- Backdrop is a new startup that wants to make it less of a chore to paint your home.
- It sells paint ($49) in a small selection of colors, samples ($2) that ship for free, and supplies, plus it has an online calculator that helps you determine how much of everything you’ll need.
- The shopping experience and products feel more reminiscent of a design-studio than a hardware store — an exciting change that reframes the chore of wall painting as a creative and transformative endeavor.
When I was a kid, I loved walking through the paint section at the hardware store, hoarding and ruffling through thick bundles of paint chips. It’s just like picking out colors for my paint-by-numbers coloring book!
If only that same enthusiasm still applied today, when choosing the right color will determine the feel and style of your home (no pressure) and the labor of painting entire walls is a tad more intensive and expletive-ridden than plopping down in front of a coloring book.
Husband-and-wife duo Caleb and Natalie Ebel are the cofounders of Backdrop, a new direct-to-consumer paint brand that’s reimagining the home paint shopping and user experience. Having painted every home and apartment they’ve ever lived in, they wanted to create the brand they wish they could have used then.
Caleb was formerly at Warby Parker, while Natalie was the CMO of nonprofit Pencils of Promise. Unlike the founder of competing online paint startup Clare, they’re not interior designers, but they’re able to leverage their personal perspectives as consumers to create more exciting solutions for the paint industry.
Backdrop sells three types of paint: Standard Finish (low-sheen, semi-matte), Semi-Gloss Finish, and Primer. The Standard wall paint is available in a curated collection of 50 colors, which have names like 36 Hours in Marrakesh (warm, earthy pink) and Skywalker (muted, light blue with green undertones).
You won’t have to purchase a whole gallon ($49) immediately, though. Backdrop sells 12-inch-by-12-inch square adhesive samples, which cost $2 each. While you typically have to spend $75 on the site in order to get free shipping, these samples are an exception and will ship for free.
Once you’ve determined which colors you want, you can use the site’s Calculator to figure out how much paint and how many supplies you need. In addition to buckets of paint, Backdrop offers brushes, rollers, and other accessories to aid you in your room makeover. The 11-Piece Essentials Kit ($45) bundles them all together at a discounted price.
The paint itself comes in rectangular, easy-pour buckets that don’t require a tool to open or close. The paint is low-VOC, which means it has low impact on indoor air quality, and it’s also Greenwise-certified, which means it meets high levels of performance and environmental standards. Made with a water-based, acrylic resin formula, it’s easy to apply, highly pigmented, durable, and quick-drying.
The artfully designed and easy-to-navigate site is similar to that of many other popular online startups and shows that Backdrop is leaning towards a younger generation of shoppers and homeowners.
If extras on its site like Spotify playlists created around paint colors aren’t indication enough, retail partnerships like its recently announced Urban Outfitters collaboration place Backdrop far from the world of traditional paint and hardware stores and more squarely in newly formed camp that believes paint can be fun, influenced by culture, and driven by design.
- 11 top-rated bathroom cleaners and tools to get rid of mold and grime in your shower
- 9 popular food products that got their start on ‘Shark Tank’
- 21 skin-care products with near-perfect Amazon reviews