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Is Sherwin-Williams Paint Worth It? An In-Depth Review

Sherwin-Williams is one of the highest-rated paint brands in the United States. But quality paint isn’t cheap.

Does this well-known paint brand live up to its price tag? Is Sherwin-Williams worth it?

In this review, I break down the pros and cons of Sherwin-Williams. You’ll learn:

  • The differences in the many Sherwin-Williams paint lines
  • How it compares to other paint brands in terms of coverage, safety, price, and availability
  • The downsides
  • And more

I also highlight various reviews of Sherwin-Williams paint and share comments from several professional painters.

If you’re ready to makeover your home or want to give a room a fresh coat of paint, keep reading to find out if Sherwin-Williams is the best option.


Use the links below to navigate the review:


Paint Lines

Sherwin-Williams offers a comprehensive range of interior, exterior, and specialty paint lines. Understanding the differences can help you choose the best paint for your home.

Interior Paints

Emerald Interior: Emerald Interior acts as a primer and paint in one, covering even the darkest paints in the full range of Sherwin-Williams colors and finishes. It boasts exceptional coverage, durability, and washability. Emerald Interior is also anti-microbial, which means it inhibits the growth of mold and mildew.

Emerald Designer Edition: This is an enhanced version of the popular Emerald Interior with an improved hide and an additional finish option. You have a choice of over 200 colors, including brighter, cleaner whites. This is Sherwin Williams’ best interior paint-and-primer, providing a flawless appearance with anti-microbial properties to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior
Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior

SuperPaint: SuperPaint is a combined primer and paint, making it easy to transform a room with a single coat. It dries quickly, with a smooth and lasting finish. SuperPaint also holds up to scrubbing, maintaining a rich appearance in even the most high-traffic areas.  

Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior

Duration: This paint-and-primer in one protects the busiest areas in your home, from kitchens and hallways to children’s playrooms. Duration has anti-microbial agents and advanced stain-blocking technology, which protect your walls and family. It also provides opaque coverage with just a few coats.

Sherwin-Williams Duration
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior

Cashmere: This ultra-smooth formula is a favorite among homeowners and professional painters. Its silky finish provides an elegant look with minimal stippling that impresses from every angle. Cashmere not only looks luxurious, but it stands up to scrubbing for easy maintenance.

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere

Captivate: If you’re looking for reliable and affordable paint, consider Captivate. It comes in over 1,700 colors and provides good coverage and dependable durability. You can use it on any bare, primed, or previously painted surface.

Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior
Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior

Exterior Paints

Emerald Exterior: Like the interior version, Emerald Exterior is a premium paint and primer in one that is resistant to fading, blistering, peeling, and dirt. It’s also mildew-resistant and durable, holding up to the elements.

Emerald Rain Refresh: Consider this ultra-durable exterior paint if you want your home to always look spotless. It’s formulated with self-cleaning technology that washes away dirt with rain or water. It offers UV and weather protection with minimal maintenance and is available in any VinylSafe color.

SuperPaint: The exterior formula of the SuperPaint line protects your home against the elements, including hot, humid summers and wet or icy winters. Its advanced acrylic resin technology resists weather damages, like color fade or peeling, as well as dirt and mildew.

Duration: This self-priming exterior coating is formulated with PermaLast Technology to provide a long-lasting, durable finish. Its advanced acrylic copolymers resist cracking, peeling, and blistering. Duration is also self-priming and mildew resistant and available in over 100 colors.

Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior
Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior

Resilience: If you’re looking for exterior paint that is moisture-resistant and suitable for surfaces, consider Resilience. Available in over 100 colors, this paint is formulated with MoistureGuard Technology to become moisture-resistant in approximately half the time as latex paints. You can apply the paint in temperatures as low as 35℉.

Specialty Paints

Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel (interior or exterior): Another member of the Emerald family, this is Sherwin-Williams’ premium option for windows, doors, trim, and cabinets. It’s a water-based enamel, which creates a durable finish that can withstand frequent cleaning and doesn’t yellow like other oil-based options.

SnapDry Door & Trim Paint (interior or exterior): This water-based paint dries in as little as one hour, so you don’t have to leave doors or windows open for hours to avoid sticking. It also resists dirt, fingerprints, and sun damage.

