Valspar and Sherwin-Williams are two of the most popular paint brands.
Although Sherwin-Williams acquired Valspar in 2017, they remain separate brands with unique paint offerings.
So, what’s the difference? Which is better?
In this comparison of Valspar vs. Sherwin-Williams, I break down how their various paint lines differ in performance, durability, price, and more.
By the end, you’ll have all the key facts to decide which paint is best for you.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Paint Offerings
- Where It Is Sold
- What Experts at Lowes and Sherwin-Williams Stores Say
- What Others Are Saying
- Bottom Line: Should You Use Valspar or Sherwin-Williams Paint?
Sherwin-Williams and Valspar both offer a range of interior and exterior paints.
Let’s start with Valspar interior paints.
Valspar Reserve: This is Valspar’s highest-coverage paint. In most cases, it requires only one coat to provide the desired color and depth. This paint includes primer and is mildew- and scuff-resistant. Check out this comparison of Valspar Reserve vs. Signature to learn more.
Valspar Signature: Uses ScuffShield technology and 100% acrylic formula. It offers superior hideability and a thick, reliable finish.
Valspar Ultra: Stain resistant and designed for easy washability. This is one of Valspar’s most durable paints, and it’s also Greenguard Gold certified for an ultra-low emissions rating. Check out my comparison of Valspar Ultra vs. Signature to learn more.
Valspar 2000: Affordable, reliable, and easy to use. This 100% acrylic option performs well in high-traffic areas of the home. It’s a budget-friendly option for either private or commercial buyers.
Valspar 4000: Latex paint ideal for use in new construction, commercial settings, or as “touch-up” paint to hide scuffs and damage. This paint boasts a zero VOC rating and can be sprayed, brushed, or rolled. Learn more in this comparison of Valspar 4000 vs. 2000.
Valspar ExpressCoat: This paint is designed to be quick-drying and easy to apply. It provides good coverage and is easy to wash.
Valspar Ultra Ceiling Paint + Primer: This paint features a “Dead-flat” finish and spatter-resistant formula. It’s ideal for use on horizontal surfaces, is mildew resistant, and includes primer in its formula.
Valspar Signature Ceiling Paint + Primer: A spatter-resistant, flat-finish formula designed to only need one coat for full coverage. It isn’t rated as highly as Valspar’s Ultra Ceiling Paint, but it contains many of the same features.
Valspar Color-Changing Ceiling Paint: This paint goes on purple and dries white, so you can see what’s covered. It’s designed to enhance lighting and is spatter-resistant with a flat finish.
Here’s what Valspar offers for exterior paint jobs.
Valspar Duramax Exterior Paint + Primer: Ideal for covering cracks and other flaws on exterior surfaces and has year-round crack and peel resistance. This paint is perfect for low-temperature applications.
Valspar SeasonPLUS Exterior Paint + Primer: Blocks UV rays and is fade resistant. This paint is lauded for its high coverage and durability.
Valspar SeasonFlex Exterior Paint + Primer: Flexible acrylic formula and mildew resistant. It’s resistant to cracking and peeling.
Valspar Storm Coat Exterior Paint: Acrylic resin formula with ultra-low temp applicability. It’s highly durable and weather resistant.
Valspar The Perfect White Exterior Paint: Ultra white paint with high durability. This paint is ideal for doors, trim, and accents.
Valspar Ultra High-Gloss Paint + Primer: High luster and gloss with a silky surface texture. Fade-resistant and easy to wash/clean.
Valspar Oil Enriched Enamel: You can use this paint to finish outdoor wood surfaces without prep (sanding or stripping). It’s flexible and resistant to yellowing after multiple cleanings.
Valspar 4000 Alkyd Enamel: Optimal for use on trim, corners, accents, and enamel. The flexible formula clings to edges and provides a smooth finish.
Valspar Exterior Primer/Sealer: Tintable, quick-dry formula for prep and touch-up work. It’s resistant to cold, rain, and other weather conditions soon after application.
