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Sherwin-Williams A-100 vs. SuperPaint: 7 Key Differences

In this comparison of Sherwin-Williams A-100 vs. SuperPaint, you’ll learn how these paint lines differ in coverage, appearance, durability, VOCs, warranty, price, and more.

Plus, I reveal what paint experts at Sherwin-Williams say about both options.

So, keep reading if you’re planning a project but need help deciding which Sherwin-Williams paint to use.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Sherwin-Williams A-100 vs. SuperPaint: Key Takeaways

If you only have a minute, here’s what you need to know about Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint. Throughout my full comparison, I provide a much more detailed analysis and insights from Sherwin-Williams paint experts.

Interior vs. Exterior: A-100 is an exterior-only paint, while SuperPaint offers interior and exterior versions.

Contractor-Grade Paint: A-100 is a contractor-grade paint, often chosen for new construction due to its cost-effectiveness. SuperPaint is a premium option, favored for its quality and durability.

Volume Solids: SuperPaint has higher volume solids percentages (37-38% compared to 34-37% for A-100). Its thicker formula offers better coverage, adhesion, washability, and longevity.

Finishes: SuperPaint offers a high-gloss finish, which A-100 lacks. Both have standard finishes like flat, low lustre, and satin.

Specialty Versions: SuperPaint uniquely offers interior paints with air-purifying technology to reduce VOCs and bacteria-fighting abilities that can eliminate up to 99.9% of common germs like Staph, E. coli, and MRSA within two hours of exposure. A-100 has no specialty formula options.

Price: SuperPaint costs about $16 more per gallon across all finishes, but its superior durability and longevity provide greater long-term value.

Warranty: SuperPaint offers a lifetime limited warranty covering defects like peeling and blistering. A-100’s warranty provides the same coverage but for only 15 years.

Should You Choose Sherwin-Williams A-100 or SuperPaint?

I recommend SuperPaint for most homeowners. It outperforms A-100 in all categories (coverage, adhesion, durability, and washability) except price. While SuperPaint costs more upfront, its superior quality saves money in the long run by extending the time between repainting.

If you’re painting your primary residence and plan to stay there for a while, SuperPaint is the clear winner.

A-100 is a decent low-cost option if you’re painting a rental, the inside of your garage, a new build, or an investment property you plan to sell soon. But according to paint experts at the local stores I spoke to, stock is low and it might be getting phased out soon.

Comparison Chart

The chart below provides a quick comparison of Sherwin-Williams A-100 vs. SuperPaint.

Sherwin-Williams A-100Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint
TypeExteriorInterior and Exterior
Paint and PrimerNoYes
VOCs<50 g/l<50 g/l
Colors1,700 options1,700 options
Dry Time4 – 48 hours to recoat4 – 48 hours to recoat
Coverage Per Gallon350-400 square feet exterior350-400 square feet interior; 250-300 square feet exterior
Interior Volume SolidsN/A37-41%
Exterior Volume Solids34-37%37-38%
Interior FinishesN/AFlat, Satin, Velvet, and Semi-Gloss
Exterior FinishesFlat, Satin, Low Sheen, GlossFlat, Low Lustre, Satin, Gloss, and High Gloss
VersionsFast drying (exterior only)Standard, Air Purifying, Sanitizing (interior only)
Appearance✔✔
Easy to Clean✔✔
Ease of Application✔✔✔✔
Durability✔✔
Moisture, Mold, and Mildew Resistance✔✔
Exterior Price Per Gallon$56 to $60$73 to $81
Interior Price Per GallonN/A$70 to $75

Similarities Between Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint

Before I break down the differences between Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint, let’s quickly review their similarities.

Acrylic Latex Paint

Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint are acrylic latex paints. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, acrylic latex paint is a water-based paint known for its durability and ease of use.

Compared to oil-based paints, it dries faster and emits fewer odors, making it a user-friendly option for exterior projects.

Colors

With both paints, you have access to the same 1,700 colors. Additionally, both paints are available in 100 VinylSafe colors, allowing you to safely use darker, richer hues on vinyl siding without worry of warping due to excessive heat absorption.

