Dunn Edwards vs Sherwin Williams: Which Is Better?

When you’re getting ready to start a pint project, choosing the paint you’ll use is one of the most exciting parts. While most people focus primarily on color and finish, the brand you also select matters. If you’re looking at Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams, you might not know where to begin, as both brands have their merits.

Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams are premium paint brands offering products in various colors and finishes. However, each stands out for different reasons. For example, Sherwin-Williams provides better fade resistance, while Dunn-Edwards is more affordable.

If you’re trying to decide between Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams paint, here’s what you need to know about these two brands.

Dunn Edwards vs Sherwin Williams

Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams: Key Points

When selecting paint for an upcoming project, looking beyond color and finish is essential. The brand you choose impacts your experience and results in several ways. Some brands are easier to use or offer more durability. Others may meet other needs.

If you’re debating Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams paint, you’ll want to examine the differences between the brands to determine which option is the best choice. Both companies offer premium paint lines, but that doesn’t mean they’re equal across the board.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when choosing between Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paint:

 Dunn-Edwards PaintSherwin-Williams Paint
Product Line VarietySmaller consumer line (moderate when professional lines are added)Extensive consumer line
Texture and ConsistencySlightly ThickThick
Fade ResistanceReasonableGood
VOC LevelsZero to moderateZero to moderate
Ease of UseEasy to useEasy to use
Coverage350 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon300 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon
Number of Coats1 to 21 to 2
Drying TimeDry to the touch in 30 to 60 minutes, ready for a new coat in 2 to 4 hours, fully dry in 24 to 48 hoursDry to the touch in around 1 hour, ready for a new coat in 3 to 4 hours, fully dry in 24 to 48 hours
CleaningRelatively easy to clean, stand up to light scrubbingEasy to clean, stands up to scrubbing

What Is Dunn-Edwards Paint?

What Is Dunn Edwards PaintDunn-Edwards is a high-quality paint brand launched in 1925, giving it nearly 100 years of history in space.

Generally, Dunn-Edwards doesn’t focus on the consumer space, though it does offer some products in this category. Instead, many product lines focus on professional and industrial uses. Still, there are solid choices for consumers interested in what the company offers.

Dunn-Edwards also regularly creates new technology to enhance the quality of its paints. One of the recent standout advancements is the ceramic technology found in the Exquisite line, which is focused on the consumer market.

When it comes to drawbacks, there are a few. While Dunn-Edwards offers more than 1,000 colors, some brands do bring more to the table. Additionally, most paint lines won’t stand up to harder scrubbing, and the paints may fade more quickly than some alternatives.


  • Moderately Priced
  • Highly Durable
  • No and Low VOC Options
  • Excellent Coverage
  • Easy to Use


    • May Not Stand Up to Hard Scrubbing
    • More Likely to Fade Than Some Alternatives

Dunn-Edwards Paint Types

Comparatively speaking, Dunn-Edwards has a smaller number of consumer paint lines when compared to many competitors. However, it still offers a broad enough selection to meet most homeowners’ needs, particularly those focused on higher-quality paint options.

Here’s an overview of the Dunn-Edwards consumer paint lines:

Interior Paint

  • Dunn-Edwards Aristoshield
  • Dunn-Edwards Everest
  • Dunn-Edwards Exquisite
  • Dunn-Edwards Spartawall
  • Dunn-Edwards Spartazero
  • Dunn-Edwards Suprema

Exterior Paint

  • Dunn-Edwards Aristoshield
  • Dunn-Edwards Evershield
  • Dunn-Edwards Spartashield
  • Dunn-Edwards Spartashield VA

What Is Sherwin-Williams Paint?

Sherwin WilliamsFounded in 1866, Sherwin-Williams has been a leader in the world of paint for over 150 years. The brand is broadly considered premium, offering an exceptional experience and long-lasting results. Besides being available in branded stores, shoppers can find many paint lines through other retailers, so it’s accessible.

Sherwin-Williams offers one of the largest number of paint lines compared to competitors. Additionally, more than 1,700 colors are available, and the company has industry-leading color-match technology, giving you more choices.

The company also invests heavily in research and development (R&D), and as a result, its continuously innovating, adding cutting-edge features to paint lines regularly.

Generally, Sherwin-Williams paints come with a few drawbacks. Usually, the most notable point consumers notice is the price, as Sherwin-Williams paint is expensive. Additionally, some note that touchups don’t always blend as well as what you get with some competitors.


  • Easy to Apply
  • Highly Durable
  • Some Paint Lines Stand Up to Hard Scrubbing
  • Advanced Color-Matching Technology
  • Highly Fade Resistant


  • Expensive
  • Touchups May Not Blend as Well

Sherwin-Williams Paint Types

As mentioned above, Sherwin-Williams offers one of the largest selections of paint lines available in a single brand. However, certain ones are more popular than others, making them excellent places to start if you’re trying to choose a paint line for your project.

