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Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams: Which Paint Is Better?

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams are two of the top-selling paint brands.

Both offer excellent coverage, long-lasting durability, and an array of products to handle any paint job.

So how do you choose? Which paint is better? To find out, I spent several months researching and testing each brand. I also interviewed professional painters to get their expert opinions.

In this comparison of Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams, I share my findings. You’ll learn how they compare in terms of:

  • Coverage
  • Durability
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels
  • Pricing and availability
  • And reputation

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams: Key Takeaways

Here’s a quick summary of the key points. Throughout the full comparison, I provide a much more detailed analysis, including direct quotes from professional painters, charts with key specs, and pricing by paint line.

What Professional Painters Say

I asked over a dozen professional painters if they preferred Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams. While a few picked sides, almost all agreed that both brands offer excellent coverage, durability, and fade resistance. Four painters I spoke to use both brands, six prefer Sherwin-Williams, and two favored Benjamin Moore. Skip ahead to read direct quotes from the painters.

What Other Experts Are Saying

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams consistently top best paint lists. JD Power ranks Sherwin-Williams #1 in customer satisfaction, and The New York Times named Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select the top interior paint.

Paint Lines

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have an extensive range of interior, exterior, and specialty paints. Benjamin Moore offers the luxury Aura, budget-friendly ben, and versatile Regal Select, among others. Sherwin-Williams most popular lines are Emerald, SuperPaint, Duration, Cashmere, and Captivate (budget).

Volume Solids

Volume solids refer to the elements (binder, pigment, and additives) left after the paint dries. In general, paint with a higher percentage of volume solids provides better coverage and durability. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams’ volume solids vary by paint line. Benjamin Moore’s Aura and Sherwin-Williams’ Emerald have higher volume solids (40 – 48%) than cheaper lines like Benjamin Moore’s ben and Sherwin-Williams’ Captivate (32 – 40%). Skip ahead to compare both brands’ volume solids by line.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are solvents in paint that turn to gas as it dries. The EPA warns they can cause health issues and even increase cancer risk. VOCs can be released for over six months post-drying. For safety, opt for paints with zero or under 50 g/L VOCs. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams both offer low-VOC paints, but the exact amount (measured in g/L) varies by paint line. Skip ahead to compare both brands’ VOC levels by line.

Where It Is Sold

You can buy Benjamin Moore paint at Ace Hardware, over 7,500 independent paint stores, or online. Sherwin-Williams paints are sold primarily at their 4,400 branded stores and online. Only the HGTV line is available at Lowe’s.


Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offer expansive color palettes — over 3,500 and 1,700, respectively. Benjamin Moore makes its own colorants, designed specifically for their paints without chemicals that weaken the paint. This approach ensures the colors are incredibly consistent and long-lasting. Sherwin-Williams offers several tools to help you choose the right color, including ColorSnap Visualizer, Snap It, and more.


Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams are high-quality paint brands that cost more than Behr, Valspar, PPG, and other options you’ll find at large home improvement stores. That said, both offer a range of options at various price points. For example, Benjamin Moore Aura is their most expensive line at $90 per gallon, while ben is their most affordable at roughly $50. Sherwin-Williams Emerald starts at $85, while Captivate is around $45. Skip ahead to compare the prices of both brands’ most popular paint lines.

Bottom Line

Opinions vary among professionals and DIYers, but the truth is that Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams both make high-performing and long-lasting paint. My best advice is to choose the brand that’s most accessible to you and spend your time researching the right paint line within that brand. Although I’m a fan of both, Benjamin Moore Regal Select has been my go-to paint for years. It’s a well-rounded formula that goes on smooth, dries fast, maintains its appearance for years, and costs less than ultra-premium paints like Benjamin Moore Aura and Sherwin-Williams Emerald.

Comparison Chart

If you only have a minute, here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams.

Benjamin MooreSherwin-Williams
Top Paint LinesAura, Regal Select, benEmerald, Duration, Cashmere
Where It’s SoldAuthorized independent retailersSherwin-Williams stores
ColorsOver 3,500 optionsOver 1,700 options
Price$46 – $90 per gallon$30 – $90 per gallon
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)Zero- and Low-VOCLow-VOC
Volume Solids32% – 48%34% – 44%
Top Reason to BuyExcellent durability and coverage, zero-VOC option, favorite among pro paintersExcellent customer service, trusted by pro painters
DownsidesExpensiveExpensive, no zero-VOC option

What Professional Painters Say About Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams

I reached out to over a dozen professional painters to get their take on Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams.

