The Benjamin Moore Paint Company was started by, you guessed it, Benjamin Moore in 1883. Since that time, this award winning brand has grown to offer the “finest paints, stains, and finishes across North America.” Having used many competitors products like Sherwin Williams, Behr, Valspar, Duron and Ralph Lauren, we were curious how Ben Moore paint would compare and if it could live up to the hype.
To date, we’ve tested two lines of Benjamin Moore paint and can share over three years of durability results. In this article we’ll discuss paint selection, availability, price, coverage and longevity.
Editors note: This post originally ran in July of 2008. Since that time we’ve received lots of comments, feedback and suggestions. In an effort to continue providing accurate information, we’ve updated this post, and conducted additional testing. Many of the comments may no longer be applicable after this update, but we’ve preserved them to incorporate reader insights.
Benjamin Moore Paint Review
At every opportunity, we’ve been impressed with the variety and selection Benjamin Moore provides – the colors are stylish and fresh. You can explore the complete catalog of more than 3,400 paint colors online, and view color combinations suggestions based on your choices.
You can even order 1 pint samples online to “try on” a color before making the final purchase. With 1 pint (16 oz) you can apply two coats of paint on approximately 32 sq ft. Orders of two or more colors include a 1″ paint brush, and orders of four or more ship free.
You won’t find Ben Moore at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. From the very beginning, BM paint has been sold only through independent retailers. They boast a distribution network of over 4,000 stores across North American including Signature stores, paint and decorating stores, lumber yards and hardware stores. We used the store locator and found several retailers nearby.
This distribution method must be working as Benjamin Moore was rated highest in customer satisfaction with interior paints by J.D. Power and Associates 2011. Click this rating guide to see the details and how the competition ranked.
Regal Classic Sea Star
There are four main Benjamin Moore interior paint product lines- Aura, Natura, Regal and ben Interior. Each line emphasizes different qualities and carries a different price tag. Prices have risen since 2008, however Benjamin Moore has eliminated hidden costs for color tinting that were not always included.
Aura paint is the premium paint line and claims you’ll never need to apply more than two coats in any color. It’s available in matte, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss sheen, and all of them include the Color LockÂ Technology to eliminate color rub-off. This self-priming paint also acts as a mildew resistant coating. Aura carries a premium price of $62.99 per gallon.
Aura Product Information | MSDS information (download)
Natura paint is a zero-VOC interior paint line (even after tinting). It’s available as a water based primer and eggshell, flat and semi-gloss sheen. Natura is also self-priming, and has “virtually no odor.” This acrylic latex paint is ideally suited for residential applications like walls, ceilings, interior plaster and more. Natura costs $54.99 per gallon.
Natura Product Information | Award Information
The third line of Ben Moore paint is called Regal which encompasses Regal Select and Regal Classic, and between the two you can find every sheen possible. Regal Select is newer and claims smoother application and longer durability. Both are washable, fade resistant and mildew resistant. Regal paint is available for $49.99 per gallon.
Regal Select Product Information | Regal Classic Product Information
- ben Interior:
ben Interior is the last and most inexpensive line of Ben Moore paint. It’s only available in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss sheen, and is designed to attract consumers who balk at the more expensive options. One gallon of ben Interior cost $35.99.
ben Interior Product Information
ben Interior Revere Pewter
We’ve tested the Regal Classic and ben Interior product lines and found both to provide smooth, even coverage. One gallon of paint should cover roughly 400 sq ft which we found to be true. Unfortunately, in all of our product testing we had to apply a second coat despite already having primed the walls. Neither line claims one-coat coverage, but for the price, we expected better.
After three years of daily living (and abuse), we’ve found Regal Classic eggshell to provide superior durability. Ben Moore delivers on the claims that painted surfaces are easy to wash and clean-up. Plus, none of the paint came off, and the walls still look beautiful.
In conclusion, we were impressed by the color selection and the smooth application. Many retailers in our area carry all the Ben Moore lines of paint so availability was not an issue. Coverage was a little disappointing especially because Ralph Lauren has a similar price tag and provides true one-coat coverage.
What do you think? What’s your experience with Benjamin Moore paint?
I haven’t tried Benjamin Moore because of the price. Personally, I have used Ralph Lauren for years for my homes and have been very satisfied not only with the coverage but also the color selection. The cost is reasonable – in comparison to Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.
I used Ralph Lauren and had a nightmarish result. I used a dark brown and after a lot of back and forth with corporate headquarters, got more paint and a higher sheen. This was supposed to remedy the burnishing but did not. Barely touching the wall causes white marks on the wall. After over a year on the wall still does this. I have had over 50 years painting. Will never touch glidden or Ralph Lauren again. I also didn’t go for Ben Moore because of the cost. I am going to try the pearl in regal and see if it’s worth the 50 dollars.
To all of you that have questions about any of the Ben.Moore products…please read. I live in the Caribbean and on an island that is close to the equator and we are always humid. To add to that, I Iive on a heavily tree-lined road in the country and the humidity is horrific. I painted all my exterior woodwork with B.Moore white, oil based paint, Satin finish over 16 years ago. I did one flat undercoat (water base) and two top coats and only now am I thinking it might be time to lightly sand the trim down and give them all one coat to freshen up the look. I think I got more than my money’s worth for all the years this paint has withstood harsh, humid and hot weather. I also used B.Moore Satin finish, water base polyurethane on my kitchen cabinets. It is now time to re-do them. These products are outstanding and I am so grateful for them every time a friend tells me…OH BOY, THIS WEATHER! I NEED TO RE-PAINT!! btw…all my interior doors and trim are good as new…still! If anyone thinks this paint is expensive…please think of me. I need to ship it in, pay duty and get a “license” from the government to bring in any paints, varnishes etc. Count your blessings and use B.Moore! You will not be unhappy.
I just had my house painted with Benjamin Moore. You are terrific and your comment made my day.
Totally awesome, I love Benjamin Moore and your story is just icing on the cake. I show it to my customers and they love it even though we are up here in Wisconsin. Thank you very much for sharing
I used Ralph Lauren and had a nightmarish result. I used a dark brown and after a lot of back and forth with corporate headquarters, got more paint and a higher sheen. This was supposed to remedy the burnishing but did not. Barely touching the wall causes white marks on the wall. After over a year on the wall still does this. I have had over 50 years painting. Will never touch glidden or Ralph Lauren again. I also didn’t go for Ben Moore because of the cost. I am going to try the pearl in regal and see if it’s worth the 50 dollars.
I love Benjamin Moore and have found it worth the money. BUT, I had great experience with RL too and it is cheaper. So, you can save money. I just go with the people who make my color. What I haven’t had success with is color matching via different companies. Benjamin Moore makes all of the colors you see in the PB catalog which is where I get my inspiration. So it is just easy to go to the store and buy the colors of the room I liked 😉 That is what I am paying for, my lack of creativity I guess.
What is the “PB catalog” you refer to in your comment?
Generally PB refers to Pottery Barb.
After seeing people swoon over BM paint I wondered if it made a difference. 🙂
Mary, Good point about the colors and paying for “creativity.” I did love BM color selection, but I think I could find something comparable or do a color match with RL. Then again I do not have small children sucking my emotional resources. I have had very good experiences with color matching (at least at Big Orange).
I’m not sure the exact differences between Regal and Aura, but I know that Aura paint is the only one Ben Moore sells that is lowest in VOC’s (volatile organice compounds) if not completely VOC free. If you’re really into the environment, trying to avoid dangerous chemicals,or both, this is a real selling point. And no matter what finish you get (matte, eggshell, semi-gloss), it’s all washable. I believe they claim that theirs is the only paint that offers this. For someone like me with 3 kids under the age of 7,(two of which are boys), this is nice since I prefer a matte finish but could never get it before with the kids, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. I’m also creatively challenged as someone previously posted, and it’s just easier to look in a magazine and say “That’s it, that’s the color I want.” and then be able to get it. I’ve yet to be disappointed using the Pottery Barn-Benjamin Moore method for picking colors. I’ve basically done my whole house that way, and get nothing but compliments on the colors.
VOC is not a real consideration unless you’re using alkyd paints. Latex or water borne do not affect 95% of the people I’ve painted for. Benjamin Moore Regal 103 is probably THE best exterior paint Moorgard) I’ve ever used and it’s price comp to SW. Interior paint I prefer BM hands down. Ralph L. nor Glidden will ever be used on a job I’m doing. Period. Painted for 46 yrs.
There was a big hype when this Aura paint came out. I have been painting for about 15 years and have pretty much tried every type of paint there could be. A customer of mine had a bedroom to paint and it had vaulted ceilings that run about 15′ high. The paint we used was benjamin moore aura matte finish- color -dove white. I put two coats of the aura matte finish on, 1 coat the first day and the second coat the next day. The customer called me complaining saying there were roller shadow marks, it was not a uniformed finish, and there was a satin like sheen to it. So I went over there to take a look and is was not a uniformed looking finish and it sure didnt look like satin. I had to put a third coat on of benjamin moore ceiling flat and it was fine. So if I had to go through all that and they spent 50-60 dollars a gallon, Aura is not worth the price, stick with Regal
ANOTHER HATER.. WHAT AFRAID YOU WILL LOOSE THE BID… THATS WHY YOU DONT LIKE AURA AND BM ..I HEAR IT ALL DAY… IF YOU PAINTERS WANT TO MAKE MONEY ON PAINT ..OPEN A PAINT STORE! PAINTERS WILL DO ANYTHING TO CUT CORNERS.. I HEAR IT ALL DAY… CAN I GET AWAY WITH .. IS THERE QUESTION… OMG.. WHEN A PLUMBER COMES OVER ..HE USES THE BEST PRODUCTS AND THERE IS NO QUESTIONS.. THESE PAINTERS NEED TO FOCUS ON THERE WORKMANSHIP AND BUY BETTER PAINT.. THEY USE CHEAP PAINT SO THEY CAN STAY LONGER AT YOUR LOCATION AND CHARGE MORE AND THEN MAKE EXCUSES IF THE PAINT U WANT TO USE CUTS INTO THERE BID..OMG..BE CAREFUL
Actually, as someone who isn’t a professional painter but has used Benjamin Moore and other brands, I can say honestly that my experience with Benjamin Moore has been less than great. This person’s complaints are valid – I spent over $100 on paint for one small room, and even after one coat of primer and two coats of Benjamin Moore, it had lots of flaws and was not very user friendly. I have had MUCH better experiences with cheap Ace Hardware paint. No joke.
