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Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 vs. ProMar 400: What’s the Difference?

Are you planning for a paint project but can’t decide between Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and 400?

In this comparison of Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 vs. 400, you’ll learn how they differ in coverage, finishes, durability, VOCs, and more.

I also reveal what Sherwin-Williams paint experts say about both paints.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Similarities Between Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and ProMar 400

Let’s explore their similarities in more detail.

Contractor-Grade

ProMar 200 and 400 are both contractor-grade interior paints that provide decent coverage. However, they are designed to paint the inside of large buildings, new housing developments, and apartments.

New construction homes are usually painted with contractor-grade paint like Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 or 400 because it’s cheaper (Sherwin-Williams provides steep discounts to contractors), and most buyers will re-paint the walls to suit their design preferences anyway.

If you’re looking for paint with better coverage, durability, washability, and moisture and mold resistance, consider Sherwin-Williams’ more premium paints, like Duration, Emerald, and Cashmere.

Sherwin-Williams Paint Lines
Sherwin-Williams Paint Lines

VOCs

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are the solvents in paint that evaporate into the air as the paint dries. VOCs are responsible for the odor you smell and the headaches and dizziness you may experience while painting.

The Environmental Protection Agency suspects that some VOCs may be carcinogenic, although the long-term effects of VOC exposure are not fully understood.

ProMar 200 and 400 paints are zero VOC paints, meaning the paints have five or fewer grams of VOCs per liter of paint. In other words, these paints are safer than paint lines with higher VOC levels.

Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 Zero VOC
Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 Zero VOC

Colors

ProMar 200 and 400 paints come in the same wide range of over 1,700 color choices.

Sherwin-Williams Colors
Sherwin-Williams Paint Colors

Sherwin-Williams also offers the ColorSnap tool that can help you see what your space will look like with your color of choice. You simply upload a picture of the room you plan to paint and use the tool to visualize the color in the room virtually.

Coverage Per Gallon

Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and 400 paints both offer 350-400 feet of coverage per gallon. However, neither paint is promoted as a one-coat formula, so you’ll need at least two coats for optimal coverage.

Dry Time

According to Sherwin-Williams, both the ProMar 200 and 400 formulas take one hour to dry to the touch, but you should wait at least four hours between coats.

Differences Between Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and ProMar 400

Now that you understand the similarities between Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and 400 paints, let’s review their differences.

Volume Solids

Simply put, volume solids are the paint components that remain after the paint dries. A higher ratio of volume solids typically results in better coverage (fewer coats needed), durability, and overall quality.

You can see in the tables below that ProMar 200 has slightly higher volume solids levels than ProMar 400. This indicates that ProMar 200 is a thicker, higher-quality paint that offers better coverage and durability. 

FinishProMar 200 Volume SolidsProMar 400 Volume Solids
Flat34 ± 2%29 ± 2%
Eggshell42 ± 2%34 ± 2%
Low Sheen Eggshell44 ± 2%38 ± 2%
Low Gloss Eggshell41 ± 2%N/A
Semi-Gloss38 ± 2%35 ± 2%
Gloss35 ± 2%35 ± 2%

Variations

Sherwin-Williams offers four variations of ProMar 200 and two for ProMar 400.

The primary difference in the variations is that some are oil-based (alkyd), and others are water-based (latex).

Oil and water-based paints have differing sheen levels, durability, and application surfaces. For example:

  • Oil-based paints tend to have a higher sheen (dulls over time).
  • Oil-based paints dry harder providing resistance to wear and tear, but are more prone to cracking and chipping.
  • Oil-based paints may yellow over time.
  • Water-based paints stretch and contract with weather making them less prone to cracking.
  • Water-based paints perform better on exteriors due to UV resistance (can retain color and sheen) and flexibility to withstand varying weather conditions.

Here are the options within both paint lines.

ProMar 200 Variations:

  • Interior Water-based Acrylic Alkyd provides a durable, smooth finish with the non-yellowing properties of an acrylic coating.
  • Interior Alkyd Enamel provides a long-lasting finish resistant to staining and stands up well to cleaning.
  • HP Zero VOC Interior Latex is available in two finishes with high durability and zero VOCs.
  • Zero VOC Interior Latex is available in six sheens and the full range of Sherwin-Williams colors, all with antimicrobial properties, high durability, and zero VOCs.

ProMar 400 Variations:

  • Zero VOC Interior Latex meets the most stringent VOC requirements making it perfect for jobs with distinct VOC requirements.
  • Alkyd Semi-Gloss provides a high-quality, durable finish that resists staining, abrasions, and cleaning.