The painters I connected with do business in either Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, California, or Ohio. I chose those states to get a broad, national perspective and avoid regional bias.

When I spoke to each painter, I asked the same two questions:

  • What are the key differences between Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams?
  • Which do you prefer and why?
CompanyBenjamin MooreSherwin-WilliamsKey Points
New Haven PaintersBothBothBenjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa is best for bathrooms. Sherwin-Williams Duration prevents water streaks.
Infinity PaintingBothBothNo noticeable difference in quality to the untrained eye.
J&R PaintingSecond ChoicePreferredTrusts both brands, but Sherwin-Williams is more accessible.
Granite State PaintersPreferredSecond ChoiceBenjamin Moore is more durable and readily available.
Buckeye House PaintingSecond ChoicePreferredThinks highly of both but prefers Sherwin-Williams.
Fresh Touch Custom Painting & Drywall FinishingSecond ChoicePreferredPrecise color matches, high quality, long-term partnership.
Stauffers PaintingBothBothLikes both but uses Sherwin-Williams more because it’s more readily available.
CertaPro PaintersBothBothComparable quality and performance.
Truline PaintingDon’t usePreferredGood quality product for both commercial and residential use.
Local San Diego PaintingSecond ChoicePreferredBetter color uniformity with Sherwin-Williams paints.
National Lumber Home FinishesPreferredComparablePraised Benjamin Moore for its coverage, durability, and scrubbability.
Sherwin-Williams store (Dedham, MA)ComparablePreferredUnique color collections and free color consultations.

New Haven Painters, a company based in Connecticut, told me, “There is not an overall consensus on which paint brand is better. Certain products are better for certain colors and certain areas of the home. For instance, the “best” bathroom paint is Aura Bath and Spa by Benjamin Moore. Although, Duration by Sherwin-Williams is just as good as long as you have some sort of ventilation fan. Aura will prevent mildew and cracking from extreme moisture. Duration will stop streaking on the walls, but is not good with extreme moisture caused by consistent hot showers without ventilation.”

Infinity Painting, a contractor in Connecticut, mentioned, “Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams both have excellent products. Both offer excellent durability, clean-ability, and fade resistance. To the untrained eye, there is no difference.”

J&R Painting, a family-owned company in New Hampshire, said, “We strictly use Sherwin-Williams products for our jobs, but Benjamin Moore is a close second, in my opinion. We choose Sherwin-Williams because they have multiple locations throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts as opposed to Benjamin Moore, which only has a few dealers here and there. I would trust both brands in clients’ homes.”

Granite State Painters, which operates in New Hampshire, said, “Both paints give a quality finish, but we switched over to Benjamin Moore because it’s more readily available. Sherwin-Williams has been experiencing some paint shortages. We have found that Ben Moore tends to be a little more durable (less chipping and flaking after applying). We recommend Benjamin Moore Advance for trim, Regal Select for walls, SuperHide for ceilings, and Aura for bathrooms since it’s a moisture-resistant paint.”

Buckeye House Painting, a contractor in Columbus, Ohio, said, “We prefer to use Sherwin-Williams Cashmere or Emerald. Benjamin Moore makes great products, too, but we prefer to use Sherwin-Williams.”

Fresh Touch Custom Painting & Drywall Finishing, a contractor in Columbus, Ohio, said, “Our preferred painting vendor is Sherwin-Williams unless a client prefers otherwise. They offer precise color matches, extremely high quality, and have been long-lasting partners with us for over 15 years.”

Stauffers Painting, another painting company in Columbus, Ohio, told me, “Our company uses both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, plus we also use PPG as well. We typically use Sherwin-Williams more than the others just because of the convenience factor of store locations, so our painters aren’t running around town. Both brands are great.”

I connected with the owner of CertaPro Painters in Needham, MA. He told me, “we use both Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, and they are pretty comparable quality and performance wise across the various lines each manufacturer carries.”

