Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are some of the best paint brands on earth. Both painting companies make quality paint used widely by professional painters and DIY-warrior homeowners alike. But which paint is best?
In this article, we’ll compare Benjamin Moore vs Sherwin Williams to help you decide which paint to use for your next painting project. We’ll uncover the highest-quality paint to use for interiors versus exteriors and share professional painter tips that’ll save you money and time.
Which Paint Is Best?
The best paint between Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore is Benjamin Moore, by a slight margin. In terms of paint quality, durability, coverage, and ease of application, Benjamin Moore’s paint takes the cake. Indeed, their indoor paint product, Regal Select, is hands down the best interior paint on the market. Likewise, Benjamin Moore’s acrylic exterior paint products like Aura are pricey but may be worth the cost.
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Having said that, you can’t really go wrong with either Sherwin Williams or Ben Moore. From a pure paint quality standpoint, they are nearly equivalent. Accordingly, they both carry bad, better, and premium paint lines that are priced differently.
All in all, Benjamin Moore or Sherwin paints are in a league of their own. Especially when compared to Behr, Valspar, or PPG paint brands.
Professional Painter Opinion
Among professional painters, it’s like comparing Coca-Cola versus Pepsi. Some simply prefer the taste of Pepsi over Coke or vice versa. Both painting brands make high-quality paint but some painters swear by either one or the other.
But Benjamin Moore does have one major weakness when compared to Sherwin-Williams paint. Before we dive into that, let’s talk about the differences in the price of Benjamin Moore versus Sherwin Williams paints.
Sherwin Williams vs Benjamin Moore Costs
Benjamin Moore costs slightly more than Sherwin Williams house paint when comparing similar products. As mentioned prior, both companies carry different lines of interior and exterior paint like Cashmere, Emerald, or Duration. Across the board, the average gallon of paint at Sherwin Williams is $53 versus $57 at Benjamin Moore.
Sherwin-Williams also carries Superpaint, which experts consider to be the best balance of price and quality in any paint. As a reference, Superpaint retails at around $48 per gallon for consumers. This is about $30 cheaper than Sherwin’s top-of-the-line Emerald line.
Rising Paint Prices
Generally speaking, higher quality paint is often worth the money, but to a certain point. Personally, I am not a huge fan of ultra-premium paints like Emerald from Sherwin or Aura from Benjamin Moore. Both of these higher-quality premium paint lines are pretty expensive at nearly $70 per gallon.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that paint prices are rising due to the recent paint shortage. The pandemic and unseasonable weather have constrained paint manufacturing facilities. In fact, paint prices have risen by 10.6% in 2021 and will likely go up even more in 2022. Nonetheless, if you are waiting to paint you might want to pull the trigger sooner than later due to the shortage.
Wondering what it costs to paint this year? Learn all about it in our interior painting price guide for pros and homeowners.
Paint Store Locations Compared
Here is Benjamin Moore’s glaring weakness when compared against Sherwin Williams. Depending on where your home is located, it can be difficult to find a store that sells Benjamin Moore paint. This is because Benjamin Moore distributes its paint via independent retailers like Ace Hardware and JCLicht hardware stores. Compare that to Sherwin-Williams, which owns and manages all of its own retail storefronts.
Even if there is a Benjamin Moore paint store near you, I found that different independent retailers carry different product lines. For example, you can’t find certain flat white ceiling paint lines that JCLicht carries at Ace Hardware.
This alone can be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing between Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. As a painting contractor, if I had to drive an extra 15 minutes to a Benjamin Moore retailer versus a Sherwin storefront, I would choose Sherwin. It really is that close when it comes to comparing the two paint brands.
Whether you are a painter or a homeowner, the proximity of the paint store should be a consideration. When you buy paint for any painting job, you’ll likely have to stop by the store multiple times for touchup gallons or otherwise. No question, you’ll thank yourself for choosing a storefront nearby when matching old paint years down the line.
