Sherwin Williams vs Behr Paint: What’s the Difference?

Sherwin Williams vs Behr

Whether it’s Sherwin Williams or Behr, painting the inside of your home can transform it into something new. Paint can refresh and renew places in your house. It can add to the value of a home for sale, or enrich a room once drab.

Paint is a quick fix for big results, and choosing the right paint is the most important step in that process. I’ve done the work of researching these two paints to ensure you make the right choice to truly elevate your home.

This guide is here for consumers in their search for a clear understanding of the differences, features, and alternative options with these two paint brands. I’ll also answer some frequently asked questions to ensure a consumer receives a full range of knowledge about these two brands.


Main Differences between Sherwin Williams and Behr Paints

The main differences between Sherwin Williams and Behr paints are:

  • Sherwin Williams paints are exclusively oil-based, whereas Behr has a variety of paints, both oil and water-based
  • Behr has low-cost options in their water-based paints, whereas Sherwin Williams products are a consistently higher price.
  • Sherwin Williams can be found in individual stores around the country or at Lowes, whereas Behr is only available at Home Depot.
  • Sherwin Williams will go on with one coat, whereas the lower-cost Behr paints will take more than one coat.
  • Behr has over 4,000 paint color options, whereas Sherwin Williams has about 1,700.

sherwin williams paint

Exploring Features of Sherwin Williams and Behr Paint

Even though both of these paints have many comparable features, they do not perform the same. Here’s an in-depth look into how these two paints compare.

Number of Coats Required

Sherwin Williams is one of the highest quality paints on the market, and therefore only takes one coat in order to achieve stunning results. This paint goes on smooth and rich, filling holes and gaps, so the paint doesn’t look splotchy. Adequate drying time is needed to see the full effect of this coat.

There’s a large difference in the Bher brand within their paint qualities. Water-based paints such as Behr’s Scuff Defense paint and primer will take more than one coat to achieve desired results. In contrast, Behr’s Dynasty is a premium one-coat paint that’s also stain-repellent, scuff-resistant, and fast-drying.

The plus side to water-based paints is easy clean-up when painting, whereas oil-based paints will need a paint stripper or special paint cleaning product to fix. This includes washing paintbrushes and rollers.

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Sherwin Williams has individual stores within most towns that staff employees versed in Sherwin Willams products. These stores also sell supplies needed to complete the painting project.

A branch of Sherwin Williams called HGTV home is also available at lowes stores throughout the nation. The employees at these stores will be less versed in paint but still knowledgeable.

Additional advice about Sherwin Williams products can be found on their website.

Because Behr paints can be found at any Home Depot, employees are trained in all the store workings rather than the paint alone. This can be helpful if a project requires more than painting, but it’s risky if a consumer has questions that an employee at Home Depot may answer incorrectly.

Although the Behr website has a more detailed customer service and expert section, consumers are more likely to ask questions while talking to an employee in the store.

behr marquee


Sherwin Williams has fewer variants between paint quality and, therefore, fewer colors. They carry a wide range of hues in eight color families. For consumers’ convenience, they also have online color pickers and references to interior designers with inspirations for beautiful rooms.

It’s helpful to take home paint samples and tape them to a wall or ask the employees which colors they sell often.

Behr carries varying hues in ten color families with four different interior paint-type choices. Once sheen and gloss are factored in, there are over 4,000 choices.

Thankfully, it’s easy to enter any home depot store and glance at the paints offered. In each store, there’s a wall full of paint samples that are free to take home. In the past, I’ve taped these paint samples to my wall to compare and contrast different shades as well as see them in different lighting.

If it’s too much trouble to go into a store, Behr also offers color selection guides on their website. Sometimes these guides are the best place to start as they also offer inspiration for consumer projects.

Drying Time

Sherwin Williams oil-based paints will have a longer drying time on average. However, the paint is very high quality because of this formula. For this paint, at least twenty-four hours is needed before a second coat can be applied, especially if it’s a semi-gloss paint.

Although second coats are rarely needed for this paint, so it’s not as big of an issue. It might be a more difficult paint for interior cabinets or small areas that are harder to dry.

Behr claims to be one of the fastest drying paints out there. This is great if one is looking to finish a project in a certain time frame. This generally applies to their latex water-based paints since oil paints will take longer to dry.

These water-based paints still need 6-8 hours before a second can be applied.


Benjamin Moore Paints are some of the longest-lasting paints on the market. With these paints, a consumer will only need to paint once, and the walls will stay looking nice for a very long time.

Lower-quality Bher paints will not last as long. Water-based paints, in general, do not stick as well, especially in humid rooms like bathrooms. Living in a humid climate will also keep the paint from sticking as well as it should.

If a consumer tends to change their mind about style a lot, buying water-based paint might not be a bad thing. However, too many coats of paint can damage a home, and removing the previous coat is a good option.

Higher-quality Bher paints will hold if a consumer is looking for something to really stick to the wall and look smooth.

Comparing Sherwin Williams and Behr- Pricing

Sherwin Williams is one of the most reasonably priced high-quality paints on the market. Considering the perks that come with choosing a more durable paint, Sherwin Williams is a great value for everything a consumer is getting.

Behr has many low-cost paint options that are of mid-range quality. The higher quality paints Bher offers are reasonable in price compared to other paint brands.

Considering Behr rates better than brands of similar prices, it’s good value.

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Behr vs Benjamin Moore – Ease of Use

Sherwin Williams is one of my favorite stores to enter. From the moment I step foot in their store, I know I’m going to get everything I need for painting my home. With experts to answer my questions about painting, I know it’s not going to be difficult to complete my project.

Knowing I’ll only need one coat is another huge plus to sticking with Sherwin Williams.

