Behr vs Sherwin-Williams: A Comprehensive Comparison for the Perfect Paint Job

Bob Thomas

As a seasoned painter and decorator, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with different paint brands.

Two of the most popular ones that I’ve used extensively are Behr and Sherwin-Williams.

Both brands have their strengths and weaknesses, and choosing between them can be a tough decision.

In this article, I’ll share my insights and experiences to help you make an informed choice.

Quick Summary

Behr and Sherwin-Williams are two leading paint brands with their unique features. While Behr is known for its cost-effectiveness and wide range of colors, Sherwin-Williams stands out for its superior quality and professional-grade finishes. The choice between the two often boils down to your specific needs, budget, and personal preference.

Behr Overview

Behr is a widely available paint brand known for its affordability and quality.

It offers a vast range of colors and finishes, making it a popular choice among DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Its products are primarily sold at Home Depot, making them easily accessible for most homeowners.

Sherwin-Williams Overview

Sherwin-Williams, on the other hand, is a premium paint brand that’s often favored by professional painters and decorators.

It’s renowned for its high-quality finishes and durability.

While it’s more expensive than Behr, many professionals and homeowners find the price justified by its superior performance and longevity.

Paint Quality & Durability

When it comes to paint quality and durability, Sherwin-Williams generally has the upper hand. Its paints are known to have excellent adhesion, providing a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Behr paints, while also durable, may require an additional coat for the same level of coverage.

Pro Tip: Regardless of the brand you choose, proper surface preparation is key to achieving a durable and smooth finish.

Adhesion

Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams paints have good adhesion, but Sherwin-Williams is often praised for its superior adhesion, especially on difficult surfaces.

This means less peeling and chipping over time, leading to a longer-lasting paint job.

VOC

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals found in many paints that can be harmful to your health and the environment.

Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams offer low-VOC and zero-VOC options, making them a good choice for those concerned about indoor air quality.

Important: Always ensure proper ventilation when painting, regardless of the VOC level in the paint.

Consistency

Sherwin-Williams paints are often praised for their consistency, which allows for easy application and a smooth finish.

Behr paints, while also consistent, may require a bit more effort to achieve the same level of smoothness.

Coverage/Coats Required

In terms of coverage, Sherwin-Williams paints often require fewer coats than Behr to achieve the desired finish.

This can save you time and effort, especially for larger projects.

However, Behr’s Premium Plus line is known for its excellent coverage, often matching or even surpassing that of Sherwin-Williams.

Pro Tip: Always apply a primer before painting, especially when painting over a darker color. This can significantly improve the coverage and finish.

Years it Lasts

Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams offer long-lasting paints, but Sherwin-Williams is often considered more durable.

Its paints are known to withstand the test of time, maintaining their color and finish for many years.

Paint Drying Time

Sherwin-Williams paints generally have a quicker drying time compared to Behr.

This can be a significant advantage if you’re working on a time-sensitive project.

Paint Color Options

Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams offer a wide range of colors.

However, Behr is often praised for its extensive color palette, offering more options for homeowners and decorators.

Price Comparison

In terms of price, Behr is generally more affordable than Sherwin-Williams.

However, the latter’s superior quality and durability often justify its higher price tag for many homeowners and professionals.

Personal Experiences

As a professional painter and decorator, I’ve used both Behr and Sherwin-Williams extensively.

I remember a project where I was repainting a client’s living room.

The client was on a tight budget, so we opted for Behr. With proper surface preparation and application, we achieved a beautiful finish that the client loved.

On another occasion, I was working on a high-end project where the client wanted a durable and premium finish.

We chose Sherwin-Williams, and the result was stunning.

The paint adhered beautifully to the surfaces and provided a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Which brand offers more environmentally friendly options, Behr or Sherwin-Williams?

  A: Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams have made significant strides in offering environmentally friendly paint options.

They both offer low-VOC and zero-VOC paints. However, Sherwin-Williams has a line called “Harmony,” which has been specifically designed to have zero VOCs and also works to reduce odors in the room.

Q. I’m planning to paint a high-traffic area. Which brand is more resistant to wear and tear?

  A: Sherwin-Williams’ paints are generally considered more durable and better suited for high-traffic areas. Their “Emerald” and “Duration Home” lines are particularly known for their resistance to wear and tear.

Q. I’m a beginner at painting. Which brand is easier to work with?

  A: Both brands offer good quality paints that are user-friendly.

However, Behr is often praised for its ease of application, making it a good choice for beginners. 

Their “Premium Plus” line is particularly beginner-friendly.

Q. Which brand offers better customer service, Behr or Sherwin-Williams?

  A: Sherwin-Williams has standalone stores with knowledgeable staff who can provide expert advice and assistance.

Behr, sold primarily at Home Depot, also offers customer service, but the level of paint-specific expertise may vary.

Q. I’m looking for specialty finishes. Which brand has a wider selection?

  A: Sherwin-Williams offers a wider selection of specialty finishes, including metallic, chalky, and faux finishes. Behr also offers some specialty finishes, but the range is not as extensive.

Q. I’m on a tight budget. Which brand offers better value for money?

  A: While Sherwin-Williams is often considered a premium brand with higher pricing, Behr offers competitive quality at a more affordable price point, providing excellent value for money.

Q. I need to paint an exterior surface. Which brand is more weather-resistant?

  A: Sherwin-Williams is often favored for exterior projects due to its superior weather resistance. Their “Duration” line is particularly praised for its durability in various weather conditions.

Q. I’m trying to match a specific color. Which brand offers better color matching services?

  A: Both brands offer color matching services.

However, Sherwin-Williams’ standalone stores often provide more precise color matching services due to their specialized equipment and trained staff.

Conclusion

Choosing between Behr and Sherwin-Williams often comes down to your specific needs and budget.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective option with a wide range of colors, Behr might be the right choice for you.

However, if you’re after superior quality and durability and don’t mind paying a bit more, Sherwin-Williams would be a great option.

As always, proper surface preparation and application are key to achieving a beautiful and long-lasting paint job.

I hope this article helps you make an informed decision.

Remember, the best paint for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

Suggested Products:

Behr

  1. Behr Premium Plus: This is a combination paint and primer that’s great for both interior and exterior projects. It offers excellent coverage and a durable finish that resists dirt and grime. It’s also a low-VOC paint, making it a safer choice for indoor use.
  2. Behr Marquee: This is Behr’s most advanced paint offering. It guarantees one-coat coverage when you choose from their select palette of colors. It’s also a paint-and-primer-in-one and offers superior durability and stain resistance.
  3. Behr DeckOver: This is a solid color coating designed to bring new life to old wood and concrete surfaces. It covers splinters and cracks, creating a smooth, slip-resistant finish that also repels water.

Sherwin-Williams

  1. Sherwin-Williams Emerald: This is a premium line of paint that offers exceptional coverage, durability, and washability. It’s available in a variety of finishes, including flat, satin, and semi-gloss, making it versatile for different projects.
  2. Sherwin-Williams Duration Home: This paint and primer in one goes on smoothly and resists staining and wear. It’s ideal for high-traffic areas and comes in matte, satin, and semi-gloss finishes.
  3. Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint: This is a high-performing paint and primer combo that’s great for exterior projects. It offers excellent coverage and durability, and it’s formulated to withstand the elements, resisting fading and peeling.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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