Sherwin-Williams vs Behr Paint: Which Is Better?

When you’re getting ready to start a painting project, it’s normal to focus on the color and finish first. However, you also have a surprisingly tough choice ahead; you’ll need to pick a paint brand. And when it comes to Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr paint, you might not know where to start, as they both seem like strong choices on the surface.

Sherwin-Williams and Behr paints are available in a wide array of colors and finishes. However, the two do stand apart in some key areas, including durability, coverage, and drying times. As a premium product, Sherwin-Williams generally outperforms Behr, but it also comes with a higher price tag.

If you’re trying to choose between Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr paint, here’s what you need to know.

Sherwin Williams vs Behr Paint

Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr: Key Points

When selecting paint for an upcoming project, many people primarily focus on color, followed by the finish. However, those shouldn’t be your only concerns. Instead, you want to examine various aspects of each paint brand closely, allowing you to choose an option that’ll best meet your needs.

If you’re deciding between Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr paint, there are some notable differences you’ll want to take into account. While both companies have long histories in the paint industry, only one is a premium brand. Since that’s the case, they aren’t exactly the same when it comes to performance, durability, and more.

Before you make your decision, here are some key points you’ll want to factor into the equation.

 Sherwin-Williams PaintBehr Paint
ConsistencyThickVery Thick
Fade ResistanceGoodGood
VOC LevelsZero to ModerateLow to Moderate
Coverage300 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon250 to 400 sq. ft. per gallon
Number of CoatsOne to TwoOne to Two
Drying TimeDry to touch within 1 hour, ready for a new coat in 2 to 4 hours, fully dry in 24 to 48 hoursDry to touch in about 4 hours, ready for a new coat in 8 hours (12 to 16 hours for certain wood surfaces), fully dry in 24 to 48 hours
CleaningEasy to CleanChallenging, doesn’t stand up well to scrubbing
Best forAny interior or exterior projectLower traffic areas

What Is Sherwin-Williams Paint?

Sherwin WilliamsFounded in 1866, the Sherwin-Williams name has undoubtedly stood the test of time. Overall, the brand is considered a premium paint, so its quality is usually very high. Additionally, with numerous company-operated stores and a presence in home improvement stores, it’s very easy to buy.

Generally speaking, the Sherwin-Williams Emerald line is the most popular option for those interested in the brand. However, the company has many other paint lines, each with its own benefits. Plus, it invests heavily in research and development (R&D), allowing this paint manufacturer to come up with new, exciting features with surprising regularity.

When it comes to color selection, you can find Sherwin-Williams paint in more than 1,700 shades. Plus, the company has some leading color match software, which may give you color options outside of what you find across the paint chips.

There are usually very few drawbacks, too. Some may find the paints expensive, though the price point isn’t uncommon for higher-end lines. Additionally, touchups don’t necessarily blend as well with Sherwin-Williams paint, which may or may not be an issue for your project.


  • High durability
  • Easy to Use
  • Cutting-Edge Color-Matching
  • R&D Focused


  • Expensive
  • Lower Touchup Blending

Sherwin-Williams Paint Types

Like most major paint brands, there are more than a dozen types of Sherwin-Williams paint. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and some are designed with specific purposes in mind.

Which paint line is best for your project will depend on your needs. Here’s an overview of all of the Sherwin-Williams paint types currently on the market:

Interior Paint

  • Sherwin-Williams All Surface
  • Sherwin-Williams Captivate
  • Sherwin-Williams Cashmere
  • Sherwin-Williams Color to Go
  • Sherwin-Williams Color Accents
  • Sherwin-Williams Duration
  • Sherwin-Williams EcoSelect Zero VOC
  • Sherwin-Williams Emerald
  • Sherwin-Williams Eminence
  • Sherwin-Williams Faux Impressions
  • Sherwin-Williams Harmony
  • Sherwin-Williams Illusions
  • Sherwin-Williams Paint Shield
  • Sherwin-Williams Porch & Floor
  • Sherwin-Williams ProClassic
  • Sherwin-Williams Scuff Tuff
  • Sherwin-Williams SnapDry
  • Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint

Exterior Paint

  • Sherwin-Williams A-100
  • Sherwin-Williams All Surface
  • Sherwin-Williams Duration
  • Sherwin-Williams Emerald
  • Sherwin-Williams FlexTemp
  • Sherwin-Williams Latitude
  • Sherwin-Williams Porch & Floor
  • Sherwin-Williams Rejuvenate
  • Sherwin-Williams Resilience
  • Sherwin-Williams SnapDry
  • Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint
  • Sherwin-Williams SWP

What Is Behr Paint?

