Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.
Is Duration Worth the Money?
Duration is a premium Sherwin Williams paint available in an interior and exterior version. Aside from their newer Emerald line of paint, Duration is still considered a top-quality paint. I paint homes with the interior and exterior version, and I will explain the pros and cons of the paint.
Per Gallon Cost
The cost is the biggest drawback if you buy this paint outside of a sale event or without a discount through a store account. As of 2017, the exterior paint sells for $73.49 per gallon at regular retail price. With a purchase of ten gallons, the total bill would be close to $800 without a sale. Fortunately, Sherwin Williams holds sale events throughout the year on this particular paint, which is usually for 30 to 40% off.
How Does the Paint Perform?
The question is whether Duration paint is worth the cost, or not. In terms of durability, the paint performs very well. I use it exclusively for all my exterior painting projects, unless the customer wants to use a different product. Duration expands over the substrate like a plastic film. It dries hard, but resists premature cracking and peeling in my experience.
If you plan to live in your home for a long time, repainting the exterior with Duration will reduce future repaint costs, especially if you buy it during a sales event.
The paint is also self-priming and doesn't require a primer when painted on previously painted surfaces. Bare wood areas should still be primed separately with an oil primer first. In my experience, the paint does cover exceptionally well in one coat, but I always apply two coats anyway for maximum durability.
What I don't like about Duration exterior, in terms of application, is the extra thickness makes it a little more difficult to cut-in sometimes. The paint also tend to gum up on a paint brush fast, especially when it's hot outside. I usually have to clean my brush three or four times to prevent hardening.
Duration is also backed by a lifetime warranty, however, I haven't used the warranty so I can't comment on that.
Duration Home Interior Paint
Duration Home is the interior version that offers similar quality as the exterior version, without the extra paint thickness. The paint is low voc. Every time I use this paint, the customer tells me they can't smell it. The paint odor is very minimal while wet.
Duration is great for steamy bathrooms prone to mildew growth. It has anti-microbial additives in the paint that prevent mildew. The paint is also highly washable, which is why I use it when painting kids rooms and high traffic areas of a house.
The matte and satin paint finishes are also durable enough to allow wall cleaning without ruining the painted surface. The flat finish does not cover well and I don't recommend it, although I was told it's still washable.
How Much Does the Paint Cost?
Similar to the exterior option, Duration Home is also expensive, selling for $62.99 per gallon, in 2017. The coverage is very good when painted over a smooth finish, so you won't have to buy extra material to finish your project. As explained in the beginning of this article, Sherwin Williams also holds sales events every year for this product. You can also open a store account to get a lower price and receive notifications for discount offers.
Duration Home, like the exterior version, touches up very well without leaving marks. I have touched up my Duration-painted bathroom a couple times after a remodel and never had any problems with the paint blending in.
I use Duration for most of my painting projects and prefer it over less expensive options like Super Paint. The paint dries fast, allowing for the second coat to be applied the same day. Color coverage is much better than other paints I have used. If the cost is an issue, I recommend waiting for the next sales event, or check the Sherwin Williams website for coupons.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can you use the Duration paint on kitchen cabinets?
Answer: Yes, but Duration isn't a good product for cabinets. For drywall it's great, but on cabinets, you need paint that will dry harder for added durability. Duration is too soft for this purpose. Emerald urethane (also from Sherwin Williams) is the paint you want to use on cabinets. The paint dries hard when fully cured, and it's meant for use on trim and cabinets. I use it on all of my cabinet painting projects. It costs more than Duration, but you'll have a much more durable finish on your cabinets.
Question: How often would you repaint an exterior surface to prevent wood rot?
Answer: It depends on your region, but Duration paint is very durable and lasts longer than other paints I've used in the past. Repainting every five to seven years is enough.
Question: Can I paint Duration over the Sherwin Williams Super Paint within two weeks? Why is the wall sticky?
Answer: Normally this shouldn't be an issue, but if the wall is sticky, my answer is definitely no. The surface needs to be totally dry before recoating. If it's sticky, it's possible humidity is slowing down the cure time, or too much paint was applied. You should contact your local Sherwin Williams store.
Question: Can you use Duration paint on metal surfaces, and if so do you use a bonding primer before your application?
Answer: Yes, you can use Duration on metal, but if it's bare metal, the surface should be primed first with oil primer sealer. If there's rust, it should be removed before priming. Factory painted metal like aluminum siding for example, can be painted with Duration exterior paint without a prime coat, but exposed bare metal spots have to be primed first.