For $40-60 per gallon, you shouldn’t have to put on three coats of paint AFTER a coat of high quality primer. It’s ridiculous.
Thank you for sharing. I don’t think people disagreeing are haters so I appreciate your reply.
This is wrong it is all uniform if it is shaken right some deep colors need to be shaken twice some retailers don’t know this also if it’s not uniform means u don’t know how to roll all the way up all the way down then finish every 4 feet by going back start from the top roll down only for one sheen if ur not a painter don’t expect perfection and don’t listen to any of this comments from people who do it wrong bm is the best period but there is nothing about aura that makes it better then regal regal is the best finish period only use aura for certain colors that have trouble covering or u want to skip primer never skip primer on patch work Thoe and there is no such thing as a one coat paint it will never fully cover period there will be pin hole spots of the underneath color and thinker is not better remember second coats make it more even last longer period like a hair dressor told me u think conditioner and shampoo work together? No lol it’s a scam to sell that product primer is not paint and can not be paint so putting it together makes no sense at all primer in the paint so they say it only allows u to have better coverage when painting over dark colors with another color it is not really priming put dry wall mud on a wall then use that paint shine a light on it look from the side u will see those patches unless u use flat which hide dry wall patches well because it acts like primer
Why are you priming before you paint? Didn’t you read on the can of paint that it’s paint and primer?
Roller shadow marks only occur because the paint dries too quickly. If you plan how to tackle a wall or ceiling you can likely prevent any roller marks. Alternatively you may use a cheaper paint which takes longer to dry and allows for more time to pass over any unwanted joints
I have used and sold Benjamin Moore
paints for over 5 yrs.I have had no
problems I have been in this business
over 28 yrs. If you use the 3 P rule
you should have no problems. The 3 p’s
are Prepare the surface,prime the surface then paint the surface. Be sure
you are using the correct type of primer
for the paint you select it will make a big difference in the final results.
I had a similar result using the Benjamin Moore Aura paint. When I returned to the store to complain they gave me directions on how best to apply the paint. This completely solved the problem. So make sure you get the appropriate directions on how to paint with this product. It is an amazing paint if you do
I had exactly this experience this week. 3 coats of regal BM paint AFTER a coat of primer. Spent a fortune and thought we were never going to be finished. Not impressed. The color is gorgeous though.
OMG Can you SHOUT any LOUDER?
1 agree 100%
I used the Aurora paint on my exterior garden doors I am most unhappy they are streaky and need a third coat. I have always used Ben Moore paint . I wont be using this type again.
I am pretty sure Aura is not designed specifically for woodwork.
Why you put such an expensive paint on ceilings that high is beyond me. Wasn’t even a kitchen or bath! Should have used their Ultra Flat Ceiling Paint.
I agree. I demoed the aura lines, interior and exterior, when they came out years ago. The exterior would still show scuffs a week after application and the interior showed roller patterns, especially when using the deep base. Usually those things go away after the paint cures, which takes a ridiculously long time. I stuck with regal and mooreguard.
Did you know that Aura paint us applied with a specific technique? And unless your spraying , it has a specific roller to use with it? Did you educate yourself application? There is such a thing as operator error.
Thanks so much for your feedback. I was tempted to try Aura next time around, but I think I may need to give that a second thought! Thanks again!
Aura is TERRIBLE to paint with!! It is so fast drying/tcky that when you go over an area you have painted 60 seconds before, the brush or roller will lift the paint off and the undercoat will show through. It’s crappy paint to work with; you have to do 2 very thin coats and be careful not to go over an area you’ve just painted. So factor in $50+ a gallon, twice the amount of labour, and it’s no bargain at all. I will NEVER use it again. Stick to cheap paint—it’s cheaper but better in the long run!
dear david, did you apply aura over cheap builders grade? It is still best to use
at tinted primer, then apply aura. Your painting techniques were incorrect with
aura. You need to cut in the paint sequentially and let the cut in lines dry then
roll into the. Aura is the best paint on the market, hands down. I found your
review very flawed. You probably have always used low grades of paint and are
not concerned with quality. Aura hides better than any paint on the market.
Remember, when a plane crashes it is not always the plane’s fault.
Dear Steve, The paint store should tell you to use a tinted primer underneath Aura but they don’t. They tout that Aura has primer and paint all in one so you don’t need to prime prior to painting with it. Also, I did exactly what you suggested regarding cutting in and got terrible results with Aura. I am highly concerned with achieving a beatiful result so I’m willing to spend money on good paint. I just won’t buy this paint again.
The BM tint machine software wont allow tinting of Aura that requires a base primer, without a big fat warning at the very least. As far as I know, this is limited to red and yellow color designations.
This is a clear warranty issue when dealing with exterior color retention. In such cases, darker reds and yellows CAN NOT be tinted without the primer/foundation being tinted first. I like to think the retailer would make anyone one aware of this.
Steve, I liked your plane crash analogy. So true! However, there are days I feel like the Flight Attendant 🙂
I agree ..aura is the best paint ever made. never more than two coats and it scrubbs great. i sell aura, the issue is is we tell people that you need to cut it in 1st and roll it out. it dries in 1 hour, why wait a day? listen when you go into a store..turn your cell phone off, and focus on your sales person, he is informing you on how to use the new waterborne colorant paints..(which all paint companies are switching too). the issue is these know it all earless morons think they know everything and DONT LISTEN TO INSTRUCTIONS. or read the label. so thats the poor results people get.. stick to your day job.. and listen to B.M sales people.. or go buy your talc and water crap from ralph lauren!
Spoken like a typical brand rep….speaking to everyone that does not agree like they are an idiot!
Spoken like a typical… know it all earless morons think they know everything and DONT LISTEN TO INSTRUCTIONS. or read the label.
Lol, this joe dude is a joke. Well said Boman.
We had the same bad experience with Aura as David did. Prior to painting with it, I got instructions/Aura roller cover from the paint store. I prepped the walls by sanding and washing/rinsing. The first coat of Aura looked horrible and paint dried so fast that you couldn’t fix any errors. I switched to Regal Classic Matte for the 2nd and 3rd coat and the paint job looks beautiful. I’ve used other paints and never had an bad experience like I did with Aura.
I left ben moore a few years ago when they priced themselves out of the market. There are only a few companies making the paints for all these companies. MAB, S-W, Behr, Valspar, etc… have there all-star products, but across the board they are decent paints. After many years of professional painting, I’ve found that a successful paint job is 75% prep and technique, and 25% paint quality. I would never spend more than $35 a gallon, ever. I work with designers and they all spec out BM. I let them know that I will be using another brand cross-referenced to match. They are almost always OK w/ that approach.
Best of luck!
fyi..sherwin williams and all others are going to the new waterborne tinted paints..B.M paints cost more because they were the 1st paint company to have 0 v.o.c colorants and no GLYCOL..which is toxic..wait till spring when S.W comes out with there new W.B tints and watch the prices rise..paints now need to be 150 grams per liter of v.o.c… soon they will be 100 g.p.l then you watch how the reformulations of the other paints reflect on your wallet..dont hate B.M… they are just ahead of all other paint companies.. and the big box paints..its talc clay and water! i sell B.M.. THE REASONS WHY DESIGNERS SPEC IT ..ITS BECAUSE WE HAVE THE BEST COLOR SYSTEM.. 3400 COLORS AND IT LASTS.. MOST HERE ARE FOCUSED ON PRICE..75% OF PAINTERS WANT TO MAKE MONEY ON THE PAINT.. AURA IS PRICEY,,IF THEY MARK IT UP THEY WILL BE ASKED..PAINTERS ARE FOR THE MOST PART SCUMBAGS!!! TRUST ME!!!!!!!!!!! IVE BEEN DEALING WITH THEM FOR 20 YEARS.. A LOT ARE GOOD .. BE CAREFUL
OMG LIke, SHOUTING again? Do you shout in your overpriced BM store, too?
No need to shout, but I hate to say it, but I agree with your assessment of many painters. Actually, contractors in general. After one too many bad experiences with rip-off, shyster painters, I’ll never hire out painting again. I do all of my own painting so it is done correctly, with good paint, and without ruining anything around it, like furniture and splatters all over windows. (I’ll also never hire another pro carpet cleaner again either! With a Rug Doctor machine and never over saturating, my results are much much better for a fraction of the price and no damage to anything in my home!)
We used Aura in our bedrooms. Our handyman (not even a painter) did the job, Love the finish. There were no complaints from the handy man either. I do my research and am not swayed by the painters – there is always a motive when they start pushing you towards one brand.