Behr PaintFounded in 1947, Behr is younger than Sherwin-Williams, but it still has a very long history as one of the largest paint manufacturers in the world. With over a dozen products, Behr has paint products for nearly any project.

Behr is best known for its Premium Ultra paint. Additionally, it offers strong coverage, mainly because the paint is some of the thickest on the market.

When it comes to drawbacks, Behr doesn’t have as many color options as some competitors. Additionally, its consistency is thick to the point where drips could be an issue if you aren’t using a sprayer, and it doesn’t do as well on durability or ease of cleaning.


  • Full Coverage in Fewer Coats
  • Lower Total Cost
  • Can Cover Discoloration, Stains, or Dark Colors with Greater Ease


  • May Drip When Applied Via Brush or Roller
  • Lower Durability
  • Harder to Clean

Behr Paint Types

Behr Paint Types

Overall, Behr has a solid product line featuring an array of general-purpose and specialty paints. While the Premium Plus is broadly the most popular, other options have their own following in the professional and DIY communities.

Here’s an overview of the Behr paint types:

Interior Paints

  • Behr Premium Plus
  • Behr Ultra Scuff Defense
  • Behr Marquee
  • Behr Dynasty
  • Behr Ceiling
  • Behr Urethane Alkyd Enamel
  • Behr Oil-Base Enamel
  • Behr Multi-Surface
  • Behr Cabinet and Trim Enamel

Exterior Paints

  • Behr Premium Plus
  • Behr Ultra
  • Behr Marquee
  • Behr Masonry, Stucco & Brick
  • Behr Barn & Fence
  • Behr Multi-Surface Roof
  • Behr Urethane Alkyd Enamel
  • Behr Oil-Base Enamel

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

Difference Between Sherwin Williams and Behr

Behr and Sherwin-Williams paints do have some things in common, including a similar number of color options and extensive product lines. However, they also stand apart in some critical areas, which could make one paint a clearly better choice for some projects than others.

Here’s a look at Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr paint in some key areas.


On the durability side, Sherwin-Williams dramatically outperforms Behr. Overall, Sherwin-Williams stands up well to wear and tear. Plus, it resists scuffing, scratching, and chipping. That can make it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, homes with children, houses with pets, or any place where toughness matters.

For Behr paint, durability is a bit of an issue. Behr may crack when exposed to high temperatures, doesn’t stand up as well to wear and tear, and isn’t particularly scrubbable. As a result, it may not work well in high-traffic spaces.


When it comes to consistency, both Sherwin-Williams and Behr are thick paints. However, Behr is substantially thicker, to the point where it isn’t ideal for brush application. While you’ll get exceptional coverage in a single coat, you might have to use a sprayer to avoid drips and ensure the final look is even.

Sherwin-Williams paint is a bit more forgiving. While it’s thick enough to reduce the total number of coats you’ll need to apply, it isn’t as prone to dripping. Plus, some of the Sherwin-Williams paint lines are self-leveling, which can eliminate unevenness as the paint settles.


The number of colors is one area where Sherwin-Williams and Behr are similar. Behr has a bit more than 1,400 colors, while Sherwin-Williams comes in closer to 1,700. While that may seem like a substantial difference, in the world of paint, it really isn’t. Additionally, the total number of hues isn’t particularly high when compared to some other paint brands.

However, Sherwin-Williams does far better when it comes to color matching. The company created industry-leading software, giving it an edge over Behr in this department.

Fade Resistance

Generally, both Sherwin-Williams and Behr do well when it comes to fade resistance. Each company uses various technologies – like UV blocking components in exterior paints – to limit fading.

While neither paint leads the industry when it comes to fade resistance, both do well enough that most homeowners wouldn’t have an issue. However, as a premium paint, Sherwin-Williams may offer a bit more in this arena, so it could be a better choice for certain hues that may be fade-prone.


