Benjamin Moore vs Sherwin-Williams: Which is the best paint for your project?

Eivydas “David” Phillips Eivydas “David” Phillips
Founder/President at Painters Inc.
Man choosing the best paint on the shelves of a store

When painting contractors seek out quality paint for their jobs, they often choose Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams – two of the best selling brands on the market. Professional painters the world over have used these paints to great success for many years. When it comes to choosing which one is “best” however, that’s almost an impossible distinction to make.

It’s not uncommon for painting contractors to become loyal to one brand or the other, but it’s also true that when seeking out quality paints, the best painters will not hesitate to go back and forth between brands, as sometimes it’s more about what’s available than which one is better than the other. In some cases, a client will have a specific color preference only offered by one of the brands, which can also impact decision making.

At Painters Inc., we get the question about paint preferences quite frequently. Fortunately, we can look back at years of experience and see that we have chosen both brands at a nearly equal rate. Of course, if a customer has a preference of one over the other, we’ll follow their lead. Fortunately, using either brand will result in excellent outcomes.

What is Benjamin Moore paint known for?

To date, Benjamin Moore boasts more than 3,500 paint color options. This comes as a shock to most property owners who would have difficulty naming only a fraction of them. The good news is that when our customers have an extremely particular opinion on colors, Benjamin Moore can step up and satisfy them.

Benjamin Moore sign

One of the big perks with choosing Benjamin Moore is that unlike inferior products, their paints really last. Rather than fading out quickly, losing their luster and requiring a fresh coat, Benjamin Moore looks great on surfaces for years and years. When our customers can’t risk having their new paint go drab and dingy, choosing Benjamin Moore will ensure their interiors (and exteriors) look fantastic and easy to maintain.

There is also a bit of panache that goes with choosing Benjamin Moore. Not only do our clients have peace of mind when they make this choice, they also get the opportunity to impress anyone who asks which brand they chose. Finally, Benjamin Moore paint is easy to apply, which can save on labor costs. It is also spatter resistant, which means cleanup is easier.

What is Sherwin-Williams paint known for?

Sherwin-Williams has around 1,700 paint colors from which to choose. For most clients, that’s more than enough. At Painters Inc., we’ve been able to match a color of Sherwin-Williams paint to every preference we’ve encountered among our customers. From baby rooms to executive board rooms, we’ve used Sherwin-William paints for all types of spaces.

Sherwin-Williams paint sign

Many contractors are impressed by the fact that Sherwin-Williams has more than 140 years of experience behind them, which means they’ve had a long time to perfect what they do. And they’ve done it well, as they are among the most trusted suppliers of quality paints in the industry.

Sherwin-Williams doesn’t rest on their laurels – the company continues to invest in research and development, constantly developing new recipes for all types of jobs, interior and exterior. Company representatives boast that they’re as committed now as they ever have been to providing a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-work-with paint. At Painters Inc., we can attest to those efforts.

Comparison of Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paints

When Painters Inc. customers inquire about paint brands, the two they bring up the most are Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams. Often, they’re curious about why we would choose one over the other, and the truth is that we don’t necessarily believe that one is better than the other. Availability, price and personal preferences among our clients are usually the deciding factor.

Wide selection of paint products

Paint differs in more than just color; some are made for exterior uses and others for interior surfaces. They also differ in luster (finish) and texture. Some are more expensive than others, which can also influence choice. There are actually several factors that make one paint wildly different from another.

What paint products does Benjamin Moore make?

Painting projects can differ quite a bit, which means the paint used should also differ. For example, some interiors require a paint with few to no chemicals being released into the air (low VOC paint), such as the healthcare environment. Benjamin Moore makes paint for just about every type of environment. Versatility is one of the reasons it’s a go-to option for so many painting contractors.

Benjamin Moore offers a wide range of job-specific, high-performance products for every type of commercial and retail space including:

  • A fast drying paint, Benjamin Moore makes painting projects that require a quick turnaround completely possible
  • As a scuff-resistant paint, it’s less prone to being damaged in high-traffic areas
  • Need a chalkboard or dry erase paint? Benjamin Moore has you covered
  • As a premium paint brand, the company adheres to strict brand standards
  • If you’ve got a floor that needs to be painted, Benjamin Moore has developed a highly durable option for you
  • Benjamin Moore paint is fade resistant, ensuring that you won’t have to take on another painting project for years to come

Benjamin Moore is committed as a company to continually researching and developing new paints for every customer need.

Explore Benjamin Moore interior paints

Benjamin Moore interior paints

Painting contractors need access to a variety of paint types in order to meet their customers’ interior needs, and Benjamin Moore meets that standard with ease. The qualities of each of these products are described below:

Eco Spec™ paint

For consumers who want to help the environment as much as they can, Eco Spec is a go-to product. Some paints are known for off putting volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), but with Eco Spec, you have no VOCs at all.

