Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Review

Look At Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Paint

Emerald Interior is available nationally to all painters and homeowners alike. However, some SW lines of paint are limited to specific regions of the US. Additionally, most professional painting companies and interior painters have preferred paint brands, sometimes limiting exposure to other paint offerings. 

Since we are not brand loyal, we have experienced, tested, and compared several interior paints. As painters, we value efficiency, which is directly affected by paint usability and coverage. We will review Emerald Interior and share our experience, comparing how it covers and applies to multiple surfaces.

Brushing & Other Paint Applications

Pros: Emerald Interior is most straightforward to roll and spread on interior wall surfaces, including textured and smooth. Even with its thin consistency, it surprisingly spatters less than other interior SW paints. 


It also dries quickly and uniformly, and the quick paint dry time is easy to manage while applying.

Con: Overall, we find Emerald to be too thin while brushing. Due to its consistency, paintbrushes will not hold form long when painting interior trim. Therefore, a heavier-bodied paint would be welcomed for brushing.

Pigment & Coverage

Emerald contains 43 percent solids, which is on par with other SW offerings. So, why the huge price tag? Emerald Interior provides an entirely different acrylic resin that dries harder, improving durability and wipe ability and attracting less dust.

While the finish is noticeably enhanced, Emerald Interior’s paint coverage is less advantageous. Compared to other top-grade Sherwin-Williams products, Emerald didn’t provide improved paint coverage. 

Odor/ VOC

We welcome a decent amount of solids and an outstanding resin package – however, a powerful odor is associated with Emerald Interior Paints. The paint emits a smell reminiscent of a toxic odor. We are not alone in our experience. Several interior painters have commented on the scent of this particular product in forums across the nation.

The product is a low-VOC paint but not the only one in the Sherwin-Williams Catalog! Even after being a low VOC interior paint, if a painter says the paint smells are strong, you know the odor must be intense.

Sherin-Williams Emerald Interior Introduction

Emerald was introduced in late 2012, mainly targeting homeowners for easy-to-use paint applications. Since it was so highly marketed, painters started receiving more requests and had to respond.

Emerald’s original drawback was its price, which now exceeds $90 per gallon in select finishes. The incremental performance gains were also hard to accept compared to Duration Home, which forced SW to reformulate DH to better distinguish Emerald Interior.

Since its introduction, Emerald has significantly improved, offering the best urethane enamel used for trim and cabinet painting.


Is Emerald Worth the Cost?

Outside of the paint being less-than-ideal to brush, the result is, without a doubt, a premium finish that is better than other SW interior paint lines. Emerald is not intended for fast production; it’s a high-end paint that offers a highly durable interior finish that retains its sheen much longer and requires less paint usage once the first coat is applied.

We recommend Emerald Interior for walls and trim, but the best SW paint for interior trim is Proclassic.

Our Recommendations

Emerald is ideal for areas of high traffic, such as hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas, and is best for long-term usage. However, if you like to change colors periodically, Emerald may not be worth the additional expense. 

Emerald is available in flat, matte, satin, and semi-gloss finishes, and we recommend matte or satin for interior walls. Emerald provides SW’s best matte finish, which is best suited for high interior walls. Semi-gloss paint finishes are ideal for interior trim.

Are you considering Emerald Interior Paint for your next painting project? If you live in the Triangle or Raleigh, NC, we would love to help. Contact us anytime for your next service.

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