In many cases, Sherwin-Williams Emerald is a go-to option for many homeowners. Along with being easy to use and reasonably durable, it’s available in Sherwin-Williams stores and many other retailers.

For durable paint that will stand up to scrubbing, Sherwin-Williams Super Paint is a standout. Plus, it offers great coverage and dries quickly, allowing you to easily cover a previous color and complete the room.

Duration Home is another popular choice. Along with being durable and offering excellent coverage, it has anti-microbial and mildew and mold-blocking features. Plus, its stain-blocking technology can address discoloration and help keep the paint looking great long-term, even in high-traffic areas.

What’s the Difference Between Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams Paint?

Difference Between Dunn Edwards and Sherwin Williams

In general, both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paint bring plenty to the table, but they stand apart in a few ways. As a result, one may be better for your paint project than the other.

Here’s a close look into Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams paint and how the two differ:

Product Line Variety

Overall, Sherwin-Williams offers far more consumer product lines than Dunn-Edwards. In fact, Sherwin-Williams outperforms many paint brands in this regard.

If you add in the professional lines of Dunn-Edwards, Sherwin-Williams still gives you more choices. However, the product options through Dunn-Edwards can meet most homeowner’s needs, so this may not be an issue depending on the nature of your project.

Texture and Consistency

The texture and consistency of paint usually impact two key areas: the ease of application and coverage capabilities. It may also influence durability, as a thicker coat may stand up better to wear and tear.

Overall, Sherwin-Williams is a thick paint, but not to the point of being hard to use. It easily sticks to brushes and rollers and applies a heavy enough coat to provide solid coverage. However, it isn’t thick to the point where drips are common. While you can use a sprayer to apply it, that isn’t necessary in the way it can be with thicker brands.

Dunn-Edwards paint is also thick but not to the degree of Sherwin-Williams paint. It’s thick enough to provide a nice coat and solid coverage, but it isn’t so heavy as to become drip prone. As a result, it performs similarly to Sherwin-Williams in this regard.


When it comes to durability, Sherwin-Williams and Dunn-Edwards paints are near matches. Both have paint lines that work well in high-traffic areas or hold up well if you need to clean the surface. As a result, either option can stand up to the typical demands placed on paint in a household.

However, if one brand had an edge, it’s Sherwin-Williams. The company offers paint lines – such as Sherwin-Williams Super Paint – that aren’t just durable; they also stand up to hard scrubbing, leaving the finish intact.

Fade Resistance

If you’re comparing Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams paint and are concerned about fade resistance, you may be better off with Sherwin-Williams. Many of the paint lines offered by Sherwin-Williams outperform Dunn-Edwards and some other competitors in this regard. As a result, Sherwin-Williams may be a smarter bet if you paint a room with higher sun exposure.

With Dunn-Edwards, you still get solid fade resistance. However, it lags a bit behind what you get with Sherwin-Williams, so you may need to repaint a little sooner based on when the fading occurs. Still, it isn’t such an issue that most homeowners wouldn’t be satisfied with the results.


On the quality side of the equation, both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams are high-quality options. They offer solid coverage, great durability, and an attractive final look. In many cases, once on the walls, you wouldn’t be able to tell the brands apart if you use the same color since the results are pretty consistent between the brands.

VOC Levels

Volatile organic compound (VOC) levels outline the amount of toxins in a paint. While the exact VOCs levels can vary between paint lines, both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams rate similarly in this regard.

You can get zero and low-VOC products from both brands. However, some of the paint lines offered by Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams can cross into the moderate territory. As a result, if this is a priority, you’ll need to compare the paint lines you’re considering to see if one company comes out ahead.

Ease of Use

Generally speaking, both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paints are easy to use, and their slightly thicker texture allows you to apply a solid coat using a brush, roller, or sprayer.

In most cases, both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paint go on smoothly with little to no dripping when properly applied. Additionally, they aren’t overly prone to streaking, but higher gloss versions from either brand can be trickier, so using the correct technique is essential to get an even result.


When it comes to coverage area, Dunn-Edwards comes out a little ahead in the Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams comparison. On average, Dunn-Edwards paint can cover between 350 and 400 sq. ft. per gallon, which is substantial for a paint that’s on the thicker side.

Since Sherwin-Williams paint is a tad thicker, its coverage range is slightly wider. A gallon can typically handle between 300 and 400 sq. ft. As a result, depending on the application, you may get the same amount of coverage as you would with Dunn-Edwards or a tad less.

Number of Coats

Since Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams are thicker paints, they require a similar number of coats. Usually, the manufacturers recommend two coats for most projects, particularly if you’re changing the color of the room or need to cover issues like discoloration.

However, you may only need one coat of Dunn-Edwards or Sherwin-Williams paint if you’re simply refreshing your walls with a similar color. In the end, both brands are about the same in this regard.

