Two of the top paint brands on the market are Behr and Sherwin-Williams.
Both offer a range of interior and exterior paints and stains. And both have a solid reputation for delivering excellent coverage and durability.
So, what’s the difference? Which paint should you use for your next project?
In this comparison of Behr vs. Sherwin-Williams, I break down the pros and cons of both brands.
You’ll learn how their paints compare in terms of variety, accessibility, price, performance, and reputation in the marketplace.
So, if you’re planning a paint project but unsure whether to buy Behr or Sherwin-Williams paint, keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Paint Offerings
- Where It Is Sold
- What Experts at Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams Stores Say
- What Others Are Saying
- Bottom Line: Which Paint Is Better, Behr or Sherwin-Williams?
Behr and Sherwin-Williams both offer multiple lines of interior and exterior paint to tackle any paint job.
In this section, I highlight the Behr and Sherwin-Williams paint options.
Behr streamlines its offerings. The company offers three baseline interior and exterior paints. You have a choice of finishes for each, such as flat, satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss, with access to all Behr colors for each option.
Behr Premium Plus Interior Paint: An affordable, low-VOC paint. It is washable and features a long-lasting finish.
Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Interior Paint: Perfect for high-traffic areas, this paint resists scuffs and stains.
Behr Marquee Interior Paint: This top-of-the-line paint boasts one-coat coverage and exceptional durability.
Behr Premium Plus Exterior Paint: This value-buy option combines paint and primer for a durable finish that resists moisture, fading, and stains.
Behr Ultra Stain Blocking Exterior Paint: A super-durable line that resists stains and dirt.
Behr Marquee Exterior Paint: The ultimate Behr paint in terms of durability and coverage; it’s the brand’s most expensive and best exterior paint line.
Behr also carries lines of specialty paint for special projects, including:
- Behr Interior/Exterior Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint
- Behr Interior/Exterior Metal Primer
- Behr Exterior Barn & Fence Paint
- Behr Multi-Surface Roof Paint
- Behr Interior/Exterior Urethane Alkyd Paint
- Behr Interior/Exterior Oil-Base Paint
- Behr Interior/Exterior Dry Plus Masonry Waterproofer
- Behr Marquee Ceiling Paint
- Behr Interior Cabinet & Trim Enamel Paint
Learn more about all Behr paint on HomeDepot.com.
Sherwin-Williams features dozens of intricate, targeted lines with a choice of several finishes. The company also produces multiple specialty paint options.
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior Latex with Sanitizing Technology Paint: This paint includes built-in additives to fight bacteria.
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior Acrylic with Air Purifying Technology Paint: A zero VOC formula designed to eliminate odors and purify the air. How does this work? According to Sherwin-Williams, “SuperPaint with Air Purifying Technology helps transform airborne VOCs into water molecules and harmless inert gas. As for reducing household odors, the paint’s technology deconstructs carbon molecules, neutralizing and dissipating odors.”
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior Acrylic Latex Paint: A paint and primer combo offering a smooth finish and excellent coverage.
Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Interior Latex Paint: Offers superior color hiding coverage and applies smoothly and evenly.
Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint: Highly washable, good coverage, and hides stains well.
Sherwin-Williams Duration Home Interior Acrylic Latex Paint: This paint is perfect for high-traffic areas and high-moisture rooms like bathrooms.
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex Paint: One of the smoothest brush mark-free options featuring a rich and easy to clean finish.
Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior Latex Paint: Budget-friendly, simple paint and primer formula.
Sherwin-Williams Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex Paint: A zero VOC and odor-free formula that is UL GREENGUARD Gold certified.
Sherwin-Williams Paint Shield Microbicidal Interior Latex Paint: An EPA-registered microbicidal paint that kills bacteria on contact and prevents new bacteria growth for up to four years.
Sherwin-Williams EcoSelect Zero VOC Interior Latex Paint: A zero VOC formula with spatter resistance.
Sherwin-Williams ColorAccents Interior Alkyd Paint: Oil-based semi-gloss that provides deep, rich color.
Sherwin-Williams A-100 Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: This value paint provides exceptional and lasting coverage.
Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: Designed for advanced durability with PermaLast technology. This paint includes a primer to get jobs done fast.
Sherwin-Williams Resilience Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: Great choice for high-moisture environments and easy to apply to multiple surfaces from wood to vinyl siding.
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: A formula that resists dirt and mildew and performs under harsh weather extremes (hot or cold).
Sherwin-Williams Exterior Oil Base Paint: An oil-based paint for outdoor applications and trim.
Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: A durable outdoor formula that combines paint and primer for faster application.
Sherwin-Williams Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: A dirt repelling and self-cleaning formula activated by rain or water from a hose.
