Sherwin Williams Paint Review

Just to get it out of the way: This post is not a sponsored post, nor have I received any recompense from Sherwin Williams in any way. This post is my experience with Sherwin Williams Paint, and expresses my opinion of the paint. And let’s just say, it’s not good.

After all the good things I’ve heard about Sherwin Williams Paint, and finding coupons for 30% off in the newspaper, I wholeheartedly gave two of their top lines of paint a try- Duration and Emerald. These are supposed to be the best of the brand, but they both fell completely flat for me. I was very disappointed in both the Duration and Emerald paint. And I think my pictures speak for themselves:

Two Coats of Duration Paint

Two Coats of Duration Paint

According to the employees at the store, two coats of Duration should be enough to cover the walls. Now, I’ve painted lots of rooms myself, and I’ve tried lots of different brands of paint. I will say hands down, this was the worst paint I’ve ever worked with. Maybe it’s because the tinting strength was so high, maybe it’s just a difficult color to get even. However, I’ve painted one hallway a deep red (nearly ten years ago now), and I painted the hallways in my last house a fairly deep blue, and both times I didn’t have this much trouble with coverage. The deep red paint I used was from Behr, and had some gloss to it, and it covered really well in two coats. The blue paint I used in my last home was a flat paint from Benjamin Moore and also covered really well. This time, I wanted to use a semi-gloss paint in the dining room (which is the glossiest paint they have in Duration and Emerald) and I felt like it was tinted water when it dried. The Duration paint was very thick and gloppy in the can, and I stirred it very well even though I had just come back with it from the store (only five minutes away) where they had just mixed it. I was not happy when I had two coats finished. I went back to the store and told them what was going on, and they acted very surprised. Upon their recommendation, I checked the walls to make sure they weren’t covered in oil paint first. They were not. Were they primed before hand? I know they at least had one coat of paint already on them. The employee was trying to be very helpful and said it could be a number of factors. Maybe it was a bad can of paint, sometimes it happens. Apparently it was one of the last cans in the store because they were out of Duration in the deep base in semi-gloss when I went back the next day. Maybe The walls weren’t adequately primed and it’s just soaking it up. He talked me into trying the Emerald line instead, top of the line, and if it still didn’t work to come back and talk to the manager. (I haven’t done that yet, because at this point I would just be going back to complain).

So I took the Emerald paint home and put a third coat on the walls:

Two Coats of Duration and One Coat of Emerald

Two Coats of Duration and One Coat of Emerald

Much better coverage yes, and the paint was better to work with. Emerald had a really nice consistency to it and went on like butter. It was smooth and pretty. However, when it dried, it was obviously not enough. You can still see my test spots- which now had a total of 7 coats of paint. After one more coat, even though Mr. Lucky was happy with it, I was not. I still needed to cut in for a fifth time, and I could still see spots on the wall with uneven coverage. The whole room honestly needed a fifth coat of paint, but I was down to a very little in my gallon bucket and I refused to spend more money on paint. So I cut in with a brush, and went over the worst areas with the brush as well. It’s OK, but I can still see some brush strokes on the walls. Sometimes it’s tricky with the lighting and mirrors in the room because they can cast so many weird shadows, so some areas don’t look even when they are.

The final product:

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

They say to do a darker primer first, and that is one step I skipped. However, with all the “super paint” out there now, you don’t always need to do it. Maybe this time it would have made a difference- but it still would have meant probably putting at least four coats of something on the walls. And that means it would have been at one coat of primer (one gallon) + two coats of Duration (one gallon) + one or more coats of something else? More Duration? Emerald? Maybe if I had done the primer coat and then two coats of Duration it would have been enough? I don’t know, but I do know that I’m not going to test it out anytime soon nor will I ever try it again with Sherwin Williams Paints. I had much better coverage with Behr, and I know Benjamin Moore works as well and I’d much rather put my money into a product that works for me without guessing.





