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Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Review 2024

Interested in trying some of the best interior paints on the market? Read my full Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition paint review, written after using them for four years as a paint color consultant.

A series of images of rooms painted with Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition paints.

I originally posted a review of these paint colors when the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Collection was first launched in early 2020. This was just at the start of the pandemic, so you can imagine it was a very quiet launch.

I wanted to update my review since I’ve been using these paint colors for four years, both in clients’ homes and in my own home. Keep reading to learn more about Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition paints and the pros and cons of this line.

What Is the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Collection?

The Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition collection features 200 beautiful colors with a crisper and brighter white base than other Sherwin-Williams bases. The whites in this collection have a wider breadth than the standard product, and the colors are crisper and cleaner because of the brighter white base.

A studio is painted with SW Cheviot white paint and an SW Iron Ore accent wall.
SW Cheviot walls, Emerald Designer Collection, Photo by C Placensia

Sherwin-Williams also claimed that the new paint and colors had much better “hide” than before.  This means that the paint covers surfaces in fewer coats. In my experience, that is true!

In our North American Market, the major paint companies do not frequently introduce new paint colors. Despite being four years old at the time of this review, these are still considered very new paint colors.

These paints aren’t available through the Sherwin paints available at Lowe’s, only at the Sherwin-Williams paint stores.

An office wall is painted with SW Cheviot paint and Extra White trim.
SW Cheviot walls with Extra White door, Emerald Designer Collection, Photo by C Placensia

Can Emerald Designer Collection Paints Be Mixed with Other Sherwin-Williams Paint Grades?

Sherwin does not allow or approve these paints being mixed with anything other than the Emerald Designer Collection Paint. It is not available for other Sherwin paint grades. This is because the bases for paint grades like A-100, Super Paint, and Cashmere are so different and unavailable in the brighter white base used for the Emerald Designer Collection colors. 

The paint for Emerald Designer Collection colors is different from the standard Emerald interior paint because it has a special white base.

My local Sherwin store recently confirmed that they have been able to add the Designer Collection colors to Duration Paint since earlier in 2024.

I have also had reports from local Denver painters that they’ve recently used Duration interior and exterior paint in Designer colors.

This is not promoted or discussed on the Sherwin-Williams website. Hopefully, we will hear more from Sherwin soon!

Are Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Exterior Paints Available?

The only exterior paint available with this collection of colors was the Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel, which can be used for both interiors and exteriors. 

However, my local Sherwin store started mixing these colors in Duration Exterior paint earlier this year. We may start to see a larger uptake this year.

A bedroom is painted with Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint.
SW Mortar walls, Emerald Designer Collection, Photo by M. Marceny

My Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint Review

Now that we have a clear understanding of what makes Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Collection paints special, I want to share my own experience using these colors for the past four years.

Pros: Emerald Designer Collection Performance

I have used this collection in several projects, including my own home, with the Emerald Designer paint. The paint colors were beautiful, on par with Benjamin Moore. The colors were clean and had better hide than the standard colors, especially the whites.

I was especially pleased with SW White Snow, a clean white that is similar to SW High Reflective White. I was able to cover a back hallway painted with SW Cyberspace (a dark blue-black) with just 3 coats of White Snow. That would have taken 5-6 coats of High Reflective White.

Cons: Limited Availability

Unfortunately, this color collection didn’t have a strong uptake when it was first launched in 2020. The reasons for the poor uptake had nothing to do with the beautiful colors or performance, however.  

Instead, the limited availability restricted their adoption, and launching in early 2020, at the start of the pandemic, also affected the supply chain.

Some of the biggest challenges for this paint line included:

Painters have been frustrated that they couldn’t get 5-gallon pails, which is standard for most larger projects. Homeowners didn’t have access to testers unless they purchased a 1-gallon pail at the list price, but large peel-and-stick samples are thankfully available through Samplize and Sherwin-Williams.

Sherwin Williams Emerald Paint Price

Another factor contributing to the slow uptake of the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Collection was the price. These special paints were the most expensive that Sherwin offered.

My Favorite Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint Colors

As I’ve worked with a variety of SW Emerald Designer Edition paint colors the last four years, I’ve really fallen in love with these gorgeous hues. This stuff is gorgeous! The following paint colors are some of my favorites:

Sherwin-Williams Cheviot

I think of Cheviot (sample) as Sherwin-Williams’ answer to Simply White. It is clean, crisp and luminous on the wall and looks beautiful in many different spaces.