Question: I've decided on Duration but note they sell Flat / Matte / Satin. I was used to Behr and used eggshell. The SW rep told me that matte is too flat and they recommend Satin. I don't want to risk putting up satin and having too much shine. Would you say SW Matte is like an eggshell?
Answer: Yes, the matte finish is fairly close to the sheen of an eggshell finish, although the level of eggshell sheen varies between brands anyway, the matte finish of Duration is smooth and washable with two coats. It's definitely not too flat like the rep said, but one coat is flatter than two coats. I always apply two coats. I use the matte finish on most of my painting projects unless the customer wants a higher level of sheen on the walls, but my clients have been happy with the matte. In a bathroom, I'll often use the satin finish. If you're painting walls that need to be cleaned frequently, satin will be more washable, otherwise matte is fine.
Question: Sherwin Williams Duration paint in the matte finish is a nightmare. It looks and behaves more like a satin paint and always reflects spots. Do you have any other suggestions?
Answer: The matte finish does look more glossy than the typical matte paint, but I would imagine this is to make it easier to clean. As far as the touch-up problem goes, paint color plays a role in how well, or not, the paint will touch up. If the paint color is a deep blue, red, or green, these colors are generally more difficult to touch up successfully, regardless of the paint being used. Light colors always touch up easier. Glossy paints are also a little harder to touch up than flat paint. It's difficult to say exactly why the paint didn't touch up well because there are so many variables that could have caused it, but I haven't had this issue.
Question: Is Duration Semi-Gloss the best SW choice for interior doors and trim? We will be applying with a brush and roller.
Answer: Nope. The semi-gloss finish of Duration is washable, but it isn't trim paint. Emerald urethane, or Pro Classic, are trim paints that are much better choices for doors and trim.
Question: How soon can you reapply Duration paint?
Answer: The recoat time for Duration exterior paint is four hours when temps are 45 degrees and higher. With temps between 35 to 45 degrees, the recoat time is twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The recoat time for Duration interior paint is four hours.
Question: You recommend SW Emerald Urethane for kitchen cabinets. Do you have any suggestions using an HVLP system to apply? Floetrol? Clear coat over paint?
Answer: I use an airless sprayer to spray Emerald urethane on cabinets, using the RAC-X FFLP tips from Graco. No thinning required. The paint levels nicely. I've never used an HVLP setup to spray Emerald, but you'll definitely have to thin the paint to make it work. My local SW store advised against clear coating Emerald. The paint itself is pretty washable after two coats.
Question: I received an estimate on repainting my house and the painter said he would only need to use one coat of Sherwin Williams Durations exterior paint. Is this true?
Answer: One coat of Duration is okay, but only in the right conditions. The surface being painted should be in good condition. One coat only works if the new color isn't too far off from the existing color. White on white is no problem. If the colors are very different, two coats are needed for solid coverage. Bare wood spots, peeling paint, and surface stains should be primed separately with the appropriate primer. I personally apply two coats of Duration on my exterior projects. Duration is thick and durable with one coat, but two is always better. Another consideration to make is the paint finish you're using. The satin finish of Duration looks very dull with only one coat. This makes the surface less durable and harder to keep clean. Two coats of satin Duration is very glossy and resists dirt better. It's also easier to clean. Even the flat finish has a slight lustre with two coats, but not with one. In my opinion, two coats looks more solid and uniform, and your paint job will likely last longer.
Question: Does Sherwin Williams Duration paint dry clear?
Answer: The paint dries solid in the sheen and color you choose. It's paint, not a transparent coating.
Question: Is there an additive that can be applied that will slow the paint drying time?
Answer: Yes. Floetrol by Flood works well for this. It helps level the paint finish. If you're spraying, it also reduces clogs and spray-tip wear.
Question: Does Duration exterior work on outdoor wood decks? The deck is old but repairs have been made.
Answer: I would probably consider using exterior floor enamel over Duration, at least for painting the deck floor boards. Duration is durable, but it's not really meant to be used on floors. You could even use a solid deck stain.
Question: Have you ever used Sherwin Williams Duration paint on old exterior aluminum siding? Would you recommend it?
Answer: Yes, I have. I recently sprayed an aluminum-sided house with Duration. I definitely recommend it. It's my go-to paint for most of my exterior work. The paint bonds and covers well. You need to power-wash the siding really well first and don't apply the paint if it rains the next day.
Question: Is a flat paint finish ok for living room walls?
Answer: I don't recommend using flat paint on walls, especially if your living room walls are likely to get dirty from kids, or pets, touching them. Flat paint is very dull and hard to clean, even Duration flat. Flat paint is good though if the walls have lots of imperfections you want to hide and cleaning the walls isn't important. The smooth finish of Duration matte, or satin, is a lot easier to clean.