Truline Painting in San Diego, California, said, “We use Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint for the interior. It is a good quality product. We used it for both our commercial and residential paintings, and our clients like it.”

Local San Diego Painting, another California-based company, said, “We use Sherwin-Williams Duration and Emerald for all of our jobs. Both products have excellent durability, adhesiveness, coverage, and many other attributes. Benjamin Moore is also a solid coating but not as good with color uniformity. A color from one can sometimes not match the next. Sherwin Williams, on the other hand, is very good in that respect.”

I also spoke with paint experts at Benjamin Moore dealers and Sherwin-Williams stores to get their opinion.

The expert at National Lumber Home Finishes, an authorized Benjamin Moore dealer in Massachusetts, told me, “Benjamin Moore is one of the best paints on the market. It has excellent coverage, scrubbability, and durability. It has a tight film, leaving no pockets for dirt to linger.”

When I asked how it compares to Sherwin-Williams, he said, “Overall, there’s not a huge difference. It varies by line. Sherwin-Williams Emerald is comparable to Benjamin Moore Aura, and Sherwin-Williams Duration is most similar to Benjamin Moore Regal Select. Sherwin-Williams Captivate is similar to Benjamin Moore ben.”

When I spoke to the paint expert at the Sherwin-Williams store in Dedham, Massachusetts, she said, “We have different variations in terms of quality, and the right one for you depends on the finish and washability you’re looking for. The Duration and Emerald lines offer the best washability and durability.”

I asked about how Sherwin-Williams differs from Benjamin Moore, and she said, “The biggest deal-breaker is color and finish. There are certain colors that only Sherwin-Williams offers and colors exclusive to Benjamin Moore. Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition has a unique collection that can’t be color-matched. Also, Sherwin-Williams offers free color consultations, and Benjamin Moore does not.”

As one of the painters mentioned, there’s no overall consensus on which paint brand is better. Some people swear by Benjamin Moore, while others claim Sherwin-Williams is better. My main takeaway from speaking to professional painters is that both brands are realible, but performance varies by paint lines.

What Others Experts Are Saying

Now that you know what professional painters and experts at Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have to say, let’s explore the opinions of independent product reviewers, respected home brands, and consumer advocates.

Both brands recently received the JD Power Award, which is a testament to their quality. JD Power is a global voice in consumer insights and data analysis, and they ranked Sherwin-Williams #1 in customer satisfaction with exterior paints and stains. Benjamin Moore ranked #1 in customer satisfaction with interior paints.

The New York Times’ Wirecutter chose Benjamin Moore Regal Select as the top interior paint after 30 hours of researching 55 different paints. It earned that honor for its coverage, durability, and ease of cleaning. It was the “high-quality paint of choice” for half of the painters interviewed.

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere was the runner-up. Although a bit more expensive than Regal Select, it provides excellent coverage and easy application.

Finally, Benjamin Moore ben was the budget pick. It was praised for its price but fell short on its coverage. 

The Spruce chose the 10 Best Paints for Interior Walls, and both brands are on the list. Sherwin-Williams Cashmere was ranked Best Overall for its ultra-smooth application and stunning silk-like finish. It features built-in leveling technology that makes brush strokes and roller lines vanish.

Benjamin Moore Ultra Flat Waterborne Ceiling paint was the top pick for ceiling paint because it resists gravitational drip, contains zero VOCs, and leaves a near flawless finish that hides imperfections well.

Bob Vila, a trusted name in home improvement, shared the Best Interior Paints for Home Improvement Projects. Of the top five picks, Benjamin Moore Regal Select was listed first. It was celebrated for its lack of VOCs, quick drying time, and resistance to mold, fading, and stains. Plus, having built-in primer means fewer coats and less paint to buy.

Business Insider listed the Best Interior Paints and chose HGTV by Sherwin-Williams Infinity as the Best Paint for a Makeover. It was lauded for its “extreme hiding power and coverage.” It offers a cone-coat promise and features superior adhesion to multiple surfaces, fade resistance, and thwarts mildew and algae growth in damp areas. Even though it’s an interior paint, Business Insider called it “durable enough for exterior surfaces.”