Valspar Stain Blocking Bonding Primer/Sealer: Formulated for use on difficult surfaces such as gloss, drywall, metal, or masonry. It’s a quick-dry formula with a sandable finish.
Valspar Barn & Fence Paints: Designed for use on shed or barn materials, such as weathered wood, metal, or masonry. Highly weather-resistant.
Now, let’s take a quick look at Sherwin-Williams’ interior paint lines.
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint: Comes in acrylic, latex, or acrylic latex formula. It’s also sold in air-purifying and antibacterial forms. Paint and primer combined in one easy to apply, quick-drying formula.
Sherwin-Williams Emerald: Comes in several options, including latex, enamel, and acrylic formulas. Designed for a highly uniform finish with exceptional coverage and smooth appearance.
Sherwin-Williams Duration Interior Acrylic Latex: Washable finish and microbe-resistant. Perfect for use in high-traffic areas, such as playrooms or dens.
Sherwin-Williams HGTV Home: This is a mini collection of interior and exterior paints that Sherwin-Williams developed in partnership with designers at HGTV. It’s only available at Lowe’s.
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex: Lustrous, reflective finish that’s easy to apply. It’s durable enough to be scrubbed despite its silky surface. Check out my comparison of Cashmere vs. SuperPaint to learn more.
Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior Latex: Budget-friendly option that combines the paint and primer in one.
Sherwin-Williams Harmony: An UL GREENGUARD® Indoor Air Quality certified and UL GREENGUARD® Gold certified, air-purifying, and odor-eliminating paint. Experience zero VOC emissions and easy application.
Sherwin-Williams ProClassic: This durable paint comes in multiple formulas, and it provides a smooth application that requires fewer coats for hide and coverage.
Sherwin-Williams Eminence: Reflective, true flat white paint adapted for use on ceilings. The one-coat application includes stain-resistant properties.
Sherwin-Williams Krylon: A line of specialty paints in matte or semi-matte finishes. You can use it to give furniture a “distressed” look, and a “chalkboard” paint version is available to allow any flat surface to become a usable chalkboard. The collection also offers formulas that you can use in high-heat.
Sherwin-Williams Enamels: All Surface, All Surface Oil, Porch & Floor, and ProClassic enamel formulas are optimized for trim, accents, and doors.
Sherwin-Williams Color Accents: This oil-based paint features a bright and rich color with high durability. It features a semi-gloss finish.
Below is a list of Sherwin-Williams exterior paints.
Sherwin-Williams Latitude: Weather resistant and can be applied in extreme temperatures. It’s highly durable and moisture-proof, so it’s ready for inclement weather an hour after application.
Sherwin-Williams Duration: This high durability formula is designed for harsh climates, and the application requires only 1-2 coats.
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint: This fade- and peel-resistant outdoor formula can withstand high or low temperatures without fading. It’s dirt- and moisture-resistant.
Sherwin-Williams Emerald: This paint is dirt, mildew, and stain-resistant. The eco-friendly and low-VOC emissions formula resists peeling and blistering over long periods.
Sherwin-Williams Resilience: The moisture-resistant formula is ideal for aluminum and vinyl siding, wood siding, clapboard, shakes, shingles, plywood, masonry, and metal.
Sherwin-Williams A-100: This is a low-cost yet reliable paint. Boasting strong adhesion, it’s ideal for routine jobs and color changes.
Sherwin-Williams FlexTemp: This versatile paint is known for its temperature resistance and resistance to flaking, peeling, and blistering. It can be tinted.
Sherwin-Williams Enamels: Oil, latex, and acrylic formulas are available, with various finishes and strengths depending on the collection.
Sherwin-Williams Rejuvenate: Formulated for use on weathered siding and similar surfaces. It provides a uniform finish and can be tinted to shades of pastel through the mid-tone range.
