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

  • Can I use interior paint outside?

    You can, but the paint will fail. Interior paint should only be used indoors. Use a quality exterior paint.

  • When can I use shower again after using Duration paint in bathroom?

    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.

  • Can you use Duration paint on metal surfaces, and if so do you use a bonding primer before your application?

    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.

  • 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?

    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.

  • 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?

    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.


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    • Matt G. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      2 weeks ago from United States

      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.

    • profile image

      Randall Rusher 

      2 weeks ago

      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. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      4 months ago from United States

      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.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      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. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      5 months ago from United States


      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.

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      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. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      9 months ago from United States

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

    • profile image


      9 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. 

      10 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 

      10 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. 

      11 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

      11 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. 

      23 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

      23 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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