Sherwin Williams Paint Samples: Woah!

filed in:
Share the ♥︎

Sample-paints-in-quart-size-by-Sherwin-WilliamsI made a discovery the other week that left me feeling like I won the lottery in a painter’s world and still has me in awe (seriously).  With that said, I can’t wait to share this find with all of you!

My husband and I needed a few samples of paint for a home project.  With being first time homeowners, making renovations, and creating a fun space, we often shop at Lowe’s and Home Depot depending on the best price/product (and they are usually located right across the street from each other).  When it comes to paint I have always gone to Home Depot for their small paint samples and getting the best quality paint for the price. . . until now.

Paint-samples-by-sherwin-williamsLast weekend we ventured to Lowe’s to look at their summer clearance deals.  While we were there, I figured I would go ahead and purchase paint samples rather than running to Home Depot afterwards to save time.   I slid my 5 paint colors to the paint expert and continued my shopping while my paint samples were mixing.

Needless to say I had a panic attack upon returning.  On the counter sat 5 quart size samples with my name on them.  So many thoughts immediately went through my mind!  Why didn’t the paint expert tell me their samples were a quart?  How does he expect me to pay $10-15 a sample?  I took a deep breath and calmly told the paint associate I wanted small samples.  His response?  Oh, these are the small samples for Sherwin-Williams.  I chuckled and asked how much I was about to pay.  His life changing, lottery winning response?  $3.48 Yes, people, $3.48 for a quart!!

quart-samples-by-sherwin-williamsI immediately thought about all the small DIY projects I could complete, projects that now won’t break the bank! Obviously these aren’t meant to paint an entire wall, but for sampling a color. Or if you’re like me, using on small projects and sealing with polycrylic. 

This isn’t to say I don’t love the small paint samples because I have my fair share {see below}.  But now I simply can’t pass up the amount of paint for the same price that I get with Sherwin-Williams.

small-paint-samples-from-home-depotThe comparison of the samples at Home Depot versus Lowe’s?  Sherwin-Williams’ sample is 31 ounces and the Behr sample is 7.25 ounces.  Here’s proof:

quart-samples-and-small-paint-samplesThey are the same price!!  31 ounces for $3.48 or 7.25 ounces for $3.48.  Unless you need very, very little paint, this decision isn’t even questionable! Prices possibly vary due to location.

UPDATE: Since this post was written in 2015, Lowe’s carries the paint samples comparable to those of the other brands. In other words, they aren’t these large ones anymore but the smaller ones like the one you see pictured. You can find the larger paint samples at Sherwin-Williams locations that are around $7-8 a sample.

sherwin-williams-paint-samplesPlus, the Sherwin-Williams paint samples have a handy-dandy handle that makes it easy to hold while painting with a brush.  Also, it gives a fun reminder on the top of the lid! Looks like Sherwin-Williams likes to influence and have fun at the same time.


Let’s keep in touch!

We have a brand new community over on Facebook, House & Home, where we’ll be chatting, sharing, and helping one another when it comes to home decor and projects. Come join us! Check it out here.

Like on Facebook || Follow on Instagram || Follow on Pinterest

  1. Hamilton says:

    Hi all, I normally dont post on this site, but found out yesterday from the Sherwin WIlliams staff at the local store here in Knoxville, that those expensive huge paint samples cannot be used as regular paint. People that try to use it (as i would) find the color fades out after a couple of weeks according to the staff. I dont see it marked on the sample though and figured someone like me would cut in on areas and spend much time using the quart (after all you paid $$ for it!).

  2. Veronica McKay says:

    I’m really disappointed now. I’m getting ready to start on my very 1st vintage paint distressed project, and I saw those prices and thought “wow, I could take a practice run see what works for me…..”
    Sadly, my store wants the 7.99 for their samples as well

    • Shane Doyle says:

      What store are you going to? Both Home Depot and Lowe’s carry the sample paint for $3.99 or less. Plus when they have mess ups they sell them for $1 each.