Help! Our grandson, who is experienced but not a professional painter, is painting our 1100 sq. ft. apartment for us. Someone said I must use BM but the price is scary, as we’re on a fixed budget. He is just as content with Behr, etc. Can you recommend
some other brands? For the most part, we are not changing colors and he does not anticipate two coats (mostly white, some tans.)
Behr is fine if you are on a budget and especially fine if painting the same color. I like BM – some of their colors are more vivid and some of their sheens are just really nice looking. But Behr works and will work for your job likely just fine.
I also like BM but Behr is ok. I use BM UltraSpec which still uses the new waterborne colorant system, dries fast, and is low VOC compared to other paints. It’s about $30 -35 a gallon.
There is a lot of misinformation on this thread. High price is not necessarily a guarantee of quality. More importantly, the quality of any brand of paint can vary greatly, depending on which of their product lines is used. Also the color makes a difference: if you are painting dark, vivid colors, few brands are going to cover in one coat. The only exception I’ve seen is the top of the line Behr paints: “Top” meaning Ultra Plus Premium and Marquee. Those are a great value, and perform as well or better than many more expensive brands.
You are right any paint will work i would stick with a high quality paint especially if you only want to do 1 coat.unless you have the exact paint color and manufacturer.otherwise you may need 2 coats then you will be buying twice the amount of paint and labor
I have been painting professionally for 20 years and find the comments abour BM Aura paint to be somewhat misleading. I just finished painting a kitchen and living room with the Aura matte in HC9 and HC10, which are gold colors. It took two coats antd the colors are beautiful. My customer said she was going to call me at 11PM when she got home and saw the room to tell me how much she liked it, but was afraid I would get mad because it was so late. As for John the painter, why would you even think of using Aura for a ceiling? All matte finishes have a slight gloss to them, not to mention that doing a ceiling in Aura paint is a complete waste of money. I always use the Regal Decorators white flat, which in my opinion, covers better than any paint I have used. As far as the paint drying in 60 seconds, that is a bunch of nonsense, although you do have to be careful not to put it on too thick.
The UltraFlat Ceiling paint is what I like for ceilings especially in bedrooms with low ceilings.
This guy knows what he is talking about. I’ve had nothing but good experiences using BM aura myself and also when I hired people to do work as well. It goes on like butter, scrubs off well, and touches up pretty flawlessly. One of the few paints I can touch up with as opposed to cornering off of a wall. There’s only one paint that no one should ever use and that is Sherwin-Williams Emerald. I swear to God that stuff is cheap watercolor paint. I’ve done everything to make that paint work and I’ve even come across several painters with 30 plus years experience who will turn down business if that paint is requested by a client.
Our client’s color consultant insisted on tinted Aura eggshell for the open concept ceilings.
We tried to sway them but the consultant assured them she had been doing this for years. Which she has…
We had good luck with the smaller rooms. The expanse of the downstairs however was a challenge. (We have done other jobs of the same size with flat paint…always with satisfied customers).
After the second coat there are still patchy, uneven spots ALL OVER.
What was on the wall? What color was it, was it two coats of builder grade flat? what color were you using, perhaps more importantly what base were you using, sheen?
There are many considerations in putting paint on a wall in a professional capacity…
There was a time when it was understood that painting was indeed a profession, an apprenticeship was required. Now a painter is anyone with a van and a few hundred dollars and and internet connection to the you tubes.
FYI Im not a codger (back in my day). I learned to paint in a manufacturing facility and my skills happen to translate to residential painting in a particular market. experience, reading, and picking the brain of every painter that would allow me to, filled in the rest over the years. I still bend the ear of any of the gentleman who were fortunate enough to have served an apprenticeship or attended painting school.
what do u know about benjamin moore scuff x paint
Consumer Reports has done paint evaluations in the past and found Aura to be challenging to work with. My wife likes the colors at BM and the Regal Select goes on nice with two coats. Just did a big job, 6 gallons, 18ft tall walls and it came out wonderful and I am just a homeowner, not a professional. Technique is important. I got shadows near the ceiling on some of my early attempts, but have gotten better with time and youtube.
Thanks for your comments, Jay. Sounds like you’ve had good experience with BM Aura – its great to hear varying points of view and experiences.
I have used BM paint in every room of my new apartment, because the color choices are so amazing and the paint is too. The Aura paint is worth the money. The first coat kicks your butt, but the second coat is much easier, and the depth and richness of the colors are amazing, and touchups are a breeze and flawless. I have used the aura in their high gloss (even though my NYC apartment walls are crap) to make the room look bigger and it does, I have also used their medium gloss in my dining room and its equally as beautiful. Covers like a dream, doesn’t crack, great paint. I did have that problem with the picking up 60 seconds before, but Benjamin Moore was so good to me, they took the numbers off the paint can and refunded my money 100%. They stand by their paint.
If you go to the right hardware store, the paint people there have most likely used the Aura paint. The one particular guy loved the Aura paint so much he said he didn’t have a single speck of white paint in his whole house. He then spent about 10 minutes going over with us how to paint with it, giving us tips and advice, making sure we had the right rollers and tools for the job. Really wonderful service.
Their regal eggshell is also wonderful in the bathroom, it gives the shine we want without being too finicky to apply.
Thanks for sharing your experience with BM paint. I too, LOVE the color selection!
I have used RL, Regal, Aura and Murello paint quite often. Murello is the hardest to find but is in my opinion the best of the bunch when price is considered. Having used Aura after Ralph Lauren, Behr and Valspar first I was very impressed. Dont try to paint the whole wall at once, break it into small sections that you can handle in short amount of time (like you should in the first place) and you will be amazed at how awesome this paint is. I used half the paint and was done in half the time. There was no smell and the coverage was great, especially with deap colors. Anyone thinking of reds should just get this paint. However I later tried Murello paint and it was every bit as good as Aura for about $10 less a gallon so that is now my choice of paint.
Scott, Thanks so much for your thoughts. I have no come across Murello, only Aura and Regal. I’ll have to look more into that, since I really liked Benjamin Moore, just found it too costly in comparison to Ralph Lauren, which produced equal results.
I enjoyed the review and agree with it. I just finished up basement painting project for a customer and the final stage I use Benjamin Moore Regal Aqua Velvet paint. I was not impressed. The final coat was applied over two coats of arylic latex primer. The Aqua had poor coverage. It took two coats and over rolling the paint application to get adquate coverage over the primer. I will not buy the product again nor attempt to sell it to a customer.
Joe, why are you applying 2 coats of primer? This is totally unnecessary. I do a lot of new construction and the painting is always speced out for 1 coat of primer and 2 finish coats. You will never get any paint to look good putting only 1 finish coat over primer. Don’t blame the paint.
We have utilized Benjamin Moore on the exterior and interior of our home based upon recommendations of several paint contractor. The paint was always very expensive at around $26 per gallon for Regal Eggshell Interior and $42 for Moore Guard Low Lustre Exterior. They both went on smoothly and had a great lustre and appearance. However the exterior or interior paint have not held up as promised by the Ben Moore sales associates or lifetime warraties. The interior eggshell finish is impossible to get clean. I have older children who still run their hands along the walls and I can’t even remove simple fingerprints. We have lived in our home for only 8 years and we have painted the interior twice because the paint is uncleanable and the paint tired looking. After 6 years we were tempted to paint the exterior because of the fading but have been able to put it off until now, year 8. We take very good care of our home and are disappointed in the durability of these expensive paints. We are considering Sherwin Williams for the exterior painting of our home this spring. I do not recommend Benjamin Moore Products for either durability or price. I am not sure if contractors are really objective in recommending paint to their clients. I have a feeling they recommend products where they receive discounts or perks for volume purchasing.
Completely agree, C. Rutan. I am now in the process of repainting our south-side exterior that was painted professionally when new shingles went up ten years ago. Trying to match Ben Moore’s Seagull Gray is a nightmare — at $48 a gallon. The house paint has obviously darkened over time, not a bad thing as far as color goes, but the new paint is about 5 shades too light! So I keep going back to the paint store to add more color, 5 % at a time. Sheesh, what a pain.
Plus I’ve had to repaint the bathroom — Cameo White, eggshell — three times in 5 years because it gets spotty from the humidity and doesn’t clean well. I even had Mold Reducer added to the paint. Didn’t do a thing.
I’ve had tremendous luck with High Hiding White from Ace Hardware ($30/gallon) and will get all my paint from them from now on, and just live with whatever colors they’ve got. It’s worth the savings.
I have been using BM paint for 6 years. I recently switched to the Aura paint and can’t imagine using anything else – this stuff is FABULOUS.
The biggest plusses to me are that cut-in and brush marks don’t show at all, nor do roller marks, which means you can go back and touch up missed spots and have them disappear on the walls. All of the colors I have used have covered in a single coat, with minor re-painting just over my own “Painter’s Holidays”.
I have painted my Office (“Instinct” – blue-grey), my Dining Room (“Black Raspberry” – deep purple, almost black), the Entry (“Peach Brandy” – a gorgeous orange), my 7 yo son’s room (“Nantucket Fog” – a blue/grey) and most recently my 11 yo daughter’s room (“Seduction” – a dark purple, and “Crocus Petal Purple” – a gorgeous medium purple). The paint might be twice the price of other brands, but since I can get a deep, gorgeous color with ONE coat, I have saved a ton of time and energy.
You MUST, however, pay attention to the fact that this paint must be applied differently than other paints – follow the directions!!!!
The only complaint I have is that it doesn’t like 409 – the spray streaks show.