Available in 3,000 colors (the pigments, which are a proprietary development from the company called Gennex, are also free of VOCs) and easy to work with, it’s a popular option for interior painting where it’s important that little to no VOCs be present. It also uses a waterborne coating, allowing it to dry fast and making it spatter resistant. The finish is washable, even and smooth.

Aura® interior paint

A high-quality paint that appeals to those with discerning tastes and a flexible budget, Aura is a natural choice. The most expensive in the line of Benjamin Moore paints, this one is a thick, self-priming paint that is treated with a mildew resident compound, which makes it a great option for interior areas painting that encounter moisture.

Aura also boasts a VOC-free standing and is highly durable. Aura utilizes a proprietary Color Lock technology that locks in color for an amazing depth that lasts a long time.

ben® paint

Looking to create a style that’s all your own? Choose ben Waterborne Interior Paint, is a premium quality acrylic latex paint. It’s formulated to allow for a smooth application without leaving brush marks. It’s also known as a paint that allows for fixing mistakes before it dries.

This paint and primer combo is low to zero VOC and is engineered with the Gennex color technology. The finish is durable but smooth. Popular in interior painting projects in break rooms, eateries and pubs, this option is available in 3,000 colors and comes in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss finish.

REGAL™ Select Premium interior paint

Benjamin Moore’s 100% acrylic paint and primer combo can be found in the Regal Select line, which is enhanced with mildew-resistant properties. It meets the budget of those who find the Aura line a bit out of their reach, but it maintains the zero-VOC emissions standard and has a low odor while wet.

Contractors love it because it’s easy to apply and because its durability allows it to hold up year after year. Considered a premium-quality paint because of its elegant finish, Regal Select applies well to everything from drywall to masonry, plaster to wood and on non-ferrous metals.

Ultra Spec 500 paint

Another zero-VOC paint is Ultra Spec 500. This is a popular option among property managers who want a consistent paint that cleans up easily with soap and water, comes in virtually unlimited colors and is a cinch to touch up after wear in high traffic areas.

This option also uses Benjamin Moore’s Gennex colorant system, so it offers a decorative yet uniform flat finish. It’s a quick-drying paint that offers superior flow and leveling.

With so many lines of quality indoor paint, Benjamin Moore has something for everyone, regardless of their industry or how their spaces are being used.

Top Benjamin Moore exterior paints

Benjamin Moore exterior paints

With a variety of exterior paints that fit just about any type of project, Benjamin Moore has earned a reputation as a paint brand that contractors can trust.

AURA® exterior water based paint

Aura exterior water based paint is 100% acrylic with a low lustre finish. It offers premium performance with a resin technology and Benjamin Moore’s Gennex colorant system.

Part of its durability comes from the fact that it is made with high solids, making it an exterior paint that can be applied at temperatures as low as 40 degrees F. For exteriors subjected to wind and rain, Aura holds up.

REGAL® SELECT exterior hi-build paint

Regal Select is one of Benjamin Moore’s high-end exterior paints that is mildew-resistant and self priming. It can be used on a variety of materials, such as non-ferrous metal, wood, vinyl and masonry. Regal Select is 100% acrylic and strongly adheres to exterior surfaces, making it a durable and long-lasting paint.

Painting contactors choose this paint, in part, because it applies with a brush, roller or with a sprayer with excellent flow and leveling properties.

BEN® EXTERIOR water based paint

With Ben Waterborne Exterior paint, Benjamin Moore brings cost-effective paint to the marketplace. But it doesn’t sacrifice on options or quality. For example, Ben comes in flat, low luster and soft gloss finishes. Being 100% acrylic makes it a good candidate for just about any type of exterior surface material, including everything from stucco to cinder block, primed metal to shingles and siding.

When an exterior painting project calls for a product that can be applied at 35 degrees F, contactors make this their go-to exterior paint.

ULTRA SPEC exterior paint

With its 100% latex formula, Ultra Spec offers professional-quality that has met the needs of contractors tackling exterior painting projects where the ease of application is of utmost importance. Available in thousands of colors, this paint is also a zero-VOC product that fits into the scope of painters focused on the environment.

Ultra Spec is known for its superior coverage, ease of application and ease of cleanup, all while providing maximum protection.

REGAL® SELECT exterior paint

Just as with the Regal Select hi-build paint, the Regal Select exterior paint is 100% acrylic latex. This variation is fortified with alkyd resin for extra protection. With a high-build composition, Regal Select is also known for its durability and long lasting qualities.

For painting contractors looking to cover large areas in one coat, this paint fits the bill. Popular on aluminum siding painting projects, this paint is also known to keep its color despite exposure to the elements.

AURA® grand entrance paint

When vivid colors, luxury, elegance and durability are a must, Aura Grand Entrance paint meets the criteria. Often used on exterior doors and other exterior surfaces, Aura Grand Entrance has properties that allow it to cure with lustrous finishes.