Real Simple named the Absolute Best Paint Brands for Interiors and gave Benjamin Moore the top spot for its popularity with consumers and its best-selling colors. Sherwin-Williams came in second as another popular brand of choice for homeowners and home designers.  

Country Living listed the 10 Best Paint Brands for Your Interior Painting Projects and selected Sherwin-Williams Cashmere as the Easiest Application. It goes on and finishes smoothly, defeats streaks, and offers strong coverage.

Good Housekeeping’s 5-star review of Benjamin Moore Regal Select reveals only upsides, including superior coverage, above-average stain removal, high wear resistance, excellent finish, and low VOCs. It covered up black and white surfaces effortlessly and did not fade under UV light testing. Finally, testers were able to remove stains without damaging the finish.

Good Housekeeping also had high praise for Benjamin Moore Aura. They praised its smooth application, solid coverage performance, and excellent finish. Testers remarked that it offered complete coverage over black and white surfaces with ease. They also found it easy to remove deep stains like coffee and crayon. The low VOC paint “looked the best” out of all paints tested.

Good Housekeeping gave Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint an excellent rating for coverage, stain removal, wear resistance, low VOCs, and a high-quality finish. In fact, it was strikingly similar to Aura in terms of quality. It’s an excellent choice for high-traffic areas as it offers excellent stain removal. It also demonstrated fade resistance against UV exposure.

Paint Lines

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offer extensive paint lines for interior and exterior jobs, including specialty paints, stains, and primer.

Sherwin-Williams Paint Lines
Sherwin-Williams Paint Lines

This section will cover each brand’s most popular paints, starting with Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore Aura

Benjamin Moore Aura

Aura is Benjamin Moore’s luxury paint line. It’s a paint/primer combo, comes in interior and exterior formulas, and is lauded for its impressive coverage, superior hide, and smooth finish.

The color depth is stellar thanks to Gennex Color Technology (more on that in the Color section), and the product holds up against scuffs, mildew, and fading. The interior paint is hard to rub off, and the exterior version boasts a limited lifetime warranty.

Aura interior paint is available in matte, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss finishes. Aura exterior paint is available in flat, low lustre, satin, and semi-gloss.

Benjamin Moore Regal Select

Benjamin Moore Regal Select

Regal Select provides similar results as Aura but at a lower price. Like Aura, it’s a paint/primer combo available in interior and exterior formulas. It’s formulated for easy application and cleaning.

The paint line offers a variety of sheens and produces a uniform finish.

Regal Select interior is offered in flat, matte, eggshell, pearl, and semi-gloss. Regal Select exterior is available in three finishes: flat (MoorLife), low luster (MoorGard), and soft gloss (MoorGlo).

Check out this in-depth comparison of Benjamin Moore Regal Select vs. Aura to learn more.

Benjamin Moore ben

Benjamin Moore ben

The ben line is the budget-buy of the brand, but it still offers a quality finish. You’ll likely have to use multiple coats as it doesn’t provide the same kind of coverage as Aura or Regal Select. Yet, it is easy to use, offers a smooth finish, and contains zero VOCs in the interior formulas.

The exterior paint resists exposure to rain, features leveling technology, and offers excellent color retention and coverage. The interior paint is durable and spatter-resistant.

You can buy ben interior in flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss. The exterior finishes include flat, low lustre, and soft gloss.

Check out this in-depth comparison of Benjamin Moore ben vs. Regal Select to learn more.

Benjamin Moore Advance

The main feature of Advance is its waterborne system which reduces VOCs. It’s an ideal paint for doors, trim, and cabinetry, offering excellent adhesion, leveling, and easy application.

Both interior and exterior formulas dry to a hard, furniture-quality finish that can withstand repeated washing. They also provide excellent coverage and hide.

Advance interior is available in primer, matte, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. Advance exterior only comes in high gloss.

Benjamin Moore Specialty Paints

Benjamin Moore offers a variety of specialty paints, including paint that allows you to turn most flat surfaces into a chalkboard, artistic paint, and latex enamels for interior and exterior floors and patios.

For more information, please visit BenjaminMoore.com or read my guide to choosing the right Benjamin Moore paint type.

Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint

Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior

SuperPaint includes paint and primer for great coverage and hide. It comes in interior and exterior formulas and offers easy application, quick drying, and a smooth appearance.

You can scrub the interior paint without losing its brilliance. The exterior paint is designed to last against the abuse from the elements.

SuperPaint interior is available in flat, satin, velvet, and semi-gloss. The exterior paint comes in flat, low lustre, satin, gloss, and high gloss.

See how it compares to Sherwin-Williams Cashmere in this comparison.

Sherwin-Williams Emerald

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Interior

Emerald is a top-tier Sherwin-Williams paint with interior and exterior formulas. It’s most comparable to Benjamin Moore Aura.

This paint and primer combo is long-lasting, washable, and provides exceptional hide for dark colors. Thanks to an added antimicrobial agent, it’s resistant to stains, water streaks, and mildew growth.

The exterior is known for coverage with fewer coats. It comes in a formula called Rain Refresh, designed to repel dirt when it rains.

Emerald interior offers flat, satin, matte, and semi-gloss finishes. Emerald exterior is available in flat, satin, and gloss.

Sherwin-Williams Duration

Sherwin-Williams Duration Interior

Duration is the paint you want for high-traffic areas inside or outside your home. Interior and exterior formulas offer mildew resistance.

The interior paint contains antimicrobial elements that protect against mildew growth. It also blocks stains and allows for the easy removal of stains. The exterior version resists warping or buckling on vinyl siding and offers overall protection from cracking, blistering, and peeling.

Duration interior offers flat, satin, matte, and semi-gloss finishes. The exterior formula is available in flat, low lustre, satin, and gloss.

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere is a popular interior paint with an extremely smooth texture. It goes on easily and dries with a rich finish that looks expensive even though the paint is moderately priced. You can scrub it without damaging the surface, so it stays clean and looks impressive.

It is available in flat, low lustre, eggshell, pearl, and medium lustre finishes.

Learn more in this in-depth comparison of Sherwin-Williams Cashmere vs. Duration.

Sherwin-Williams Captivate

Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior

Captivate is the budget choice for the Sherwin-Williams brand. It offers a paint and primer combination, is easy to apply, and contains low VOCs. But even with a primer-based formula, you will have to use several coats.

The interior paint is available in three sheens: flat, satin, and semi-gloss.

Sherwin-Williams Latitude

Latitude is an upgraded version of Sherwin-Williams Resilience, which the company is phasing out. It’s designed with high moisture resistance and is suitable for vinyl and wood siding, multiple wood or composite wood surfaces, masonry, and metal. It is mildew- and dirt-resistant, offers excellent hide, and lasts for a long time.

The exterior paint comes in flat, satin, or gloss finishes.

Sherwin-Williams Specialty Paints

Sherwin-Williams offers paint to fit just about any painting scenario, including deck and siding stains with colorant, paint for concrete and basement floors, and faux glaze for artistic applications.

For more information on Sherwin-Williams paint lines, check out this guide which includes a handy side-by-side comparison chart of all the options.

Volume Solids

When buying paint, knowing the volume solids percentage is essential because:

  • It determines the paint’s value for the price.
  • It helps you plan for the amount of paint needed for a project.
  • It gives you more control over the quality of the project outcome.
  • It gives you a timeframe for a paint’s drying time.

Volume solids are what is left after the paint dries. But to gain an in-depth understanding, let’s look at the structure of paint.

Paint contains four main ingredients: water (or solvent), pigment, additives, and a binding agent.

The pigment gives the paint its color. Additives give the paint different qualities, such as fade resistance or thick consistency. The binder holds onto the pigment and additives. The water or a solvent, like oil or alkyd, is the vehicle that allows you to apply paint to a surface.

The water or solvent dissipates once the paint dries. The binder, pigment, and additives remain.

Volume solids vary depending on the type of paint and its purpose. For example, paint with a higher percentage of volume solids will be better at hiding stains than one with a lower percentage.

Paint with a high percentage of volume solids is typically more expensive. But it usually means you get thicker paint with better coverage. It also means you can expect fewer coats and a long-lasting finish.

To be clear, having a low volume of solids does not mean paint is inferior; it just indicates the depth of coverage. Some paints, like sealers, often have lower volume solids because they are only meant to help primer or paint adhere better to a surface. Also, paint with low volume solids is ideal for sprayers since it’s thinner and sprays on more evenly.