My daughter likes the color black raspberry for her room. Do you think that would be to talk for a high school girls room?
Hey Sandra, I think its great for a teenager to take ownership over their living space, and as far as means of expression this one of the healthier ways! So I say, GO FOR IT! 🙂
not worth the price.
you can not get away with one coat, i used three different colors (3 rooms) with the same result — i can still see some primer peeking through. I used a quality primer and both cheap and very high quality rollers.
i’ve done a lot of painting, and sometimes 1 coat will do the job. I was hoping that for the price, 1 gallon, applied generously with a quality rolling pad, would cover a 120 square foot room with a single coat. I have about 25% of the paint left, not enough for a second coat – now i have to buy more.
Paint guy at our local BM store indicated most amateurs just don’t have the skill to do one coat and not miss a spot. I use the BM Select and do two coats. Great coverage and wonderful color.
Just bought for over $600.00 in Benjamin Moore paint and that was on sale…buy 1 gallon get 1 gallon 1/2 price, hired a painter to paint our the upstairs of our house and to our surprise, the paint is awful! After 1 week, we have two rooms that are almost completed, when he paints the ceiling he cannot paint the walls until the ceiling is completely dry..the paint comes from the ceiling mixes with the walls…went back to the store and they laughed at us..told us that a representant would call us back….4 days later we are still waiting for his call. We will have to go and buy $400.00 of paint so that our painter can continue the job…..don’t buy Benjamin Moore!
After 1 week and he doesn’t have 2 rooms finished? I would have had them done in 2 days. Sounds like your painter has no idea what he is doing. A flat ceiling paint should be dry in 2 hours. While the ceiling is drying he can be cutting in the walls, doing the ceiling line last. I do not understand why you need to buy more paint unless you under estimated the amount needed.
the guy is probably using a whiz roller
@Erik K: You needed to replace your painter, refusing part of his payment when you let him go!
Overall BM is a great brand. I was a professional painter for years and I used a number of different brands. The best paint brand I ever came across though is Murallo. Great quality, great coverage cheaper than BM and the most important to me seamless touchups. I painted my living room 10 years ago and 5 years later I added a fireplace since it was around the holidays I didn’t have time to paint the whole living room so I tough it up. Perfect much! Last year one of the walls got really bad with the kids and all. I touched it up, it was still perfect. The only downside with Murallo is the fact that it doesn’t have the variety of colors that BJ offers. I am in the process of repainting the LR and my wife wants to go with BJ colors so I will be using Aura. I used it in the bedrooms and I already had to do a few touchups and I found out that it works, maybe not as great as Murallo but Aura is the only other paint other than Murallo that can be touched up and be seamless. Try the same thing with all other paints BM and other brands and you will see the difference.
I work for a Benjamin Moore store and I would love to clear some things up. First off lets talk about fillers…..90% of other paints have them, B.M does not. What that means is about 100 sq ft MORE of durable coverage. Second the Aura paint is by far the best I have ever used. It’s self-priming, low voc and the colorants get locked in the paint. So when you wash your walls it doesn’t wipe off on your rag. Has anyone here ever tried to paint reds or yellow? Some paints will require 3-4 coats with a deep base primer. Aura can do it in 2 even over new drywall. Plus if you like a matte finish (not much sheen) you can put it in the bathroom! Awesome stuff. So in the long run it’s worth the money to me. Finally, not all Benjamin Moore stores are the same. We wouldn’t charge more for a deeper based color allthough colorants cost a lot. So it’s pretty much up to the dealer.
With respect, nice try jessica.
As a remodeler for 20 years, I currently know not 1 pro painter who opts for Aura unless specified by designers. I’ve heard nothing but complaints about price and application.2 weeks ago I had a client buy Aura and I learned first hand about it’s shortcomings.
Again, respectfully asserted.
Probably not following the proper application directions.
well for aura drying to quick that means your working to slow you have to realize that the paint dries fast and if you have missed a spot or made any mistakes just come back and get it on the second coat. because if you do try to go back it will just ruin your chance of trying to get away with one coast. it dries to the touch in about 15 minutes and recoat in an hour which is just flat out amazing. the coverage is second to nobody. as for the price its worth it you can get the whole entire room done at one time if it takes 2 coats you can just keep on going to have to stop and wait 4 to 8 hours like most other paints.
Rob, I appreciate you being nice 🙂 Our contractors love it though because we let them know the proper way to use Aura. I will admit it is different than any paint I have used. You have to cut in the whole room first then come back and roll. It dries really fast (which I guess could be a problem for some) ready to roll in 1 hour (by then you have came around in your cut in). All touching up comes after it has dried as well, as Kyle has said. It has superior hyde so touching up is no problem. But not having to prime is pretty nice, plus it puts on a really hard coat. I know that the only ones who have had a problem with it have been the “water adders” you can NOT add anything to Aura. There is however, an extender for it. Some of the (no offense to anyone) old-time painters who like to roll in to a wet cut in edge would have a problem. I painted a light blueish-gray over a dark gold and it covered in one coat. What other paint can do that? And please no one tell me duration because we ran that test.
To John the painter…why would you put a matte finish on the ceiling? And a vaulted one at that! Of course it is going to show roller marks.Aura is not for ceilings. Again Aura can’t be over worked , plus matte has a sheen. I will say that Jay knows what he is talking about. BTW Jay there is a new waterborne ceiling paint it’s ultra dead flat. Try it sometime, it’s awesome. You can even put it on new dry wall.
i used behr ultra and it is self priming and covered in two coats over a heavy blue it was much better than the bm aura i used in my sons room and it was only 32 dollars a gallon
I have used Ben Moore Aura in two rooms in my home and it worked perfectly.
I have been in the paint industry for almost 40 years and of all the US paint man-
ufacturers, this is the best new technology that I have seen or used. I not only used it, but I sold it as a dealer. I worked with both homeowners and painting
contractors and as long as you followed the directions, it was easy. The most
important thing to remember is that the application methods and tools (roller
covers, brushes) need to be rpemium quality. The little extra that you pay will
make a deifference in the application. Generally speaking, it will cover in one
coat, but cetain colors will need two. Keep in mind that virtually all paint jobs
are mostly about the prep (80-90%).
I’m confused!! I am ready to buy a 1400 sq. ft house and I want to paint the entire interior. I have 3 boys (11, 8, 5). I want a really good paint job so I don’t have to do it again for another 8-10 years or more. I will definitely use BM paint. Should I go with the Aura? And what finish is best for keeping clean? Thanks.
READ CONSUMERS REPORTS!
Aura is the type of paint where you can choose any sheen and it is just as durable. If you like less sheen the matte finish is nice. matte finish hides a lot, but only the Aura matte is scrubable. Aura paint is tough as nails and you don’t have to prime (even over new drywall and mud). Now if you go with any other line of Benjamin Moore, like Regal, Ben or natura, I would suggest an eggshell finish. That way your walls are washable/ scrubable. So-Aura every sheen is durable and washable and other lines the eggshell is. Any more sheen than eggshell will be an overkill and pretty glossy.
Well, I’ve tried quite a few paints – and saving money on paint doesn’t pay off in the long run – at least that’s what I’ve found.
I’ve switched to B&M’s Aura – and it’s AMAZING!!
I use the flat, and YES.. it will have a sheen for 4-5 days.. which does cut down and will go matte. I know, because I painted a hallway and was surprised how much sheen it had the next day. I called the paint store, they told me to relax and wait.. well, they didn’t lie!
And touch ups are simply fantastic.. You can’t see anything!! blends right in, I would say Aura is the closest thing to oil based paints as far as flow (but technique is important, cut in FIRST.. do not try to keep a wet edge, it will NOT work.. use good rollers & brushes, and – technique!!)
I just used the WaterBorne Ultra Flat Ceiling paint on another long hallway.. and they AIN’T KIDDING.. this stuff is SUPER flat.. I will have to get used to it! It almost has no reflection!
But I like it 😉
Spend the money, B&M is worth every penny.. BTW: The paint that was on the walls before was all B&M oil base, over 20 years old!! and it still looked fantastic! So durable. I hope the acrylic stuff lasts just as long!! 🙂
Just finished the whole house and it looks great. Used the Aura paint with eggshell finish for the walls and Aura semi-gloss white enamel for the trim. Easy to use and I am very happy with the results.
The staff at our local BM store is terrific. Real professionals ready to help and answer questions.
Thanks for all the help!
I really like BM so I use whenever I can BUT the problem here in NC is finding the stuff. Sure there are plenty of “dealers” but when you go to pick up some paint, none of them have anything. I mean NOTHING! They all say they will have to put in an order and it’ll be two weeks until it comes in. What a headache.
Ben Moore is definitely worth the money in color and paint quality. Designers like me swear by it – but I don’t like Aura either. The hype at the paint store is intense ($$) but ignore that and use the contractor’s grade instead. If you compare the Aura color charts to other collections you’ll see they are duller and grayer because of the base. I believe it was developed to dry faster and be more durable, not really as a low VOC. They have a new Natura brand that is 0 VOC. I’ve never had a problem with the smell from any BM paints, like I have from Ralph Lauren, whose colors are great but it really smells – I get sick from the vapors.
I am one of those hands-on architects and I have been using BM for over 10years, and have tried all their lines. I have always tried to measure the paint based on its value – price against quality/ease of work. I have to say that for 30-40ish dollars a gallon, retail, where I work, the Regal is not that great, and for 50-60ish the Aura is actually quite bad. On top of that, the base color difference is only appreciable with flat/eggshell finish, on a newly plastered wall, painted with a shorter nap roller.
