Sherwin-Williams Duration vs Emerald

Today we will compare Sherwin Williams Duration vs Emerald. These are the top two interior paint products from Sherwin Williams, but they have some key differences in performance. Today we will look at the coverage, hide, durability, and price to determine what is the best option for you and your home. 

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Emerald is the clear winner in the coverage category. Duration is rated for 250-300 square feet per gallon of paint. Meanwhile, Emerald can get up to 400 square feet/gallon. In our field experience, Emerald doesn’t cover quite that well, but it still outperforms Duration handily. 

Coverage is important because the better the paint covers, the less paint overall you will need to complete a project. Regardless of how well a product covers, though, you will always want to apply two coats for maximum color and sheen. More layers allow the paint to shell up better as well, creating a smoother and more durable finish. 

However, in terms of sheer coverage, Emerald is the obvious winner. 

Winner: Sherwin Williams Emerald


Hide refers to the paint’s ability to create a uniform look that hides any flaws on the surface. In this regard, both paints perform equally well. Both level out very well while retaining the original appearance of the wall. 

A paint’s ability to hide is also affected by the sheen. The higher the sheen is, the more noticeable defects on the surface will be. 

However, when you compare Sherwin Williams Duration vs Emerarld, there is very little difference in the hide. 

Winner: Tie


This is the category where the difference between Sherwin Williams Emerald vs Duration is the most noticeable. It’s worth noting that both products are incredibly durable, and both are ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways, entryways, and mudrooms. That being said, Emerald performs just that much better than Duration. Both are also mold and mildew resistant, making either a great option for bathrooms. 

We tested the products’ durability by scuffing it with our feet, burnishing it with our hands and fingers, and even scrubbing the paint with a magic eraser. You should never do that, by the way, because the magic eraser will strip the paint off. If you want tips on how to properly clean painted walls, read this blog post. 

Overall, Emerald edged out Duration in every category. It did seem a bit more prone to burnishing, but your experience may vary (but please don’t try and burnish your paint). 

Emerald also has the longer lifespan of the two. Duration will maintain its color and shine for five to seven years, while Emerald will last anywhere between ten and twelve. The paints will stay on the wall much longer than that, but they won’t be quite as vibrant and are more prone to failure. 

If you’re looking for the toughest paint, Emerald is the clear winner between the two. 

Winner: Sherwin Williams Emerald


While Emerald is the top-tier product from Sherwin Williams, it actually retails for almost the same price as Duration. Duration costs between $70-$75 per gallon, whereas Emerald costs $75 per gallon. That means for just $5 more you can get a superior product with better coverage and a longer lifespan. 

With the way these products are priced and the quality difference between them, it’s clear which one comes out on top. 

Winner: Sherwin Williams Emerald


Sherwin Williams Emerald is our personal favorite paint product. Not just in this comparison but at large. It has excellent features, applies very well, and is priced competitively, especially compared to Benjamin Moore products. Contractors can also get special pricing discounts, and those savings are passed on to the client when we work with them. 

For the best premium paint overall, Sherwin Williams Emerald is the way to go.

If you’re ready to get a quote for your interior or exterior project, fill out the form below for a free estimate from Heritage Painting. Our professional team will provide a detailed and accurate quote, and we will even help you select the right colors for your home. Fill out the form now and fall in love with your home again. 

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