Finishes

Both paint formulas are available in a variety of finishes.

  • ProMar 200 comes in six finishes: flat, eggshell, low sheen eggshell, low gloss eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss.
  • ProMar 400 comes in five finishes: flat, eggshell, low sheen, semi-gloss, and gloss. However, Sherwin-Williams informed me that finding ProMar 400 in any finish besides flat is challenging. The company is slowly phasing out the other options.

Antimicrobial

Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and 400 paint also differs in antimicrobial properties. ProMar 200 includes antimicrobial agents that prevent mold and mildew growth, while ProMar 400 does not.

Durability

ProMar 200 and 400 also vary in durability. ProMar 200 is more durable than 400 because of its volume solids and antimicrobials.

Price

ProMar 200 is more expensive than ProMar 400, which shouldn’t be a surprise since 200 has higher volume solids, includes antimicrobials, and has better durability.

As you’ll see in the price chart below, both paints are expensive. However, they’re made for professional painters who get a significant discount (reportedly, less than 50% of the retail price) when they register with Sherwin-Williams.

Here are the current prices of both paints without discounts included:

FinishPrice of ProMar 200 Per GallonPrice of ProMar 400 Per Gallon
Flat$78.99$70.69
Eggshell$81.99$72.69
Low Sheen Eggshell$81.99$72.69
Low Gloss Eggshell$82.99N/A
Semi-Gloss$83.99$75.69
Gloss$85.99$77.69
Note: Prices are for ProMar latex paints and are subject o change.

Availability

ProMar 200 is available on Sherwin-Williams.com and in almost every Sherwin-Williams store. ProMar 400’s availability is limited — you won’t find it in every store.

I visited three Sherwin-Williams stores in Massachusetts, and none carried ProMar 400. The store associates told me it’s available at Sherwin-Williams commercial stores (stores serving contractors and professional painters) but not at most retail stores.

What Experts at Sherwin-Williams Say

Nobody knows Sherwin-Williams paints better than the experts selling these products every day. So, I contacted two local Sherwin-Williams stores to get their advice.

When I spoke with each paint expert, I asked a simple question:

What’s the difference between Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 and ProMar 400.

The paint specialist at the Sherwin-Williams store in Worcester, Massachusetts, told me “ProMar 400 is lower-quality paint. It’s used for big construction projects, and you can’t get it in any finish besides flat. Sherwin-Williams isn’t making it in other gloss finishes anymore.”

She mentioned, “ProMar 400 provides the bare minimum in terms of coverage, durability, and moisture and mildew resistance. ProMar 200 is a step up from 400, but it’s mostly used for house flips and rental properties. Both ProMar paints won’t provide the coverage, leveling, and finish as our premium lines, like Duration and SuperPaint.”

The answer I got from the paint specialist at the Sherwin-Williams store in Reading, Massachusetts, was nearly the same. He said, “There’s really not a huge difference between ProMar 200 and 400. ProMar 200 will last longer and is slightly more durable and washable.”

He advised, “If you don’t have pets or young kids and don’t scuff up your walls often, both paints will perform fine. I painted my home with ProMar 200 many years ago, and it’s holding up great. But for high traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways, you might want a more durable paint.”

Bottom Line: Should You Use Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 or ProMar 400?

Now that you know the similarities and differences between Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 vs. 400, it’s time to decide which paint line is right for your project.

Before I provide my recommendation, let’s review the main points.

  • Both are contractor-grade paints, designed to be economical for large projects and new construction.
  • Both are zero VOC formulas
  • Both come in a wide range of colors
  • Both dry to touch in an hour
  • Both provide 350-400 feet of coverage per gallon
  • Both are available in several variations and finishes
  • ProMar 200 has higher volume solids
  • ProMar 200 has antimicrobials
  • ProMar 200 is more durable
  • ProMar 200 is more expensive

Bottom line — ProMar 200 offers superior coverage and a wider range of finishes, and the experts at Sherwin-Williams confirmed it’s the better quality, longer-lasting paint. However, I wouldn’t recommend either line unless you’re a professional painter or painting an investment property.

If you’re a DIYer and don’t get the contractor discount at Sherwin-Williams, both ProMar paint lines are not worth the cost.

For projects in your home, you are better off considering paint lines designed for homeowners like Sherwin-Williams Cashmere or SuperPaint. These Sherwin-Williams paint lines offer better results at more affordable consumer prices.

Check out the articles below to learn more about Sherwin-Williams’ other paint lines.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s studied consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, 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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