What did surprise me is that none of the professional painters on here mention SuperSpec, which is another line BM offers – considered more of a “contractors’ choice”. It is actually a much better value – it has the same depth of coverage/thickness as the Aura, but dries much more slowly. It is significantly superior to the Home Depot/Lowes brands, yet priced similarly – in the low 20’s/gallon.
Although used mostly for commercial applications, it is actually suitable for residential work, and performs quite comparably to Regal.
The big selling point of Regal and Aura as washable paints is a little misleading, because in the lower/ no gloss finishes, the slightest rubbing leaves a sheen mark.
For those of you in the Metro Boston area I would strongly recommend C2 interior wall latex – puts BM, SW, any everyone else to shame. about $40/gallon
And finally, most paint stores (Home Depot/Lowes included) can mix other manufacturers colors into their paints, so if you love your Behr, but want the BM color, just bring the number and name and they will match it. It may not be perfect, but it again comes back to value…
we painted our home last yr and used california paints which consumer reports said was the best and it is crap. I cannot wipe the walls eventhough they claim you can bc it leaves a sheen the rep said that is called polishing and it happens with every paint. we used the paint they recommended for the bathroom bc it holds up against steam but that too was a lie as we now have water streaks down our walls. now…1 year later, we need to repaint our home!
I am afraid to go with CR again…which paint is good and withstand steam in a bathroom and is also good enough where you can wipe marks off it without leaving a shiny sheen? I would also like to use a paint with primer so we don’t have to prime first…any recommendations?
Not sure if anyone mentioned this bc I didn’t read through every comment but I just wanted to say that I love the Aura paint because the real difference is that you only need to put one coat of it on! So it saves you time and in the end that is the same price you would be spending on 2 gallons of any other kind of paint if not more! It is a little harder to work with because it is obviously thicker but its really all about your painting skills and technique when it comes to using this.
I tried to go to another hardware store to have a BM sample mixed, thinking I could save money. They could not get the match right! As a matter of fact, this ACE hardward store advertises and carries BM paints! Three tries later they convinced me that it was the same. I took it home, put it up next to the original BM color swatch, and it was different. I’m VERY particular about my shades; it takes me forever to find the exact one I want so when I do it’s a matter of celebration. So, I’m going to have to spend a little more in order to be 100% satisfied. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to color match competitors’ colors, anyone know the answer? So I guess for me, being picky costs me more and I’ll just have to live with it…..going to the store soon to pick up the BM Regal.
Oh I forgot to add, I used their luminescent/metallic paint in Champagne Dreams and it is FANTASTIC!! My foyer looks amazing and I get compliments all the time. The guy at BM was so helpful, told me not to use the base coat that BM recommends, but to pick something very close to the Champagne Dreams color or else I would be frustrated with lap marks. I asked him to find a base for me, he did, and I’m SO GLAD I followed his advice because he was right. I definitely plan to use it again in a different color, maybe on a ceiling in a dark room to give it some cool shine….
Beautiful colors renditions and depth. I wouldn’t use matte unless it’s somewhere it will never be touched. Not hallway, not stairway etc. Bedroom with furniture between you and walls is ok. Just did my LR, DR, hall etc.
It’s very sensitive to touch/markings. Rub against it and you’ve got a mark. Yeah it’ll scrub away–but cleaned area doesnn’t match so well. Use the eggshell finish. Similar look but not as sensitive.
Above review is regarding Benjamin Morre Aura MAtte
I disagree about the comments regarding scrubability of the matte finish..
I have all my walls painted in Aura in a 1500sq ft home, including the bathrooms (I used Spa on the ceiling). All in matte finish.
I’ve had nothing but great luck with washing/scrubbing the paint from “oopsies”.. I personally hate anything with a higher sheen than matte. Even my front door is low lustre BM outdoor paint, in BLACK! It’s very durable.
I hated a few of my experiences with Aura, but looking at it now, it was worth it.
I’ve always used Benny Moore, and I believe it’s the best. Aura is a superior product and is worth the money. It sounds like your paint company ripped you off.
Also, I’ve noticed if one is using a darker color like red, Aura covers better in one coat than any other product in the Benny Moore line. Aura is truly superior. If one is seeking a product that is almost as good as Aura, but more cost effective, I usually go with a Pittsburgh Paint called Manor Hall. It’s only a few dollars less, but clients like it when it’s cheaper. Manor Hall covers good but I’ve had to go one wall at a time with the eggshell, to keep a wet edge. Letting your cuts dry with this paint is a mistake! Keep a wet edge! Or go with Aura.
Reading this discussion has been useful, and like most things, people’s preferences vary widely. First off, I HATE TO PAINT, and I’ve tried just about every brand (although I hadn’t heard of Murello). BUT, while I will never say ‘never’, I don’t plan to ever stray from BM again. I try to save money, I’ve tried ’em all, but there is just no comparison. Color(s), application and coverage are critical to a grumpy painter like me, BM does make a difference. There is a REASON professional painters use it enmasse, and it isn’t because they’re getting some kickback. They know it will save them time, effort and satisfy their customers, enabling them to be more productive and profitable.
P.S. I don’t care what brand I’ve used, ONE-COAT is an elusive dream…
I painted child’s room more then 3 months ago with BM Natura -“fresh air !!!” – till now smells very bed, nothing helps. I do not recommend it at all.
Guys, I have done a lot of painting over the past 45 years. My tips for painting are as follows:
1. Always use a primer. It is worth the extra step to always apply at least one coat of primer. If you use Aura, you can skip this. Only use Aura if you follow the directions on how to apply it – you will need different techinque and different equipment.
2. Never use Valspar Ceiling paint. That stuff absolutely sucks. The best ceiling paint is BM Mercusco.
3. Ralph Lauren (at home depot) may be the best bang for the buck for your walls.
4. Preperation is 90% of the job.
It has been almost a year since I first weighed in on this topic and I have since painted a lot more spaces with Aura and I still LOVE it. Most recently, a client (I am a realtor) needed to paint a little house (interior) in/around a lot of other workers to get in ASAP. We painted in bits and pieces over a week, with lots of partial walls, and here is where the Aura wins, hands down: you can’t see any of the transitions, stop points, touch-ups, brush marks or roller marks. The walls are truly gorgeous (we used “Grey Wisp”, which is almost dead-on to Restoration Hardware’s “Silver Sage”). The house in only 864 (!) square feet and about 3/4 is the Grey Wisp. We did it all in less than 5 gallons, including re-painting where the drywall guys had to repair where the plumber came back and ripped a hole in a recently-finished room. That is 3 bedrooms, the living room and the interior of 4 closets, in less than 5 gallons. We put two coats in the high-traffic areas, to make sure the walls could withstand a good scrub, and most of the rest: one coat gorgeous (over white paint).
Last weekend I painted a friend’s entry in BM Aura “Black Raspberry” and it is gorgeous, just gorgeous.
Again, when I hear folks complain about this paint, my first thought it: read the directions and pay attention. You can NOT put thus on like other paints: use the right tools, don’t try to maintain a wet edge and just let it fill itself in – the flow and self-leveling is fantastic. One person who won’t be named rolled his eyes at me when I showed him how to roll a wall (yes, yes, I KNOW you guys have been painting for YEARS!) but guess what: he was blown away by the performance difference in how I did it vs. how he did it.
One thing for sure when you’re getting ready to paint with Aura: don’t goof off. get your tools all ready, and don’t answer the phone, chase the kids or walk the dog. Clean the space, cover the floor, use good tools and be done before you know it = by the time you’re done cutting in all the way around, you can roll. By the time you’ve rolled all the way around, you’re probably able to put on a second coat: it dries THAT fast.
Jessica, I’m nodding enthusiastically to everything you’ve said. I’ll just add two things. First, clean the area you’re going to paint at least 24 hours in advance, rinsing and drying (with lint-free cloths) thoroughly. Second, don’t even think about touching up missed areas or oopsies while you’re applying the first coat. Just keep going. I’ve never had to apply a second coat, so I just touch up missed spots with the smallest brush possible, including a 1/8″ angled craft brush, the following day.
Aura’s deeply saturated colors are rich and lush; the lighter hues are unbelievably creamy. I really want to try “Black Raspberry,” but, alas, I’ve run out of walls.
I work at a Benjamin Moore store and I can tell you, the store you used should NOT be charging for colorant added to Aura paint. That is dead wrong. The cost is included in the paint. Benjamin Moore makes a great paint but their stores are independently owned. That store is ripping you off. Benjamin Moore takes these things very seriously and if you call them directly, they will deal with that store.