      • ElizabethRishel says:

        Hi Shane! Are you referring to the smaller ones for $3.99 or the ones that are comparable to the quart size? Thank you so much for your information. I had no idea about the mess ups for $1.

        • Shane Doyle says:

          I’m referring to the smaller ones. Home Depot carries Behr and Sherwin Williams brands and will sell the mistake samples at $.50 (that’s if they actually have any mess ups available). Lowes has Sherwin Williams brand and one other brand that I can’t remember now. Their mess up samples are $1. I recommend the Behr from Home Depot. Keep in mind that these samples do not have all the same properties that the regular quart or gallon have. They will work just fine though for smaller projects that are going to be indoors.

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      Hi Veronica! Try going to Lowe’s and getting it in their sample size for a few dollars. I can’t quote the exact amount but I know it’s under $5. I’d love to hear how your first vintage piece goes!

  3. Gina DeRose says:

    boy that sucks I was getting excited about doing my small bathroom, now forget it.

  4. Shane Doyle says:

    Have you ever used these sample paints on anything that stays outside in the weather? I am about to start a mural on my fence. Initially I planned to use spray paint. However, this gets very expensive buying so many colors and it is difficult to blend. The fence has been painted with Kilz. Do you think the paint samples will hold up in the elements if I put a clear spar urethane over the top when I’m finished? Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      Hi Shane. I haven’t so I can’t tell you how well it would hold up. I know that spray paint can get very pricey and hard to work with. If you put a protective coat over the paint, I don’t see why it wouldn’t last. Of course anything in direct sunlight will fade over time. Small projects I’ve used paint samples on (indoors) have lasted. Let me know how your project turns out. Would love to see an image of what you create!

      • Shane Doyle says:

        I’m a bit skeptical now to use the sample paints and spar clear coat. I was really hoping you’d have been able to tell me for sure one way or another. I don’t want to do all that work only to find that it is ruined within a year! I think perhaps I will do a test. I’ll use some of the sample paint on one fence picket, then put the spar urethane over it. Then I’ll spray the heck out of it with a hose and see if holds up to that. Obviously I can’t wait around for 6 months to see what the sun will do to it though. I’ll let you know the results.
        I’ve done one other fence mural before where I used spray paint. Where can I send an picture to?

  5. kathy says:

    Paint samples do not contain all the ingredients of real paint/primer that the larger sizes contain.
    Ever notice that the paint samples have almost no smell…?, that’s because they are not really paint, but a water base tint without the holding/wear chemical properties of paint.
    Most employees have no serious training about the store’s paint products and do not know this about the samples.
    This sample paint will likely easily rub or wear off any surfaces. If water is splashed or spilled on the painted surfaces the color may run after the sample dries. The paint sample is meant to be painted over with real paint and primer paint.

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      Good afternoon Kathy! Thank you for hanging out over here on Within the Grove! You are certainly right when it comes to not using paint samples on a wall besides testing the color. For small projects and sealing with polycrylic, and I’m talking really small projects, these paint samples can certainly work. This post was written almost three years ago and I appreciate you commenting! The post has now had quite a few updates to it (as we all learn throughout the years of turning a house into a home). Enjoy your upcoming weekend!

  6. Daniel says:

    I’d like to save you from possible headaches that could arise if you continue to do projects with these paint sample. First off Sherwin Williams likes to offer the quart size samples because they believe the bigger th sample on the wall the better the idea of the color you’ll have. Hard to accomplish that with a tiny pint sized sample. Secondly, those samples are strictly just that. Samples. They are simply for color. They do not include the same features that the actual paint will offer. Such as durability, coverage, color retention and so on. They are not for actual paint projects. Now with that in mind of course you can still use them for some stuff like arts and crafts and so on as long as you have the understanding that it may fail in certain ways depending on your needs. Hope this was helpful.

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      Hi Daniel! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this information with us! These for sure won’t work to paint walls but perfect for smaller home projects: painting furniture, touch ups, DIY projects, etc. Hope you have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.