Sherwin-Williams Colors
Sherwin-Williams Paint Colors

Regardless of the paint line, Sherwin-Williams offers innovative tools to help you choose the perfect color. For example, the ColorSnap Visualizer allows you to paint a room virtually with any Sherwin-Williams color, giving you a realistic preview of how your space could look.

Dry Time

Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint both dry quickly. They dry to the touch in approximately two hours and are ready for a recoat within 24-48 hours. This is true even at lower temperatures — as low as 35°F.

However, the interior formula of SuperPaint has a different dry time. It dries to the touch in about one hour and requires about four hours before applying another coat.

VOCs

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are solvents released into the air as paint dries. While necessary for the paint’s performance, VOCs can pose health risks (according to the Environmental Protection Agency).

Both A-100 and SuperPaint are low in VOCs. In other words, they release fewer solvents into the air, significantly reducing the potential health risks associated with overexposure. Both lines contain less than 50 grams per liter (g/L) of VOCs, well below the federal limit of 250 g/L for flat finishes and 380 g/L for other finishes.

Difference 1: Interior vs. Exterior

One key difference between Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint is their application range.

SuperPaint comes in two formulas: interior and exterior. A-100 is specifically formulated for exterior use.

Difference 2: Contractor-Grade Paint

Sherwin-Williams A-100 is a contractor-grade paint, making it a common choice for large-scale projects like new housing developments and apartment buildings.

This paint is often chosen for new construction homes because it’s more cost-effective. Sherwin-Williams offers substantial discounts to contractors, and since many new homeowners tend to repaint to fit their style, the initial paint choice is usually more about cost savings than long-term durability.

Sherwin-Williams Exterior Paints SuperPaint versus A-100
Sherwin-Williams Exterior Paints: SuperPaint versus A-100

In contrast, SuperPaint is a premium paint. It’s favored by homeowners looking for quality and durability. SuperPaint is more expensive than A-100, but the higher cost comes with benefits: it maintains its appearance and sheen longer, offers better washability, and is more resistant to mold and mildew. These attributes make SuperPaint a wise investment for people looking to enhance and protect their homes.

Difference 3: Volume Solids

If you look closely at Sherwin-Williams A-100 and SuperPaint data sheets, you’ll notice a number labeled “volume solids.”

Sherwin-Williams data sheet volume solids
Sherwin-Williams data sheet volume solids

Volume solids refer to the binding agents, pigments, and additives that remain on a surface after the solvents dissipate and the paint dries. In general, paints with a higher percentage of volume solids are more durable, hide imperfections better, and require fewer coats.

SuperPaint has higher volume solids percentages than A-100 across all sheens. For example, SuperPaint exterior flat has 37% ± 2 volume solids, while A-100 exterior flat has 34% ± 2. Similarly, SuperPaint exterior gloss comes in at 38% ± 2 compared to 36% ± 2 for A-100.

Below are tables detailing the volume solids of both A-100 and SuperPaint. These figures clearly illustrate the differences in their formulations, providing insight into why SuperPaint is often preferred for its superior coverage and durability, especially for long-term home improvement projects.

Exterior Volume Solids

Sherwin-Williams A-100Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint (exterior)Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint (interior)
Flat34 +/- 2%37 +/- 2%38 +/- 2%
Low Lustre/Sheen37 +/- 2%37 +/- 2%N/A
Satin36 +/- 2%37 +/- 2%40 +/- 2%
Gloss36 +/- 2%38 +/- 2%37 +/- 2% (semi-gloss)
Hi-GlossN/A37 +/- 2%N/A

Difference 4: Finishes

When selecting an exterior paint, the coating finish impacts aesthetics and functionality. On this front, there is one key difference between A-100 and SuperPaint — SuperPaint offers a high-gloss finish, while A-100 does not.

Both paints are available in standard finishes like flat, low lustre, satin, and gloss. But only SuperPaint allows you to achieve a shiny, reflective coating with a high-gloss finish. This ultra-sleek look can visually enhance exterior architecture and trim details. And since it’s non-porous and won’t absorb moisture, it’s the most resistant finish to water damage.

The table below details the finishes available for both A-100 and SuperPaint.