You can find the volume solids percentage by looking at the product or safety data sheets, but that’s a hassle.

Benjamin Moore Regal Select Volume Solids_2
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Volume Solids

To make it easy, I created the following tables that show the volume solids for top Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams paint lines. As you’ll see, volume solids vary across both brands, individual paint lines, and finishes.

In general, more expensive paint lines like Benjamin Moore Aura and Sherwin-Williams Emerald contain a higher percentage of volume solids. By contrast, less costly paint lines like Benjamin Moore ben and Sherwin-Williams Captivate have lower volume solids.

Note: If a paint line does not offer a specific finish, you’ll see “N/A” (not applicable) in that column.

Interior Volume Solids

Paint LineFlatMatteEggshellSatinSemi-Gloss
Benjamin Moore AuraN/A48%48%42%40%
Benjamin Moore Regal Select38%43%41%40%36%
Benjamin Moore ben32%N/A35%N/A39%
Benjamin Moore AdvanceN/A49%N/A39%37%
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint44%N/AN/A41%N/A
Sherwin-Williams Duration40%40%N/A38%N/A
Sherwin-Williams Emerald41%N/AN/A40%37%
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere40%N/AN/AN/AN/A
Sherwin-Williams Captivate34%N/AN/A40%N/A

Exterior Volume Solids

Paint LineFlatMatteSatinSemi-Gloss
Benjamin Moore Aura46%44%40%38%
Benjamin Moore Regal Select42%43%N/A42%
Benjamin Moore ben35%33%N/A35%
Benjamin Moore AdvanceN/AN/AN/AN/A
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint37%N/A37%N/A
Sherwin-Williams Duration43%N/AN/AN/A
Sherwin-Williams Emerald42%N/A39%N/A
Sherwin-Williams Resilience39%N/AN/AN/A

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are solvents that become gas and disperse into the air as paint dries.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), solvents may cause adverse health effects, such as respiratory irritation, headaches, or nausea.

More severe effects may include liver or kidney damage. Some solvents cause cancer in animals and are suspected of causing cancer in humans. In fact, the EPA banned using the solvent methylene chloride in consumer paint brands.

VOCs tend to dissipate from paint quickly after drying, but some paints can release VOCs for six months or more.

It is imperative to understand VOCs and take measures to reduce exposure. To stay safe, choose paints with zero VOCs or less than 50 grams of VOCs per liter (g/L).

Benjamin Moore offers zero VOC as well as low VOC paints. Sherwin-Williams also offers low-VOC paint but only one zero VOC paint option: EcoSelect Zero VOC Interior Latex.

When choosing paint, any paint with 50 g/L of VOCs or less is a safe choice, but zero VOCs is best. Remember that some zero VOC paints gain VOCs when the tint is added. You can contact a paint brand’s customer service department to ask about VOC levels in the tints they provide.

Both brands offer paint with safe VOC levels, but it is still a good practice to paint in well-ventilated areas. You should also stay out of freshly painted rooms for a few days.

The following table shows the VOCs of top Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams paint lines.

Note: If a paint line does not offer an interior or exterior version, you will see “N/A” in the column.

 Interior Paint VOCs (g/L)Exterior Paint VOCs (g/L)
Benjamin Moore Aura046
Benjamin Moore Regal Select< 50 (Semi-Gloss < 100 g/L)< 50
Benjamin Moore ben0< 50
Benjamin Moore Advance44 to 4846
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint< 50< 50
Sherwin-Williams Duration< 50< 50
Sherwin-Williams Emerald< 50< 50
Sherwin-Williams Captivate< 50N/A
Sherwin-Williams ResilienceN/A< 50

Where It Is Sold

You can buy Benjamin Moore paint at Ace Hardware and over 7,500 independently-owned paint and hardware stores across the United States. Use the Benjamin Moore store locator to find the closest location.

Benjamin Moore paint retailer
Benjamin Moore paint retailer

You can also purchase paint at BenjaminMoore.com, but full-sized paint cans are only available for store pickup. You can buy paint swatches and samples online and get them shipped to your home.

