Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Promar 200 ZERO VOC – The right paint for your home

Promar 200 Zero VOC

“What paint should I use in my own home?”

Can you explain what the single most important aspect should be in a type of interior paint?  Should it be ease of use?  How well it covers?  Clean ability?  Odor?  Versatility?  Affordable?  It is quite difficult to pinpoint exactly what a paint should be, and to be quite honest it needs to be all these things and more.

We have been in business for twenty-one years and over that time we have used just about every type of paint on the market.  If you ask a painter what is most important he is going to tell you cost and coverage.  If you ask a homeowner what is most important they will tell you something the first time, then something else the second time…  So who is right?  Well they both are!  You need a paint that will cover the walls thoroughly and look great when you are finished.  You need a paint that has low to no odor and is environmentally friendly.  You need a paint that can take a beating and keep on going.  You need a paint that can be made in any color of the spectrum and in all different levels of sheen.  And, you need a paint that won’t break the bank!  In our opinion Sherwin Williams has done just that with their introduction of the Promar 200 ZERO VOC line of paint.

Promar 200 ZERO VOC is interior wall paint is fantastic

Promar 200 Zero VOC When changing color we always tell our clients that we use two coats of paint for complete coverage.  Sometimes when the color change is drastic it takes even more coats.  We have found that this product covers so well that a second coat is not needed in some instances.  *** Please let me assure you that we ALWAYS apply two coats when we say we will, but if the client is happy with one and asks us to not apply the second coat we remove that charge from the bill. ***  This paint can do everything that we ask it to and it is priced reasonably.  There is a difference between premium paint and cheap paint – we only use premium paint.  BUT, there is also a difference between buying a “name” and the actual cost of a superior product.  I am here to tell you that Promar 200 ZERO VOC is an outstanding product that performs to all standards and meets everyone’s demanding criteria.

 How we tested the Promar 200

Last year we setup a blind test in our shop and had the most novice to our most seasoned painters try out several coating products.  We took several sheets of drywall and had paint trays labeled with paint “A” “B”, etc…  The roller frames were all the same and the roller covers were identical.  The only difference was the paint itself.  After thirty minutes of painting and an hour of deliberation the clear winner was Promar 200 ZERO VOC.  After the paint dried you could not tell the difference between the seasoned painters test spots and the novices.  You could only tell a difference between the paints.  Every single painter chose the Promar 200 ZERO VOC samples as the best looking and the ones with the best coverage.  It beat out other manufacturers paints and it beat out higher costing materials from Sherwin Williams.   It even beat out the old paint we used on just about every interior that our guys swore by.

Using it in our own home!

Promar 200 ZERO VOC
This is fresh sheetrock with one coat of white primer and ONE coat of Promar 200 ZERO VOC. Can’t wait to get the second coat on to see how rich it will look against that fireplace!


That test was performed over six months ago.  Since then we have been using this product on every house we paint – from typical homes to the most luxurious.  The results are the same every single time!  Our crews love using it, our clients are blown away by the results, and the designers we work with love the versatility.  If you don’t want to take my word for it ask my wife; we are currently painting the entire interior of our home with this product and she is in love!




34 thoughts on “Promar 200 ZERO VOC – The right paint for your home

  1. My go to paint when asked to recommend a product. This and Superpaint are fantastic product without breaking the bank….a great way to build value and quality in a bid.

    1. We agree – Superpaint is a good product, but we think they have changed the formula and not told anyone. Plus the added benefit of this being a ZERO VOC paint gets clients very excited.

  2. Because we use so much Benjamin Moore Regal Select line and also the New Ultra Select line a SW rep asked us to try a few gallons of the Pro Mar 200 low voc–low sheen interior paint. The color was matched to BM Putnam Ivory the match was good and took 2 coats to cover over a very similar color. Also the smell of paint is still very evident unlike BM paints made with there new gen-x colorants.

    The low sheen is still very shiny on a flat wall which is pretty much all we have in New England and if you plan on touching up this product will flash big-time.

