Behr vs. Sherwin Williams

Which is Best, Behr or Sherwin-Williams?

Looking for the best house paint often starts with these two major companies, Sherwin-Williams vs. Behr, but they are popular brands for two entirely different reasons. 

For a long time, professional exterior and interior house painters have considered Behr, a paint manufacturer for homeowners. Still, Behr continues to make monumental product enhancements that bring the comparison to other leading brands much closer.

Sherwin Williams vs. Behr

Sherwin-Williams has been around for a long time, offering a wide range of products that meet the needs of residential re-paint professionals and others. While some paint contractors have criticized SW, stating there are too many paint options, deeming them confusing, others appreciate having a paint option that meets their price and performance demands. 

Sherwin-Williams started obtaining a majority market share in the early 2000s, and the overall consensus among professionals accepted SW paints as a mid-high-level paint brand. After SW’s accelerated success, SW started to acquire other competing companies, which led to the advancement of higher-end and commercial paint products. 

Today, Sherwin-Williams remains one of the top-tier brands and is heavily recognized as a leading national paint company. 

Behrs’ story, on the other hand, is slightly different. Behr has been mainly regarded as mid-level house paint, mainly focusing on lower-priced homeowner sales. For a long time, local house painters would not use Behr or recommend Behr for its lack of performance, but that opinion is starting to shift due to Behrs’ increase in performance, which in turn results in higher prices.

Behr Marquee vs. Sherwin Williams

Behr Marquee paint includes some of the most significant advancements Behr has ever made. While the paint & primer in one advertisement is more of a gimmick, Behr Marquee still provides a few significant improvements. 

The first notable improvement is adhesion. We have experienced poor adhesion using Behr products over the years, to the point that we stopped recommending and warranting Behr paints altogether; it was that bad. So, in our opinion, this improvement is monumental. After all, what is the point of painting if it won’t stick to the surface? 

Secondly, Behr Marquee offers much-improved coverage. While we didn’t find Behr’s one-coat coverage claim accurate, Behr Marquees’ coverage is significantly better than lower-grade Behr offerings. So, with those improvements, how does it compare to Sherwin-Williams? 

The Marquee line is Behrs’ best offering hence the name. So, comparing it to Sherwin-Williams best would only be fitting. When comparing Sherwin-Williams’ best paint, like Emerald, to Behr Marquee, Sherwin-Williams Emerald outperforms it in nearly every category. 

Exterior Paint Comparison

Since the introduction of Sherwin-Wiliams Duration Exterior, SW has doubled down on the concept of thick exterior paint coating, with the newest rendition of Emerald Exterior following suit. These two products are considered among the best exterior paints available, but where does that leave Behr?

For a long time, Behr exterior house paint was considered hard to work with for many reasons. The first was due to it being thin and slow drying. This formulation resulted in paint runs and limited the conditions where the paint could be applied, causing major issues for exterior painters. 

The second issue was the lack of coverage. We had a client who wanted us to paint a mailbox post to match the house we had just finished painting with SW exterior paints. She only had Behr Premium Plus Exterior Semi-Gloss paint, which took 3 coats to transition from cream to off-white. This instance is only one of many over the years. However, the hierarchical sentiment of this article is that Behr has improved.

While we still wouldn’t recommend Behr exterior paints over Sherwin-Williams, Behr’s dry times and coverage improvements are noticeable and well-welcomed. 

Interior Paint Comparison

While wall paint is the highest comparison of any interior paint, interior trim paint coverage and durability are often overlooked. Home interior trim takes the most time and skill, so all painters will want to limit the coats needed for full coverage. 

Sherwin-Williams and Behr’s interior trim paint falls short in coverage when painting white colors. Paint manufacturers have cut back pigment (T02) use to mitigate increased costs of raw materials.

Sherwin-Williams higher-end interior paints are still easier to apply overall. Depending on the product comparison, in most cases, SW interior paints will dry faster, require less paint, and offer a broader range of solutions. 

Coverage, Dry Time, & Usability

When comparing Sherwin-Williams to Behr paints for coverage, dry time, and ease of application, Sherwin-Williams wins despite Behr’s improvements; here is how.

Sherwin-Williams’ dark colors, such as black, typically cover better than Behrs’. The coverage advantages remain with lighter colors, such as white, which are critical to interior and exterior house painting applications.

Some Sherwin-Williams paints can be recoated within 1-4 hours, and SW’s quickest cure times range from 4-10 days under normal conditions. On the other hand, Behr is a little slower in each department, and if you recoat using Behr too soon, paint adhesion is lost, causing bubbles and paint failure.

Paint dry times also affect coverage. Waiting longer between coats when multiple coats are needed for adequate coverage makes the process longer. 

Longterm Durability

Behrs premium exterior paints are on par with some leading brands when considering long-term durability. However, Sherwin-Williams does take the edge against UV resistance and fade. Sherwin-Williams exterior paints also take an edge in blistering and peeling resistance. Expansion and contraction also belong to Sherwin-Willams primarily due to their thicker coverage. 

Often Behrs serves as a tie for abrasion tests mainly conducted in a lab by leading researchers and testers.

Behr Consumer Reports Reviews

While we respect tests and other reviewers, lab tests and controlled environments offer limited results. While our findings are in no way scientific, field results over the course of 20 years have allowed us a long-term evaluation of performances under a wide range of circumstances. 

When there is a consensus among paint professionals across the nation, there are justifications that don’t always translate in writing. Still, our experiences are non-biased and first-hand hand, which in many cases are a better reflection of actual performances. 

Behrs History & Target Market

Like the history of many paint companies, Behr’s origin derives from the hustle of one idea and the flourishment and growth of evolving business relations. In 1942, Behr was born and has become a leading brand among the DIY community, primarily sold at Home Depot and other big box stores where DIY shoppers are often found.

Everyone has heard the seasonal Home Depot commercials that offer a special paint price for a limited time. Behr has always been a DIY’s price-conscious dream, so in many ways, Behr is not comparable to brands like Sherwin-Williams, which offers more pro-level paints.

While Behrs’ target market mark is primarily homeowners, make no mistake, that gap is shrinking, and Sherwin-Williams and other pros know it!

Behr vs. Sherwin Williams Price Comparison

Introductory low prices are often for low-grade interior and exterior paints. These prices are used to entice shoppers, getting your attention or to a specific location where the seller can promote more items.

Bait pricing works to increase sales, but often, the lowest-priced paint shouldn’t be used when looking for quality. When paints are labeled the best and priced the lowest, you are targeted and should refrain from purchasing them.

All paint prices have increased substantially in recent years. A quality can of paint costs upwards of $40 – $60, and prices continue to increase. In the process, paint pricing between companies is beginning to overlap. 

A few years back, Behr was one of the leaders in lower-priced interior paints. Now, that gap is also diminishing, making it harder to discern the best paint.

Conclusion

If you have read this article, you are already ahead of everyone else in terms of understanding the value of quality house paint outside the cost label. When paint companies have a knowledgeable audience, they are forced to change, and often, those changes result in improvements both monetarily and in the total paint performance overall. 

As increasingly competitive as the paint industry is, improvements will follow once your purchases shift from one brand to another. The market has always followed consumer spending habits, and if we continue to support quality over the illusiveness of price, we will get closer to acquiring both. 

When comparing Sherwin-Williams to Behr, which brand you should purchase and which is best depends on what you prioritize most. Is it quality, convenience, price, or do you want it all?

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