Sherwin-Williams offers most of its paints exclusively in its nearly 4,400 owned and operated stores. You can buy it online at Sherwin-Williams.com and pick it up in-store. Use the Sherwin-Williams store locator to find the nearest store.

Sherwin-Williams Paint Store

Sherwin-Williams offers free color chips and inexpensive peel-and-stick paint squares on its website.

Sherwin-Williams also features a special line, HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams collection, only available at Lowe’s home improvement stores.

You can expect excellent service and access to experts at both Benjamin Moore dealers and Sherwin-Williams stores.

Large stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot aren’t solely focused on paint, so they might not be able to give you that same attention and guidance.


Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams feature a wide variety of colors for interior and exterior paints. Benjamin Moore features over 3,500 colors. Sherwin-Williams offers over 1,700.

Colors may be similar between the brands, but they are not an exact match. You’ll want to choose the paint brand before you choose a color.

Benjamin Moore Colors and Color Tools

When it comes to Benjamin Moore paints, the brand uses Gennex Color Technology to provide the pigment. The technology makes it impossible to color match Benjamin Moore paints to other brands because they use proprietary colorants to achieve a unique profile.

Benjamin Moore Color Selection

The technology also produces consistent color with fewer chemicals. And since Gennex uses a zero-VOC waterborne tinting process, no VOCs are added.

Benjamin Moore offers the following color tools to help you choose and visualize paint colors for your projects:

  • Find Your Color: A color search tool that offers the ability to explore color families, best-selling colors, color collections, and color brochures for inspiration.
  • Color Insights: An educational hub where you can learn about color schemes, warm and cool paint colors, and how to choose colors for your project.
  • Color a Room: A visual tool to help you envision how your chosen colors would look in different rooms. You’ll see pictures of various rooms, and you can adjust the colors on walls, ceilings, and trim.
  • Personal Color Viewer: Do you want to see what your actual room would look like painted? You can take a picture of it and upload it to the tool. Just choose your color palette and get started with the Personal Color Viewer. You must sign up for a free account where you can track projects.
  • Color Portfolio App: The paint matching app provides a color capture tool to find the closest Benjamin Moore color. You can upload a photo and choose colors to paint the room virtually. You can also use the video tool to instantly see paint colors on the walls of any room in your home.
  • Color Samples: You can purchase paint swatches and samples to give you an in-home experience of how the paint will look.

Sherwin-Williams Colors and Color Tools

Sherwin-Williams offers its own advanced color matching service called ColorSnap Precision. You can use the service in Sherwin-Williams stores or access the DIY tools that I’ll mention in this section.

Like Benjamin Moore, they control every aspect of paint manufacturing from base to colorants, giving them unique colors.

Sherwin-Williams Colors
Sherwin-Williams Paint Colors

Sherwin-Willams works with HGTV, Pottery Barn, and West Elm to offer curated colors aligned with each partners’ style. Sherwin-Williams also owns Valspar, another major paint brand. So if you see a Valspar color you like, they can easily match it.

Sherwin-Williams offers the following tools to help you choose the right colors:

  • Search Color by Family: The color search tool allows you to browse related colors. It can be helpful if you already know you want red but want to narrow it down to the exact shade. 
  • ColorSnap Visualizer: You can use the visual color tool online with your PC or via Android, iPhone, or iPad. It offers multiple features to help you choose colors, view a virtually painted room, and build a color palette for your project.
  • Snap It: You can install the ColorSnap button on your browser. If you click the button and then an image you like, the tool will show you every matching Sherwin-Williams color in the image and build a palette to save or share on social media.
  • Virtual Color Consultation: Unlike Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams offers 30-minutes of one-on-one virtual color help from in-house color experts. You can sign up for the free service anytime.
  • Color Advice: Sherwin-Williams offers an in-depth color knowledge center with everything from color theory to color choice.
  • Color Samples: You can get free paint chips or order peel and stick paint swatches to see what the color will look like on your wall.

While nothing is as exact as painting, these tools can give you an idea of how your project will turn out without lifting a brush.


Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams both offer a range of interior and exterior paints in different finishes and formulas. As a result, the paint cost will be influenced by what you choose.

