Sherwin Williams Duration Paint Review

Updated on April 5, 2019
Matt G. profile image

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

  • How would using a first coat primer and second coat of Sherwin Williams Duration do?

    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.

  • You recommend SW Emerald Urethane for kitchen cabinets. Do you have any suggestions using an HVLP system to apply? Floetrol? Clear coat over paint?

    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.

  • How soon can you reapply Duration paint?

    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.

  • Does Sherwin Williams Duration paint dry clear?

    The paint dries solid in the sheen and color you choose. It's paint, not a transparent coating.

  • 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?

    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.


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    • Matt G. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      8 weeks ago from United States

      Thank you Samantha. I'm glad you liked the article.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Matt G. As a Sherwin Williams Manager. I thank you for giving good accurate advice about Sherwin Williams products! Thank you!

    • Matt G. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      2 months ago from United States

      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.

    • profile image

      Blue Crow Road 

      2 months ago

      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. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      3 months ago from United States

      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.

    • profile image

      3 months ago

      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. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      16 months ago from United States

      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.

    • profile image

      16 months ago

      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.


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