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Which Paint is better? BEHR or Sherwin Williams?

Having the interior of my house painted and wanted to get input for whether there is a difference in quality of paints. is BEHR paint better then Sherwin Williams paint? I care that it is durable and easy to clean. I'm sure my grandson will have us cleannig and "touching up" sporadically.

30  of  56 comments
  • Teresa D
    Teresa D Snellville, GA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    I have used Behr at home and it covers well, doesn't transfer when I wash the walls and the smell has not been overwhelming. Behr is less expensive than SW. I have used SW on my doors and trim. I wasn't blown away by any big difference, personally. Only argument I've heard AGAINST SW is the cost. Some painters I've talked to swear by SW or Benjamin Moore, putting down any paint sold in big box stores. Some of the professional painters on here will probably chime in. But from a lay person, I think Behr is a good quality paint for the money - it covers well, good selection of colors and has been easy to clean in my experience. I think comparing Behr to Sherwin Williams is like comparing Toyota to Lexus. Both may meet your needs. If you have the money and you want high-end, meet your needs with the Lexus (or Sherwin Williams).

  • Alexis W
    Alexis W East Brunswick, NJ
    on Aug 1, 2012

    I agree--My husband is a painter and that is what he uses Behr

  • LandlightS
    LandlightS Roswell, GA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    I vote for Benjamin Moore paint any day of the week over Behr _(a Home Depot product) or Sherwin Williams.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    Peace Painting Co., Inc. Alpharetta, GA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    Paint is in the category with tires and shoes; there is value in better quality. It's one of those things that it pays all around to use the best. Besides, most of the cost is in the labor, so don't skimp on the paint. The cheaper the paint, the more expensive it will be because it will have to be redone that much sooner. The more expensive the paint, the cheaper it is because it will last and last. That being said, go to a paint store for paint. Their whole existence is devoted to that one thing. SW has perhaps 5 different quality lines from contractor grade to top-line after market coatings. If you open an account with them , they can offer differing price schedules depending on how much of what product you want to buy. Plus they now have regular sales events on their top-line product too. Top-line paints also cover in fewer (sometimes one) coats. Once you use them, you will know the difference. Best, Charles

  • Shari
    Shari Tampa, FL
    on Aug 1, 2012

    In my opinion, SW is better but most certainly more expensive than Behr. Personally, I'm not a fan of Behr. We had problems with very poor coverage on 2 jobs; 1 exterior and 1 interior even though we used primer on the interior job and sealer on the outside job. I've used a boatload of Valspar (Lowe's) paint in the past five years, painting the interior of 2 houses and multiple pieces of furniture with it, and I haven't been disappointed yet in the coverage or durability. I think paint is a little like wine--it's all about personal taste and what you are willing to spend for it. As far as easy to clean, the higher the sheen level, the more scrubable paint is. For walls, satin or eggshell tolerates scrubbing better than flat. Semi-gloss (or gloss) will give you the most scrubability for doors, baseboards and trim mouldings.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    Peace Painting Co., Inc. Alpharetta, GA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    About the differing sheens Shari, a high grade matte (almost flat) finish will clean like an eggshell or semi-gloss finish. So a with SW Duration or Emerald, you will not have to sacrifice durability for sheen, the best of both worlds.

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    @ Peace and all: Thanks. I'm going with SW and the Ultra Deuxe Eggshell type for highest quality. Paint in a light tan for halls and foyers and masterbedroom in a "something like Olive green".... Thanks much. Agree and told painters I want best quality paint as its a once every 7+ year thing for us.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    Peace Painting Co., Inc. Alpharetta, GA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    You're welcome. You will get back your small investment 100 fold.

  • Donna R
    Donna R Lumberton, TX
    on Aug 1, 2012

    Glad you are going with SW. We have painted our house with Sherwin Williams for years. I have seen comparisons of SW vs. other paints as far as coverage and nothing covers like SW. We use Eggshell for the walls and have been very pleased. Also, the Sherwin Williams store we use in Beaumont, TX, has very helpful and knowledgeable sales people. It's nice to go where they not only know your name but your projects and you can trust their advice. They even let us know when they are going to run one of their 40% off sales, which they do quite often.

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Aug 1, 2012

    @ Donna: Ironic, the SW store 6 miles from me does not carry the ultra deluxe eggshell, but told me come in, choose a color and we can call the store in VA Beach that does sell it to order it through them. He also knew my painters name and told me where my painter normally picks up his paint. seemed very friendly.