Hands down Aura is the best paint I have ever used. Can’t complain about the drying time because you can recoat in under an hour! Plus it never needs more thatn 2 coats even is reds. Speaking of reds, we will do draw downs of reds like from R.L and it takes us 4 to 5 coats to get a good reading. Awesome stuff. You get what you pay for. It is a covering just like flooring and fabric. Would you go cheap with that? I
Lots of differing opinions here about Benjamin Moore and the many different paints they sell. I’ve been painting for 20 years and I have to say the Aura line of paint is one of the best paints I have ever used, along with the Muralo brand. What makes Aura so great? I personally like the way the paint levels and goes on thin yet with opacity, eliminating the orange peel effect you get with paints with a lot of filler in them. I like to cut in a room and then roll the walls to avoid any issues with rolling over a cut line that is partially dried (lifts the paint and is unsightly). When painting trim do not brush back into an area that is drying, and do not apply too heavily. If you have experience painting or have patience and skill and can afford to buy the best brushes then Aura paint applied correctly will give the best look out there. The colors are more vibrant and the coating is thin but with good coverage. Every experienced painter I know loves this paint. I personally believe the cost is a rip-off, but if you go cheap with the $25-$30 paints you’ll see that they are a rip-off as well since the performance and results are so inferior. I believe all paint is over priced, but unfortunately you aren’t paying for the contents you are paying for all the marketing, employees, stores etc. I just finished painting a small house with the Natura line of paint from Ben Moore, using about 12 gallons and that cost around $600 with taxes. For me it seems extreme, but the paint was used because the homeowner is chemically sensitive and it was like painting with water. No smell, not that water based paints ever bothered me anyway, and the homeowner was very pleased. I must say the Natura paint does not perform as good as the Regal or Aura line. The coverage is weak, the paint splatters like crazy, the flat is not flat, and it can be tough to get an even sheen on the coating. However it felt good to use a green product that’s half decent and does the job with a little extra effort. Enough said, Benjamin Moore makes a great product, unfortunately we have to pay the price of the monopoly they have created. The hype is true, the Aura paint is great, but the price is painful. Anyone know of a comparable paint at a more reasonable price? Say $25 to $30. I’ve heard Pittsburgh Paints has an affordable waterborne paint. Anyone have experience with it?
I have used Benjamin Moore paint for 15 years. I have it in my house and the last time I painted was about 9 years ago. With the exception of moving furniture and nicking the walls, I have had no need for touch ups. They offer classic colors to trendy colors. Overall durability is worth the higher end price. I used Sherwin Williams which is great as well, but I feel that BM cleans better especially when you have kids. I stay away from the paints at Home Depot and Lowes, only because you get what you pay for…Good Luck to all the painters out there.
My brother sells Benjamin Moore and when he tells me its the best Paint money can buy and he’s proud to sell it, I BUY IT
My brother is older and just a tiny bit smarter and knows his Paints !!
Sonya, what color base did you use for Champagne Dreams?
I stumbled over this blog looking for something else and found some negative comments to be very misleading. First of all, Aura is everything its hyped to be and then some. If you read where someone has a problem with it, they just dont know how to apply it. It is very different from regular paint. Yes, it dries fast, but if you follow the directions, this doesnt cause any problems. I am a professional painter and will use Aura on as many jobs as possible. I have actually been able to book more jobs per week because the paint dries fast and touches up like nothing else. I can tell you that no other paint company offers a product like Aura. Not Pittsburg, not Ralph Loren and absolutely not Sherman Williams.
@ Jimmy Crews – I have to totally agree with you on this. I’m in the process of painting my 5 year old house that the builder painted with Sherwin Williams flat paint. I have used SW, Behr’ s, and Glidden in the past. NOTHING has compared to the quality on BM aura. The wonderful employee at the store told me exactly how to use it (fast drying, cut edges first, etc) and I started off with a red in my dining room. ONE COAT of RED covered the room. So for the amount of money I paid for my BM Aura and only had to apply one coat why on earth would I spend the same amount of money on 2 gallons of..say, glidden paint and have to do 3-4 coats and spend more time on a much lesser quality of paint. I have heard many good things about BM paint for years and know that I have used it I have to say I can totally see why!!
Benjamin Moore is a big waste of money. You can get Glidden, which is totally decent, for less than half the price. And you can have any color you want. Bring in a piece of tile, an old paint chip, a fine art catalog: Home Depot can analyze and formulate any color you want. It’s the high end “You only get what you pay for” crowd who shop at BM stores — and most of them are planning to hire someone to apply the paint, anyway.
If you want to splurge, buy a high end roller. It will save you much effort and perhaps even a second coat.
Glidden is the cheapest, worst cover, most flashy, worst smelling, over-all worst home owners paint on the market. What’s a “high end roller”? How will this “high end roller” help save anybody time and effort? Even with “high end paint” a second coat is always needed.
Advice: Don’t listen to John Williams unless you want to put on four coats and then pay to re-coat it with Benny Moore. Just invest the money the first time and save yourself a huge headache, I promise.
@ Shawn- your response to John Williams could have been written by me. Glidden is the worst paint I have ever used. My wife got a headache from the obnoxious fumes when I used it to paint a room in my old house. The color selection does not come anything close to that of BM paints. John’s comment about the “high end get what you pay for crowd” was amusing. I am not of the “high end” crowd that he mentions(nor do I hire people to paint) ..I just simply know quality when I see it 🙂
I had the exterior of my home painted with BM 5 years ago. The color was Toasted Coconut which was mixed by BM. House was primed with BM Masonry Sealer. After two years the color started changing going from tan to pink. The change got progressively worse for the next three years until the whole outside was very pink. I contacted BM and they came out and saw what had happened. They said they had never seen anything like this previously but in talking to other people who have used BM products apparently color change is not that uncommon. BM has offered to repaint my home but I am concerned that their paints won’t hold up well. Any comments/suggestions?
My houseis presently being painted with benjamin moore. Paint is fading and also had faded last time it was painted. Goes from green to blue. I am thoroughly disgusted. Please advise. Am upset enough to hire Atty. Thank you for quick reply.
DO NOT USE BENJAMIN MOORE NATURA PAINT. I painted two closets in my apt. 1 month ago and have not been able to live there since because the odor is so bad. My apt. manager, neighbor and I have been trying to outgass it but It’s making the three of us ill. There are many other accounts of this problem online; there was a recall on this paint in July 2010, but my can is from another batch and still had this horrible odor. PLEASE TELL OTHERS so they don’t have to deal with this horrible problem
Happy painting everyone. I am glad I found this site.
I would like to know your opinion on Benjamin Moore’s prices. I just recently bought five gallons for the bedroom and bathroom, Aura online (free shipping) for $61.99/gallon. My contractor was shocked at the price. Now I wonder if I should change to other brands for my living room. He painted two coats on top one coat of primer on new drywall. I love how the Simply White turns out. Thanks.
Yes – it’s expensive..
Yes – it’s great paint, if you can forget everything you’ve ever learned about painting… meaning, the technique is different than other paints, however, it’s actually easier in my opinion.
I have some dark painted walls that I needed to wash.. wow.. came clean, can’t see where I had to rub it!
I just read all your posts more closely, even though my question comes down to individual choice, I am convinced that I should continue to use BM Aura. I couldn’t get a honest opinion from the contractor, because to him the price was simply too high for him to rate it as worthy (one coat he is not making enough, and he insisted on two coats). I should ask him to try one coat next time, to see if the wall is sufficiently covered. Thanks.
I recently learned from a Benj. Moore rep that the pints of Benjamin Moore use inferior paint, so they can sell it cheaply for color sampling. And because of that you really don’t put that paint on your wall. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way.
I bought a couple of sample pints of BM paint and put it on the a few spots on my wall over the Behr paint to see how the colors would look in sunlight, daylight, etc. While they paint looked fine at first, when I went to paint the wall I discover that the BM paint peeled right off in big strips.
Based on talking to BM there was no compatibility issue. It was suggested that the walls were not properly prepped, but when I tried other brands of paint there was no peeling issue. Only the Benjamin Moore paint in the sample pints peeled.
Bottom line is — Benjamin Moore paint is not worth a premium price. It’s not even worth the money at a competitive price. I recommend Behr.
Uh… Behr and Valspar are the worst paints ever. I’ve been painting for quite some time and Only use Benjamin Moore paints. To people of course who believe in quality and are attempting to be somewhat green. Unfortunately you have to spend a little green for it. Why, b/c it’s the best paint out there. The chemical make-up is completely different from what you will find in BEHR, Valspar, etc More expensive paints/ingredients hold up better than cheaper paints/ingredients. simply enough, you get what you pay for when it comes to pretty much anything in life, even paint. Aura is the only paint with color lock technology, ask your Ben Moore rep what I’m talking about. LOW VOC, color lock technology, Waterborne paint!! If you DON”T care about quality paint and high amount of volatile organic compounds polluting your home, then go right ahead and save yourself $20 a gallon. Have fun!!
My dad has been a professional painter for 36 years and i have been working for him for over 12. we use all kinds of paints but 95% of it is benjaman moore. as for the aura its a good materal. we how ever dont use it as much because of cost. we have used it for really deep bases mostly red for the good coverage. “bens” a really good product also. their latex enamel is supreme for every thing. the regal is ok but if i had to bet money it will be gone real soon. bm is getting greety…. pushing these new products (ben,aura,advance,ect) and discontuining the older ones. even one of the best “brushing” oils satin improv a really good product . but as far a good paint go ben moore most jobs we do are over 9,000sq foot and to have a materal that will cover and touch up good thats gonna make us money and keep repuation we stick to ben products.
if any one has any quesitons you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will be glad to help.
Benjamin Moore isn’t necessarily bad, though it isn’t as great as people think it is. For what it is, it is quite heavily overpriced. C2 paint kills Aura in every way possible – it really is a far superior paint. I also enjoy when a client asks me to use Farrow and Ball, another vastly superior paint to BM. When you pay for BM you are paying for hefty operating costs…
Wow, I just checked out Farrow & Ball’s website, their gallon interior paint average price is 50% more than Aura! I have already stretched thin buying Aura, there is no way I can afford Farrow & Ball regardless how much better it is. Their website, however, has a lot superior color presentation to Benjamin Moore’s.
