Behr Paint vs. Sherwin Williams: Which One's Better?

Updated on April 4, 2019
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.

Is Sherwin Williams Paint Better Than Behr Paint?

Throughout my painting career, I have used multiple paint brands, including Behr and Sherwin Williams. I use Sherwin Williams paint for the majority of my painting projects, but occasionally, a customer supplies the paint for me, which is usually the Behr brand from Home Depot.

Behr isn't the worst paint I've ever used, but as a professional painter, there are things about their interior paint I don't like. At the request of the customer, I painted the whole interior of two homes with Behr paint, using Ultra Premium Plus for the walls in both homes. I have also used their ceiling paint, which I didn't like at all, as well as the regular Premium Plus.

I have no experience using their exterior products, or interior trim paint, but I have many hours of experience with their wall paint, and I'll share my thoughts on which one is better for me, based on my needs as a painter who works with paint all the time.

Behr Paint Pricing vs. Sherwin Williams

With paint, you definitely get what you pay for. Cheap paint won't give you good coverage like premium paint will. Inexpensive paint is very thin in consistency. This means more material, more dipping the roller, and more time spent working. Premium paint costs more, but it's thicker and covers in one or two coats.

Behr paint is a lot cheaper than Sherwin Williams. Behr's top paint, Marquee, is $42 per gallon, as of this writing. You can buy a gallon of their least expensive wall paint, Premium Plus, for $27, in the flat finish, or upgrade to their Premium Plus Ultra line and pay $35 for a gallon of eggshell.

In comparison, Sherwin Williams paint is very expensive at full price for a homeowner looking to paint their home, unless it's purchased during a sales event. Even some of their lower quality products can be pricey without a coupon, paint sale, or contractor pricing. Prices for their top paints, Duration Home and Emerald, range from $67 to $77 per gallon. Their new Emerald urethane paint starts at $93 per gallon.

The durability and coverage of their premium paints, Duration and Emerald urethane, are well worth the cost, and you can score their top paints by waiting for one of their 30% to 40% off sales events. They have sales on and off all year long.

Sherwin Williams paint is mostly used by contractors who supply the paint for their clients at big discounts. Behr, while used by many contractors, is used mostly by homeowners.

If you want to save as much money as possible on your painting project, and you don't care about durability, or coverage, Behr Premium Plus is the cheapest option. Sherwin Williams paints like Cashmere, Duration, Emerald urethane, and Super Paint, are excellent paints that perform so much better than cheap Behr paint from Home Depot.

Brushing and Rolling Both Brands

I painted the interior of two homes with Behr Premium Plus Ultra. The paint is very thick, which does help with the coverage on walls, but it's terrible for brush work, especially cutting-in ceiling corners. The material release and flow from my brush was really bad when I used it, requiring multiple dips into the can to get the paint up into the corner.

The paint feels too thick and sticky when rolling, compared to the paints I normally use. I had to roll over the same area multiple times to lay it out evenly. To be fair, I haven't used their Marquee line yet.

Like any other brand, not all Sherwin Williams paints perform well for brushing and rolling, but their premium paint is much better than Behr. I use Duration Home a lot for interior walls. The paint covers really well in one to two coats. Cutting-in corners with Duration is a lot faster because the material flows so much better for brushing and rolling.

The coverage of Behr Premium Plus Ultra is good, but applying the material is not. This might not be an issue for someone with a one-time painting project, but if you're working with paint every day, using a product that goes on easy is important.

In conclusion, the durability, performance, and versatility of products from Sherwin Williams, is definitely better for me than Behr. A contractor can get their top of the line products at really good discount prices. Behr is a cheap alternative for a homeowner not willing to spend more than $50 per gallon for their paint.

© 2018 Matt G.

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    • profile image

      Lianne 

      2 months ago

      Thank you! I’ve been saying for years how terrible Behr paint is! We flip homes for a living, plus my father was a paint contractor when I was younger and I worked for him for 10 years. The worst part is how thick and sticky it is, as you mentioned. I mostly do finish brush work and detailed woodwork that you want to flow smoothly and leave no “wagon wheel tracks”/brushmarks, let alone be sticky. Behr is the worst paint ever for that. I’m always surprised how heavy advertising can popularize such an inferior product. But thanks for validating!

    • Matt G. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      3 months ago

      I've never used Behr deck stain. I use Sherwin Williams Super Deck when I stain decks, but most deck stain I've used needs to be reapplied every two to three years.

    • profile image

      Integrity Power Wash 

      3 months ago

      I’ve never used Behr interior paint, but there solid deck stain is horrible, I have 3 decks right now, that I’m stripping to bare wood, then using Sherwin Williams to stain.

      But for the most part, I’ve found almost ALL so called solid stains or the Rock Hard resurface junk is garbage.

    • Matt G. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      3 months ago

      Emerald urethane and Proclassic are both good. I've used many Benjamin Moore paints, but mostly use Sherwin Williams.

    • profile image

      Justin 

      3 months ago

      You fail to bring up a few cheaper options of Sherwin paints I figured I'd share. Sher scrub, a clay base contractor grade cheap paint, runs, roughly 23bucks a gallon, a 100 ext paint also very cheap .. but I will say, cover pretty well for the money, and are fairly washable. When talking paints, I take into consideration a couple things, spatter, so e paints throw spatter more than others, duration, is a spatter paint for the money, and coverage for some colors in interior mix isn't great, especially for the money. The acrylic interior enamels, ie trim paint, like pro classic, are terrible in comparison to advanced from bm. If you want to spend double for good trim enamel from Sherwin, I would recommend emerald, urethane. But again, super pricy compared to "lesser" bm paints that infind equally as durable, with a nicer warmer more accurate sheen. A proclassic acrylic satin, is barely eggshell, more matte than anything.. I prefer cashmere to duration, for the money, sheens are alittle funky, but a better product. If I were to recommend paint, I recommend regal from hirshfields, it's really hard to beat that paint in any aspect for a client. It's just superior for the money than anything Sherwin offers. I do use primarily Sherwin products, and have for 16 yrs, but I do prefer Benjamin Moore and hirshfields paints and stains over all sherwin. Sherwin just tends to have better deals for me, and the products are tolerable and more accessable in my area.

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