Top 5 Red Colors by Sherwin-Williams

Some would argue that red paint colors are either outdated or not preferred. While they are entitled to their opinion, it is merely subjective. Vivid accents ranging in all colors are gaining popularity. Whether your red paint color is candy apple or a spritely yellow, a personal accented flare adds individuality and decor personalizations that speak character into your interior and exterior living spaces. 

While accent colors are typically placed sparingly, ensuring the color offers good coverage and making sure it’s not a paint color that fades under sunlight is also essential. 

Everyone has experienced or heard stories about paint colors requiring more than two coats – we will help you avoid that mistake. Whether you are painting vinyl shutters, an accent wall, or choosing exterior door colors, we will provide the best red Sherwin-Williams colors that deliver outstanding results. 

Red Paint Color Inspirations

While a red color like Red Earth from Farrow & Ball is undoubtedly popular, for some, the color lacks the rich and bold appeal that most people expect from red paint colors.  

Red- Earth- Farrow & Ball

In general, red paint colors are not for everyone. But there is no denying that vivid colors are gaining popularity. From platforms ranging from HGTV to famous home designers, vivid colors and accents are found in many homes. 

While vivid paint colors may inspire you, it is essential to understand some drawbacks of using dark or electric colors. 

Red & Vivid Color Drawbacks

Red paint colors can be hard to use. However, complex paint applications are not limited or specific to red hues. Yellows, electric, & vibrant (synonymous with electric) paint colors all share one characteristic that makes them incredibly cumbersome. Just like red, these color variations do not cover well. 

Both black and white pigments, known as Titanium Dioxide, give house paint the necessary pigmentation to promote coverage. These colors are all missing black pigmentations and are mixed using a translucent can of paint or “base,” which contains no TO2. 

Paint requiring more than two coats can cause many potential issues. The most fundamental problem with multiple paint coats is using more paint materials – time is also a factor. Secondly, paint uniformity can also be compromised. Applying multiple paint layers increases the chance of dripping heavy paint stippling and decreases paint adhesion. 

The top five red colors we recommend will limit your costs and efforts while ensuring the durability and look you expect. 

Here is a short list of tips that will improve your efforts if you decide to paint a red paint color that is outside of our list.

  1. Look for colors that have black pigmentation.
  2. Add a paint extender to increase performance.
  3. Purchase quality paint, especially when using electric colors.
  4. Use high-quality paint brushes and rollers. 

Paint Application Experience

As a professional painting contractor, we have long-term experience applying each color in a wide range of Sherwin-Williams paints. But most importantly, our experience has enabled us to compare other red colors in real-world settings over 20 years.

The list that we have compiled contains the Top 5 red paint colors that will not only inspire but will last and cover within 2 – 3 coats – simplifying your approach and efforts while providing an elegant look. 

Sherwin-Williams Red Barn

Red Barn (SW7591) is a red paint color that reinvents the perception of reds. Red Barn’s soft, restrained, rich, & rustic look makes it stand out like no other red color by Sherwin-Williams. 

Red Barn is slightly earthy with a subtle orange veil that glows under natural lighting. However, a slight rustic orange hue is more pronounced in satin finishes. Like all dark colors, the single issue with Red Barn is it mars and scuffs easily in flat finishes. However, a flat finish serves this color well if the accented area is not subjected to heavy traffic. 

Sherwin-Williams Rustic Red

Sherwin-Williams Rustic Red (SW7593) is a close partner of Red Barn. Although Rustic Red has more depth, it more appropriately belongs in the Marron family. 

Rustic-Red-Sherwin Williams

Rustic Red still contains rustic undertones but with more pronounced earthly chocolate influences. With these combinations of added characteristics, Red Barn is a color for those against bright, energetic red colors. 

Some of the best places for such a rich color as Rustic Red include front doors, exterior shutters, and interior cabinet islands. 

Fired Brick (SW6335)

Fire Brick has several characteristics that have become common in our initial recommendations. It’s rich and bold but contains less of everything. Fire Brick could be considered a lighter version of Red Barn or Rustic Red.


Its lighter nature allows this color to reveal more of its true red heritage. While Fire Brick would not be considered a bright red compared to colors like Sherwin Williams Bolero or Poinsettia, it holds its own without sacrificing coverage. 

Sherwin-Williams Red Bay (SW6321)

Red Bay is where it all started for us. When we first used Red Bay roughly 14 years ago, it was our first experience with a red paint color that delivered the energy expected from red but covered like a dream.

With a curious professional paint mind, we had to find out what made this color cover like no other. That’s when we discovered “real red paint bases,” which we will cover later in this article.  


Red Bay is Sherwin-Williams’s single brightest red paint color, providing excellent coverage. This color works exceptionally well over flat interior walls using flat paint finishes. If you are after a slightly brighter red, Red Bay is undoubtedly the color with no sacrifice.

Luxurious Red (SW6314)

Luxurious Red is a striking color that lives up to its name. This color will serve many areas well, perfectly balancing bold, rich, and elegant flare. 

If you are looking for a perfect interior accent wall or luxurious dining room color, this color will be the one to consider. Luxurious Red balances maroon and red well and resembles the skin of a young red cherry. Since this color is not as dark as our other recommendations, it will consequently be more easily influenced by light. 


Under limited lighting, this red gem will naturally appear darker and more decadent than brighter red paint color offerings. However, we don’t see this as a drawback. Its “brighter by day and darker by night” color shifts add to its unique character.

When comparing Luxurious Red, it is essential to paint multiple areas to see how the color is affected under different lighting. 

Premixed Red Colors

As mentioned earlier, Red Bay was our first experience using “Real-Red” based paint colors. “Real-Red” refers to manufacturers prepackaging natural red pigments into the gallon of paint before the paint color is manually mixed at the store. Real-Red paint bases drastically increase the ability of red colors to cover. Real bases also increase color retention and resist heat. 

Red colors containing red bases will last longer and require less tinting, giving the paint better viscosity and coverage. These increased performances are advantageous and equate to less consumption and a better paint finish.

Primers for Red Paints

From the continued reading of this article, you likely know by now that black pigment helps all colors cover. Colors with potential coverage limitations, aside from yellow colors, will benefit from a light to medium gray primer base coat. 

Applying primer is an extra step that can be considered a hassle but is a good practice. A quality base coat of primer will increase paint adhesion. We have an article explaining when to use primers and why you shouldn’t buy into the marketing of “paint and primer in one” labels if you have fallen victim to the hype. 

But if you have painted red before, you will likely understand the value of priming and obtaining a solid base coat. 

Educated Decisions

We felt compelled to educate you on what is required for red paint colors to cover and last a bit longer. You will likely not need a primer for our recommended red colors. However, Sherwin-Williams is infamous for reformulating colors and discontinuing products. 

As new paint products and colors are introduced, you will know how to assess the color to ensure proper coverage and long-term durability. You can’t go wrong if you look for red bases and red colors containing black! Be sure to check out our other color-related articles; with the many colors available, there are more to come! 

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