Sherwin-Williams FlexTemp Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: Allows you to paint in extreme temperatures (35℉ – 120℉) with excellent adhesion and resistance to flaking, peeling, and outdoor conditions.
Sherwin-Williams Latitude Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint: A moisture-resistant paint with smooth application in extreme temperatures (35°F – 120°F).
Like Behr, Sherwin-Williams offers a range of specialty paints, including:
- Sherwin-Williams Sketch Pad Dry Erase Coating Paint
- Sherwin-Williams Porch & Floor Enamel Paint
- Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel
- Sherwin-Williams SnapDry Door & Trim Paint
- Sherwin-Williams Faux Impressions Latex Glaze
- Sherwin-Williams Oil Based Faux Finish Glazing Liquid
- Sherwin-Williams SnapDry Door & Trim Paint
- Sherwin-Williams Uniflex Elastomeric MB Base Coat
- Sherwin-Williams Rejuvenate Siding Restoration
- Sherwin-Williams Urethane Trim Enamel Paint
- Sherwin-Williams Eminence High Performance Ceiling Paint
- Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd Paint
- Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Alkyd Interior Enamel Paint
- Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel Paint
- Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel Latex Paint
- Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel Oil Base Paint
Learn more about all Sherwin-Williams paint on Sherwin-Williams.com.
As you can see, both brands offer a range of interior and exterior paints for any job.
Most paints from both brands are either acrylic, latex, or a blend of the two because these types of paint hold up well over time. They both also offer some enamel, oil-based and alkyd paint options as well.
The point is: both brands offer plenty of choices.
Where It Is Sold
You can only get Behr paint at The Home Depot stores and on HomeDepot.com.
Sherwin-Williams paint is sold exclusively at Sherwin-Williams stores. You can find a store near you by entering your address into their store locator.
Even though you can also purchase the paint on Sherwin-Williams.com, you have to pick it up at your nearest Sherwin-Williams store.
Worth noting, Sherwin-Williams has a collaborative paint brand with HGTV. The HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams collection is available exclusively at Lowe’s (in-store and online).
You will have to create a free account to purchase Sherwin-Williams paint. Behr does not require this.
The good news is it is quick and easy and helps you keep track of your paint project. You also automatically get a PaintPerks account that saves you money on purchases.
Behr and Sherwin-Williams both boast a large selection of colors. They also feature helpful tools to guide your color choices, such as color visualizers, paint calculators, and live chat during certain hours.
Since Behr and Sherwin-Williams hues are not identical, it’s a good idea to pick your colors only after you’ve decided which brand is best for your paint project. However, if you find a Behr color you like, Sherwin-Williams can match it.
Behr Colors & Tools
Behr uses ten paint color families to group all hues. On average, each color family has at least 30 different hues.
Behr offers the following tools to help you find the perfect color:
Popular Color Search/Color Selection Tool: Explore Behr’s most popular collections or use the color wheel to quickly find your desired color.
Color Discovery: This tool helps you choose the best color for your project. It is crafted like a survey to capture your specific needs before offering paint suggestions.
Behr Color Studio: Find inspirations using different hues, current color trends, and a gallery of paint projects. Additionally, there are links to Behr’s Instagram and Pinterest pages for inspiration.
Behr Visualizer: With this tool, you can select a room and place paint colors. The photos of the rooms are templates, so it won’t look exactly like your room, but it offers an idea of what to expect.
ColorSmart by Behr app: This app (iOS and Android) offers a way to learn about Behr colors on the go. It also allows you to take a picture of any object, and Behr will show you the color that matches it best.
Pins to Palettes by Behr: If you have a Pinterest account, you can log in through Pins to Palettes to select your favorite boards and pins. This tool uses your input to create a custom color palette.
Paint Samples: You can order 8-ounce samples of paint tinted with your color of choice.
Sherwin-Williams Colors & Tools
Like Behr, Sherwin-Williams also groups colors by family. The brand utilizes eight color families.
Furthermore, Sherwin-Williams collaborates with other businesses in the home decor vertical, such as Pottery Barn and West Elm, and offers collections inspired by these partnerships.
Similar to Behr, Sherwin-Williams also provides color tools:
Digital Color Wall: This tool shows you all of the Sherwin-Williams colors at a glance. You can click on any color square to learn more.
Peel & Stick Samples: To choose the best color for your project, you can use the 8” x 8” peel and stick paint swatches. It is a mess-free way to see what a color will look like up close and personal. These are only available in the most popular colors.
Color Chips: Color chips are 2” x 3” swatches of color so you can compare paint hues. Get up to 10 for free.
ColorSnap Visualizer: This web-based tool makes it possible to upload a picture of the space or object and paint it virtually.
ColorSnap App: This app is similar to Behr’s Color Smart tools in that it allows you to take a picture of an object to create a custom paint color or compare it to existing Sherwin-Williams colors.
