Why we no longer use Sherwin Williams paint


Fall from Grace

We used Sherwin Williams paints almost exclusively from 2010 - 2022. In 2021, we began noticing a marked change in product quality from Sherwin Williams, in their SuperPaint, Duration, and Emerald lines of paint. Our go to for years was SuperPaint, but then with Covid there was a shortage so we began using Duration. Around the summer of 2022, we noticed that both SuperPaint (when we could get it) and Duration were very watery and lumpy. We asked multiple stores in the area if Sherwin had changed the formula of the paint. The answers we received is- no.

It was like they were thinning the paint to make it go farther. 

The local people at the local retail stores, are among the hardest working, sincere people you will ever work with from a material supplier. Really great people!

This is not their fault. 

This all came to head on one job in the fall of 2022.

The image below is Duration Matte and Emerald Matte 1 coat. Side by side comparison over a very dark blue


I was curious however to see just how many coats it would take to paint one wall (dark blue to cream). I painted one wall in this blue room, 4 times with Emerald – 95% coverage, before finishing it off with Behr Marquee. The left over paint was promptly returned to Sherwin on 9/29/22.

Yet, Behr Marquee covers the same substrate with 90% coverage in 1 coat and 100% roll coverage in 2 coats. I had to cut the 3 remaining walls 3x with the Behr. And the Emerald wall a 5th time (with Behr). It was previously cut 4x with Emerald

The image below is 1 heavy coat of Sherwin Williams Emerald Matte (left) vs Behr Marquee Matte (right) 1 coat

Sherwin Williams Emerald vs Behr Marquee 

While Sherwin can claim that the formula hasn't changed, as a professional who used their products exclusively on every job, almost daily, the formula has absolutely changed for the worse. Its been gradual, and we really noticed it last fall (2021). Whether its a change in suppliers for raw materials or what, but we can no longer afford to use a product that costs twice as much in material and 2x as much in labor than it did a year ago. At $80 a gallon retail, Duration Matte Seashell should cover light beige 100% in 2 coats. Took 5. Five coats and an entire gallon of Duration to paint one 3’x5’ half bath.

Put this another way, we put 5 coats of paint on this tiny bathroom over a period of 4 days. How would you feel, as a home owner, having to deal with that? Makes us look completely incompetent!

Testing the paints in a lab, is above our abilities.  We did send one of the 5's from the Lockport job to their lab, to which the response was: there is nothing wrong with the paint and its the same. As compared to what? The new formula being used today or the old formula from 2020? 

So we stopped using all of Sherwin Williams paints mid job and switched to Behr. However continue to use their oil primers as those haven't been degraded - yet. We now use Behr ScuffDefense as our SuperPaint replacement, and Dynasty as our Duration/Emerald replacement. 

After using Behr we feel there is not a product available locally that can compete with Behr Dynasty in workability, flow, over spray, distance, coverage. Even Benjamin Moore's Aura at $110 a gallon, we feel is subpar to Dynasty in every way. 

Edit 2024: We still feel this way.

Here are some videos we took of Sherwin paints:

Sherwin Williams interior Emerald  2017 vs Sherwin Williams interior Emerald  2022

This video shows the difference in thickness of Emerald paint from 2017, vs 2022+. Sherwin Williams claims to have not changed the formula between 2017, and 2022. Emerald which was purchased in 2022 is much more watered down, than previously, as shown in the video. The paint also exhibits other disturbing qualities as well that were not there before. Such as turning translucent as it dries. The overspray from rolling has gone from a damp rag, to it had better be covered. Sherwin is aware of this, and currently has no answers. Other product lines seem to have been affected as well. SuperPaint, Duration, and WB ProClassic, all seem to have changed in the spring of 2021 and exhibit similar properties.

2017 Sherwin Williams Emerald vs 2022 Sherwin Williams Emerald
This shows the difference in thickness of the two paints. I say two paints because the Emerald from 2017 is a completely different product than the Emerald purchased in November 2022. Thickness, coverage, workability, OVERSPRAY (This especially applies to Duration) are all leaps and bounds better in the Emerald from 2017.

These are both interior, same sheen, same base. A LOT has changed in 5 years, and not for the better.

Our position is that Sherwin slipstreamed the 'new' product with the old beginning in the spring of 2021. I say that because you would get 2 gallons of paint of the same product, sheen, and color, and one gallon would cover beautifully, no overspray, excellent workability, and then the 2nd gallon would be a disaster. 

When you question Sherwin they say there is no changes they are aware of. Which makes this a corporate decision to hide this fact. After all the old stock was used up, now all paint you get from Sherwin is the same substandard product.

They're among the most expensive with the worst coverage of any locally available product. Which is yet another reason we no longer use Sherwin Paints.

Update 5/2024: Our new SW Paint Rep admitted to me over text that they did in fact change the product. They switched Titanium Dioxide suppliers and brought it in house.

We will continue to use Behr.



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