  • Donna R
    Donna R Lumberton, TX
    on Aug 2, 2012

    It's the excellent paint, the variety of paints and the personal kind of service that keeps us going back. Their Purdy brushes are the best too.

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    on Aug 2, 2012

    I have used both and found that both are excellent. I use SW Cottage Cream on the outside of my house and it holds up beautifully in the hot GA weather! I am one of those folks that paints the outside a fresh coat about every 7 years. We have NEVER had one sopt peel! For the inside, I always use Behr because HD is so close and it has always been great paint. As for cleaning, it depends on your finish. The last time I bought interior paint at HD, there was a display showing the 5 levels of gloss and I picked the one in the middle. It has no shine, but it has been fantastic and wipes easily. I use the erase sponges and then wipe behind them to remove residue.

  • Frances B
    Frances B Panama City, FL
    on Aug 2, 2012

    SW holds up really well here in FL.

  • Nora
    Nora Virginia Beach, VA
    on Aug 2, 2012

    Sherwin-Williams for paint, in my professional/personal opinion. But for glaze (for decorative finishes) nothing beats Behr's because its consistency allows for longer working time and spread-ability. (That's actually one of my little trade secrets.)

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Aug 2, 2012

    Nora! do you do FAUX type painting? I have 2 rooms (Kitchen nd family room to look at!)

  • Nora
    Nora Virginia Beach, VA
    on Aug 2, 2012

    Hi Jim, I just clicked to "follow" you; if you "follow" me back we can send messages to one another. I'll send you my phone number and we can talk :) ~Nora

  • Leslie D
    Leslie D Las Vegas, NV
    on Aug 2, 2012

    I haven't done exterior painting on my house, but for interior painting, it's Sherwin Williams all the way for me. I end up with 3 coats of the Behr or Valspar brands, even with primer, where 2 coats will cover with Sherwin Williams. As someone else mentioned, ask for a discount, or if you have a friend who is a painter and has an account with them, just have it run through their account and pay cash when you buy for the discount. My painting sub lets me use his account all the time for my personal purchases. Get a higher grade paint. You may pay more up front, but with fewer coats and less work and the durability, it's a wash. The SW associates are very knowledgeable and will help you choose.

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Aug 2, 2012

    @ Leslie: Thank you. I'll ask my painter if I can order it for pick up and he can pay cost at the store he shops, being my local store doesn't carry the ultra deluxe eggshell he recommends.

  • Donna R
    Donna R Lumberton, TX
    on Aug 2, 2012

    We've done the same thing, run it thru our builder. The people at SW will work with you. Again, the 30 - 40% off sales happen quite often and you can still get the discount. I've also used the XIM Latex X-Tender that is flow leveling and it allows for longer working time. It's good to use all the time but especially when you have older paint that has been sitting for awhile. I get it at SW and a little bit goes a very long way. @Leslie, I've seen a demonstration of SW coverage vs other paints and it's amazing how much better it covers. Less coats, less work.

  • Both are good quality, but I will not use that paint and primer in one. Nope, just does not do the same job as two coats of paint over a single primer base! Its really all about the prep that matters. While SW may tolerate less then perfect prep then Behr brand would. If both are prepped properly they should last about the same.

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    on Aug 3, 2012

    Funny, we too had trouble with that EXPENSIVE one coat mess! And we have used water based kilz as a primer for years and then just one good coat of paint...using Behr! I have no idea how anyone could have trouble with it? But then prep is the thing. We always make sure we wash down the walls, put a good coat of primer on any unremovable spots before we try to prime and paint. No paint is going to cover some stains unless primed...and certain ones can bleed through unless you seal it with an oil based primer! Walls with kids can get some funky stuff that is difficult to deal with!

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Sep 1, 2012

    OK, FYI ONLY: We used Sherwin Williams for interior (Family Room, large Foyer, Kitchen and it rolls to stairways and upstairs hallways). For Master Bedroom, because the painters did such a great job, we had a different color, so we ran to LOWES and did VALSPAR and it looks GREAT! (We used same VALSPAR 6-7 years ago in a house we lived in, in Maryand and again looked great, so for teh bedroom, tried it again. Looks really nice! ***** ONE MORE thing: I just had Master Painters in VA Beach that did so well, I WISH I KNEW they existed when I moved as I painted many rooms myself and would have let them do them if I knew! They are fair priced and did outstanding work and cleaned up to include vacuuming after themselves! Very friendly, polite and for 3 days, they made were great. *** SHOUT OUT to Harvey (and Al and his other painter) - Master Painters!