  1. Jane Durham :

    I did the living room , hallways and stairwell a close color to what was there , maybe a shade lighter with Behr paint that had primer in it in satin finish.It covered beautifully and looks great (say so myself). First time I had used Behr -which I will use for kitchen later this year. Have used Pittsburgh paints before with some success except with an almond covering yellow that needed 2 coats. There is my paint story!

    • The Lucky Lass :

      I’ve used the Behr paint + primer too (in a not so deep shade) and it covered beautifully as well. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Justin E Plummer :

      I’m having the same difficulties on a current job. Took 4 coats too cover with duration. It spread like glue. Never in my life and I’ve been doing this for twenty years have I had so many problems. I’m going back to Valspar!!

  2. Hi Lucky, I have painted professionally for over 40 years. I have used Duration on several projects, inside and out. My only complaint has been with brush guming up with the exterior semi gloss.
    However I use primarily light tent based. Many years ago I had issues with a competitors “deep ” base paint coverage. After putting on 4 coats of finish paint the job was at least saleable. Closing the job out I went back to paint store to get 1 more gal for touch up’s. When opeend and applied I was amazed and dumbfounded as to how much better this new can was performing. ….hmmmm. After checking label I found it was mixed in a different tent base….obviously the correct tent base. I was fit to be tied to find this at the end of the job with an 1,100.00 paint bill that shouldn’t have been more than 700.00 .
    The excuse given was that he was out of the correct tent base and substituted with a med tint base.
    I’m sure you know when you add so much pigment to the paint you take away the properties of the paint that gives you coverage. So. All of this is to say check the label, and if color was a custom color, look at the amount of tent added.
    In any case I would not drop the issue. Start off going straight to the District Factory Representative. While I understand not wanting to repaint but for the price and warrantee, you should be entitled to restitution.

    • 2 years out ….maybe not. Just noticed the date of the post. Lol

    • The Lucky Lass :

      Even though the post is two years old, I am glad you commented Joe. I think I threw out the original empty cans, but I will check what I’ve got left. It’s frustrating for sure, and I’m glad to know that the base tint can cause that kind of issue. Thanks!

      • We just painted our white wall with SW Emerald in Black Fox Matte finish. Only needed teo coats. I have used Benjamin Moore for 30 years and loved the SW. Covered the wall perfectly. No roller mards. Love it!! Don’t understand the negative reviews.

        • The Lucky Lass :

          Hi Marilyn, I used a very high gloss finish- so it will show roller marks if not fully covered, and any imperfections in the paint or the walls because of the reflection. A couple years out now, I love how it looks, but it was a nightmare to get it on and fully covered. Flat (or matte) finish paint is always going to go on better.

  3. I have used duration int and ext paint for years.I have been painting professionally for 35yrs and have had good results with this product. I don’t know what you’re doing wrong but maybe you could ask a pro for some help.

    • The Lucky Lass :

      Hi Steve, Thanks for your comment. I did talk to the store clerk about my experience, but it wasn’t worth my time pursuing it any further. I’ve been happy with how it looks, a few years out now. It’s kept up very well and cleans easily. It was just a nightmare to actually put on the walls– maybe because it was so dark a color.

  4. I’m painting an entire interior with SW’s Emerald Sating paint. It’s got to be the worst paint I’ve ever used. The people at the store promised my customers 1 coat coverage. They were mistaken. Even with 2 coats, you can see lap marks and brush strokes. One of the problems is that 10 seconds after cutting in a section of the wall, it is dry to the touch. When asking about an additive to slow the drying time, they said they don’t make one for this paint, and that all their paint has the same drying time. I’ve never worked with a paint that dries so fast, and it’s impossible to get a smooth finish with it. The home is centrally cooled and I keep the thermostat on 72 degrees, so I can’t see a problem in that regard. Needless to say, I’m very frustrated. I’ve never experienced anything like this, and I’ve used quite a few different types and brands of paint. What makes it worse is that SW offers no real help. Just advised me to use their brand of rollers. I will never paint with Emerald again.

Speak Your Mind