In general, both brands are high-end as far as quality and cost. But prices range significantly by line.

For example, Benjamin Moore’s most expensive paint is Aura, and Regal Select is a close second. Sherwin-Williams’ high-end offerings include Emerald, Latitude Exterior, Duration Exterior, and Pro Classic.

Benjamin Moore features multiple mid-priced paints, including Regal Select and Advance. Sherwin-Williams offers SuperPaint, Duration Interior, and Cashmere as its mid-range paints.

Benjamin Moore ben is the only budget line of the brand. Sherwin-Williams offers three less expensive lines: Captivate, A-100 Exterior, and Eminence.

Sales are another factor to keep in mind. Sherwin-Williams often offers steep discounts, while Benjamin Moore paint is rarely on sale. That’s one reason why many professional painters choose Sherwin-Williams. You’ll find the current discounts and promotional codes on Sherwin-Williams’ Special Offers page.

The following chart makes it easy to compare the current Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams prices:

PaintView Price
Sherwin-Williams Emerald InteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint InteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Sherwin-Williams Duration InteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere InteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Sherwin-Williams Captivate InteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Sherwin-Williams Emerald ExteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Sherwin-Williams Duration ExteriorSherwin-Williams.com
Benjamin Moore Aura InteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Ben InteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select InteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Ben ExteriorAceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select ExteriorAceHardware.com

Bottom Line: Should You Use Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams?

Now that you know the key differences between Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paints, it’s time to choose which brand is better for your paint project.

Before you decide, let’s quickly recap:

  • Both brands offer extensive options for interior and exterior paint. They also feature stains, primers, and specialty paints.
  • Volume solids determine coverage and finish. The percentage of volume solids in Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paints vary by paint line.
  • Benjamin Moore offers three zero-VOC paints, while Sherwin-Williams only has one. Both brands have a wide selection of low-VOC paints.
  • Both brands are accessible. Sherwin-Williams is sold at the company’s owned and operated stores and Benjamin Moore is sold at independently-owned paint and hardware stores across the nation. You can buy both brands online and pick them up at a local retailer. The HGTV by Sherwin-Williams line is the only paint across both brands available at Lowe’s. Neither brand is sold at The Home Depot.
  • Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams provide multiple color tools, but only Sherwin-Williams offers a free 30-minute virtual color consultation with a color expert.
  • Both brands offer paint lines at different price points, from high-end to budget buys.
  • Reviews of both brands are overwhelmingly positive, and there’s no consensus among the pros about which is better.

Bottom line — Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams are well-respected, high-quality paint brands with multiple paint lines. Although opinions vary among professionals and DIYers, both brands offer excellent performance and quality.

If you want the best value for your money, try Benjamin Moore ben or Sherwin-Williams Captivate. Both are low cost but high quality. If you need the best coverage and durability, and price is not an issue, go for Benjamin Moore Aura or Sherwin-Williams Emerald.

And for a mid-range, well-rounded, and high-performing paint that’s not too expensive, I highly recommend Benjamin Moore Regal Select. The New York Times named it the best interior paint, and several professional painters I interviewed said it’s their go-to paint.

In many cases, the right brand for you will be based simply on accessibility. It’s not worth driving thirty minutes to buy Benjamin Moore when there’s a Sherwin-Williams store down the street (and vice versa). But if they’re both equally close by, you can’t go wrong with either.

To learn more about what these brands offer, visit Sherwin-Williams.com and BenjaminMoore.com, or check out Benjamin Moore paints on AceHardware.com.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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2 thoughts on “Benjamin Moore vs. Sherwin-Williams: Which Paint Is Better?”

  1. Great review, very thorough. I’ve been painting for over 25 years and have my favorites, of course

    There’s 1 extremely important point I didn’t notice in your review:

    Sherwin Williams offers deep discounts on their paints. It is a major reason why many pros will prefer SW over BM. But in use BM is far superior in application and durability.

    Many pro painters will sacrifice quality for cost. I’ve seen some painters with decades of experience and a “good reputation” do terrible things to the customer in the name of cost savings for themselves.

    Generally, BM makes the best paints available. Their focus is on quality and durability for the end customer. Other companies have bowed to the pressure of profit in the short term.


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