This is an enamel paint, which provides a glassy finish, yet it is easy to apply and comes in so many colors that building owners are only limited by their imagination.

There is no shortage of options in the exterior paints you can get from Benjamin Moore. Consult with Painters Inc. and make sure you get the type of paint and color you prefer for your exterior painting project.

Why do professional painting contractors use Benjamin Moore paints?
  • The folks at Benjamin Moore have done their research and development, so much so that they have more than 100 patents. The innovation continues and more products are being released into the market for interior and exterior work.
  • For property owners insistent on low- or zero-VOC products, Benjamin Moore has the paint. Many of the products from this company meet the MPI Green Performance standard, making them qualified for various environmentally-focused credits.
  • For long-lasting finishes and colors that don’t fade, Benjamin Moore has developed a proprietary colorant technology called Gennex.
  • Some projects require an asthma-friendly paint, and with Eco Spec, Benjamin Moore can proudly stand behind its eco-responsible paint that will not trigger an asthma or allergy attack. No emissions and zero VOCs define this paint, but it also looks great on surfaces.

What paint products does Sherwin-Williams make?

Before Sherwin-Williams introduces a product to the market, the research and development stages are followed by a testing phase where they are put through a variety of scenarios that ensures their unique features, such as low odor, durability, washability and mar-resistance, will stand the test of time.

In fact, exterior paints are put through years of exposure to a variety of weather conditions as the ultimate test of their durability. Furthermore, interior paints are also put through testing procedures outlined by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Important properties to look for in paint include how they look (aesthetics) and their ease of application. Durability is also of utmost importance. Fortunately, Sherwin-Williams develops interior paint to meet these standards.

Most interior paints today are latex or alkyd-based. Alkyds are synthetic resins that mimic oil paint, but actually perform better than natural oils. The differences between latex and oil paint are listed below:

  • Latex - Sherwin-Williams latex paints are made to be highly durable and to dry quickly following application. Gloss retention keeps the finish looking great for years and years. One of the biggest advantages to latex paint is that it can be easily cleaned with soap, water and light scrubbing.
  • Alkyd - stain resistance is one of the biggest advantages to using alky paint (AKA oil paint). It has excellent adhesion properties and is highly durable. Alkyd paint is often used in high traffic areas and on trim work.
Explore Sherwin-Williams interior paints

Different interior painting projects require different types of paint. Surfaces and room types often determine what kind of paint should be used. There are other factors, such as whether or not the paint will need to be low- to zero-VOC and what type of finish is desired, from matte to glossy, that are also important to consider.

Sherwin-Williams interior paints

Sherwin-Williams has developed interior paint to be stain resistant and spatter resistant. The paint is easy to touch up and provides excellent coverage, as it is easy to apply and requires fewer coats than lower quality paint.

There are several types of paints from which to choose with Sherwin-Williams:

SuperPaint interior paint

SuperPaint is a paint and primer in one. It is easy to apply and dries quickly. It also offers “great hide,” meaning when you make a color change, this paint works excellently. The finish is long-lasting and will even hold up to light scrubbing.

Sherwin-Williams makes a latex-based SuperPaint and an acrylic-based version. The latex paint includes sanitizing properties while the acrylic paint includes air purifying qualities. Get either in a flat sheen to a semi-gloss sheen.

Emerald interior paint

Emerald, like its name, is a real gem. It’s also one of the more expensive interior paints made by Sherwin-Williams, but it’s luxurious finish is worth it. Emerald is offered in latex, acrylic and a hybrid acrylic/latex variety.

For trim work, choose the urethane enamel option. Considered a premium paint, it is resistant to water streaking and is also resistant to stains. It offers excellent coverage and will even hide dark colors. It is also washable. Looking for a paint that is antimicrobial and prevents mold/mildew growth? Emerald is the paint for you.

Duration interior paint

Like its name would suggest, Duration is great for surfaces that require maximum protection. High traffic areas, such as playrooms and kitchens, are a great fit for Duration, but this paint also includes properties that make it resistant to mold/mildew.

A stain-blocking formula also makes it highly durable, but also useful when painting over existing stains. Most new stains can be wiped away with a cloth and water. Duration is a paint and primer combo and is easy to apply. If Emerald is not in the budget, Duration is a more cost-friendly option.

Cashmere interior paint

Silky and smooth are the two characteristics most often assigned to Cashmere, an acrylic latex paint that is a paint and primer combo. Despite being one of the more affordable paints offered by Sherwin-Williams, it is easy to apply and dries with a satisfying “silky” finish.

The interior paint also has a slight texture to it that adds to its luxury, which makes it a popular choice for many residential projects. It has a flat enamel to a low or medium luster, but it is also scrubbable, making it easy to clean.

Captivate interior paint

Captive is a paint and primer in one, is easy to apply, offers dependable durability and is often used on previously painted surfaces, as it offers excellent hide qualities.