Porch & Floor Enamel (interior or exterior): This durable paint is an excellent option for concrete and wood surfaces, including porches, patios, basement stairs, and laundry rooms. It holds up to heavy traffic and keeps your home looking fresh and clean.

Eminence High-Performance Ceiling Paint (interior): Save time on ceiling maintenance with this easy-to-apply self-priming formula that provides one-coat coverage. This flat paint masks imperfections and stops stains, leaving you with a long-lasting fresh, light-reflecting ceiling.

Volume Solids

One of the paint-related vocabulary terms you’ll need to learn is volume solids. Paint may appear liquid, but it consists of solvent, binder, pigment, and additives. Volume solids are the solid elements — the binder and pigment — that remain when the liquid parts evaporate and the paint dries.

Paints with higher volume solid percentages are typically higher quality — because more pigment and binder results in brighter and denser coverage.

The Sherwin-Williams Emerald family of paints features high-volume solids, resulting in excellent coverage in both its interior and exterior formulas. However, paints with higher volume solids are often more expensive. The Captivate family is the least costly Sherwin-Williams paint, but it has the lowest coverage and volume solids.

The tables below show the volume solids percentages for the various Sherwin-Williams interior and exterior paint lines. Not all paint lines offer the same finishes. N/As in the tables indicate unavailable finishes.

Swipe to view the entire chart on mobile. On desktop, click the chart and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to view the entire chart.

Interior Volume Solids

Paint LineFlatMatteEggshellSatinSemi-Gloss
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 LineFlatSatinSemi-Gloss
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint37%37%N/A
Sherwin-Williams Duration43%N/AN/A
Sherwin-Williams Emerald42%39%N/A
Sherwin-Williams Resilience39%N/AN/A

Sherwin-Williams paint lines have higher volume solids percentages than many other brands. The notable exception is Benjamin Moore. Their paints are comparable to Sherwin-Williams in volume solids, price, and overall performance. The table below consists of a few additional paint brand volume solid percentages for comparison.

Compare Volume Solids

Paint LineFlatEggshellSatinSemi-Gloss
Valspar Signature (interior)46%43%36%37%
Glidden Premium (interior)39%36%35%34%
Benjamin Moore Aura (interior)N/A48%48%42%
Behr Marquee (interior)46%45%42%41%
Valspar Duramax (exterior)39%N/A48%40%
Glidden Premium (exterior)36%N/A32%31%
Benjamin Moore Aura (exterior)46%44%40%38%
Behr Marquee (interior)45%N/A41%39%

 

VOCs

Another term you’ll see in paint descriptions is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are the liquid solvents that evaporate as the paint dries. They’re also found in other household products like cleaners or adhesives.

VOCs are why you need to make sure the area being painted is well-ventilated. They can cause headaches and dizziness when inhaled.

VOCs can stay in the air for up to six months after painting. There is some evidence they can increase your risk of developing asthma or allergies as well as other serious illnesses — with long-term exposure.

Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that some VOCs may be carcinogenic, which is why low or zero-VOC paints are a better option.

The U.S. government caps VOC content in paint at 250 grams per liter (g/l) for flat finishes and 380 g/l for other finishes. Sherwin-Williams opts to comply with more stringent caps of 50 g/l or less — all of their paint lines are low-VOC.

 Sherwin-Williams Paint Interior Paint VOCs (g/l)Exterior Paint VOCs (g/l)
SuperPaint< 50< 50
Duration< 50< 50
Emerald< 50< 50
Cashmere< 50N/A
Captivate< 50N/A
ResilienceN/A< 50

Sherwin-Williams isn’t the only brand committed to low VOCs. In fact, most popular paint brands offer <50 g/l VOCs. Some, like Benjamin Moore, offer zero-VOC paint.

Paint Brand and LineInterior Paint VOCs (g/l)Exterior Paint VOCs (g/l)
Valspar Signature< 50N/A
Valspar DuramaxN/A< 50
Glidden Premium0< 50
Benjamin Moore Aura00
Benjamin Moore ben0< 50

Where It Is Sold

You can only buy most Sherwin-Williams paints at one of the 4,400 Sherwin-Williams owned and operated stores. You can also order paint online at Sherwin-Williams.com for in-store pickup. Find your nearest store with the Sherwin-Williams store locator.

