So, Does It Work? – Sherwin Williams Harmony Paint

Welcome to the second in our series of posts on no-VOC paints.  Today we are reviewing Harmony, by Sherwin Williams.

Manufacturer:  Sherwin Williams

Paint: Harmony Interior Latex Flat Paint (color – Extra White)

Cost:  $36.99 per gallon retail

Composition: Water based acrylic latex. Contains titanium dioxide, nepheline syenite, vinyl polymer, calcium carbonate, kaolin, mica.  Formulated with no silica.

VOCs: Less than 2g/l (grams per liter)

Certifications:  Greenguard, Good Housekeeping

Color range: Most colors are available.  Sherwin Williams’ “Blend-A-Color” tinting can add to VOC level.

Coverage: Estimated by mnf. at 350 – 400 sf per gallon

Testing results

Paint odor in can – Smells like the tempera paint we used as kids.  Odor undetectable more than 12″ from freshly opened can.

Consistency of paint – Smooth, slightly thin, light splatter

Coverage – 2 coats just covered existing dark tan paint

Drying time – 45 minutes till dry to touch.  Waited recommended 4 hours before applying second coat.

Odor after one day – Very faint, almost undetectable

Adhesion after one day – Applied clear tape to paint.  Some residue showed on tape, but did not affect surface of painted wall.  Tape was hard to remove at first.

Note:  Paint provided by Sherwin Williams for our use in test.

Conclusion:  This paint is definitely low odor, and has the added benefit of being anti-microbial.  Other than the vinyl polymer, the paint basically consists of water and ground minerals and rocks (see composition above).  Because it is slightly thin in consistency, I imagine this would do very well in a sprayer, which coupled with it’s relatively low price point, might make it ideal for larger projects and painting contractors, as well as those looking for an affordable option in no-VOC paint.  However, I would advise using primer before trying to cover a darker color of paint.

Editors note:  After several days drying time, there was a noticeable difference in color between the Sherwin Williams Harmony and the other paint products tested.  When viewed from an angle, the original paint color for the wall could be seen through the white Sherwin Williams paint.  This is probably due to the thin coverage noticed earlier.  This paint might work well for new wall surfaces, or walls that have had good primer applied, but it does not seem to work on previously painted walls.

I really like the fact that Sherwin Williams took the time to redesign their can as well as their paint.  The can is 100% post consumer recycled resin (plastic), with a label made of 75% recovered fiber and 25% post consumer waste, printed with soy ink.  You can read more about their GreenSure environmental program here.

Note: We chose not to apply paint under ideal conditions, including the use of a primer, so your results may vary.  To read more about how we approached our review process, please read this post.

If you have any experience with this paint, please feel free to add your comments below.  The more people who share their knowledge, the more useful these reviews will be.

8 Responses to “So, Does It Work? – Sherwin Williams Harmony Paint”

  1. Jennifer Ryan Says:

    I have used the SW Harmony paint a few times for customers requesting a low no-VOC paint. I have been happy with the coverage and paintability (although I have only used light to medium colors) and the oder is definitely very low. I am a big supporter of Sherwin Williams and will continue to use this product.

  2. Heather Says:

    This paint is very thin. I repainted over antique white with the same color but used egg shell finish. It took so much more paint then what I am used too. I am used to using Valspar paint that only takes one coat to cover. I am going to have to go back out tomorrow and get 2 more cans to apply a 2nd coat. I did not really notice any odor with this paint but if I had to do it over I am using the standard pain and not this stuff.

  3. Jon Eggleton Says:

    We used this paint on all of the bedrooms in our home. Similar to the comment above, it worked pretty well, but the fact that it is very thin did make it more challenging to apply (it seemed to be more streaky than traditional paints). Still, we felt the benefits greatly outweighed the cons.

  4. Jon Premo Says:

    Painter near Riverside, I have used this Product do to request only.. It was okay, thus the products prices increase each year but ours stays the same.. huh!

  5. Polina Says:

    We chose this paint for this paint for the entire house. Our builders agreed to use Harmony line although they did not have any previous experience. Later they warned us that this paint is very hard to blend when some touches are needed. When we moved to our new house we found several spots that poorely blend with the initial painiting. Additionally, this paint chips so easily! Our 9month old son scrached the surface in few spots and now we have to paint those over. I am dreading to even imagine how our interior will look like within a year!

  6. kathy Says:

    We have been very unhappy with this paint. It is virtually odor free – but is not truly “washable” as promised. Even gentle pressure with a damp white rag leaves streaking. Our shade of tan, in particular, has also taken on a distinct “chalky” look in less than two years. We’d never use it again.

  7. kathy C Says:

    I have painted several rooms with the paint. Several weeks after I applied it, I went to use a picture hanger (the ones that you stick on and can remove) I wiped the wall with alcohol where the hanger was to go. The paint came off the wall with just some alcohol on a cottonball. I talked to the SW store guy and he said probably the paint hasn’t cured yet. It’s been a month now and a little alcohol will still easily remove the paint. Can’t get those hangers to stick at all.

    Also, I can easily scratch the paint with my very soft fingernail after a month. I can also wipe the wall with a water dampened paper towel and wipe off paint. Not a good product at this time form

  8. Cheri S Says:

    We had the worst experience with the Sherwin Williams Harmony paint. We painted the interior of our entire home (5,000 sq ft), some walls were new and some walls were existing, which all were primed with a latex primer. Every single wall showed some crackling or alligatoring. We called the Sherwin Williams rep who had the paint tested and we were told there was nothing wrong with the paint, but clearly there is. There is no consistent reason why the paint crackled other than they said it was the painters fault for applying the paint too thick. Maybe in some areas it might be thick but some areas it is thin as you can see through to the wall, yet all show crackling. I never thought painting was rocket science but clearly this paint is tempermental! We now have to wait 30 days and then we have to sand and prime and repaint our entire house which is going to cost us twice as much. I would never recommend this paint to anyone, it is not worth it if its application is that sensitive. BEWARE!

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