It comes in more than 1,700 colors and in three sheens – flat, satin and semi-gloss. It’s most often applied to primed plaster, masonry, primed drywall and wood. One of the features of Captive is that it is low VOC, making it a perfect option for environments where fumes aren’t allowed. It’s also one of Sherwin-Williams’ most affordable paints.

Harmony interior paint

While Harmony has a great look to it, the paint was developed to improve indoor air quality. It has a zero-VOC formula and can even help to break down VOCs coming from fabrics, carpets and cabinets.

It’s odor elimination qualities can also help improve the normal odors that occur in interiors. Harmony is UL Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified and is also able to resist mold and mildew growth. These properties add to the cost of the interior paint, which makes it more expensive than most Sherwin-Williams lines of paint.

Sherwin-Williams has much to offer with its lines of interior paint products. Get more information about which one(s) will work best for you by bringing Painters Inc. into your interior painting project.

Top Sherwin-Williams exterior paints

Sherwin-Williams exterior paints

Exterior paint needs to be rugged and durable, able to hold up to some of the most challenging environments, and Shewrin Williams has several exterior paints that can do just that.

Emerald exterior paint

Emerald is Sherwin-Williams’ premium (pricey) exterior paint, offering top-notch durability and stunning finishes. This paint and primer-in-one allows for more complete coverage with fewer coats. It’s built to stand the test of time and can resist fading, peeling and blistering. It also contains mildew-resistant properties, yet can meet most VOC regulations.

Emerald exterior paint comes loaded with lots of abilities, including a “self-cleaning technology” which allows dirt to wash away. It’s available in flat, satin and gloss finishes.

FlexTemp exterior paint

When painting in temperature extremes is important, FlexTemp is a great option, as it can be applied anywhere from 35 degrees to 120 degrees.

This acrylic latex paint is highly durable and provides great adhesion and resistance to flaking, weathering and peeling for the long term. It can also be tinted in VinylSafe paint colors and is available in flat and satin sheens.

SuperPaint exterior paint

SuperPaint lives up to its name in cold environments, but it’s also applied on exterior surfaces where the temperatures are hot and the air is humid. This acrylic latex paint is durable, scrubbable and non-reflective, which means it can hide surface imperfections.

SuperPaint has qualities of more expensive paints, but is considered one of the more affordable lines from Sherwin-Williams. It comes in flat, semi-gloss, satin and velvet finishes.

A-100 Exterior Latex Paint

Offering good hide, adhesion and color retention, A-100 is known as a “proven performer” in the Sherwin-Williams line of exterior paint.

It has efficient coverage capabilities and is a popular option for property owners that make frequent color changes. It can be applied at temperatures as low as 35 degrees and is available in satin, flat, gloss and low sheen finishes. It is one of the most affordable paints from Sherwin-Williams and comes with a 15-year warranty.

Need more information about Sherwin-Williams products? When you partner with Painters Inc., we guide you through the process of choosing the best paint for your exterior painting project. 

Why do professional painting contractors use Sherwin-Williams paints?

Sherwin-Williams’ quality reputation didn’t come out of thin air – they earned it and continue to build upon it. The following are some of the top reasons why contractors prefer Sherwin-Williams paint:

  • Sherwin-Williams constantly researches paint recipes and has a long list of patents to prove they’re always busy doing their research and development. Contractors know they can count on something new and useful coming almost every year.
  • Contractors are often requested to use low- or zero-VOC paints, and this is something they can get from Sherwin-Williams in a variety of their paint lines. 
  • Sherwin-Williams paint is thick because it uses more solids, which makes it easier to work with and will cover more surface area. Furthermore, most surfaces can be completely covered in one to two coats.
  • Painting contractors aim to please because their reputation is on the line with every painting project. Using a quality paint, like Sherwin-Williams, ensures that the painter’s skills will be well represented when the project is finished. Furthermore, the durability of the paint keeps customers happy.

Paint color selection & fade resistance

When paint is exposed to the elements, including UV light, it fades. Fortunately, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have developed fade-resistant formulas for their interior and exterior paints that allow it to hold onto its color for a long time. Not only will surfaces look great for years and years, the property will retain more value and won’t have to be repainted as often as surfaces painted with a lesser quality product.

The fade-resistant formulas don’t skimp on tint: Both companies have developed coloring processes that allow the dye to mix perfectly with the other paint ingredients. And speaking of color, there are so many from which to choose that you can develop a strategy for every space in your property, interior and exterior. Read the complete guide about choosing the right paint colors.

Paint cans and color palette on grey background

Long-lasting paint colors from Benjamin Moore

If variety is what you need, you find it with Benjamin Moore paint – more than 3,500 colors and mixes that are sure to please anyone’s palette. From interior to exterior, the colors, sheens and textures of the paint run the gamut and will be the finishing touch on any surface.