Behr paint is easily accessible at Home Depot locations scattered throughout the country. All the tools needed for any project can also be found in the same store. This makes using this paint easy. The only downside is the number of coats that may need to be applied depending on the quality of Behr paint purchased.

As long as all the correct tools are used, and the paint roller is not dry or over-filled, both paints will have a great finish as long as the appropriate amount of coats are used.

Pros and Cons

Sherwin Williams Pros:

  • High-quality paint
  • Easy access in stores and online
  • Field experts in their individual stores

Sherwin Williams Cons:

  • Fewer paint choices
  • Longer drying time

Behr Pros:

  • High Variety
  • Lower price options
  • Easy to find

Behr Cons:

  • Some paints are lower quality
  • Harder to find a field expert

Are There Any Alternative Options?

Sherwin Williams and Bher are only some of the paint options on the market. Here’s a list of other paints to consider before beginning a project.


Umber Novocolor II Universal Colorant

Valspar is comparable to Behr in many ways but is not as highly rated. The quality of this paint is lower than both Behr and Benjamin Moore but is not the worst option on the market.

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KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Matte Paint and Primer in One

KILLZ is an expensive paint that is highly rated. It can be found online or at Lowes. It often only needs one coat and can cover bright colors easily without primer.


Microblend Interior Paint and Primer

Microblend is a higher-priced water-based paint sold at Walmart or online. For me, this paint is not a good enough value considering the price. It is a very highly rated paint, however, so I wouldn’t totally dismiss it.


Glidden Interior Latex Ceiling Paint

Glidden is another Home Depot brand of paint one step below Behr. I wouldn’t say it’s the worst paint, but it’s not the best either. The good thing about having several brands is a variety of choices. Colors not found in Behr can be found with Glidden.



PPG is also a Home Depot brand. It’s two steps down from Behr in both quality and price but is still a decent paint.



Backdrop is a high-quality paint comparable in both price and coverage to Sherwin-Williams. This paint can only be purchased online and comes with free shipping. Backdrop also features low-priced paint samples that adhere to walls in sticker form.

The sticker paint samples can come in handy for seeing how a color looks in the lighting of your home. Sherwin Williams and Behr also offer this service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why is Sherwin William paint better?

Answer: It can be harder to swallow a big price tag when a consumer is unsure what makes a paint great. It’s easy to feel like paint is simply paint and nothing more. But the way this paint is made is going to add to the price.

For me, Sherwin Williams has reasonable prices for how well the paint performs. Its longevity and durableness are enough for me to choose this paint every time.

Its oil-based formula will last longer against humidity, dust, and scuffing. This is what takes it from mediocre paint to something worth buying.

Question: Why would Behr paint peel?

Answer: Water-based paints such as the lower quality Behr brands are susceptible to moisture in the air. This means bathrooms or humid climates will cause peeling over time.

What’s on the wall, to begin with, also needs to be taken into consideration. For example, if the paint is peeling soon after application, consider using a straight primer first, or switch to oil-based paint.

Thankfully Behr does carry higher-quality paints that won’t peel. When picking out a Behr paint, make sure to read the labels carefully to pick the right paint for the project.

Question: Does Sherwin Williams or Behr have a higher rating?

Answer: Sherwin Williams paint is more highly rated overall for its quality. It consistently rates in the higher star range than other paints. Behr doesn’t have a horrible star rating, although it is less than Sherwin Williams. When put head to head Benjamin Moore will perform better and have longer-lasting durability than Behr.

Question: Can Behr paint match a Sherwin Williams hue?

Answer: These two paints have entirely different color pallets. Both brands have the ability to tint their paints so it can more closely resemble other paints. But it’s best to go straight to the original brand to ensure the best color.

Both of these paints have the hues of their paint samples programmed into their computer. Therefore when returning to the same store the color can be matched exactly. It’s not worth the risk to retint a color at the wrong store.

Question: Can Sherwin Williams be made into spray paint?

Answer: Yes. Make sure when picking out the paint to tell the employee to make it usable for spray nozzles. It’s best to do this in-store, rather than risk diluting the paint by oneself. Adding water or other thinners can ruin the quality of paint.

Personally, I prefer the look of rolled and brushed paint, but sprayers can be a good option if a lot of area needs to be covered in a small amount of time. This is especially true for exterior house paints.

Question: How does Sherwin Williams color match work?

Answer: No new colors are created with this revolutionary app. It is really cool, however, to take a desired room color and find the right match to already existing Sherwin Williams colors.

This means inspiration for a room can be found on pinterest and made a reality by going to Sherwin Williams and matching the correct color.

The result of this is very accurate as it’s all done through smartphone and computer access that zeros in on the correct hues. Definitely, a handy app to have on one’s phone when renovating a home.

Question: Which paint is the best value?

Answer: That depends largely on the type of project being done. Looking at ratings and reviews alone, Sherwin Williams performs better overall. The price between Sherwin Williams and Bher’s high-quality paints are similar. Therefore, Sherwin Willams will give a better result for the same amount of money.

Strictly speaking in dollar bills, Bher is a cheaper option. They also carry paint that’s much less expensive, although not as long-lasting.

Verdict—Sherwin Williams Beats the Competition

Sherwin Williams is a tried and true paint brand for a reason. They are able to keep up so many individual stores because the paint is not only one of the top in its class but very user-friendly.

No matter the project, Sherwin Williams will get the job done and is my preferred option.

Behr isn’t a horrible option, either. They do have higher-quality paint that performs well, but there are a few things I would never use it for. I want my home to feel classy and welcoming, and I have the assurance Sherwin Williams will perform.

Whatever the project, I hope this article has brought clarity to painting issues one might face.


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