By and large, you won’t have adhesion issues with either Behr or Sherwin-Williams paint as long as you choose the right products and tackle any needed preparation. For general projects, any product could stick well. Plus, both paint manufacturers have specialty products for challenging surfaces, including bonding primers.

Without the right products or proper preparation, adhesion challenges are possible with any brand. If you want to avoid them, make sure you tackle any extra steps and choose a paint line that’s designed to adhere to the surface you’re painting.

VOC Level

Sherwin-Williams and Behr are similar when it comes to VOC Levels. Both manufacturers make zero VOC paints, as well as several low VOC options. As a result, if that’s a priority, either brand can work.

Now, overall, Behr has higher VOC levels than Sherwin-Williams when you look across every paint line. That could mean you’ll need to exercise a little more due diligence to make sure you get the right Behr product if you go in that direction. However, some Sherwin-Williams paints are higher when it comes to VOCs, too, so keep that in mind.


On the coverage side, Sherwin-Williams does a bit better than Behr. Since both are thicker paints, a gallon doesn’t cover as many square feet as some thinner brands might. However, you may only get 250 sq. ft. out of a can of Behr, while most Sherwin-Williams products will give you at least 300.

Now, both companies usually offer maximum coverage levels of 400 sq. ft. per can. That means that your application method matters. If you use a sprayer, you may get closer to the maximum coverage levels with either brand. However, if you use a brush or a roller, Behr is more likely to have a significant reduction in total square footage than Sherwin-Williams.

Number of Coats

Both Sherwin-Williams and Behr are thicker paints with strong pigments, so you can usually get solid coverage in one or two coats with either brand. Even if you’re going over a darker paint with a lighter one, a single layer of new paint may be enough for the job.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for two coats in most cases. The only exception might be refreshing a wall by repainting it in essentially the same color. At that point, a single coat may do the trick practically every time.

Drying Time

As thicker paints, both Behr and Sherwin-Williams paints have longer drying times. For Behr, you may not be dry to the touch for up to 4 hours, and it may take up to 8 hours before it’s ready for a new coat.

With Sherwin-Williams, the wait times are closer to 1 and 2 to 4 hours, respectively. However, full drying times are similar with both paints, usually coming in between 24 and 48 hours depending on ambient conditions, the number of coats, and similar factors.


For cleaning, Sherwin-Williams far outperforms Behr paint. Sherwin-Williams offers solid durability and stain and dirt resistance, which reduces your need for maintenance. Plus, the paint lines will generally stand up to a bit of scrubbing, particularly if you choose a satin finish or something glossier.

With Behr, durability isn’t as high, barring a few specific paint lines. Along with lacking dirt and stain resistance in some products, Behr paint isn’t as scrubbable as Sherwin-Williams. Since that’s the case, you have to exercise caution when cleaning. Otherwise, you may harm the finish.

Best for

With higher durability and being reasonably easy to clean, Sherwin-Williams paint can work for nearly any project. It’s tough enough for home exteriors and high-traffic interior areas and can work well on high-touch surfaces on furniture.

Behr doesn’t offer the same level of durability or washability, aside from some specific paint lines. Since that’s the case, you may want to limit your use of Behr paint to lower-traffic areas or low-touch projects. Otherwise, make sure you find a specialized product with the durability you’re after.


When it comes to price, Sherwin-Williams paint costs substantially more than Behr on average. In some cases, the difference may be $10 to $20 per gallon can, which can add up fast if you’re tackling something big, like a whole house repaint.

Still, Behr isn’t necessarily cheap on a per-gallon basis. Instead, its price tags tend to fall in the moderate to high range; they just don’t go up as far as Sherwin-Williams in most cases.

Color Matching Sherwin-Williams and Behr Paint

Color Matching Sherwin Williams and Behr

Generally speaking, color-matching between paint brands isn’t overly difficult. Most manufacturers offer product colors that are very similar, so you can typically find a paint chip that’s practically the same regardless of the paint brand you want to use.

However, if you want to get a Sherwin-Williams paint in a Behr color, you’ll usually have an easier time. Mainly, it’s because Sherwin-Williams have industry-leading color match software, allowing the brand to do a better job finding the right color.

