Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.
My Thoughts on Sherwin Williams Super Paint (Interior)
In this review, I cover both the interior and exterior versions of Super Paint from Sherwin Williams. Interior Super Paint was one of the first paints I ever used twenty years ago when I first started painting. I used this paint exclusively for my business for quite a while until I ran into a couple problems with the interior version and made the switch to a different paint.
This is not a cheap paint. The full price per gallon for the interior velvet finish, as of this review, is close to $63, but with the frequent sales at Sherwin Williams, you can easily buy this paint at a lower price. I wouldn't pay full price.
Is Super Paint Really Super?
I want to mention that the exterior version of this paint is an excellent product for painting house trim and siding. The paint is very durable and covers great. The interior paint is the one I had problems with. While there are some positives with this paint, you should be aware of the negatives.
- The coverage: Super Paint is thicker and covers in less coats than cheaper paints. The flat finish is awesome for ceilings too. It's a true flat finish. When I used this paint, I was able to achieve solid coverage on walls in two coats most of the time, depending on the color, but less expensive paints from Sherwin Williams, such as the zero VOC ProMar 200, provide comparable coverage. For a more durable finish and even better coverage though, Duration Home and Regal Select are good alternatives to interior Super Paint and ProMar. I use Duration almost exclusively for my projects.
- The odor: I remember this paint had a very strong odor when I painted whole rooms with it. There is a newer version that does have a zero VOC formula with "air purifying technology". The paint is supposed to absorb household odors. I haven't used the newer version of this paint.
- Tint separation issues: This was one of the reasons I ditched this paint. In darker colors, the colorant added to the paint by the store would separate while rolling walls, even with frequent stirring. I would roll a wall and see globs of tint separated from the paint. I experienced this problem on more than one occasion. I know this product has been reformulated, so it's possible Sherwin Williams corrected the problem, but maybe not.
- Durability: Interior Super Paint in any three of the glossy finishes is durable to a certain extent, but the paint isn't meant to be used in high-traffic areas. Don't use this paint in your bathroom. I explain why in the next paragraph. If you want the walls to be more washable, or you're painting a bathroom, use Duration satin, or Regal Select from Benjamin Moore.
- Surfactant leaching. This paint reacts poorly to humidity. I made the mistake of painting a bathroom with the satin finish and the surfactant ingredients in the paint separated and formed streaks all over the walls days after painting them. Basically, surfactant leaching is the result of paint being unable to cure the way it's supposed to due to humidity. I learned the hard way.
Is Sherwin Williams Super Paint (Exterior) Good Paint?
Unlike the interior version, exterior Super Paint never gave me any headaches, and I've used this paint on everything from siding and window shutters to trim and garage doors. The price starts at around $64 per gallon for the flat finish. I use Duration exterior paint now for most of my outdoor painting projects, but the paint is pricey without a contractor discount. Exterior Super Paint is cheaper and lasts well over five years before a repaint is needed.
- The coverage: The flat, matte and satin finish cover really well in one to two coats. Similar to the interior version, the exterior paint is thick, but dries fast with good hide. A third coat might be needed if you're painting a light color over a very dark one. The flat finish covers the best.
- The self-priming: Super Paint should not be used as a primer over bare wood. Even though the label says "paint and primer in one", the paint isn't formulated to stop tannin bleed from the bare wood underneath. If your paint is white, controlling tannin bleed is really important. Bare wood should be primed with oil-based primer to avoid discoloration.
- Durability: The paint lasts for around five to seven years, but the lifespan depends on the climate in your area and other factors, such as surface preparation. I've never had a call back using this product in all the years I used it. The paint is also mildew-resistant, making it a good option for shaded areas prone to mildew growth.
- Low temp application: While I don't recommend painting in cold temperatures, you can paint outside with this product all the way down to 35 degrees F. The overnight temperatures should not dip below freezing when the paint is fresh.
- Vinyl-safe: Not all exterior paints are safe for use on vinyl siding. I've used this product to paint vinyl siding and aluminium siding too, including the siding on my house, and the paint has held up for many years. This paint sprays really nice through an airless sprayer.
Sherwin Williams Super Paint vs Duration
Super Paint and Duration are two of the most popular paints from Sherwin Williams, with the Duration line being the more expensive one out of the two. The exterior paint is thicker and can be used on multiple surfaces. The price starts at a whopping $80 per gallon for the exterior paint, as of this review. Wait for a paint sale to get a better price. I can tell you from experience that the paint has held up fine on the outside of my house. You get what you pay for.
Exterior Super Paint is a good alternative if you don't want to fork over the extra money for Duration. I do feel that both paints are overpriced without a discount. The paint isn't as thick as Duration, but this allows surfaces prone to moisture to breathe better instead of the moisture getting trapped underneath.
I don't recommend using interior Super Paint to paint the walls in your home. As I explained earlier, I experienced problems with surfactant leaching (chemical streaks) and colorants separating from the paint during application. The paint coverage is good, but I wouldn't personally use this product again on my painting projects when there are far better paints to use.
I use interior Duration most of the time for walls, or I'll use Regal Select. Both paints are washable, low VOC, and cover in a couple coats. I can also use either one in bathrooms and not have to worry about surfactant leaching issues.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Matt G.