A paint color swatch of Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Editional paint color, SW Cheviot

Sherwin-Williams Cheviot (Color Review) has really soft yellow undertones that help this color look warm on the wall. When I say it has yellow undertones, I don’t want you to think the color looks yellow, just soft and slightly warm.  It has enough yellow in it to brighten up a room with low light, but it stands up well to the bright sunshine without washing out or looking too yellow.

This is a great paint white paint color option for rooms with low light (read post).

A lofted studio painted with Sherwin-Williams Cheviot paint and an SW Iron Ore accent wall.
Photo by M. Marceny

Sherwin-Williams Grey Heron

Sherwin-Willaims Grey Heron (sample) is a light greige paint color. It typically looks much lighter than it really is on the wall but has enough depth to hold up even in spaces with lower lighting.

A paint color swatch of Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Editional paint color, SW Grey Heron

Grey Heron (Color Review) has violet undertones. Like other gray paint colors, its undertones are not always obvious. The color is so clean and crisp that it looks much lighter than it is on the wall while still offering a good amount of depth. Don’t be fooled when I say it has violet undertones. This color won’t look fleshy or violet, just a nice soft light version of an elephant-colored gray.

An entry way features SW Grey Heron walls with an SW Attitude Gray front door.
Photo by M. Marceny

It looks especially beautiful in North-facing rooms with cooler light, and can even be used as a whole-house color!

The closest and almost identical Benjamin Moore color is Balboa Mist (color review).

Sherwin-Williams Mortar

Sherwin-Williams SW Mortar (sample) paint is a light and airy warm greige that can be used in place of a traditional white paint color in many applications, including interior rooms and exterior trim. 

SW Mortar (color review) has soft, invisible green undertones. It reminds me a lot of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (color review), although the undertones are slightly different. Sherwin-Williams has taken the best of Classic Gray, without the flashes of violet undertones, and made Mortar.

A bedroom is painted with SW Mortar paint.
Photo by M. Marceny

Unlike many white colors, Mortar really stays true to its color and doesn’t change much with different lighting throughout the day. It is always soft and light and lovely.

I used this paint color for my parents when they moved in with me. My dad said he wanted a soft warm paint color that was pleasing throughout the day, and this was it!

Sherwin-Williams White Snow

Sherwin-Williams White Snow (sample) is a bright, clean white paint color with nearly invisible warm undertones that keep it from looking too stark.

A paint color swatch of Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Editional paint color, SW White Snow

This color filled a gap in the Sherwin-Williams offering with an LRV of 90. It’s not quite a true white but very bright and covers beautifully. I like to think of it as a modernized version of High Reflective White. It’s almost as clean and has much better hide, needing fewer layers of paint for good coverage.

A small bathroom is painted with Sherwin-Williams White Snow with an SW Extra White ceiling.
Photo by M. Marceny

White Snow is one of the best Sherwin-Williams white paint colors because it is not overly warm or cool. As a result, it’s a very versatile color that can pair well with both cool and warm paint colors, flooring, and other hard finishes. It’s a great color to use as a clean base comparison with other whites.

We wrote about SW White Snow in Best Sherwin-Williams White Paint Colors (article).

Sample the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Collection

Don’t forget to always sample your paint colors. Use the links below to order Samplize samples for each of our favorite Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Collection paint colors.

Samplize offers peel-and-stick samples made with real paint, so you can easily test any color in any space in your home.

Buy 8 samples and get 2 free – no coupon code required! Order today and get samples tomorrow!

Key Learning Points

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Collection paints are high-quality, beautiful paint colors with excellent coverage. Like any paint, however, they have some pros and cons.

  • The Emerald Designer Edition Collection paint colors are beautiful and, as promised, have better coverage than other Sherwin paints.
  • This collection features a specially formulated bright white base, which is crisper and brighter than other Sherwin-Williams bases.
  • This is primarily an interior paint, available in flat, eggshell, satin and gloss sheens.
  • Exterior colors are only available in exterior Emerald Urethane trim paint. They are not generally available in Emerald Exterior paints for siding.
  • SW Emerald Designer Edition paints can only be mixed with SW Emerald paint, which is more expensive than other Sherwin paint lines.
  • I’ve had reports from Sherwin stores, clients, and local painters that this color collection is available in some areas with Duration paint.