Where It Is Sold
Valspar is primarily sold at Lowe’s home improvement stores and Lowes.com, but several independent retailers also sell it. You can locate a Valspar retailer near you by using the handy store locator tool.
You can order paint on Sherwin-Williams.com, but you have to pick it up at a local store.
Valspar and Sherwin-Williams offer competitive lineups of colors and finishes, and both provide several helpful comparison and visualization tools to help you decide.
You can choose images of kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms so you can envision how the color would look in the particular room you’re painting.
Valspar also offers free virtual color consultations. To take advantage of this perk, you need to submit information about your project and design style. After a couple of days, the Valspar experts will provide personalized color recommendations based on your preferences.
Each brand has a unique take on basic colors (like the primary reds, blues, etc.), so make sure to choose the brand before deciding on an exact shade or hue.
One of the most significant differences between Valspar and Sherwin-Williams paint is price.
Although the exact pricing depends on the formula, finish, and paint category, Sherwin-Williams is more expensive overall.
If you pick Sherwin-Williams over Valspar, expect to pay at least a few dollars more per gallon.
To see prices and compare Valspar and Sherwin-Williams side-by-side, refer to the chart below.
|Valspar Reserve Interior||Lowes.com|
|Valspar Signature Interior||Lowes.com|
|Valspar Ultra Interior||Lowes.com|
|Valspar ExpressCoat Interior||Lowes.com|
|Valspar Duramax Exterior||Lowes.com|
|Valspar SeasonFlex Exterior||Lowes.com|
|Valspar SeasonPlus Exterior||Lowes.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 Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams Stores Say
Lab tests of paint only reveal its initial performance and ignore long-term durability.
So, instead of conducting a side-by-side test, I reached out to the people that know these brands the best: the paint experts at Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams stores.
When I spoke with the paint expert at each store, I asked a simple question: “What’s the difference between Valspar and Sherwin-Williams?”
First, I spoke with the paint expert at the Sherwin-Williams store in Walpole, Massachusetts. He said Valspar is a cheaper, less durable paint that won’t last as long as Sherwin-Williams, especially when comparing it to Sherwin-Williams’ higher-end lines like Emerald or Cashmere.
The expert at the Sherwin-Williams store in Milford, Massachusetts, echoed the same themes. He also claimed that Sherwin-Williams is more durable and provides better coverage than Valspar.
He mentioned that Sherwin-Williams bought Valspar in 2017 to compete with affordable brands like Behr and Glidden. He said Valspar is geared toward homeowners on a budget, while Sherwin-Williams is designed for professional painters and homeowners looking for the best quality (even at a higher price).
I also spoke with the paint expert at the Sherwin-Williams store in Framingham, Massachusetts. He said the most significant difference between Valspar and Sherwin-Williams is coverage. With Sherwin-Williams, you only need one or two coats; however, you may need three with Valspar. He also mentioned that Sherwin-Williams has superior washability and scuff resistance.
To get a balanced opinion, I also spoke with paint experts at several Lowe’s stores. Although they primarily sell Valspar, the expert at Lowe’s in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, admitted that Sherwin-Williams is the better paint.
He said Valspar is good quality, but Sherwin-Williams is the best. Sherwin-Williams paint has a higher percentage of pigments and binders to solvents (higher volume solids); therefore, it covers better and lasts longer.
He caveated that statement by saying it depends on which paint lines you compare. For example, Valspar Signature and Reserve paint lines perform similarly to many Sherwin-Williams paint lines.
But, generally, Sherwin-Williams puts better ingredients in the can while Valspar is designed to be affordable.
The overall sentiment of the conversations with paint experts at Sherwin-Williams and Lowe’s stores was that Sherwin-Williams is a higher-quality paint that offers better coverage and durability.
However, each expert I spoke to mentioned that the paint quality varies significantly across paint lines. In other words, Valspar’s premium paints might perform better than Sherwin-Williams’ budget-friendly paints.
What Others Are Saying
Let’s review what independent industry experts say about Valspar and Sherwin-Williams.