When you see the Gennex Color Technology label on the interior and exterior paint, you know you’re getting a color fading resistance formula providing maximum protection against the elements. Nobody wants to undergo frequent repainting projects, so if the longevity of a quality look is important to you, Gennex is the answer.

We keep an eye on the competition, which can’t match the definition “premium color” or “longevity” with their formulas. Benjamin Moore engineers developed Gennex Color Technology in an effort to go the extra mile to provide protection to colors that span the spectrum. This effort includes identifying chemicals that compromise the integrity of most paints, elementating them from the formula while adding just the right mix of chemicals that give the paints uncompromised strength.

Painters Inc. has had great success finding colors that suit customers’ while using Benjamin Moore paint. There are so many to choose from that property owners are sure to find the tones that will be a perfect match for any interior or exterior surface.

Fade-resistant paint colors from Sherwin-Williams

Just because Sherwin-Williams has a wide palette of colors from which to choose doesn’t mean they’ve stopped developing exciting new ones for customers. The company continues to grow its catalog and give property owners fresh hues for bold to understated interior and exterior designs.

One way Sherwin-Williams has served customers is through a computerized system called Sher-Color, which has been called one of the paint industry’s most advanced colorized matching systems. This allows customers to choose the colors they want in a fast and efficient manner, which means they don’t have to go through a trial and error process in getting the colors they need.

At Painters Inc., our personal experience with Sherwin-Williams has been so positive that we have confidence in every project that includes this brand. We know that when a customer has a particular color or group of colors in mind for their spaces, we can count on Sherwin-Williiams’ color catalog to cover any situation.

Paint coverage and durability

Three things most property owners are looking for in paint include quality, durability and paint coverage efficiency. They want something that looks wonderful, lasts a long time and covers the most square footage possible. That's something Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams excel at and is why they are the two most sought-after paints on the market.

gym interior painting

Are there differences between the two brands? At Painters Inc., we’ve used both brands for years and have not chosen a winner – they are both excellent choices, and when it comes to the quality of the look of the paints, they are both far and away the leaders in the industry. If it’s pure aesthetics that you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with either.

While you won’t always get top quality when you pay top prices, the adage of “you get what you pay for” is true with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams.

They are both costlier than lesser quality paints, especially the premium paints each company offers, but they are worth it given their durability, paint coverage and look.

From a cost perspective, property owners have to recognize that lesser quality paints don’t cover as much square footage per gallon, don’t last as long, are less cleanable and simply don’t have the same aesthetic appeal, which can really impact value. It’s for these reasons that Painters Inc. will only use quality paints from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams.

Ultra-durable Benjamin Moore paints

To meet the “ultra durable” expectation property owners have, Benjamin Moore developed Gennex Color Technology, which doesn’t compromise on the quality of the look while adding durability to the mix. Rather than choose a color that looks great for the first year then takes on different characteristics as it ages, Gennex Color Technology ensures the colors remain the same for years and years.

Exterior paints take a beating from Mother Nature. To make sure your exteriors look great for an extended length of time, choose Regal Select, Aura Grand Entrance and Ben Exterior. These are paints infused with the Gennex Color Technology and are proven to last.

Top-quality Sherwin-Williams paints

Premium paints are costlier for a reason; the best quality ingredients used in premium Sherwin-Williams paint, making them more expensive. Also adding to the cost is the high percentage of solids used in these paints, which allows them to be spread easier, cover more area and provide a thicker coating for lasting durability.

When you pay top dollar for the best quality paints from this brand, you will see mildew resistance, less chalking, better adhesion to surfaces and less spatter. Furthermore, these paints will hide uneven coloration on surfaces. The perk to using premium paint is that it turns out to be more economical when you consider that it covers more area with fewer coats and lasts much longer than paint that doesn’t use high-quality ingredients.

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams pricing differences

Taking on a painting project comes with a variety of expenses, so it only makes sense that a budget-minded person would look for places to cut costs. Painting contractors will tell you that cutting costs on paint is a bad idea, because the savings only come up to bite you in the end, simply because bargain paint doesn’t look good and it doesn’t last.

HOA apartment hallway repaint in Wheaton, IL

Repainting is a costly endeavor, especially if it has to be done frequently. For example, think of the other costs involved with a painting project, from brushes to rollers, painters tape to drop cloths and other materials used to protect surfaces. And then there are the labor costs, which are usually the most significant. When you have to take on another painting project because the previous one looked horrible or the paint quickly faded, chalked, cracked or peeled, you’re taking on all those expenses again.

Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore offer the top quality paints that you can rely on to prevent having to repaint your surfaces so soon.

Furthermore, it takes less work to apply these paints (labor savings), they are easier to clean up because they spatter less and they look amazing on your surfaces. Finally, the biggest perk is that aesthetically pleasing look you get with these paints last a very long time.

