Do Not Use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint

A month or so before Christmas, my husband and I decided to redo our family room. It’s the room in the house that we spend the most amount of time in, so as you can imagine, the carpet, walls and furniture has taken a beating over the last 13 years. Right off the bat, I knew I wanted new carpet, the walls repainted, new furniture and a wood wall. Yep…a wood wall. I had pinned a bunch of ideas and googled where we could get the reclaimed wood from (Home Depot) and we got started. While I will be showing you the amazing transformation of our family room, the main focus on this post will be to tell you why you do NOT want to use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint.

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Why Shouldn’t You Use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint?

When we bought our house, 13 years ago, we painted every room the same color with the most inexpensive Behr paint that we could buy. I’m not joking. We bought 5 gallon jugs of it. It did the job and got us in our house quickly. If you could have seen what the house looked like when we bought it. Holy cow…it was stuck somewhere in the 70’s.

This time around, however, everyone told us to use Sherwin-Williams paint. We went to the Sherwin-Williams store near us and talked to the manager. She told us that we definitely wanted to use the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint. She told us that it was expensive, but worth it with the great coverage and how the finished product looked. So we did it. We bit the bullet, paid the expensive price tag and used the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint.

Guess what? It’s so not worth the money AT ALL. Look at what happened to our walls…

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint

See those bubbles? The Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint began bubbling like that on all the walls we painted. As if that wasn’t bad enough, check out what started happening next…

Sherwin-williams emerald paint

All that hard work we put into priming and painting the walls was for nothing. The paint bubbled and then peeled off the walls. When we went back to the store, the manager tried telling us it was an issue with our walls. It’s not. After this happened, I began Googling “Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint” and there are entire websites and messages boards devoted to why people should not use this paint. Wish I would have thought to Google the paint before we did all the work.

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Did Sherwin-Williams Work with Us?

Thankfully the store was willing to work with us. We told them the paint we wanted to use and then refunded the difference back to us since the paint we wanted to use to fix the walls was A LOT cheaper. This just goes to show that just because something is more expensive and labeled “the best”, it doesn’t mean it is the best. Not to mention, the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint, according to the manager, is supposed to have a very low odor. So not the case. This was the worst smelling paint I ever used.

If this ever happens to you, do not hesitate to go back to the store with the cans of paint and pictures of what happened. Sherwin-Williams will work with you, as well as Lowes and Home Depot. Despite our struggles with getting this room done, it is now finished and one of my favorite rooms in the house! I highly recommend, if you like that reclaimed wood look, to check out the reclaimed wood at Home Depot. It’s such an easy DIY project!

sherwin-williams emerald paint


  1. That bites that happened. It’s a good thing they worked with you!

  2. Oh no! I’m so sorry that happened, but at least they worked with you. What a horrible thing to happen after putting in all that time on prep work. =(

  3. Wow so sorry about your experience… Good to know I have not used this paint yet… But glad they were willing to work it out…

  4. That’s so weird we have repainted our whole
    house with Sherwin a Williams and are so happy. I am glad they worked with you.

  5. Good to know they worked with you! I can imagine how time consuming this must of been!

  6. Interesting take. We always use Sherwin-Williams for the consistent coverage but I will be avoiding the emerald paint in the future.

  7. I’m shocked as I always thought Sherwin Williams was the best – but clearly they are not. I’m so glad the store worked with you to resolve the situation and that all is well now.

  8. Wow, so sorry that happened to you! I live in an apartment and get painted for free every few years, and the stuff they use is cheap crap. But when you are buying it, you deserve better!

  9. I work with emerald paint daily. I’ve never seen a bad outcome. It’s a great paint.

  10. looking at the thickness of the peeled bubbled sections, it wasn’t a problem with the Emerald. It was an issue with a previous paint job not sticking in spots. Likely this was due to surface contamination. The better the paint, the harder it grips as it dries. This can pull up weakly adhering previous paint jobs, resulting in a bubble.
    Was that dark color that is showing through the Behr or a paint job previous to that? If all that peeled was the Emerald, there was something on the walls that should have been cleaned. Paint is a homogeneous mixture. If it wasn’t going to stick due to something wrong with the paint, it would all not stick equally.

    • The walls were cleaned and primed with stuff recommended and primer purchased from Sherwin Williams. Do a quick Google search and you will see that we are not the only ones that had problems with this paint. It’s horrible.

