Sherwin Williams ProClassic Semi-Gloss Enamel Review

006I have been using Sherwin Williams ProClassic semi-gloss enamel for several years, and it’s still my favorite for painting trim and doors, preferably for spray application.

ProClassic is expensive (no less than $50 per gallon), but you get what you pay for. However, ProClassic can be tricky to work with if you’re inexperienced with a paint brush or a sprayer. The material self-levels, which can more easily lead to runny paint if you over-apply, but when applied correctly, ProClassic makes doors and trim look amazing.

The self-leveling nature of the enamel is great because the leveling reduces traces of brush marks, and when sprayed, it looks like a factory finish. ProClassic does dry fast, so if you apply the material with a paint brush, you have to work quickly to avoid ruining the finish. Paint brush application is fine, but ProClassic looks best when sprayed using an airless sprayer or an HVLP sprayer.

ProClassic is an acrylic enamel that mimics the full-bodied look of oil-based enamel. You can also buy this product in an oil base, but the oil-based paint does yellow over time, and clean up isn’t fun. The acrylic version won’t yellow as much, and it dries faster. It also provides durability similar to oil-based enamel, especially when applied on top of a primed surface. If the surface is prepared correctly before painting, and at least two coats of enamel are applied, the paint finish won’t chip or rub off easily.

Pro Classic is awesome for trim, doors, shelving, paneling, furniture, columns, staircase spindles and kitchen cabinets. I use semi-gloss the most, but you can also buy it in gloss or high-gloss for maximum sheen. I sprayed a dresser with the ProClassic in high-gloss, and the finish looked like a mirror.

Some cheaper semi-gloss paints don’t cover well, but this enamel provides better coverage than other trim paints like ProMar 200 semi-gloss from Sherwin Williams. The paint is also pretty thick, so if you’re painting bright white over a darker white, or an off-white, it usually covers in two coats, and looks completely solid when dry.

I definitely recommend ProClassic enamel for painting interior trim and doors. If you use a brush instead of a sprayer to paint trim and doors, use a quality 2 1/2-inch Purdy XL or Corona angled paint brush. It makes a huge difference. For the paint roller, use a foam or flock paint roller to achieve a sprayed look. A roller with a 1/4-inch nap also works great for doors and leaves very little stipple on the surface when working with enamel. If you want to save money on your trim paint purchase, and still get a good product, Sherwin Williams Super Paint in semi-gloss is great too, but ProClassic is better.

Category: Sherwin Williams Paint Reviews

4 thoughts on “Sherwin Williams ProClassic Semi-Gloss Enamel Review

  1. Jed Sutter on said:

    What type of airless sprayer would you suggest? I had been thinking of getting an HVLP sprayer but you’re recommending airless for the ProClassic.
    Thanks.

    • I have a Graco 495 airless sprayer, and I use it to spray everything, including ProClassic. I use Graco fine finish tips (green color) when spraying ProClassic on doors, cabinets and furniture. The fine finish tips produce a fine mist, similar to HVLP. I recommend Graco airless sprayers if you decide to buy one, but a professional sprayer costs over $1,000. If you have a one-time spray job, rent a sprayer from your local paint store. If you will be spraying large projects every month (siding, walls, ceilings, trim), buy a quality airless sprayer. If you have mostly small, delicate spray jobs like furniture and cabinets, HVLP is best, otherwise buy an airless, and use the fine finish tips when needed.

  2. I used pro classic on my cabinets and sprayed it on with a $200 Ryobi HVLP paint station and it looks like a factory finish. Great stuff!

    • ProClassic is great for cabinets. How do you like the Ryobi HVLP sprayer? That’s a good price. At $200 I might be concerned about the durability and performance of the sprayer, but if it operates well, that’s a nice deal.

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