Commercial painting contractors generally purchase Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paints in 2-gallon cans, which brings cost savings to clients. Each brand charges roughly the same amount for their paint, including their top-quality premium paint. The best painting contractors will always negotiate pricing with their paint dealers to give their clients the best overall bid for a project.

How much does Benjamin Moore paint cost?

The price of Benjamin Moore paint will fluctuate depending on the market, which includes supply and demand and the cost of ingredients put in the paints. However, the chart below offers a good idea of what the current market is in regard to the price per gallon.

Interior & exterior paint prices
Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior Paint
Benjamin Moore Natura® Interior Paint
Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500® Interior Paint
Benjamin Moore Aura® Exterior Paint
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint
Benjamin Moore ben Waterborne Exterior Paint

Aura, Natura and Regal are premium lines of paint from Benjamin Moore, using a higher percentage of solids and ingredients that resist mildew and fading, therefore they cost more than the other products. There are lower priced options in these lines that can be used when the areas being painted call for fewer of the premium ingredients.

Aura, which comes in at around $85 per gallon, is known for its rich and vibrant colors that last due to the Color Lock technology used in it. Part of the expense associated with Aura is related to the added ingredients, including those that prevent mildew and add durability.

While the Ultra Spec 500 interior paint and Waterborne Exterior paint are the lowest priced paints from Benjamin Moore, they are designed to look great and last far longer than bargain paints, so they are great options for projects that have lower budgets and/or are being used in areas that experience less exposure to the elements.

How much does Sherwin-Williams paint cost?

The chart below represents standard pricing per gallon on Sherwin-Williams paint and does not represent what contractors are able to negotiate or buy in bulk, which can add savings to a project. The price of these paints will vary depending on ingredients used in them, but the average on the lower side is around $38 per gallon and $100 for the premium options.

Interior & exterior paint prices
Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Latex Paint
Sherwin-Williams Duration Home Interior Acrylic Latex Paint
Sherwin-Williams Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex
Sherwin-Williams Captivate Interior Latex
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex
Sherwin-Williams A-100 Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint

Emerald Interior Latex paint is the crown jewel of Sherwin-Williams’ premium line and the price reflects that status at $100-plus per gallon. It’s expensive because of the ingredients used in it that prevent water streaking and stains and it also offers a luxury finish that lower priced paints can’t match. On the lower end of cost per gallon of interior paint is the Captivate line, which despite its lower price point ($39-$43 per gallon), also offers durability and can be used on many different surface types.

For exterior paint, two of the most popular are SuperPaint and A-100. Both can be applied when the temperatures drop no lower than 35 degrees. SuperPaint is costlier ($64-$72 per gallon) than A-100 ($50--$65 per gallon) because it includes some of the ingredients used in premium paints.

Working with your painting contractor you can get the right interior and exterior paints that fit your budget. And because all paints offered through Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore are quality products, you really can’t go wrong. However, it’s important to note that most premium paints that can be twice as expensive as some of the lower cost paints include ingredients that make them durable and keep their color and luster over time, which can lead to an overall cost savings.

An example of how premium paints can save you money in the long run is to consider that you use 20 gallons of a lower-grade paint that costs around $30 per gallon and has a life expectancy of around six years. A high-quality paint that costs around $45 per gallon that has a life expectancy of 25 years gives you a cost savings of around $64 per year.

Higher-priced paints vs cheaper paints

The reputations Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore paints have garnered over the years is due mostly to the high-quality ingredients of the paint. While you’ll pay more for these paints, you will need to use more lower-quality paint to cover the same area, and yet you won’t get the same luxury or durability that you get with Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams. Therefore, purchasing “less expensive” paint can actually end up costing you more in the long run, which is why “high-priced” paint is preferred.

  • Cheaper paints lack quality in almost every area. Not only do they prove ineffective on specific types of surfaces (substrates), they are also inefficient at covering unevenly painted surfaces, which means it requires more coats to even out the differences.
  • The higher quality paint from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offer more complete coverage with fewer coats and are efficient at covering many types of surfaces, whether they are unevenly painted or not.

Choosing a paint that can hold up to exposure to the elements is important, but it’s also crucial to choose a paint that will stand up to scrubbing, particularly in areas where high traffic leads to dirt and grime buildup. Inexpensive paints are notoriously bad at holding up to scrubbing, making them a poor choice for high-traffic areas. Higher priced paint, on the other hand, includes ingredients that make it easier to wash off debris and stains and the paint holds up to multiple washings.

While it might seem an inconvenience to pay more up front for your high-quality paint, it pays off in the long run, and even immediately, as you’ll notice how easy it is to clean.

Eco-friendly paints

Property owners insist on paints that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOCs are emitted in a gas form from wet paint and are a health risk when breathed in. VOCs, which are man made, are used in many products, including solvents, refrigerants and paint.

modern office blue color

Higher levels of VOCs can be expected in exterior paints because VOCs improve the life of paint directly exposed to the elements. However, many property owners, especially those in the healthcare industry, insist on low- to no-VOCs in interior paints.