The Snap It Button by Sherwin-Williams: This is another browser-based tool. It features a button you can click whenever you see something online that inspires you. From the image, this tool creates a custom color palette.
Behr vs. Sherwin-Williams Color Recap
Both brands offer a wide range of colors and provide tools and resources to help you find the perfect one. Yet, there are a handful of differences between the brands worth noting.
- You can create custom colors with Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap tools. Behr does not offer this service.
- If you want liquid paint samples, only Behr offers them for online purchase. Sherwin-Willams paint samples are called Color to Go. To get them, you’ll have to contact your local store. Right now, they offer 8” x 8” peel and stick paint samples for a mess-free solution.
- Sherwin-Williams allows you to upload an actual picture of what you want to paint. Behr only offers preloaded images to visualize colors virtually.
One of the most significant differences between Behr and Sherwin-Williams paint is price.
Although the cost varies by paint type and finish, Sherwin-Williams is more expensive than Behr across the board.
That said, Sherwin-Williams offers several affordable options if you’re on a tight budget, such as its Captivate paint line.
In general, paint and primer combos and glossy finishes are the most expensive, while flat and matte finishes are the least costly.
Exterior paint is almost always more expensive than interior paint. That’s because it contains extra additives to endure the outdoor elements.
To see actual prices and compare Behr and Sherwin-Williams side-by-side, refer to the chart below.
|Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Interior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Exterior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Premium Plus Interior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Premium Plus Exterior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Marquee Interior||HomeDepot.com|
|Behr Marquee Exterior||HomeDepot.com|
|Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
|Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
|Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
|Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
|Sherwin-Williams A-100 Exterior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
|Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
|Sherwin-Williams Resilience Exterior||Sherwin-Williams.com|
What Experts at Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams Stores Say
To get an expert opinion on Behr vs. Sherwin-Williams, I called the paint department at several local Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams stores and asked a simple question:
What’s the difference between Behr and Sherwin-Williams?
Not surprisingly, I got two very different opinions.
The paint experts at The Home Depot said that Behr and Sherwin-Williams’ paint is very similar. Both are higher quality than brands like Valspar and Glidden, but there’s not much of a difference between Behr and Sherwin-Williams.
They mentioned that Sherwin-Williams markets its paint to professionals while Behr is more focused on DIYers. That gives Sherwin-Williams the perception of higher quality, but they claim the actual paint is quite similar.
The key point that the experts at The Home Depot made clear was that Behr is a much better value because it’s high-quality paint at half the price of Sherwin-Williams (price varies by paint type, but this is true in many cases).
When I talked to Sherwin-Williams, I got a different story.
The representatives there told me that I shouldn’t compare Sherwin-Williams to Behr. Sherwin-Williams offers better coverage, more options, and superior durability — it’s a higher-tier paint.
They said if I wanted to compare a brand that’s more similar to Sherwin-Williams, look at Benjamin Moore. Benjamin Moore offers comparable quality, coverage, and service.
He also mentioned that Sherwin-Williams offers affordable options, such as its Captivate paint, if the price is a sticking point. Plus, Sherwin-Williams can match most Behr paint colors (except the new ones because it takes a few months to get those in their system).
Although the opinions of the experts at The Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams differ, one thing was abundantly clear from my conversations, Sherwin-Williams cares about service.
I expected to have a brief conversation but ended up talking for fifteen minutes to the representative. It was clear he knew his stuff and understood the ins and outs of paint.
You can’t put a price on this level of service and detail, especially when you’re investing in a major paint project. With so many options available, you need an expert to guide you through the pros and cons of each.
While the folks I spoke to at The Home Depot were helpful, they didn’t show the same passion and expertise. They answered my question, and that was it.
Your experience will vary based on who you talk to, but it was clear from the handful of discussions I had that Sherwin-Williams puts more emphasis on customer service.
What Others Are Saying
Now you know what the paint experts at Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams have to say, let’s find out what the DIY crowd is saying and what independent product reviewers think.
Good Housekeeping gives Behr Premium Plus Interior paint high marks for its stain and fading resistance. It resists mold and mildew, making it ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements where moisture is always present. It fell short in coverage, as one coat will likely not be sufficient for the best results.
The Spruce named Behr Premium Plus Exterior Paint and Primer in One as the Best Overall in a list of the 9 Best Exterior Paints. It earned this honor primarily for how many boxes it checks: moisture-resistance to prevent mildew and mold and “exceptional covering ability” that rejects fading and stains.
Consumer Reports tested several Behr paints, including Marquee Interior, Behr Ultra Exterior, and Behr Premium Plus Exterior. Here are the results:
- Behr Marquee Interior: Excellent coverage and stain resistance, no need for primer.