Plus, Sherwin-Williams has a broader color selection. Since that’s the case, the odds of finding a Behr hue that’s a close match are higher. But that doesn’t mean you can’t’ find a reasonably close match to a Sherwin-Williams color in a Behr paint; it just might not be as strong of a fit.

Where to Buy Behr Paint

For Behr paint, there’s only one place to go: Home Depot. Home Depot is the exclusive Behr paint dealer, so you won’t find Behr paint anywhere else.

Generally speaking, you can head to any Home Depot to get Behr paint. However, you may need to go to a Home Depot in a larger city or order online if you need a less popular paint line, as not all of them are carried in every store.

Where to Buy Sherwin-Williams Paint

There are two main places to buy Sherwin-Williams paint. First, you can head to your nearest Sherwin-Williams store. The benefit of this option is that you can speak with an employee that knows the product lines extensively. Plus, practically every product line will be available in-store, something that isn’t always the case when you use another retailer.

Second, you can get some Sherwin-Williams paint lines at Lowe’s. This is a solid alternative for anyone who isn’t close to a Sherwin-Williams store, as there is a higher chance that a Lowe’s is nearby. Just understand that Lowe’s may not carry every Sherwin-Williams paint line, so you’ll want to see if your preferred option is available before making the trip.

Do You Need to Prime Before Using Sherwin-Williams Paint?

In most cases, using a primer before you paint is always recommended. It gives you a clean, even surface to work with and promotes strong adhesion, so it’s never a bad idea.

However, you can find Sherwin-Williams paint with primer built into the formula. Additionally, as a thicker paint, Sherwin-Williams offers great coverage, which could make a primer unnecessary.

The main exceptions tend to be when painting raw wood or dealing with a challenging underlying color, like red or black. In those cases, using a primer could not only produce a better result; it might save you money. Instead of two coats of higher-cost paint, you can use a less expensive primer and one coat of paint instead.

Do You Need Primer with Behr Paint?

Like Sherwin-Williams, many Behr paint lines have a primer built into the formula. Additionally, as a thicker paint, you might get solid coverage without priming, even if you’re painting over a dark color with a lighter one.

However, it’s still recommended that you use a primer over challenging colors or raw wood. That’ll give you the best surface for painting and increases your odds of getting a smooth, even finish when you’re done.

What Type of Sherwin-Williams Paint Is Best?

Which type of Sherwin-Williams paint is best usually depends on the nuances of your project. However, there are several lines that many people feel rise above others. For example, Sherwin-Williams Emerald is highly popular because it goes on smooth and leaves an amazing finish. The same goes for Sherwin-Williams Cashmere.

For those looking for exceptional durability, you may want to consider Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint. It’s tough and highly scrubbable, which could be ideal for high-traffic areas or homes with children or pets.

Is Behr Paint Good for Exterior?

Behr does have some paint lines that work well for home exteriors. One of the most popular options is Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer. It’s mildew, mold, and fade resistant and can adhere to wood, vinyl, or cement siding.

Behr Ultra Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer can also work well, particularly if you’re dealing with discoloration or unevenness. Finally, Behr Marquee offers a lot of benefits, including mildew, mold, fade, dirt, and stain resistance, solid adhesion, and higher durability.

How to Choose Between Behr and Sherwin-Williams Paint?

Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams paint can work well in certain situations. However, if durability and washability are priorities, you’re usually better off with Sherwin-Williams. If you’re dealing with a low-touch project or low-traffic area, Behr could also work, all while letting you save some money.

Just keep in mind that Behr paint goes on best with a sprayer. If you know you’ll only use brushes and rollers, then you may want to choose Sherwin-Williams, as drips will be less likely.

Is Behr or Sherwin-Williams Better?

Overall, Behr and Sherwin-Williams both have their benefits and drawbacks. However, if you need a winner for the Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr paint debate, Sherwin-Williams generally outperforms, particularly when it comes to durability, washability, and ease of application. If you’re comfortable with the higher cost, then you’re usually better off with Sherwin-Williams.

Did you learn everything you want to know about Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr paint? If so, tell us in the comments below. Also, if you know someone else who is trying to choose a paint brand and could benefit from this information, please share the article.