    For us SW has a long long way to go to catch up with Benjamin Moore on Residential Paint products. The pro mar low voc line is a step in the right direction for sure.

    1. We have had much different results than you have had Nick. That being said – we do not have a Ben Moore dealer anywhere near us. Glidden/ICI, SW, Home Depot, & Lowes is all we have access to. For us the SW has been fantastic. We used to use quite a bit of their Classic 99, Cashmere, Superpaint, etc… and all of it is good paint, but the Pro Mar 200 has a good combination of quality and cost factor. Glidden makes good paint as well, but their wet hide vs. dry hide is sometimes deceptive.

      To be honest – we have had zero issues with flash? So I am curious how you had such a hard time with the Low Sheen. We regularly use the flat, low sheen, and eggshell finish. As I am sure you know, eggshell is nearly impossible to touch up – but we have been successful doing so with this paint.

      Maybe its the difference in geography, maybe something to do with our weather/humidity, maybe something was on your walls, or maybe you just got a bad batch – but we have been quite satisfied with our results.

      Give it a try sometime on a different project and maybe you will have better luck. If we ever get a Ben Moore dealer we will defiantly try their paints as well! Thanks!

      1. Cashmere smells like Diesel fuel and after customers complained we stopped even trying to use it. As for touching up eggshell latex or waterborne yes it’s tough unlike oils from years past when I first started in the early 70’s.

        What I meant by flashing is the final shading of the walls as years ago we had lots of issues with shading in the pro mar 200 lines. As for Glidden back in the day 70’s -80’s Glidden was all we used for deep colors and PPG for commercial.

        Sorry I could not disagree more I am not loyal to any paint company just call them like we see them. The gen-x colorants are hard to beat, as for waterborne the first to start with it was Muralo Paints and without a doubt the best there is. All that matters is if you like the product as for knowing how to apply waterborne or latex eggshell on a surface I stared at 16 I’m now 56 so I might know a thing or two about painting. Much success…

      2. Promar 200 is decent but SW paints in general are sub-par at best. Their top line Emerald is some of the streakiest paint I’ve ever used, not to mention it is not touch up friendly at all and beyond overpriced. Benjamin Moore, Ralph Lauren, and even Behr are options I would consider over Sherwin. Paint contractors swear by Sherwin-Williams because they get such a good rate from them but consumers do not. They use that good old tactic where if you price something high, people will automatically assume it’s high-quality, and then they sell that 60$ gallon for 16$ to contractors because they know it’s cheap manufactured paint. Anyone with experience using several different paints knows this

  3. Good article. I just painted an interior with S.W. Harmony and will use Promar200 on the next. I have a feeling they are very similar. I love the fact that they are zero-VOC. I now will only buy zero-VOC paint and primers for interior residential work.

  4. Great article and responses. Not sure what Nick means by “diesel fuel” with the Cashmere, maybe a bad bucket of paint. We are happy with the “balance’ that the 200 Zero VOC gives us. Balance of cost, quality and ease of use for production. We have had zero customer issues while using it. I really do think that all the major paint companies have certainly stepped up their game when it comes to offering us, the contractors, more options while maintaining quality. I look forward to the next generation of paints that will be coming our way soon.

  5. Hi! Stumbled upon this article and it struck a cord with me. I am not a professional painter, but I feel I could give a “real” unbiased opinion on this product. LOVE IT!

    As a homeowner who loves to change it up, I personally have something painted in my home on a regular basis. This is the paint I request that the painters use! I can TRULY say I’m not loyal to any paint manufacturer, as I am not a professional painter. I really don’t think you can say that unless you aren’t in the painting business.

    Anyway, I’m not sure what odor the previous commenter was sniffing, but the smell is so minimal (if not non-existent) that my husband didn’t even know the painters had come and painted something while he was at work. Must be that smoggy New England air up there? 😉 I have two indoor dogs so touch-ups are necessary and happen often. Couldn’t tell you where all I have touched-up because it blends great. Compared to Lowes/Home Depot brands, it’s a little more expensive but totally worth the extra money and the painters I use tell me they love it. Like I said, I’m not in the painting business, just a consumer! If you plan on having someone come out to paint something at your home, request this paint. I think you’ll be pleased with the results!