- Behr Ultra Exterior: Good overall score. After three years, it holds up its appearance with no problem, but it loses some of its punch at the six and nine-year intervals. It is resistant to cracking, fading, dirt and mildew.
- Behr Premium Plus Exterior: Good paint overall. It holds its appearance up to six years and begins to lose strength around the nine-year mark. Resists cracking, color changes, and dirt and mildew.
Business Insider chose Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Paint and Primer in One as the best exterior paint overall in its Best Exterior Paint list. It was praised for its durability even in harsh weather conditions. The paint also got high marks for versatility since you can put on just about anything — wood, vinyl, trim, doors, outdoor furniture — without primer and still get an “even finish that completely masks the surface below.”
Verified Reviewers on Consumer Affairs are positive about Behr, noting its durability, color quality and choices, and overall value. The reviewers also love the convenience of being able to buy in-store or online through Home Depot.
Good Housekeeping reviewed Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint and concluded that it’s a durable paint with superior coverage, above-average stain removal, and an excellent finish. It’s a 5-star choice that held its own against Benjamin Moore, a premium paint brand.
Verified Reviewers on Consumer Affairs are overwhelmingly positive about the brand. Overall, the reviewers love the color choices, low splatter, coverage, and durability.
Real Simple gave Sherwin-Williams a nod for its sanitizing formula. The reviewers called it a “win-win” choice for its ability to sanitize surfaces on application, protect the surface from bacteria over time, all with an excellent choice of colors.
Good Housekeeping called out both brands in its Top Interior Paint Color list. It chose Behr Premium Plus Paint and Primer In One as the Best for Laundry Rooms, calling it “everything you’d expect from a premium paint.” It resists mildew, stains, and color fading and has low VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Sherwin-Williams’ Duration Interior Paint was named Best for Large Rooms. Good Housekeeping reviewers praised its coverage and ability to withstand abrasion, stains, and fading.
The Spruce chose Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Paint as the best overall in a recent top-ten list. Behr received the honor of Best White. Reviewers at The Spruce noted that Sherwin-Williams Cashmere “stands out for its buttery smooth application.” It praised its brush-stroke-free coverage, choice of sheens, and custom hue options. Behr was also commended for its coverage and smooth application and also stood out for its mildew resistance.
Pro Crew Schedule also had good things to say about both brands, selecting Sherwin-Williams Cashmere and Behr Marquee Interior Matte as two of its top ten paint brands. Cashmere was chosen for its outstanding coverage and its smooth application and finish. Although called out for its price, Marquee was celebrated for its hard-to-beat coverage, zero VOCs, and stain resistance.
Business Insider chose Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint and Primer In One as the best overall paint due to its stain and fading resistance, low VOCs, coverage, mildew resistance, and affordability. But, they also pointed out that some projects require more than one coat. HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams’ Infinity got high marks for its one-coat, streak-free coverage, quick drying time, and ability to adhere to multiple surfaces. As a downside, the reviewers mentioned the price.
Real Simple listed Behr and Sherwin-Williams as the best interior paint brands. Behr was called out for its affordability, while Sherwin-Williams was praised for its range of colors and the convenience of the HGTV Home line found at Lowe’s home improvement store.
Bottom Line: Which Paint Is Better, Behr or Sherwin-Williams?
Now that you know how Behr and Sherwin Williams compare, which brand is best for your painting project?
Let’s recap the key takeaways of this comparison before you decide:
- Behr and Sherwin-Williams offer multiple interior and exterior paint lines with a choice of finishes from flat to high-gloss.
- Behr is available at Home Depot stores and online at HomeDepot.com. Sherwin-Williams is available in its retail stores. You can order it online, but you must pick it up at a Sherwin-Williams store.
- Both offer various colors and tools to help you make the best choice; only Sherwin-Williams offers custom color formulas.
- Sherwin-Williams paint is more expensive than Behr, and prices vary depending on the type of finish you choose. Flat paint is less costly than high-gloss.
- Sherwin-Williams has multiple options that employ innovative technology such as air purification and self-cleaning and anti-bacterial agents. Behr doesn’t offer this technology.
- Sherwin-Williams is solely focused on paint, so you get better service at their stores than you do at The Home Depot paint department.
- Both brands have positive reviews from DIYers, independent product reviewers, and professionals.
So, which brand stands out for you?
With paint, you typically get what you pay for. Both brands offer a range of paints, but Sherwin-Williams, in general, is more expensive and will provide better coverage per coat.
Behr’s premium paint line, Behr Marquee, is the closest to Sherwin-Williams in terms of coverage. But, across all lines, Sherwin-Williams will provide a better overall experience and require less paint.
Bottom line — you really can’t go wrong with either. If you want to save money, go with Behr. If you’re willing to invest in a more durable paint with superior coverage and better customer service, go with Sherwin-Williams.
Read more reviews and check out both brands at the links below.