Change of Coloour

8 Questions About Sherwin Williams Paints Answered


1. Are Sherwin Williams paints low VOC?

Volatile organic compounds are, or VOCs are chemicals used to hold the paint in liquid form until it’s applied and is released into the air. Once the paint starts drying, VOCs help speed the process along as they evaporate. 

Sherwin Williams paints have product lines that are no VOCs, low VOCs, and essentially high VOCs. While the following may not be an extensive list, but just to give you an idea:


The Architect Magazine mentioned that Harmony is Greenguard Children & Schools certified. It is also said to be listed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools in their High Performance Products Database. Check their product standards for painting and coating here.


In general, water-based latex paints emit fewer harmful VOCs than regular latex paint. As for Sherwin Williams products, the following are known to have low VOCs.

Low- or no-VOC paint may have antimicrobial properties that resist microbes, mildew, and bacteria.

More about VOCs

The federal government caps the VOC content in the paint at 250 grams of VOCs per liter for flat finishes and 380 grams of VOCs per liter for other finishes (low-luster, semigloss, etc.). To be considered low-VOC, flat paint levels should not exceed 100 grams of VOCs per liter and non-flat paint (semi-gloss, gloss, eggshell, or satin) should not exceed 150 grams of VOC per liter.

Colorants contain VOCs, so choosing a lighter tint will keep overall VOC levels lower. 

2. Is Sherwin Williams paint oil-based?

They have oil-based and water-based paints. Oil-based paints (also referred to as alkyd paint) have optimum adhesion characteristics, making them ideal for priming purposes. Oil-based primers get a tight grip on the surface, plus they accept any kind of topcoat paint.

Referred to as oil-based, but doesn’t contain oil. The reason alkyd paint is often called oil-based paint is that it also uses chemical binders and thinners. Alkyd paints typically have thinners made from either alcohol or mineral spirits; while the binder is typically a synthetic resin.

Some of the Sherwin Williams paints that are oil-based are:

Interested to know more about alkyd paints? Read Everything You Need to Know About Alkyd Paint

3. Can Sherwin Williams paint be returned?

Yes if untinted and unused, you can return the paint. Should you purchase the product online, you can request a refund for that then. If otherwise tinted, it can’t be returned. Just remember that you must follow the procedures in their Online Terms and Conditions of Sale if the product was ordered online. Refunds will be issued to/in the original form of payment.

4. Can Sherwin Williams paint be sprayed?

Yes, Sherwin Williams paints can be sprayed. One major advantage of using a paint sprayer is that a paint sprayer can cover broad surfaces faster and with less effort than with paintbrushes and rollers. A wall area can be paint-sprayed in about a minute but would take over five minutes with a roller. A disadvantage however is that it would require more time for preparation before and clean after painting. As when paint-spraying, every surface that will not be painted must be covered. Cleaning the gun or tubing must be done immediately before the paint dries. 

Interested to know about paint sprayer? Here’s a recommended reading: Paint Sprayer Basics to Know Before You Buy

5. Can Sherwin Williams paint be retinted?

A big yes! Please know that retinting will lose the formula. So make sure to retint a volume enough to cover your target surface. It would be very hard to find a match to cover the shortage if there is one. Just a note from Interior Designer and Decorator Lori A. Sawaya about retinting a paint to make it lighter:

“Adding white is different from cutting the colorant load. It can take a lot of white paint to significantly affect a color. It depends…. When paint color formulas are cut at a paint counter, original colors are not being adjusted. Rather new variations of the color are being created. Due to the uncertainty on the substance of bases and colorants, anything can happen. Won’t know until you mix the color, let it dry and then look at it.

Whenever you cut an existing formula, you’re creating a completely different color. It’s not the same as creating a color string. Color strings are a continuous range. Often starting with a saturated color moving in regimented steps to a neutral gray. There’s usually a goal to change only one color aspect along the string. E.g. only change saturation but not hue or brightness. Only change brightness but not saturation or hue.”

Check the original discussion here.

6. What Sherwin Williams paint is best for cabinets?

In my experience as a painter, Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond for primer and Emerald Urethane for coating.

The urethane version is a water-based, modified alkyd, best for use on trim, doors, and cabinets. Just take note that Emerald Urethane is completely different from Emerald Interior paint, and the two should not be confused with each other. Their Emerald Urethane dries harder; thus, helps in making the surface more durable for cleaning.

7. What Sherwin Williams paint is good for the bathroom?

Speaking from experience, Sherwin Williams Duration Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in eggshell or semigloss finishes are my preference. Washable, making it ideal for bathroom paint. They have a finish with low to medium reflection when dry, making them more apt for toilet and bath environments. It has a slight hint of shine and holds up better for cleaning.

8. Does Sherwin Williams paint go on sale?

Yes, they do. They have active special offers for Canadian consumers. Check here. They offer coupons that make you save on paint, stains, and other painting supplies. Sherwin Williams has 30%-40% off sales that typically happen from time to time!

Available promo discounts, as advertised in the on January 5, 2021

Should you miss it and you have an urgent painting project coming up, do not worry as I can get some discounts for you. As a pro painting contractor, I can avail 20% discount on all Sherwin Williams products needed for any painting project.

Read also: Stuff that you should know about Interior House Painting

Need a house painter?

Since 2018, the Change of Colour Painting has been doing painting services for businesses and homes in Barrie, Ontario, and nearby areas. We do interior painting, exterior painting, and color matching services. Get in touch for your house painting needs!

Painting services by Change of Colour Painting