Question: When can I use shower again after using Duration paint in bathroom?
Answer: The dry time for Duration Home is 1 hour, but I would allow the paint in the bathroom to remain dry for a few hours before using the shower. Turn on the ceiling fan and open a window for ventilation. If it was my bathroom though, I would wait until the next day before exposing the fresh paint to water.
Question: Is Duration compatible with Asbestos siding?
Answer: Yes, Duration exterior paint is acrylic and ideal for your siding. Duration is a very durable product in my experience, even with only a coat, but I would apply two coats. Power wash spot prime stains, or bare spots, and apply two coats. With asbestos siding, you have to be very careful when scraping the surface if the asbestos is exposed. You should absolutely wear a respirator to prevent inhalation. If you need to scrape loose paint, I would try removing as much of that as possible with the power washer to minimize scraping and airborne dust.
Question: Is Sherwin Williams duration paint good for higher temps?
Question: Do you think that one coat of exterior duration paint is enough if the color is being matched?
Answer: Yes, one coat is fine, especially if the color is matched, but two coats is better for durability.
Question: I am considering painting my vinyl sided house and heard about Sherwin Williams Duration paint. Do you think this is a good choice for vinyl?
Answer: Yes, Duration is a good paint for vinyl siding, but you need to make sure you choose a vinyl safe color. Dark colors absorb too much heat from the sun and can cause buckling of the siding and paint failure. When you visit the store ask about their vinyl safe colors.
Question: We've are re-siding with primed cement board and have new fascia/soffits as well. We live in the PNW so winters are harsh. We chose Dovetail Gray, 7018. Is it overkill to add 2 coats of paint to our house with everything new?
Answer: Two coats are more durable than one coat, especially with your cold winters, but Duration is a very durable paint that performs well even in one solid coat. Whether it covers in one coat though depends on the color you're painting over. Consider your paint finish too. If you use the satin finish, the paint will be less shiny in one coat. With two coats, the surface is smoother and easier to maintain with the garden hose etc.
Question: Can I use interior paint outside?
Answer: You can, but the paint will fail. Interior paint should only be used indoors. Use a quality exterior paint.
Question: I have primed an outdoor Christmas wood project and then painted it with Sherwin Williams Duration. Since it will only be outdoors for about 4 weeks, do I need to put a clear coat over it?
Answer: No. The paint might freeze before it had time to dry though if it was below freezing during application. I believe exterior Duration is good down to 35 degrees, or 40. Below those temps the paint can fail.
Question: Can I use Sherwin Williams interior on the exterior?
Answer: No. Interior paint should only be used indoors.
Question: Can you paint with Duration when damp outside?
Answer: Yes, if the surface is dry with no rain expected, but a better paint for painting in moist conditions is Resilience, also a Sherwin Williams paint.
Question: Can you apply Sherwin Williams Duration interior over oil paint?
Answer: Yes, but the surface needs to be sanded and primed first with a bonding primer.
Question: How would using a first coat primer and second coat of Sherwin Williams Duration do?
Answer: If the colors are similar, one coat of exterior Duration would be fine, but drastic color changes might require a second coat of paint for solid coverage, or you can have the paint store tint the primer similar to the paint color so it covers well. Keep in mind though that only one coat of paint often reduces the durability and intended sheen. One coat of paint in a satin finish won't be as shiny and smooth as two coats. Exterior Duration is very thick though and covers well in one coat, with or without primer, if the paint color is similar to existing color. I always apply two coats of paint for maximum durability. I've never had a call back.
Matt G. (author) from United States on June 17, 2020:
Latex wall paint in general doesn't dry as hard as other coatings like door and trim enamel. If you want a harder finish on the walls you're better off using enamel. For the trim, if you used the Duration on that too, the paint is too soft to be used for that purpose. You could sand the walls and paint over the Duration with enamel, or another coating with a harder finish. I've used Duration for many years and never had any problems. The matte and satin finish are washable and touch up good.
Randall Rusher on June 17, 2020:
I used interior Duration about 5 weeks ago and the walls arent sticky but the paint is very soft. Also, im finally getting around to spraying the already installed trim and green frogtape is pulling off some of the paint. Any insights or recommendations?