I love the Aura paint. I never believe in one coat of paint though but to each their own. Aura is applied differently as others have stated above and it’s best to pay the $1 extra for the Aura applicator brush but I won’t paint with anything else. One of the best parts for me is that you can touch up anything and it totally blends in no matter if it’s a year later. It’s available in the flatter paint and totally washable 🙂
I’ve been doing some research trying to confirm reasons why all decorators in SouthWestern Ontario spec only Benjamin Moore colours. As a professional, I stay away from Benjamin Moore unless my clients insist on paying their premium prices, but for what you pay, Benjamin Moore’s products are outperformed by nearly every other company out there. It’s good paint, but nearly everything else provides better value. Some decorators even attempt to scare my clients away from me matching BM paint colours in my paints of choice, citing they are “not familiar with the quality of Company X” etc. Though I can’t get anyone to admit to it, I’m quite certain Benjamin Moore must be providing some form of kickback to decorators.
If price is no object, and you prefer their colours, I recommend you order Farrow & Ball. C2 is also fantastic paint for interiors, with a wider range of colours– especially brighter and more vibrant yellows– due to their 16-colour tint input system which mirrors the European paint industry. (North American paint companies have at maximum twelve input colours.) But my recommendation for the best-performing, widely-available interior paint is Sherwin-Williams’ Duration Home. Application-wise it vastly outperforms BM’s Aura, and even their flat finish can be scrubbed clean many times when it gets marked up. I use it in semi-gloss for trim and it’s the most scrubbable paint out there. Obviously non-flat paints mark less easily, so unless you love scrubbing your walls clean ten times a day, choose a practical sheen over a cosmetic one when necessary.
Benjamin more marketing strategy is going to put them out of business. I have seen the top of the heap go bankrupt mainly because of greed. Like one person said when asked why the paint was $10 more the salesperson couldn’t come up with an answer because the reason is greed and at this moment they are getting away with it.
I have been painting for 30 years and use Behr paint but I was losing jobs because everyone wanted Benjamin Moore. I got some news for you coming from a pro the Behr Premium Plus paint is just as good as any of the BM products and the Behr Premium Plus Ultra blow every one away.
Don’t get fooled by high school marketing buy the Behr Premiun Plus and never go backe
I respectfully disagree with Peter Painter. Every – EVERY – time I thought (including this month) that I would save some money and use Behr instead of Benjamin Moore paint, I regretted it. I’ve had to repaint everything with Benjamin Moore paint. It is worth every penny – sorry.
Also for those out there attempting Ralph Lauren paint — forget the RED. You will spend three times the cost using Ralph Lauren paint because you need that much to do the job. Other colors may be fine.
FYI – I did a 10 year test on Pratt & Lambert (now carried by Sears) and Benjamin Moore interior paints. They both matched perfectly the paint job done 10 years previously. And that was with a property west facing (direct sunset) and covering a dark green glazed paint. Now that’s a testimonial for you.
Let me tell you as an addendum — the Benjamin Moore paint used – was the original interior paint.
I am a home owner and the reason I chose Benjamin Moore for my bathroom and bedroom was after trying 15 plus ¼ gallon samples from different companies, Aura’s colors turned out to be the best. And there was no one that influenced me. So far I am more than happy how the paint holds up, and I have three dogs. I didn’t try Farrow & Ball, their price simply is out of my reach. To be fair, I understand BM is beyond some people’s budget too.
“I have been painting for 30 years and use Behr paint but I was losing jobs because everyone wanted Benjamin Moore.” Peter, why don’t you just go along with what the customers want than insist on Behr.
I just finished painting a bedroom with Benjamin Moore’s Aura. The man at the paint store told that that it would be a better deal that getting tinted primer and the normal Regal Satin. I was skeptical, but I decided to try it anyway. I am glad I took the suggestion from the man at the paint store. I was covering up dingy tannish brown by Sherwin Williams that was used throughout the house by the developer. Every room that I have painted so far required two coats. Not with the Aura. One coat was all I needed.
I almost brought Glidden, but after a disaster with Martha Stewart paint (the worst paint I have ever used) I went back to Benjamin Moore. Yes, it cost more than the BM Regal Satin, but I did not have to use a primer (I had to use a primer on all my other rooms to completely cover this color) and in only one coat I was done. I did not have any of the problems that other people have mentioned. One thing I quickly learned about Aura, if you are painting with the “W” stroke, it does not work with Aura. You need to paint using straight up and down strokes.
Other people have mentioned Behr on this board. My experience with Behr was horrible. I painted a burnt orange color over a white wall. The wall soaked up the Behr paint like a sponge. I had to use two coats. There were streaks that I never got when using Benjamin Moore.
Has anyone ever tried the BM Aura exterior paint? I have a red house that was painted a few years ago with BM Moorgard and I’m wondering if I should go
for the more expensive paint. Thank you for your advice!
Here we go again: paint choice seems to be such a personal decision! One person loves it, the next hates it.
When Ben Moore offered their samples free this past spring, I got some to use on furniture. I loved the coverage and sheen. But, since I am in this remote rural area, a retailer is not close to me. I stopped at a store that carried it when I was in a larger city.
I wonder if they hold sales often like other premium paint stores such as Sherwin Williams? I love Sherwin Williams paints, but would never pay the retail prices for them and I suspect I’d feel the same if I tried BM paints.
When I use BM paint I go with the Super Spec line (like Dak mentioned above). It’s the contractor line. I’ve used both interior and exterior formulations. I’m not sure where it slots in with the above lines but it’s another option.
I have yet to experience Benjamin Moore paint but I’m going to be painting a few rooms and having some not so good experiences with Behr paint. I will cough up a few extra to get a better result. I’ll be doing one room first and if I’m impressed I will most likely stick with it because yes they have an amazing line of colours available here. Also all the interior designers swear by it.
Absolutely love Aura. Did our living room and dining room a year ago and turned out great. Yes, application is different. Cut the entire room first. After an hour, roll the walls. As you roll, do not backroll if its been a couple minutes since you applied an area; it will lift the paint off the wall. If you missed a spot, or went on thin, leave it and either cover in with second coat or touch up (will blend seamlessly). It does dry quick and do not try to roll as you cut the room; won’t work. You will lift off the cut in paint.
As it dried, it looked like we had areas that went on too thin, but after it dried, it was flawless. And yes, it took two coats.
This paint is amazing. No primer. It dries quick and levelling is awesome. Little imperfections in the wall were gone as it filled them in and dried level.
I’ve used Behr, Velspar, Glidden, Para, and now BM Aura. This is by far superior. The other paints were watery in comparison, splattered, needed 2-3 coats over a primer, and were only $20 less a can than Aura (actually the same cost because of having to purchase primer). Plus, everytime I wash the walls with these paints, the color comes off on the rags. Our bedroom was painted 5 years ago and the wall already has wear-through spots.
The thing to remember about paints is the fillers. Lots of companies claim “100% Acrylic”, and yes the acrylic they use is 100% acrylic. The catch is that the can only contains about 40-60% of it, the rest is filler, etc. BM uses ZERO filler, so their 100% acrylic means every drop in the can is acrylic. That’s one reason why it is sooooo thick.
We are currently doing our downstairs bathroom and decided to try the Regal. (spare batheroom, not perfect drywall, etc) and so far, love it. The BM rep recommended using Regal as a primer to cover the drywall patches first, then 2 finishing coats.
In all honesty, there are cheaper paints. But I am one of those who believes you get what you pay for.
I used B.M. Aura semi-gloss. I ended up bringing it back. For $55 per gallon it is unquestionably the worst paint on the market. I primed a wood door (it dried for one week). I destroyed this beautiful wood door with the Aura paint. It blobbed and ran like you wouldn’t believe. And there’s no way it’s a ‘one-coat’ paint (not even close). I used an extremely good brush; yet, I could see brush strokes all over. Hopefully, I can save this door with some ‘good’ paint. Don’t throw away your money. B.M. Aura is terrible.
I used Aura in a light/med yellow on my living room walls and was amazed! I was rolling it on over slight texture, but whereas I normally would do minimum two coats and most likely 3 for total lack of roller shadows, this truly covered in one coat! Later had to go back and paint/touch up newly installed drywall in approx. 5×5′ area and there was NO difference! Not only that, by the time I’d finished the room, I was reinstalling swithchplate covers and putting furniture up against it. Totally SOLD on it. BTW, I used the eggshell finish and it cleans like a dream. On the OTHER hand, after being so impressed with Aura for my walls, when I used the white semi-gloss for trim work, I found it dried too quickly and did not flow out or leave as nice a finish as others, though I am in the process of doing some now and want to try adding their extender to see if that helps. It did, however, leave a nice hard finish…but found I needed two coats vs the one on the walls.
I have used Aura matte to paint the walls and ceiling of my kitchen and walls of stairs and hallways. I will be using it in my living room. It is by far the best paint I have ever used. The matte finish does an incredible job of helping to hide minor wall imperfections. Significantly the matte color is scrubbable (most flat or matte finishes from other companies are not). This makes Aura matte very attractive for use in a kitchen, particulalry ceilings. Also, I have never used another product that blends touchups as well as Aura. Days and weeks after the original finish is done you can touch up spots and they will blend invisibly after drying. Yeah, the paint isn’t cheap, but I am sold on the results and benefits being worth the price. As others have mentioned you must adapt your painting techniques for this product. Also, I’m not so sure that I would nromally use a product intended for use on walls to paint trim or doors. There are probably better suited specialty trim paints (BM makes some). Having said that, I did use Aura eggshell to paint some crown moulding in my kitchen project and the results were excellent.