A Quick Painting Tip
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Paint Color Selection
Both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have a ton of paint colors to choose from. As a result, there is no clear winner when it comes to colors. You really can’t go wrong considering that both companies are capable of color matching one another’s fan decks.
While each paint company offers color consultations, Sherwin’s are free while Benjamin Moore’s color consults cost $40-$80 on average. Also, not all Benjamin Moore retailers offer this service. You can book a Sherwin design consultation online here. Unfortunately, Benjamin Moore consults only can be booked by contacting your local store.
Color Matching Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams
Furthermore, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore share formulas so they can match each other’s colors if needed. However, I recommend keeping the color choice and retailer the same when possible to reduce the risk of mismatched colors.
Learn more about our top interior paint color picks of the year!
Comparing Painting Sheens
A paint sheen is how shiny or glossy the paint looks after it dries. In many ways, the sheen of the paint you choose is just as important as the color. This is where things can get tricky when comparing Sherwin Williams to Benjamin Moore. Each paint manufacturer has different names for their sheens. Further complicating things, some individual paint lines have their own specific sheen classifications.
Choosing A Sheen For Paints
To make choosing sheens easy, contact your local paint store and ask for recommendations. For interiors, we recommend flat for ceilings; matte or eggshell for walls; and satin or semigloss for trim. And for exteriors, we recommend a flat, matte, or satin finish for siding; and semi-gloss or gloss for trim, doors, and windows.
Best Benjamin Moore Paint Products
Benjamin Moore’s top paint product is Regal Select. In fact, over 50% of professional painters chose Regal Select as their favorite interior wall paint. It’s a higher-end 100% acrylic latex paint that simply checks all the boxes. Accordingly, you can’t beat Regal when it comes to coverage, thickness, and ease of application. It’s also known for its durability and cleanability.
Like most wall paints it requires two coats but its color pigment retention excels over other comparable paints. Regal comes in at a higher price point at $50-$60 per gallon but in most cases, it’s worth every penny. However, Regal both performs better and is $10-$20 per gallon cheaper than Sherwin’s comparable Cashmere product line. Benjamin Moore’s Regal also is a better paint than Sherwin’s Superpaint but Regal is $10-$20 per gallon more expensive.
Likewise, Regal Select is a low-voc house paint that’s mildew resistant. This makes it safer to use indoors during and after the paint job is complete and reduces paint fumes.
If you are looking for voc-free or no-voc interior wall paint, then consider Benjamin Moore’s Aura paint line. It is a step above Regal Select which makes Aura $15-$25 more expensive but it’s a thicker paint that covers colors better.
Last but not least, both Aura and Regal Select are made with Benjamin Moore’s Gennex Color technology which allows both paints to retain more vibrant hues that last longer. This innovative technology also reduces the volatile organic compounds in both Regal Select and Aura paints.
Ben By Benjamin Moore vs Regal Select
You can think of Ben By Benjamin Moore as Regal Select’s younger brother. As you can imagine, Ben is $20 per gallon cheaper than Regal Select. However, it performs better than other entry-level interior paints from Sherwin Williams like A-100.
The main difference is that Regal Select offers better coverage and thickness versus Ben. This is due to a higher volume of solids in the paint formulation. Also, Ben’s dry time is two hours versus Regal’s one hour.
Next, Regal Select has a greater variety of finishes than Ben. Indeed, Ben only comes in only flat, eggshell, and semigloss while Regal includes all three plus matte and pearl finishes.
But here’s a lesser-known fact about Ben by Benjamin Moore interior paint. Not only is it self-priming but Ben’s eggshell and flat sheens are close to zero-VOC. This is why we still love using Ben by Benjamin Moore for interior painting projects. Furthermore, Ben’s nearly $30 cheaper than Sherwin Williams’ zero-VOC Harmony brand.
It’s a solid entry-level paint with premium performance that’s better for the environment. Our professional painting crews think that’s a big win in any case.