Remember: NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one specified. Results are poor and there are no standards for the sheens.  Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. See results from paint matching here.

No matter what, always test your paint colors. It’s a standard best practice.  Whenever I test my paint colors, they are perfect, and when I don’t test they turn out wrong. Learn how to test your paint colors here.

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A bedroom features SW Mortar paint, one of the best paint colors in the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Edition Collection.

We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give out specific answers to your paint questions.  If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.


About the Author

Michelle Marceny, principal designer and founder of The Color Concierge, a paint color consulting company in Denver, Colorado.

Hi, I’m Michelle Marceny, founder, owner, and Principal Color Designer at The Color Concierge. I believe a fresh coat of paint can completely transform a space. The Color Concierge was born out of my drive to help clients fall back in love with their homes. My clients trust me to help them find the perfect paint color for their home – whether it’s a whole-house paint color scheme or ideas for a single room. 

Since The Color Concierge was founded in 2017, we have completed over 3000 color consultations, both online and in-person.  I am a Certified Color Expert with 7 years of experience creating interior and exterior color palettes throughout North America.


12 Responses

    1. Hi David,

      That is a really great question! We are color designers and The Color Concierge is a color consulting company. We specify paint colors from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore for our customers every day, both online and in-person (before virus). Our goal is to express our opinions, and to share with our readers. We are constantly sorting through color decks to recommend the perfect paint color to our clients. We are excited about this launch because it gives us many more options than we had before. Many of our customers specify Sherwin-Williams because the brand is so popular with painters. We pride ourselves on being impartial and brand-agnostic. We just pick the best color for our customer’s project. I would invite you to go through our blog posts to see our work.

      Michelle

      1. I just tried the Emerald Designer paint from the modern palette. I love the colors, but the paint is not worth the price! Not impressed! Cheaper paints work way better than this!

  1. I love the “verdict” especially the part about painters and what they try to talk their customers into! REAL experience talking there 😉
    I can’t wait to see the Emerald designer product and the colors that go in it.

    1. Hi Holly,
      Great question! These colors are only available with Emerald paint. The reason is that they use a different base than non-Emerald paints, so they don’t have the formulas.
      Michelle

    2. Hi Holly,
      That is a great question! These colors are only available with Emerald Designer Edition Paint. The reason is that it uses a different base for the colors than other Sherwin-Williams paints. It is what makes them so crisp and clean and lovely. The colors couldn’t be created with the old base.
      Michelle

  2. I understand that the Emerald Designer Collection only comes in three sheens: Gloss, Satin, Flat.
    I usually have semi-gloss painted in kitchen and bathrooms, but I am lead to believe the 1/2 step up of the “gloss” would be too shiny. What is your expeience?

  3. I like the Emerald Designer line colors. Azure Tide is in my living/dining room. I went through at least 40 blue samples (Samplize and paint) before seeing Azure Tide in the Emerald Designer line brochure at my local Sherwin Williams store – the brochure being the only source I could find the ’sample.’ Samplize didn’t have it at the time. I took multiple brochures and cut out the small squares to put multiple samples up around the room. I love Azure Tide! It complements all the reds and oranges I have in my art/rugs/decor collected during our postings around the world. I didn’t want the greyed blues that seem to be everyone’s go to. I don’t see their draw honestly. Grey isn’t my thing.

    I then chose Radiant Dawn to be my neutral for hallways, guest bath, kitchen, etc. I love the warmth in it and it goes well with the cooler wall colors (Azure Blue and Quietude) I have and the natural white oak floors.

    I tried Emerald Designer line of whites to show undertones in my home so I’m sticking with Pure White for trim. Thanks for updating your review. I do wish you included a greater variety of colors in it though. Thank you for all your reviews and posts. I read through many on my home design journey.

    1. That should say ‘I found the Emerald Designer line whites to show undertones in my home.’ Pinky undertones were coming out and I didn’t have any of my reds out when I was doing the sampling. Maybe it’s the 3000K lighting I choose to use.

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Meet Michelle

Driven to help clients fall back in love with their homes with intentional paint color schemes. She started the company based on her passion for color and its ability to make a house a home.

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