 3M tape, DAP and GE caulk, and Purdy and Wooster brushes. “Some competitors use their own brands. We stock only the best and offer razor-sharp prices,” Walford says.

Color Matching System. Walford says it’s now easy, fast, and precise to match any color, any manufacturer, at any time, from any HD store. “It doesn’t matter who made the color or what the color is. You bring the color to us and we’ll have a perfect match within minutes,” reports Walford.

Color Saving System. Any color you specify is saved “… while you’re standing there and is accessible in any Home Depot store in the U.S.,” Walford says. “It’s a huge opportunity for pros that work across multiple stores or even multiple markets or states. Just mention your name and your saved colors are all set to go.”

Primers. “Many of our paints are paint and primer in one, for fast one-and-done applications,” Walford says. When the project calls for stain and mold blockers or odor-killers, products from Zinsser and Kilz “do a fantastic job” knocking out water stains or pet and smoking smells.

Pro-Only Services. Walford reports helping pros simplify their business is a big priority. “Pro Xtra members save up to an extra 20 percent off of paints, stains, and primers,” Walford says. Free delivery is a big hit, too. “Pros really like the free, direct-to-jobsite delivery on larger orders. Plus, we ship direct from the factory so pros know the color is a dead-on match,” he adds.

Rental. Need a bigger pressure washer or gas-powered sprayer on occasion? Save your money. Rent it on-demand from store’s rental department.

Top brand products. Night and weekend convenience. Pro-only Xtra service and savings. When it’s time to quote projects, keep The Home Depot in mind. It may be just the advantage you need to keep your 2017 project pipeline flowing even more profitably. Learn more.