A-100 ExteriorSuperPaint ExteriorSuperPaint Interior
Flat
Low Lustre/Sheen
Satin
Velvet
Semi-Gloss
Gloss
High-Gloss

 

Difference 5: Specialty Versions

SuperPaint offers unique interior paints that go beyond traditional functions. A-100 doesn’t provide any specialty versions.

SuperPaint Interior Acrylic with Air Purifying Technology: This interior paint not only boasts zero VOCs, which is excellent for indoor air quality, but it also actively reduces VOC levels from other sources in your home, like carpets and cabinets. This technology contributes to purer air and helps keep rooms fresher for longer, thanks to its odor-eliminating capabilities.

SuperPaint Interior Latex with Sanitizing Technology: This paint is impressive due to its bacteria-fighting technology. It reduces the spread of common bacteria such as Staph, E. coli, and MRSA, killing up to 99.9% of these bacteria within two hours of exposure. It continues to kill 90% of bacteria for up to four years. This paint is ideal for high-touch areas or spaces where hygiene is a priority (like bathrooms and kitchens).

Difference 6: Price

Prices vary by finish, but Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint is significantly more expensive than A-100. Based on the current prices on Sherwin-Williams.com (below), SuperPaint costs $16.50 more per gallon than A-100. 

FinishSherwin-Williams SuperPaint ExteriorSherwin-Williams A-100 Exterior
Flat$72.99$56.49
Low Lustre$75.99$59.49
Satin$75.99$59.49
Gloss$78.99$62.49
High-Gloss$80.99N/A

Difference 7: Warranty

SuperPaint comes with Sherwin-Williams’ limited lifetime warranty, which covers peeling and blistering for as long as you own and live in the home where the paint was applied.

If there is a defect with the paint within this timeframe, Sherwin-Williams will provide replacement paint to repair the issue free of charge or refund the original purchase price.

A-100 has a more limited 15-year warranty covering the same defects.

The warranties do not cover labor costs or damage caused by poor surface prep, structural issues, or incorrect application.

What the Experts at Sherwin-Williams Say

Nobody knows SuperPaint and A-100 better than those who sell it daily. So, to get a broader perspective on this topic, I spoke with two paint specialists at local Sherwin-Williams stores and one via the online chat function on Sherwin-Williams.com.

The expert at the Sherwin-Williams store in Dedham, Massachusetts, said, “SuperPaint is a much higher quality exterior paint. It’s thicker, adheres better, and lasts longer. To be honest, we don’t sell A-100 very often, and we don’t have much of it in stock. A-100 is more geared towards contractors because it’s cheap. They use it for new builds and large commercial spaces where the top priority is cost savings.”

The paint specialist at the Sherwin-Williams store in Franklin, Massachusetts, had similar insights. He said, “It seems like we’re getting rid of A-100. It’s been on its way out for a while. We only have a small amount of it in stock. SuperPaint is a good middle-of-the-road exterior paint. It provides better coverage and durability than A-100, but it’s a step or two down from the Emerald and Duration exterior lines.”

I also chatted with a paint expert on Sherwin-Williams.com. He said, “SuperPaint offers better coverage in fewer coats than A-100. You can also expect more life from the SuperPaint because it’s thicker, and the primer added to the formula builds a stronger bond to the surface. A-100 is traditionally sold to customers who often like to change their color or for painting the inside of garages or rental properties.”

Bottom Line: Should You Choose Sherwin-Williams A-100 or SuperPaint?

I highly recommend SuperPaint over A-100 for most homeowners. Why? Because SuperPaint is a thicker, higher quality paint with a higher volume solids percentage.

Based on my experience testing both and advice from Sherwin-Williams paint specialists, SuperPAint outperforms A-100 in coverage, adhesion, durability, washability, and any other category besides price.

A-100 is a budget-friendly, contractor-grade paint designed to cover large areas inexpensively, but it falls short in terms of long-term value. It’s ideal for painting rentals, flips, or new builds where future buyers will likely want to change the color.

But if you’re painting your primary residence and plan to live there for years, SuperPaint is worth the higher price. Its richer formula offers better protection and ensures your home maintains its beauty and value over time.

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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