Drying Time

Dunn-Edwards is a bit faster than Sherwin-Williams for drying times in several ways. First, Dunn-Edwards paint can be dry to the touch in 30 minutes to 1 hour, while Sherwin-Williams usually closer to 1 hour. Second, Dunn-Edwards is ready for a new coat in 2 to 4 hours, while Sherwin-Williams needs 3 to 4 hours.

When it comes to fully drying, the two brands are the same. Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paints need 24 to 48 hours to dry completely, depending on ambient temperature, humidity levels, airflow, and more.


Overall, both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams are easy to clean in a broad sense. However, the performance in this regard does vary by paint line. While both brands can handle basic wipe-downs and light scrubbing, hard scrubbing can differ.

Essentially all of the Dunn-Edwards paint lines aren’t designed to tolerate hard scrubbing. If you try it, the finish may wear away, or you might pull up some paint.

Sherwin-Williams has a paint line – namely, Sherwin-Williams Super Paint – which is far more scrubbing tolerant. While overdoing it can cause damage – even if you’re using Super Paint – the odds are much lower.


Both Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams have high-quality paints, so neither is considered cheap in most cases. However, even mid-level paint lines from Sherwin-Williams are expensive, and the highest-end options are expensive.

Dunn-Edwards is a bit more economical by comparison. It still costs more than many budget-friendly paint brands but usually costs less than Sherwin-Williams. Considering that both brands typically require a similar number of coats, using Dunn-Edwards could save you a bit on your project.

Color Matching Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams Paint

Color Matching Dunn Edwards and Sherwin Williams Paint

Generally speaking, color-matching Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paint isn’t overly challenging. Both have color-matching tools to help you find a paint color that matches nearly any sample hue. As a result, you can use it to find the closest color match to Sherwin-Williams paint if you want to buy Dunn-Edwards and vice versa.

However, Sherwin-Williams does have a bigger color selection. Additionally, its color-matching technology may allow you to get custom hues. As a result, it may be easier to get a Dunn-Edwards color in a Sherwin-Williams paint than the other way around.

Do You Need to Prime Before Using Dunn-Edwards Paint?

Dunn-Edwards does recommend using a primer before any paint project, giving you the best starting surface, increasing the odds of getting your desired result.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s always necessary. If the existing paint is in good condition and isn’t in a hard-to-cover color or sheen, priming might be unnecessary. Just remember that Dunn-Edwards paints typically don’t come with built-in primer, so it could still be a good idea to use a separate primer in most cases.

Do You Need Primer with Sherwin-Williams Paint?

With Sherwin-Williams paint, you can find versions that contain built-in primers, which could make a separate primer unnecessary. Additionally, if the existing color and sheen are easy to cover and the paint is in good condition, you might be able to skip priming.

However, even if you use paint with a built-in primer, using a separate primer covering a challenging surface could yield better results. Since that’s the case, it’s worth considering regardless of the paint line you choose.

Where to Buy Dunn-Edwards Paint

Dunn-Edwards paint isn’t necessarily as easy to find as Sherwin-Williams, but it’s still reasonably accessible. Along with Dunn-Edwards retail stores, you can also find them at some Ace Hardware locations.

Some independent paint stores and home improvement stores may also carry Dunn-Edwards paint. You can also purchase it online directly through Dunn-Edwards in many cases.

Where to Buy Sherwin-Williams Paint

You have several options available if you want to purchase Sherwin-Williams paint. First, you can head to any of the Sherwin-Williams retail stores. This is an excellent option if you would like to purchase one of the paint lines that aren’t as broadly available, as the odds that they are there may be higher.

Additionally, you can find Sherwin-Williams paint at Lowe’s. Many Lowe’s locations carry an array of the more popular Sherwin-Williams paint lines. As a result, it’s a solid alternative.

Are There Alternatives to Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams Paint?

Yes, there are alternatives to Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams paint. If you’re looking for high-quality brands, Benjamin Moore is a popular option. It offers exceptional coverage, strong fade resistance, and excellent colors, though it is a bit pricey.

Behr is a lower-cost alternative that still performs well. While it’s less durable and harder to clean, it’s a solid choice for the budget-conscious. You can also check out Valspar for an easy-to-maintain option, though it is thinner and may require more coats.

If low-cost is your priority, check out Glidden. While it’s lower quality overall, some paint lines perform reasonably well, so it can be suitable for some projects.

Which Paint Is Better, Dunn-Edwards or Sherwin-Williams?

Overall, Dunn-Edwards and Sherwin-Williams are high-quality paint brands that are easy to apply and maintain. However, Sherwin-Williams may be a better choice if you’re concerned about fade resistance or might need to scrub the paint frequently. Dunn-Edwards is a better choice if you’re worried about your budget but still want a top-tier result.

Did you learn everything you wanted to learn about Dunn-Edwards vs. Sherwin-Williams paint? If you know someone who’s trying to select a brand for their paint project, make sure to share the article.