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Sep 1, 2012

    BTW: Sherwin Williams folks at 2 different stores (closest didn't have Ultra Deluxe-Eggshell, but helped anyway and were great, BOTH stores were great to work with!

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Sep 1, 2012

    SW all the way...as far as primer goes stick with the "problock" the newer stuff is not nearly as nice. With a good primer base I have found I can get by with one good coat of the duration.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    Peace Painting Co., Inc. Alpharetta, GA
    on Sep 3, 2012

    All of them give you what you pay for. Basically, big box store paint is marketed for the homeowner to buy, which I would be afraid to let my brush touch (-;

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Sep 3, 2012

    @ Peace: Thanks. have a few of similar comments. Question please for ANYONE: Why is that the LOWES/HomeDepot Valspar/BEHR paint is not considered quality? --Rationale for me asking..... I've used Valspar in my house in Maryland in all rooms and it seems to go on easy, and lasted the entire time there, no issues and looked good. I also used it in 5 rooms in this house before finding the painters I did and all look good, no issues. SW paint is actually similar in cost with Painters buying it, so we used it, but I don't see a difference in why it is better. (SW clerks are great, no doubt!)

  • Donna R
    Donna R Lumberton, TX
    on Sep 3, 2012

    As KMS wrote, you can get by with one coat, especially with Duration. The HGTV paint they sell is not that great but we have used it on ceilings. I guess you could put it like this: If you had a disease, would you want to go to a doctor who treated everything or would you want to go to a doctor who specialized in your particular disease. A paint store is a paint store, they aren't selling plumbing, garden plants, curtains, etc. They know paint.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    Peace Painting Co., Inc. Alpharetta, GA
    on Sep 4, 2012

    Clearly Donna, go to paint store for paint, that's all they do. One reason Behr has been successful with homeowners is because of its claim of being #1 in Consumer Reports. But, CR has their own quality ranking and does not use industry wide acceptable standards. Hmmm. Typically 75% of our job cost is labor, why not use the material that will last longer giving you a hundred fold in return on future maintenance. At Jim's point, I would buy the most expensive paint I could find for the outside, because it will always be the cheapest in the long run. For interior paint, if the price per gallon is the driving factor, there are still more ways to shop at a paint store. Sher-Wms has a 'preferred customer' account that anyone can get 10% off by agreeing to get an email update every couple of weeks. Best, Charles

  • Jim G
    Jim G Suffolk, VA
    on Sep 4, 2012

    @ Peace: and for me, SW cost is practically the same and rationale is the painter gets his discount so for me, cost is not a factor. Appreciate the note for exterior for long lasting, we absolutely will do that!

    • Brian Fulton
      Brian Fulton Garland, TX
      on Aug 1, 2014

      @Jim G Higher price is not always the best. Behr has a exterior paint that is Dirt and Fade resiant and is only running about $47 a gallon when at SW what they have they claim to be as good is running up to $75. So yeah, take your 30% off and you are still paying more for a lesser quality paint at SW. Yes, SW is a paint store, but Behr is the second largest paint manufacture in North America and has been in business since 1947. Not only that, you can receive up to 20% off at Home Depot on Behr paint if your are a contractor so that price gets even better. I love it when someone says its a homeowners paint and not a contractors paint. I mean, where are the contractors putting that paint? We buy the paint to put in a customers/ homeowners house. You get what you pay for, and I will put Behr up to anything else out there. I use several 100 gallons per year.

  • LandlightS
    LandlightS Roswell, GA
    on Sep 5, 2012

    Charles....think back about 10 years or more when HD featured "Atlanta's Finest" private label made for them by Gliddens. I was like watered down milk, and their claim of "one coat coverage" required about 3 coats. Behr, as I remember was a decent product until they became exclusive to HD. Another fascinating area of the big box paint (HD, Sears, etc) is the constant push and change of names such as Ralph Lauren or Martha Stewart......is that product better the Ben Moore or Duron because they are famous????.....I think not. Now remember, this is IMHO Gary

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