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My Review of the Sherwin Williams Fan Deck for Paint Colors

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Matt is a professional painter who owns and operates his own painting business, specializing in interior and exterior house painting.

The new Sherwin Williams fan deck contains over 2,000 colors

The new Sherwin Williams fan deck contains over 2,000 colors

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck Redesign

I've used the Sherwin Williams fan deck throughout my painting career for my own projects, and to help my customers choose paint colors for their projects. With a little over 2,000 colors to choose from, the fan deck isn't short of color options. Compared to the many colors I've used from a variety of other brands, the color selection Sherwin Williams offers is, by far, my favorite.

Is the New Design Better?

The design of the new, 2021 fan deck is different than the old one that I was accustomed to. The color swatches are now pulled out of the deck from either side, unlike the older one where you had to stuff all of the color cards back into the connected plastic case- which was actually a little annoying. This also caused frequent damage to the edges of the cards.

The new one is shorter in length and consumes less space, and the rounded edges of the sample cards don't curl as easily as the old ones did. The new version also includes two plastic bands, similar to rubber bands, that hold the cards together when not in use. I definitely like the design and durability of the new fan deck more than the old one.

Paint Color Organization

All of the paint colors in the previous fan deck, the black one, were organized according to numbers to make locating them easier, so when my customer provides me with the numbers of the paint colors they chose, I'm able to find them quickly in my old fan deck, but with the new one, only a little over half of the colors are in numerical order.

All of the colors in the sections Timeless and Whites and Pastels, are out of numerical order, as well as a good portion of the grays. This isn't a huge deal, but I feel like Sherwin Williams should have kept everything in order considering many of us who are familiar with the color numbers look them up that way.

The new deck includes the historic colors, which weren't included with the old one, but HG TV colors aren't included. There might be some HG TV colors available in the deck, but not a dedicated section for them.


I'll share some of the most popular Sherwin Williams colors that I've used for interior painting of walls. The current trend, as of this writing, is painting walls with gray, or greige (gray-beige). In the past, tan and brown were popular, and I still paint with those colors too, but gray is the most popular.

All of these colors are available in the Sherwin Williams fan deck.

  • Repose Gray (SW 7015): I've painted the interior of multiple homes in Repose Gray, and it's my personal favorite of the grays. This color looks really nice on kitchen walls with white painted cabinets. Repose Gray is a warmer gray with very little brown undertone. The color is a lighter gray that will brighten up your walls if the room lacks natural light.
  • Dorian Gray (SW 7017): Another popular color is Dorian Gray, a color two shades darker than its cousin Repose Gray, on the same color card. This color has more of a greige undertone, and although it's a tad darker, it's still a warm color. Being a little darker, this gray accentuates white trim and doors better.
  • Mindful Gray (SW 7016): Mindful Gray is a mid-tone, located in between the previous two colors on the swatch. Depending on the lighting, this one casts a very subtle purple, or bluish, undertone. This color can also look slightly green when used on walls in a room with unpainted wood trim, but not in rooms with white trim.
  • Agreeable Gray (SW 7029): Agreeable Gray is a popular greige I've worked with a lot. It has a higher light reflective value, so if you want to brighten up your living space, it's a good choice. Agreeable Gray is a warmer greige, even warmer than the popular color Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.

Is the Sherwin Williams Fan Deck Worth Buying?

If you're a homeowner looking to paint your home, the Sherwin Williams fan deck is definitely worth keeping around the house for paint color planning, instead of having to make frequent trips to the paint store to look at color swatches. I own several fan decks from various paint brands, and having all of the color samples at my disposal really comes in handy when I need to compare colors, or do a color match for a customer.

The redesign of the new fan deck is more durable than the old one, as I explained in the beginning of the article. My only minor complaint is that some of the colors aren't organized in numerical order like they were before, but the deck does include hundreds of the historic colors that weren't available before. I highly recommend picking one up.

© 2019 Matt G.