However, Sherwin-Williams partnered with HGTV to create the Home by Sherwin-Williams collection. This line is available exclusively through Lowes.

HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams
HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams (available at Lowe’s)

You might be tempted to stop at the convenient big-box hardware store, thinking you’ll have more choices in brands or colors. Instead, consider going to a Sherwin-Williams store for a better overall experience.

Not only is Sherwin-Williams known for outstanding customer service, but the employees have extensive training in the products. That means they can answer your questions and help you find the right paint line for your needs. You don’t need to guess or ask someone who may or may not know anything about paint.

Colors

In addition to its high quality, Sherwin-Williams is known for its wide range of over 1,700 interior and exterior paint color options. No matter what color or finish you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it.

Sherwin-Williams Colors
Sherwin-Williams Paint Colors

If you can’t make it into a store to talk to one of Sherwin-Williams’ knowledgeable paint experts or don’t have time to paint small swatches of color, Sherwin-Williams.com includes various color-search tools to help you find the perfect color for any room in your home or the exterior. 

Search Color by Family

Say you know you want to paint your dining room in an orange tone but aren’t sure which one. Simply visit the color search tool on Sherwin-Williams.com, click on the color family icon, and browse the extensive color swatches.

When you click on a square, a larger square pops up with the name and number of the paint, so you can easily access the paint details to purchase. Choose a color and click “View Details” for more information about your preferred color, including coordinating colors and a link to the ColorSnap Visualizer.

Sherwin-Williams Search Color by Family
Sherwin-Williams Search Color by Family

ColorSnap Visualizer

The ColorSnap Visualizer is an easy-to-use tool to see what various colors will look like in your home. Create your color palette first. Then, you can either use a Sherwin-Williams photo or upload a picture of the room you want to paint to see what your chosen hues will look like in your home.

Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer
Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer

SnapIt

If the colors of last summer’s beach vacation pictures inspire you or you browse decorating or design websites for inspiration, you can install the Sherwin-Williams Snap It Button. The Snap It Button creates color palettes based on the images you click on and saves them to your ColorSnap profile.

ColorSnap Precision

ColorSnap Precision is the Sherwin-Williams system for ensuring exceptional color matching. The color matching technology calibrates color formulas. You can count on the paint looking exactly like you expect, whether you’re trying to match an accessory or need to make a few paint touch-ups over the weekend.

Price

Sherwin-Williams is a higher-end paint line and is often more expensive than other brands. However, it offers paint lines at a variety of price points.

Captivate is Sherwin-Williams’ least expensive line at $41.99-45.99 per gallon. Captivate is mid-range compared to other lower-priced paint options like ben by Benjamin Moore ($47 per gallon), Valspar Ultra ($33 per gallon), and Behr Premium Plus ($30 per gallon).

Emerald is Sherwin-Williams’ most expensive line, with Emerald Interior coming in between $81.49-86.49 per gallon and Emerald Designer between $103.99-110.99 per gallon. The Emerald lines are still among the pricier high-end paints.

For comparison, Behr Dynasty averages $55 per gallon, and Valspar Reserve has an average price point of $48 per gallon. Benjamin Moore Aura is similarly priced at $90 per gallon.

Downsides

Sherwin-Williams paint doesn’t have a lot of reported downsides. However, there are a few details to consider.

Sherwin-Williams is more expensive than several other popular paint brands like Behr and Valspar. However, Sherwin-Williams sometimes runs sales or offers coupons, making the price more competitive.

Sherwin-Williams paints also tend to be thicker than other brands. You need to apply thin coats of paint to avoid clumping. The plus side of using thin layers of paint is that they dry faster, and many of the Sherwin-Williams lines claim to need a single layer to achieve the same coverage and hide as other brands.

And finally, if you don’t live near a Sherwin-Williams store, it will be challenging to get the paint. If you have to make a trek to buy a Sherwin-Williams paint, don’t forget to buy a little extra in case you run out or spill.