Valspar Signature paint earned strong scores from Good Housekeeping, which noted its value, low VOC content, and good coverage. However, the reviewers included one caveat, stating that the Signature collection “wasn’t quite on par with [its] winning paints when it came to the evenness of coverage.”
In another write-up, Good Housekeeping reviewed Valspar’s Ultra Premium interior paint and praised its stain and fade resistance, low VOC content, and overall durability. The reviewers noted that some of these benefits are counterbalanced with the paint’s “fair coverage,” which made a second coat necessary.
In its list of “The 9 Best Exterior Paints,” The Spruce gave Valspar’s Duramax Satin Exterior Paint high marks for its durability, adhesion, and mildew resistance. The reviewers considered this paint option the best for use on wood surfaces, which it “keeps in pristine condition.”
Bob Vila awarded Valspar’s Signature Satin Latex Paint the #3 spot on a list of “The Best Interior Paints for Home Improvement.” The review praised the paint for its rich color, high coverage, and resistance to surface damage.
The New York Times Wirecutter interviewed eight painters with over 150 combined years of experience to determine the best interior paint. Based on those interviews plus extensive research, the Wirecutter experts named Sherwin-Williams Cashmere the 2nd best interior paint (behind Benjamin Moore Regal Select). They praised its coverage, washability, evenness, and how easy it goes on walls.
Real Simple magazine named Sherwin-Williams the runner-up on its list of “The Absolute Best Paint Brands for Interiors.” The reviewers praised the brand for its color variety, noting that its partnership with HGTV and Lowe’s made the HGTV Home line of paints convenient to buy.
Good Housekeeping gave Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint five out of five stars after testing it against other award-winning brands, noting the paint’s high coverage, fade resistance, and low VOC content. The reviewers also praised its “better than average stain removal” and “excellent finish quality.”
Both Sherwin-Williams and Valspar made it onto The Spruce’s list of “The 10 Best Paints for Interior Walls,” with Sherwin-Williams earning the Best Overall title for its Cashmere paint. Valspar’s Signature paint was named the Best Matte paint.
Business Insider placed both brands in its lineup of “The Best Interior Paint.” The reviewers named Valspar’s Signature Ultra White paint the “best for stain removal,” while Sherwin-Williams’ Infinity Ultra White paint was rated “the best for a makeover.” Both paints were highly rated for coverage, hideability, and resistance to damage.
Bottom Line: Should You Use Valspar or Sherwin-Williams Paint?
Now that you know how Valspar and Sherwin-Williams compare, it’s time to decide which paint is right for you.
- Both brands offer a variety of interior, exterior, and specialty paints in a range of colors. There is significant variation in price, coverage, and other factors between each brand’s paint lines.
- All Valspar paints and the Sherwin-Williams’ HGTV Home collection are sold at Lowe’s, but you can also find Valspar at other local retailers.
- Sherwin-Williams has more limited retail options and usually has to be purchased at a registered Sherwin-Williams store.
- Sherwin-Williams paint is more expensive than Valspar, but prices vary depending on the collection and retailer.
- Paint experts at Sherwin-Williams and Lowe’s stores agree that Sherwin-Williams is higher quality paint that provides better coverage and durability. But, they also agree that the level of coverage and durability varies by paint line.
- Each brand gets high marks for coverage and durability from independent reviewers.
Bottom line — Sherwin-Williams is superior paint in terms of coverage and durability. That’s not just my opinion; it’s what paint experts at Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams stores and media outlets like The New York Times say.
Although Sherwin-Williams is more expensive, the price is offset by the fact that you’ll need less paint to get the job done and, in most cases, it will last longer.
Valspar is an excellent value if you’re on a budget and keeping the cost low is your top priority.
But if you can afford to spend a bit more, go with Sherwin-Williams. If the high price is a sticking point, consider Sherwin-Williams Captivate. It’s a budget-friendly paint that offers excellent performance.
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