Eco-friendly paints are environmentally safe, and some paints have even been developed to assist in clearing the air, including Sherwin-Williams’ Air Purifying Technology. Your painting contractor can address any concerns you have about VOCs and ensure that you get a paint that is as eco-friendly as you need it to be.

VOC-free paint from Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s foray into eco-friendly paint was actually a groundbreaker, as it was the first U.S.-based company to bring a zero-VOC paint to the market. Gennex Color Technology, Benjamin Moore’s eco-friendly recipe, allows pigment (colorants) to be added to the paint without introducing VOCs.

Most generic paints use a surfactant, which is a VOC, to assist in distributing the color in the paint, while also aiding in its application and leveling on surfaces. Gennex takes the surfactant out of the mix, but has a proprietary recipe that aids in distribution, application ease and leveling.

Fortunately, there are more than 3,000 colors from which to choose, all using the Gennex technology. If you’re looking for a high-quality paint with consistent colors and zero VOCs, any Gennex paint will cover your needs.

VOC-free paint from Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams paints are free of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), which are toxic to humans, causing numerous health issues. They are also harmful to aquatic life. Alkylphenol ethoxylates were once widely used in paint to help the ingredients mix together more soundly, but Sherwin-Williams has found safer, eco-friendly ways to achieve this.

Furthermore, Sherwin-Williams has helped to improve air quality on the jobsite by creating technologies for its paint that eliminate or reduce odors (often associated with formaldehyde) and reduce VOCs.

In fact, the company’s zero-VOC standards, which are part of its Harmony Interior acrylic latex paint line, have been awarded the Greenguard “gold certification.” The Harmony line is also silica free, which is important because silica has been associated with lung disease.

Which is the better paint – Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams?

So, is Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams leading the charge for a more eco-friendly solution in painting projects? Both should be awarded the gold medal, because not only do they each offer zero-VOC paint options, they are all highly durable and look fantastic. To stay on top, both companies make significant research investments that work toward creating a higher-quality and safer-to-use paint.

Does this commitment to quality and safety come at a cost? The short answer is yes, but definitely not in regard to health, safety, quality or durability. And as we have already mentioned, the durability factor ends up saving money in the long run.

As a professional painting contractor with years of experience using both paints, we’re not picking a favorite. However, there are situations where clients do have a personal preference and we’re happy to oblige them. We’re fully confident that these two brands, which have practically identical satisfaction scores, have the qualities it takes for us to advocate the use of either.

What Makes Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams preferable to other paints?

The word “premium” isn’t tossed around lightly when it comes to how Painters Inc. describes the top paint brands. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have earned their place at the top of the market, beating every other brand. Why are they better than other brands? The answer is that they offer higher quality finishes, last longer, are easier to apply and are more washable than other brands.

3 painters interior project

At Painters Inc., we use the best tools and the best paint because we’re committed to quality finishes and pleasing our customers. That’s why we use Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint. We know our customers don’t want to take on another painting project any time soon, so when we complete the job, they know we won’t be back until they require a new color or many years down the road when the elements have finally taken their toll and it is finally time for repainting.

Premium interior paints vs other paints

The look of interior surfaces can be greatly transformed by using the right paint. Choosing a quality paint, such as those made by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, and having the right painting contractor apply them guarantees that interiors will look amazing. The following are some of the benefits you’ll experience with a premium interior paint:

  • Zero VOCs

    Premium paint brands are committed to safer, cleaner workspaces, which is why they offer no- to low-VOC options. Lesser quality paints still use ingredients that contribute odor and potentially harmful VOCs.
  • Better coverage

    Premium paints are far easier to apply to surfaces than low-quality paint, which can save on labor costs. Furthermore, premium paints cover larger areas, which means less must be purchased compared to bargain brands.
  • Less dirt buildup

    Premium paint includes additives that help deflect the buildup of dirt, mold and mildew. This keeps surfaces looking better for longer periods of time.
  • Hold up to scrubbing

    Premium paint is essential in high-traffic areas where stains and scuffs on surfaces are common. It’s essential because these surfaces have to be washed/scrubbed frequently and lower-quality paint will rub off under this kind of pressure.
  • Less spatter

    Controlling spatter is difficult, which is why using paint that resists spatter is important. With less spatter comes more refined finishes, which is something premium paint offers.

You will pay less for lower-quality paint, but you will also see a huge difference in quality and durability. Even when applied by highly-trained and experienced painting contractors, low-quality paint simply can’t live up to the standards set by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams.

Premium exterior paints vs other paints

It’s a given that the look of exteriors should be enhanced by a new paint job. However, bargain brands often miss this important factor and they definitely fall short on durability, which means whatever aesthetic appeal they have initially will quickly diminish.