    Love the blog, BTW! Very informative helpful for all of us “DIY’ers!”

    1. Kelly, thanks for commenting! Glad you like the site. As a painting contractor, I appreciate a customer who is willing to understand that cost is not the determining factor when it comes to choosing paint!

  6. I have regretfully only used this product once thus far, but was pleased with the performance, and appearance.

    Hopefully other lines using this colorant system will be great as well. Should be seeing Sherwin Williams flagship paint Emerald in stores next month.

  7. What brand of primer was used. Specifically what name? Was it also ProMar 200? I believe they make a primer version and topcoat……Or are they identical.

    1. The primer we used for this particular application was Sherwin Williams Master Prep. Master prep is a thick primer meant to go on raw sheetrock. It helps to hide imperfections and sands out really smooth. They do make a primer version, but we do not usually use it. Not that it is a bad product, but we generally use other primers. Let me know if I can help with anything else! Thanks

  8. We a number of no or low voc product from both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams and are please with the quality of most of the products.

    We are located here in East Hampton New York and the price is marked up considerably. Some of our clients are excited to hear about these products and are not so excited when receiving the painting estimate or quote. They tend to go with more conventional products and maybe finish coat with the more expense products.

    As for priming we really like the Benjamin Moore under-body/primer. Great coverage at great price.

    We usually work with Aboffs paint store the location is more convenient for us, but love hit Sherwin Williams when opportunity rises.

    Great post Richard!

    Happy Painting,

    Michael OShea Painting Inc.


  9. Great residential repaint product. Most Ben-Moore 0 VOC products I have used have a better wet-hide than dry-hide. This leads to false hopes of the final paint job. The ProMar 0 VOC dries better than it goes on, and it goes on fantastic. I don’t smell much at all and the touch up is great. I’m sure there are plenty of great products out there, but this is a go-to for me.

  10. Check the PI SHEET . Pro mar 200 Zero is actually less then 50 voc. which makes it a Low VOC not Zero.Most true Zero VOC Paints are les then 5 due to trace voc .

  11. Comparable to Benjamin Moore UltraSpec but much cheaper. We use a lot of low-sheen paint. Cleanable like eggshell and not shiny. Recentyly Sherwin Williams started to use different pigment to get real zero VOC

  12. After reading this, I mentioned to the S.W rep that some felt the ProMar 200 worked better than some of their more expensive paints. His reaction was that it had less solids so it would not be as good… S.W tends to try to up-sale you on everything, sometimes at the expense of the better product, so I’m not sure what to say. But I will definitely try the ProMar 200 on my next interior (which is now) and see how it goes.

    1. Mike – without going into tremendous detail, let me give you a couple facts to help you feel confident about using this product.

      First, the “volume solids” of Promar 200 Zero VOC is 41%, the weight solids of the paint is 57%. SW’s TOP of the line most premium paint is Emerald (personally i think it is way overrated, but that it is for another post!) The “volume solids” of Emerald is 41%, and the weight solids of Emerald is 58%. So let me debunk the solids debate that he is trying to sling you. I will say that more premium paint has better ingredients which is why it is more expensive. And typically I agree that you get what you pay for, up to a certain point. SW Duration product is fantastic and something that we use a lot of, however for interior paint unless you just wanted to spend more we feel that the Promar 200 Zero VOC coating is an excellent option for the money.

      Second, I know from a multiple folks in the SW universe a little secret… If you look at there premium HGTV line and compare it to Promar 200 Zero VOC you will notice something…. They are basically the same identical paint in different packaged buckets. The Promar paint is only sold to contractors and the HGTV paint is obviously sold to the average consumer.

      I think if you try this product and use either the flat of low sheen options you will be pleased. Best of luck and let me know how it turns out for you!