      • I have to agree with Jerry. I’ve painted many rooms and many houses and I have actually seen those bubbles before. Was not with the Emerald paint but was a different Sherwin Williams (Duration) paint. After the paint the paint dried I sanded the area a little and the bubbles came right off the paint. I believed it was either that the old paint below was not properly primed and degreased (in a kitchen) or that I was using a bad roller, or both. Anyhow it had happened in one spot only and not the entire room so I believed that it wasn’t the paint as a whole but the area that was painted. I’ve been using Emerald for a little over a year and love the paint.

        • We used the exact supplies that Sherwin Williams recommended. This paint was such a nightmare, and after reading the nightmares that other people experienced (after ours happened), I will never use this paint again.

  11. That just means lots of people are painting walls where someone in the past did not properly prep. As a painter I can guaranty you that there are a ton of bad previous paint jobs out there.

    Priming only helps with the adhesion of the new coat of paint, it can’t do anything about previous coats.

    For instance I just painted a house that bubbled like crazy. But, the previous paint job looked fine… then I peeled the bubbles and found the house flipper had painted over dirty and mossy siding without pressure washing.

    The previous coating was sitting on top of the siding but not really gripping it in all places. The new paint drying pulled it off the wall

    You never answered the question as to which paint job was showing at the bottom of the peeled bubbles?

    • Jerry…I could see primer (the primer that Sherwin Williams told us to purchase) below the paint that peeled off. I could not see the previous paint. At any rate, I never had this problem with ANY other paint I used. Going by the reviews of the Emerald paint I found online, I am not the only person to experience this. Lesson learned. Now we know what paint to use.

  12. I used Emerald in my master bedroom 6 months ago and I had no issues. It’s a good quality paint.

  13. What paint did you end up switching to that worked better than Emerald?

    • We really like Super Paint. We used that to fix this particular room and then used it in the kitchen, hallway and half bath. It covers well and looks great. And no issues!

  14. I just painted my hall and foyer with Emerald and was totally impressed. One coat coverage, no bubbles, no splatter, no odor. I usually use their Super Paint line, but Emerald is now my favorite. I do know that I have been told to use a Purdy 3/8″ roller with Emerald, that it was important. I did use that roller. Not sure if that would have made a difference for you or not.

    • The rollers are in the basement, but I am 99.9% sure that is what they recommended (we bought what they recommended). I’m glad you had a good experience with it! It was such a headache for us. I would never wish that on anyone!

  15. Nothing wrong with the paint…its all about surface preparation. people think they get just slap paint on a dirty wall and magic will happen. Pro painters spend maybe 2 times as much time prepping a wall as painting it. The bubbles and chipping didnt come from the paint, it came from your walls. To get a truly excellent paint job, was walls with TSP or other paint friendly cleaner, patch ALL loose areas and sparkle small nail holes, prime and then paint. Remember what’s underneath your paint will show through about 2 times more obviously above your paint.

    • Hi Bill…we prepared our walls according to how Sherwin Williams told us to. The walls were clean, we used their primer that was recommended and the rollers they recommended.

  16. The roller you used was out of balance and allowing air to be funneled into the paint as you rolled I’ve seen this before with defective rollers , either that or you cleaned your walls prior to repainting and the cleaning agent acted with the paint but there’s nothing wrong with emerald paint sometimes it’s not the car it’s the driver

    • everything was purchased new from Sherwin Williams and was recommended by them. We had no other issues anywhere else in our house and the same process was used, but with different Sherwin Williams paint. I wouldn’t wish the issue we had with Emerald paint on anyone. I’m glad others haven’t had issues. The horror stories I’ve been told are crazy. Some worse than what we experienced.

  17. Did a long google search on emerald. I have to agree here, your walls were not prepped corectly.. is your issue with the paint or the person at Sherwin Williams that gave you poor advice in how to prep your walls? Maybe time to rewrite your post?

    • I won’t be rewriting this post. This post is based on my experience with the paint. Is my problem with the paint of the info from the Sherwin Williams employee? Both, I guess. However, after the fact, I did a lot of searching about the emerald paint, as well, and I am not the only person that had a bad time with it. I will stick with the paint from Sherwin Williams that we used in place of the Emerald paint (and have used a few times since this post) and never use Emerald again.

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