What Professional Painters Say About Sherwin-Williams

I reached out to several professional painters across the United States to get an expert opinion on Sherwin-Williams. When I connected with each painter, I asked if they used Sherwin-Williams and, if so, do they prefer it over other brands like Benjamin Moore.

Here’s what they said.

New Haven Painters, a Connecticut company, said, “Duration by Sherwin-Williams is one of the best bathroom paints. It will stop streaking on the walls but is not good as Benjamin Moore Aura with extreme moisture caused by consistent hot showers without ventilation.”

Infinity Painting, a contractor in Connecticut, mentioned, “Sherwin-Williams provides excellent durability, clean-ability, and fade resistance. To the untrained eye, there is no difference between Sherwin-Williams and brands like Benjamin Moore.”

J&R Painting, a New Hampshire painting company, 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, another New Hampshire painting company, said, “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).”

Buckeye House Painting, a contractor in Columbus, Ohio, said, “We 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, “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.”

CertaPro Painters in Needham, MA, said, “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, a 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 a 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.”

What Other Experts Say

The Spruce included Sherwin-Williams Cashmere as Best Overall in its top ten list of interior paints. After researching and evaluating the ease of application, finish, color selection, formulation, and value, the reviewers said Cashmere stands out because its buttery smooth application automatically levels out into an even layer, eliminating the risk of roller marks or brush strokes.

In an Insider Reviews article about the best interior paints, the journalist highlights Sherwin-Williams Infinity as the best paint for a makeover. Infinity is perfect for dramatic color changes. In addition, its paint and primer combination has extreme hiding power and coverage, allowing you to turn a dark room into a bright oasis.

They explain how Infinity is streak-free, living up to its one-coat promise. It dries quickly and holds up to washing and scrubbing. Its stain and mildew-resistant formula minimizes the need for touch-ups.

Country Living magazine named Sherwin-Williams Cashmere (Easiest Application) and Sherwin-Williams ceiling paint (Best Ceiling Paint) in its top 10 interior paints article. They describe Cashmere as gliding on smoothly without streaks or stippling with strong coverage. A reviewer praised the thick consistency of the ceiling paint as it prevents splatters and makes clean-up easy.

Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint may have been the runner-up in Good Housekeeping magazine interior paint review. However, the author says that it’s nearly indistinguishable from Benjamin Moore’s Aura — the winner. They go on to explain how SuperPaint covers even the darkest colors almost perfectly and resists stains, cleaning, and UV damage.

Other experts also think highly of Sherwin-Williams exterior paints. Duration and Emerald exterior paints are both included in a list of best exterior paints on bobvila.com. The paints were reviewed on durability, dry time, weather resistance, and several other factors.

Bottom Line: Is Sherwin-Williams Worth It?

We’ve explored Sherwin-Williams paint in detail. So, is it the best brand for you?

Let’s recap the key takeaways of this Sherwin-Williams review.

  • Sherwin-Williams offers a wide range of high-quality and well-reviewed interior and exterior paint lines as well as several specialty paints.
  • Sherwin-Willilams has high volume solids providing a thick, rich, and durable finish.
  • Sherwin-Williams adheres to strict VOC standards. All lines are <50 g/l.
  • You can only buy most paint lines at Sherwin-Williams stores or on Sherwin-Williams.com.
  • You have an enormous range of colors to consider and access to several tools to help you choose the perfect shade for your project.
  • You will pay more for Sherwin-Williams paints than most other brands.
  • The downsides to Sherwin-Williams are the high price point, it’s thick and needs to be applied in thin layers, and it isn’t available at major hardware retailers.

Bottom line — Sherwin-Williams is worth the investment.

Sherwin-Williams is one of the best-rated paint brands across the board. Homeowners and professional painters and decorators have relied on Sherwin-Williams for decades. It’s consistently included in best of and top ten lists in publications ranging from Good Housekeeping to the New York Times Wirecutter.

Yes, Sherwin-Williams is expensive. But when it comes to paint, you definitely get what you pay for. Less expensive options don’t provide the coverage, durability, or ease of application that you can expect from any Sherwin-Williams paint lines.

In the guides below, I compare Sherwin-Williams to other top-rated paint brands. I also compare the brand’s most popular paint lines to help you find the right formula for your job.

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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