Homebuilding malaise and subprime scares are marring the once-shining performance of a variety of firms in the housing industry. Paint firm Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) has even seen some of the shine come off its strong growth track record, but so far, its stock is holding up surprisingly well.

Sherwin-Williams reported a slight fall in first-quarter earnings when it reported results yesterday. Management cited tough conditions at its paint stores; do-it-yourself consumer, contractor, and builder demand has slowed in recent quarters. This trend mirrors slowing same-store sales trends at DIY giants Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) and increasing new-home cancellations from the likes of Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM), DR Horton (NYSE:DHI), and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL).

Fellow Fool and resident homebuilding expert David Lee Smith expects the industry to weather the current storm, and Sherwin-Williams is still calling for 10% earnings growth in 2007 as trends at its global segment help offset domestic weakness. Sherwin also has a steady track record of impressive sales and earnings growth. Sales and earnings have respectively advanced 9% and 17% on average in each of the past five years, and operating cash flow has improved a respectable 7.8% over the same time frame.       

In most cases, I'd recommend taking advantage of short-term industry woes to pick up company shares on the cheap, much like Philip Durell at Motley Fool Inside Value did with a recent pick of wall-board maker USG (NYSE:USG).

However, Sherwin-Williams has bucked the trend, with shares rising almost 50% since last summer. Existing shareholders aren't complaining, but the increase may seem worse to prospective buyers, especially considering the lead-paint litigation uncertainty hovering over the company. At current levels, there may be better bargains out there for Fools shopping in the home-industry neighborhood.

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Home Depot and USG are recommendations of Motley Fool Inside Value. Discover why the home retailer has built up a market-beating performance record with a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann is long shares of Lowe's and Home Depot but has no financial interest in any other company mentioned. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.