      1. Hey, thanks for getting back to me Patrick. Interesting that you would bring up the HGTV line that Lowes is carrying, because I was just trying to figure out which paints they correspond to. Tried to get info from S.W. but they were dodgy on that. So You’re saying that the “Showcase is virtually the same as ProMar? They also have one called “Ovation” What would that be comparable to? Even My friend at Lowes seems to be having a hard time finding this out, and he worked for ICI Dulux for years. Pro Mar 200 is Interior only isn’t it? So while we’re on the subject, can you also tell me what the HGTV Exterior paints would correspond to in the S.W. store line? I realize I’ve got like three questions I’m asking here, but this would be super helpful information.

      2. Patrick,
        I recently used about 5 Gallons of Showcase + from S.W. on a new Drywall ceiling and found it (at least as a White) to be poor in coverage. I primed the SheetRock (Brand) with Gardz (which does turn the paper darker) and put 2 coats of Showcase + on and still had some areas not covering well. I could have used Behr’s Ultra Ceiling paint which I know would have covered in two coats. The cost of the paint was good for Me with My discount, but I switched to Behr Premium Plus (not Ultra) Flat and the light tanish beige covered well in one coat and was really solid in two. Maybe I’ll try the ProMar 200 in color to see how it goes, but the Behr was great and touched up really well in the Flat.The scrub test they show is pretty impressive for the Behr. Jack Pauhl seems to love the Behr Paint, but he tends to like his paint very thin and flowy. Works for him, but I have trouble with thin paints sagging. Oh, and BTW, the Behr Flat is nice and creamy, not chalky like some Flats. I think even the Duration interior flat was on the chalky side as I recall.

      3. Hi Patrick – do you still highly recommend the Promar 200? My painter recommended eggshell low gloss (we want a flat/matte finish), so curious if you are still a fan of this line

      4. Hi Patrick. We are after a Matte/flat finish, but have young kids so something ther could be touched up or washed. Our painter likes SW 200 VOC in eggshell low gloss. Do you still recommend this paint overall? Or has the recipe changed over the years?

  13. Has anyone had any issues with the ProMar 200 Zero VOC pulling off the walls with 3M blue painters tape? We are having issues on a job that when the GC does there punch out they put blue tape over the finished painted walls (Promar 200 Zero VOC Primer and two coats of Promar 200 Zero VOC latex semi-gloss paint) once the tape is pulled off it takes the paint with it. This is over level 5 drywall finish work. Any help would be greatly appreciated here.

    1. jleesouthfl – We have not had issues with it pulling off the walls. What kind of tape is he using? How long before he is putting tape on your walls? Are you sanding in-between coats for best adhesion? Not sure what to say, but we typically do not use semi-gloss paint. The highest we use is eggshell. Maybe that is making the difference. As for primer, we generally us a Hi-Build primer or block filler, not the Zero VOC – maybe that is making the difference?

      Let us know if you figure out a solution. Best of luck!

    2. Blue tape should never pull good paint off the walls, provided adequate dry time was given. The substrate must also be considered. For instance, I was just called in to help another painter who was behind on a project. This was new construction with orange peel blown onto the drywall. We also had issues with paint peeling when pulling blue tape, so I asked the other guy what he used to prime with and he said PVA. First big mistake right there! Many primers do not adhere well. The true test is to prime a small area, wait 24 hrs, and apply Masking (not blue) tape and rip it off the wall. Let me save you a bunch of time and tell you, you will be disappointed with many primers. And no, it’s not the tape. It is the primer! Once you find the appropriate primer, You need paint that actually sticks (what a concept) but this again is not easy to do. Try PPG Manor Hall for paint, Ben Moore top of the line should also be good but expensive. Not as expensive as having the blue tape (expensive) pull the paint off and have to sand, patch, and paint again (and still you have a poor substrate established for the next poor sucker who has to put up with it). and if You really want the best primer, reply to this and I well try to help you.

        1. Maybe you’re right Scott. Why bother worrying whether the Paint adheres or not. It can always be sanded down to bare drywall, re-primed, and re-painted.
          But I like My way better.

          1. No one likes that kind of experience, Mike, thats for sure. Feel free to share here primers that you have had success with.

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