Benjamin Moore’s Advance Trim Paint
Yet another standout from Benjamin Moore is its Advance line of Water Reducible Alkyd interior paints. Advance is one of the best paints on the market to use for interior trim, doors, windows, and door casings. It outperforms Sherwin Williams Proclassic trim paint in almost every way and remains low-VOC, even after tinting. Not to mention, it’s cheaper at $55 per gallon versus Proclassic’s $70 per gallon.
In any new remodel where new trim is installed, our painting crews will use a quality primer before applying two coats of Advance. Indeed, they love using Advance paint because it self-levels like oil paint. Consequently reducing the pesky brush and roller marks that take time to fix.
Not only that, Ben Moore’s Advance hardens to look like a true factory finish. No question, it looks spectacular after application. This makes Advance our top pick for interior trim, doors, windows, and even kitchen cabinets.
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Favorite Sherwin Williams Products
I highly recommend Sherwin-Williams Superpaint for both interior and exterior painting jobs performed by homeowners or contractors. It’s simply the best bang for your buck when buying a premium-level paint. Not to mention, it has excellent coverage, is durable, and is easy to work with.
Keep in mind that Superpaint has a specific product for exteriors and another for interiors. Both are great acrylic latex water-based paints and the exterior version of Superpaint will usually last 5-7 years on average.
Additionally, Superpaint is low-voc and like most modern premium paint, it’s self-priming. When compared to Benjamin Moore, Superpaint offers Aura-level quality for $20 less per gallon.
In conclusion, it’s hard to find a better mix of value and quality than Superpaint whether you are a Sherwin Williams fan or not.
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What About Duration or Emerald?
If you are painting the exterior and want more longevity, try Sherwin Williams Duration or Emerald paints. These are $20-$30 more expensive than Superpaint but offer superior durability and last 8-10 years on average. Like Superpaint, these premium latex paints from Sherwin Williams are also low-voc.
Now, both Duration and Emerald are thicker paints that require a higher skill level to apply whether you are using a brush, roller, or sprayer. With this in mind, I would not recommend these paints for a novice painter or home improvement weekend warrior. Lastly, Emerald also offers a Urethane Trim Enamel that is a grade above Sherwin’s popular Proclassic trim paint.
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ProClassic For Interior Trim
The best Sherwin Williams trim paint is ProClassic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel. While it is pricey at $70-$80 per gallon, this is a good paint for interior trim or doors. Actually, it is comparable to Benjamin Moore’s Advance trim paint but cures quicker.
Overall, Proclassic is a great Sherwin Williams paint that you can use for trim, doors, and cabinet painting projects. However, I have to give the edge to Benjamin Moore’s Advance trim paint because of its superior durability and factory-like finish when spraying. It’s also about $15-$20 cheaper per gallon which is a huge win.
Which brand of paint is best?
As mentioned, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore both carry different paint lines. Perhaps a better way to determine which is best is to ask yourself, what am I trying to accomplish with this painting project? The context of why and how you are painting can help you make the right decision between paint brands.
For example, are you painting a few rooms prior to listing your home to sell? Ben by Benjamin Moore is an entry-level option that offers better coverage than Sherwin’s A-100 or Promar contractor-grade paint. In any case, I don’t recommend buying cheap paint from Home Depot as it will likely take more time and materials to properly cover in the end.
The Overall Best Pick
In conclusion, both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams make great paints. Certainly, Sherwin’s cheaper per gallon but you may need to buy more of it. They also have more convenient store locations and more consistent paint selections. At any rate, it’s a wash when it comes to paint colors offered. However, choosing the perfect paint color is easier with Sherwin.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you and unique to your painting situation. We hope this comparison between Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore was helpful. Now, let’s load up a brush and get to painting!
Frequently Asked Paint Comparison Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions when comparing paints. No matter if you choose Sherwin or Benjamin Moore, the more you know the better.