The following is what you can expect with a high-quality exterior paint from Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams.

  • Durability

    Premium exterior paint is formulated to withstand UV rays from the sun, wind, rain, hail and sleet/snow. Premium exterior paint outlasts bargain brands by a long shot.
  • Mold/mildew resistance

    Exterior surfaces can be prone to mildew and mold buildup, particularly in shaded areas. Using a premium paint with the right additives will prevent mold and mildew from building up.
  • Color retention

    Most repainting jobs fix a color fading problem. Premium brands have been formulated to make sure the color lasts, which is not something lesser quality paint is designed to do.
  • Multi-surface adaptability

    Premium paint can be applied to many surface types, from cement to wood, stucco to drywall and just about anything in between. With more solids included, premium brands cover complex surfaces with optimal results.
  • Maximum adhesion

    The better a paint adheres to the surface, the less likely you are to experience blistering, peeling or flaking. Premium paints offer maximum adhesion qualities that lesser quality paints do not. Furthermore, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint is far less likely to experience chalking.

Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore have designed their exterior paint formulas with ingredients that not only look spectacular, they also last a long time. The alternative brands that you find at your local hardware store skimp on the ingredients, which is why going with the premium brands makes more sense.

Choose the best quality paints for commercial painting projects

Most commercial property owners are focused on the finest details as well as their budgets. While the up front costs of choosing premium paint is more than what’s available at the big box stores, the quality finishes and durability turn out to be more cost-effective in the end. That’s why so many commercial properties are painted with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams products.

Each brand produces paints that are a perfect fit for commercial properties. They include high-performance coating solutions that hold up well in high-traffic spaces, but also look professional. From eco-friendly options to finishes with luxurious luster, there are a variety of choices offered by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams.

Warehouse painting in Woodridge, IL

Professional painting contractors opt for premium paints

Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore are the go-to brands that Painters Inc. has relied on for many years. These companies have an unmatched commitment to quality and continue to evolve with new and sturdier paints that bring an aesthetic appeal that other paint manufacturers can’t match.

At Painters Inc., we’re dedicated to quality and pleasing our customers, and we know the best way to do that is to use premium paints from Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore. We consistently hear from our customers upon completing a painting project that the outcomes exceed their expectations, and by using these premium paints we are able to maintain our reputation as the preferred painting contractor in the Chicago area.

Frequently Asked Questions about Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint

There is plenty of ground to cover in becoming fully informed when you’re at the onset of a painting project, and questions about Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint definitely top the list. We’ve created an FAQ that answers some of the question you probably have:

How do you choose the right Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint colors?

Fortunately, each brand has services that will guide you through their colors. For example, Sherwin-Williams has an online assistant called ColorSnap that can help you visualize how colors will look in your spaces. Similarly, Benjamin Moore offers its Personal Color Viewer. But if you need more guidance, check out our extensive article about how to choose the best paint for your interior and exterior.

Can Benjamin Moore match a Sherwin-Williams color?

Each brand uses different colorants, so it’s not possible to get an exact match. However, with so many colors from which to choose, anyone who is fond of a Benjamin Moore color is likely to find something very close to it with Sherwin-Williams.

Is Benjamin Moore paint better than Sherwin-Williams?

As a professional contractor with years of experience using both, we cannot make the distinction that one is better than the other. Using either of these brands is a smart choice for all types of surfaces.

Are Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams the same?

They are not the same, but share the distinction of being quality brands whose performance exceeds bargain brands. Each company has developed its own patents and uses different colorant processes to achieve their quality aesthetic and reputation for durability.

Can you mix Benjamin Moore paint with Sherwin-Williams paint?

No. Because there are differences in their products, including their colorant process, it’s never recommended to mix one brand with another’s. There are also sheen qualities to consider that can make outcomes unpredictable when two brands are mixed.

Are Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint VOC free?

Each brand offers different lines of paints that contain no VOCs and low VOCs. For example, Harmony and EcoSelect are Sherwin-Williams paints with zero VOCs. Benjamin Moore’s Eco Spec is a zero-VOC paint, and the company has also patented Gennex, it’s zero-VOC colorant process.

Is Benjamin Moore more expensive than Sherwin-Williams?

Each brand is very similar in price and has a range of products at different prices, from around $39 to $100 per gallon. Most painting contractors buy in bulk and get their paint from these companies at a discount.

Are Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams worth the money?

Yes. Each company uses more solids in their paints than bargain paint manufacturers, which provides better coverage, a better look and longer life. While you’re paying more for them, they actually save you money in the long run.

Eivydas “David” Phillips
Eivydas “David” Phillips
Eivydas “David” Phillips is the founder and president of Painters Inc. He and his team have built a solid reputation as the preferred painting contractor in the Chicago area, capable of handling variety of complex commercial jobs, completing them on time and surpassing expectations. With a customer-centric focus, Painters Inc guarantees reliability on every job, large or small.