Matt G. (author) from United States on February 29, 2020:
The matte finish is less shiny than the satin finish and will probably show less of the imperfections on your walls. You're still going to see it with any glossy paint on the walls.
lksium19 on February 29, 2020:
Would you say that the Matte finish in Duration will show imperfections in the wall? I have orange peel texture on the walls in this room and it is currently painted in a flat finish, but the painter who will be painting the room said he generally uses a satin finish. Would satin show more of the orange peel shadowing than a matte would?
Matt G. (author) from United States on January 08, 2020:
I've only used Emerald urethane enamel (interior/exterior product), but for indoor use only. I use Duration when I paint outside and never had any callbacks with that product. I've never used the acrylic Emerald exterior paint if that's the product you're referring to. From what I understand, the exterior Emerald acrylic is supposed to be very durable and mildew resistant. Sherwin Williams advertises it as an upgrade from Duration exterior. It's expensive.
If the stucco is prone to mildew from the humidity down there that might be why the painter wants to use Emerald. If your concern is with the satin finish itself, satin will be easier to maintain because it won't collect dirt as easily as flat paint. You can hose it down easier, but your stucco will be shiny too. Some folks like flat paint on their stucco.
jeannette on January 08, 2020:
We live in southwest florida and the painter wants to use Emerald Exterior Satin to repaint our stucco home. Does this sound right?
Matt G. (author) from United States on September 25, 2019:
Thank you Samantha. I'm glad you liked the article.
Samantha on September 19, 2019:
Matt G. As a Sherwin Williams Manager. I thank you for giving good accurate advice about Sherwin Williams products! Thank you!
Matt G. (author) from United States on August 27, 2019:
The satin finish of Duration exterior paint is more shiny and durable than the flat finish. Two coats of the flat finish does have a slight sheen too, but the satin finish is the better choice for your siding if you'll be cleaning it a lot. This paint is very durable and adheres really well to aluminum siding. I've used Duration on many aluminum sided homes, including my own, without any problems. Power wash the siding really good before painting. Apply two coats.
Blue Crow Road on August 26, 2019:
Im considering using 2 coats of Duration Satin on my aluminium sided home because I hear it will clean up easier. I decided on satin because I read satins have more polymers or resins which make the paint more durable and help adhere better than flat paints. Is this true? Also, after reading thru the Q&A I wonder if the satin will be shinier than what the "sheen chart" indicates. Will flat hold up to yearly cleaning, sometimes using spray washer and will 2 coats of flat provide a sheen?
Matt G. (author) from United States on July 26, 2019:
Exterior Duration will cover good in one coat, but that depends on the color you're painting over. The paint is very thick. One coat of this product will be durable, but two coats is always going to be better. I personally apply two coats when I use this paint outside. I feel better walking away from two coats, instead of one, but it's up to you. Another consideration is the paint finish you chose. If you're using the satin finish, it's going to be less shiny and smooth with only one coat.
M on July 26, 2019:
thanks for this review. We've are re-siding with primed cement board and have new fascia/soffits as well. We live in the PNW so winters are harsh. Doing Dovetail Gray 7018. Is it overkill to do 2 coats with everything new? Thanks for you comment.
Matt G. (author) from United States on July 23, 2018:
I've used Duration for many years and never had the issue you mentioned, but this sounds like a bonding issue that could have been caused by a number of things.
Was the original paint on the wall oil-based, or glossy? Was the primer and paint allowed to dry completely before re-coating.
I'm curious what additional prep work was done, as well as the type of primer that was used. If the original paint happened to be oil, acrylic latex paint doesn't bond well to these coatings without using a bonding primer first. The surface also needs to be thoroughly sanded to maximize the bond with primer and paint.
If the original paint was a latex paint in a glossy finish like satin, or semi-gloss, that would also need to be sanded and primed before painting. If the walls were greasy, or dirty, this could have also contributed to the problem.
As far as the touch ups, lighter colors with an extra white base touch up well in my experience, but deep base colors, especially darker red, blue, or green, are difficult to touch up without seeing marks, no matter what paint is used.
If nothing I mentioned applies to your situation then you might want to contact the store manager. It's possible you bought a bad batch of paint, but this sounds more like the primer and paint not being able to form a solid surface bond.
S on July 23, 2018:
I have used Sherwin williams duration paint to paint the whole house. Here are the issues I ran into with it. I will never use it again! Expensive paint that doesn't perform.
- It doesn't adhere to the wall, doors, etc. For example if I mount a fixture and move it by slightly it takes off the paint. Then if I run my finger along it, the paint will just keep peeling requiring refill and repaint. Very annoying!
- The paint marks up easily and the marks don't come off easily.
- When touched up, the touch-ups are easily spotted.
Sherwin Wiliams primer was used as the base.