Interior Paints & Finishes

Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr: Finding the Right Paint for Every Type of Decorating Challenge

We compared two hugely popular paint brands on their value, thickness, color offerings, and more.
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Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr


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Investing in high-quality paint always works out best in the long run. For a few extra bucks, you get great coverage, added durability, and products that are particularly good in challenging areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

According to research consultants Lifestory, Behr and Sherwin-Williams were the two top-ranked paint brands in the U.S. in 2023. Behr’s rating was 120 points, and Sherwin-Williams scored 119.9. It underlines what we thought: Finding an answer to the Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr question poses quite a challenge.

How We Compared Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr

We’ve looked at these two manufacturers on numerous occasions. Both feature prominently in our article on best paint brands, and we’ve recommended them for a variety of interior and exterior projects. We’ve also spoken with representatives of both companies for advice on choice and application and reached out to several interior designers and contractors to get their input. Finally, we surveyed buyer comments at online retailers to get real-world feedback from DIYers.


Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr

Price Range: $$ to $$$
Our Top Picks: Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint ($85.49+ at Sherwin-Williams) and Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Interior Acrylic with Air Purifying Technology ($75.49+ at Sherwin-Williams)

Sherwin-Williams is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and has been making paints and coatings for over 150 years. Its extensive range is available directly from the manufacturer online and through a chain of 5,000 retail stores. Store assistants are generally considered knowledgeable and helpful. The company also owns Krylon, Minwax, Thompson’s Water Seal, and Valspar.

Sherwin-Williams paints come with a premium price tag but are considered easy to use with excellent durability. Speed of application and drying makes them a favorite with contractors who are prepared to pay extra for the time savings they achieve.

The HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams line can lead to some confusion among consumers. It is available through Lowe’s and is generally more affordable. However, although Sherwin-Williams makes it, it’s not the same premium formulation as Sherwin-Williams products supplied directly from the manufacturer.


  • High-quality paint range known for its ease of application with brush or roller
  • Interior paint has renowned durability with good scuff resistance suitable for high-traffic areas
  • Duration exterior paint has high color retention, good mildew resistance, and adheres to vinyl siding


  • More expensive than many, and often requires a second coat to hide previous finishes
  • HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams should not be confused with Sherwin-Williams paints supplied direct

Shop Sherwin-Williams paints at:


Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr

Price Range: $ to $$
Our Top Picks: Behr Ultra Extra Durable Satin Enamel Interior Paint and Primer ($42.98 at The Home Depot) and Behr Marquee Ultra Pure White Flat Exterior Paint and Primer ($64.98 at The Home Depot)

Behr is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, and has been manufacturing paints and wood care products since 1947. The range is only available through The Home Depot both online or in physical stores. With over 2,300 locations to choose from, it’s easy to find Behr paints, but it’s not as widespread as Sherwin-Williams retailers, and it could be argued that staff don’t have the same level of expertise.

Affordable pricing is a key feature of Behr paints and, combined with its quality, this makes it an outstanding value. As a result, Behr is popular with DIYers who are not usually under the same time pressures as professional painters.


  • Better priced
  • Behr Marquee came top in our review of Best One Coat Paints
  • Exterior options include paint for wood trims, and decks, plus aluminum and vinyl siding


  • More challenging to apply than Sherwin-Williams, and it takes longer to dry
  • Only available from The Home Depot, which may be a problem for some

Shop Behr paints at:

Behr paints are thicker than Sherwin-Williams, but that’s not necessarily a good thing

In the Behr paint vs. Sherwin-Williams battle, both manufacturers supply paints that adhere well to a variety of surfaces. The outstanding feature of Behr’s paints is their thickness. The paints cover existing colors and dark marks extremely well, often needing just a single coat. In similar circumstances, Sherwin-Williams paints will often need two coats. However, this thickness can make Behr paints more difficult to apply. The paint doesn’t flow well off brushes or rollers, so extra effort may be needed to get the desired finish. Although Sherwin-Williams paints are noticeably thinner, they are easier to use, particularly around edges, corners, and detailed areas.

Behr has more paint colors, but Sherwin-Williams has unrivaled expertise

Both Sherwin-Williams and Behr have extensive ranges. According to the Sherwin-Williams website, the brand carries more than 1,700 colors, but Behr wins this one easily with 3,000. If there is one drawback to Behr’s exclusive deal with The Home Depot, it’s that the staff is unlikely to have the same level of knowledge as those at your local Sherwin-Williams outlet. Staff at the latter receive in-depth training and are widely regarded for their knowledge.

Most contractors favor Sherwin-Williams, whereas DIYers choose Behr

In the end, the Behr vs. Sherwin-Williams debate comes down to which suits the individual best. Behr paints are considerably cheaper than Sherwin-Williams, and this is bound to have an impact on many homeowners. On the other hand, Sherwin-Williams paints are easier to apply and dry more quickly. Time is money for contractors, and our research shows they largely prefer the more expensive brand. The Sherwin-Williams website has a dedicated area for professionals showing they are well aware of this preference.

Note: Both Behr and Sherwin-Williams offer low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and zero VOC paints. That said, some Behr products have relatively high VOCs, so it’s important to check.

Our Verdict

Those who don’t mind paying extra for Sherwin-Williams will get a paint that’s easier to apply, dries faster, and is usually more durable. While Behr paints are a great backup option, our money is on Sherwin-Williams.