Ive been using the Aura paint since it became available, I live in a large 4500 sq ft home and have pretty much painted the entire home using only BM paints, the original paint the builder used 10 years ago was a flat, dull builders paint. In the last 3 months I’ve painted 9 rooms all with Aura. When I first started redoing the entire place in 2008 or 2009 I was struggling with the aura drying too quickly and not having the perfect finish (I’m very fussy and like perfection) to most who saw my work they all raved about the painting, I’d say it’s not the painter but the paint! This is very true as I find the aura could make any bad painter look good! Keep in mind painting is all about the prep, if you just start slinging paint with out properly prepping, taping, cleaning the surface your going to get a poor job. One trick I picked up at the paint store while talking to a professional painter was to ask for an extender to be put into the aura paint. This extender keeps the aura wet longer and extends the drying time. I’ve since asked for this each time I buy aura paint. Another trick I’ve learned to get the perfect finish is to buy lots of aura roller sleeves, I change roller sleeves between coats. The sleeves are only 5 bucks so I just use them once and throw them away after one coat. The extender combined with the roller trick has given me the perfect finish I have always wanted. I counted my used paint cans yesterday and I’ve used over 40 gallons of aura. At 65 bucks a pop I’ve spent a good bit of money on paint. I don’t regret it at all. I wish it existed when I built in 2000 I asked for BM to be used, but the builder told me the paint they would use is “just as good” translation “cheaper” lol. My current project is the painting of my shop, office and and hallway and bathroom in my basement. I’ve used aura paint in the bath, however due to the large size and fact that 1500 sq ft is my workshop, I opted for the BEN line for the shop and regal in my office area. I was surprised with the Ben line. It requires a little more care in application than the aura line, but all in all it went on and looks great. I used the Dijion colour in the BEN, I always use 2 coats with aura, I used 2 with Ben as well, keeping in mind some of my project consisted of fresh drywall and mud. The first coat over the fresh drywall and mud looked terrible, th second coat dried to a perfect finish. The regal went on I’m my office perfectly and behaved just like the aura with the extender added. Like everything, all companies make a decent top end product, but I was more than happy with the BM mid level and entry level paints. With the cost of the Aura now around 70 bucks a gallon, and the regal around 50ish, many will go with the regal. Of course there still is that group who have to have the Rolex when the Citizen does the exact same thing… Perhaps that’s the market BM is targeting with the aura line. I know I’ll seriously consider the regal next time I’m painting in my main floors living space! I’ll be doing my garage in the spring and the Regal line will get the nod there!
$70 a gallon? You should ask for the contractor’s price.
I am a painting contractor. Ask ten painting contractors and they will all give you different opinions on the same product. In my own company there is a division between the Sherwin Williams camp and the Benjamin Moore lineup.
The general consensus is there does exist a positive correlation between product cost and quality of paint….coming from contractors who have used significant amounts of the products under different conditions and different tradesmen. I consider a significant amount of product to be $100,000 per year.
So John Shearer, which camp are you in…SW or BM? Like almost everything else in this world, you get what you pay for.
Once I used Benjamim Moore paint, I’ve rarely used any other. And as a finish carpenter who also paints his own work, I can attest to the fact that Benjamin Moore trim paint will make your moudlings look like they are made from porcelain! The rooms I painted 10 years ago still look like they were just painted yesterday. Yep, BM paint is worth the money.
Thanks for putting this up! I have been sold on BM products since I painted our second home 27 years ago. We used a custom mix Regal eggshell in our master but ran out of paint for a 6′ x 6′ square on the main wall! The BM retailer made us a new batch and it matched perfectly. All was done in one coat! We also painted the office a deep burgandy and it covered in one coat with just a few touchups.
When we built years later, we used BM but builder talked us into flat which was NOT scrubbable. (He said to just touch it up – yeah, with 3 kids under 4!) But when I did touch up, it matched.
After 10 years we repainted most of the house for asthetic reasons. I went with BM Regal again in eggshell and loved it. In fact when we sold that house 6 years later, I was able to touch up the picture hanger holes and few scuffs with a sponge brush and it looked brand-new! At that time, I also took a chance and touched up the original 16 year old paint in the dining room that was a deep red that hinted to rust. Amazing that I didn’t have to repaint. My buyer is still enjoying that dining room today 19 years after it was originally painted!
Unless you are one that moves or likes to redecorate often, BM is the most economical choice.
Love BM paint.Its worth the price.
I’ve been a painting contractor for 18 years. Benjamin Moore has the best product quality and color selection of any other brand. I will not paint with any other brand unless my client insists on something else. The Aura line is great, probably the best paint that I have ever applied on interior walls. Unless you need a sheen, I highly recommend BM’s Ultra Flat ceiling paint for ceilings, especially in those older homes where multiple textures were used over the years. It always amazes me how that paint hides the imperfections. The trick with Aura is to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! It does dry quickly. Do ALL your brush work first.
It kills me when people tell me that Benjamin Moore is too expensive. People need to look at overall VALUE rather than just unit cost. What’s the cost of having to do three coats using an inferior paint compared to one coat of Benjamin Moore? There are a lot of contractors out there that love to use cheap paint just so they can drive up their labor costs…think about it. Also, if you’re going to do all that prep work and clean up, moving furniture, etc. don’t you want the BEST results?
I have never had a repeat customer ask me to switch to another product after using Benjamin Moore on a previous project….never!!
“The bitterness of a poorly finished project will long outlast the sweetness of a dollar saved” – A. Contractor
What is the best BM paint for a kitchen? I was thinking Aura and Eggshell….Is this right?
You can’t go wrong with the Aura lineup. I’ve used Aura Matte, Eggshell and Satin in kitchens. It just depends what level sheen you desire. Generally the higher the sheen the more durable and scrubbable the paint. I tend to go with Aura eggshell in kitchens, there isn’t a huge difference in sheen from the Matte and I feel that it repels splashes a bit better over a long period of time. The Aura Satin is very shiny, some like it that way. Prepping your kitchen ceiling and walls is critical. Wash surfaces with TSP or equivalent. This will not only clean the surfaces well, but will also lightly etch them for better adhesion (very important when painting over glossy surfaces). Good luck.
The only good I can say about the Regal line is that it adhere’s well to your skin. This overpriced product has lots of spatter, poor coverage, very low hideability. If your going to spray it it may be okay but with a roller its’ not good. I’m going from linen to barely beige and some walls will require a 3rd coat. Yeah, it flows alright, thats because it’s mostly gel and water. Where’s the polymers and binders? Pratt and Lambert had a good product in the early 80’s and decided to go cheap and this paint reminds me of same b.s.. I used Cloverdale for my cedar exterior and was very impressed but was swayed by all the b.s. glowing reviews for BM. Never Again!
I like the look of hi gloss trim…should I sand the oil based primer (painting over dark varnish that has been lightly sanded)? Do I need to sand between coats of paint? I don’t mind a little brush strokes showing…as if I could achieve anything more professional, and will be lucky if it doesn’t end with quite a bit more than ‘a little’ imperfections showing thru….what was I thinking??
Someone mentioned an extender, that could help with my ability to get the paint on and not brush over partially dryed area….
Is there any way to take the $65 gallon of BM Impervex latex hi gloss enamel (White Dove) and mix in something to cut the shine if I decide my prep is not satisfactory for hi gloss finish?
I enjoy reading all the articles and comments, thank you. Now if I could just make up my mind…
Great blog; I can only get better from your information, prepping experience, and starting small. I’m in no rush over painting this old house.
I started with BM 18 years ago: Linen White eggshell throughout large house with one contrasting color. Kid finger/hand marks were immediate and no washing helped. This totally frustrated me but I had just paid for a big job and had to deal with it.
Nine years ago I moved on to SW, switched to deep color tones. Kitchen wall eggshell finish didn’t hold up to water splashes/coffee and no washing would remove marks but elsewhere is fine.
Now about to paint for 3rd time in 18 years due to kitchen redo. This time I want to do the painting myself to save labor and try BM Aura (practicing first on old kitchen cabinet doors and walls) OR try C2 broad spectrum paints in sky and earth tone palette. Wish me luck: the perfectionist in me is reading up and practicing/doing prep already.
Any thoughts on C2 paint btw? It’s $62/gallon; Regal is $52/gallon; Aura must be close to $70/gallon. I will ask for contractors discount. I want this interior palette of BM or C2 to last for a long time and know that after prep, paint is too expensive but what are you going to do? I’m going to look for Benjamin and Moore sales!
I’ve used C2, good paint and nice color selection. However, I would still have to give the edge to BM’s Aura for quality. A lot of people don’t know this yet, but BM has come out with a Full Spectrum line of their own. It’s called ‘Color Stories’.
I actually sat with the BM Color Stories full spectrum color fan for fifteen minutes trying to come up with comparables to the C2 in the blue/grays Farrow and Hall I was trying to match. I noted the Color Stories full spectrum seemed brighter than the C2 which, in the blues/grays/greens seemed more earth tone color. I also noted that regular BM paint colors appeared comparable, so I’m not sold on full spectrum paints yet. Thank you for your comment: mired in bath plumbing, paint has ranked lower temporarily.
I’m not impressed with “Color Stories.” Because of the many pigments, it’s nearly impossible to get a close, much less perfect, match.
Last year I ordered a bunch of pint samples from BenMoore’s New Jersey plant. The colors were all deeply saturated blues and purples. What a disaster! I know computer monitors don’t show exact colors, but when you order a color described as a deep blue-violet (“Approaching Storm”) and you get a milk chocolate, something is decidedly wrong. All the samples were wrong–and I mean wrong wrong, not just a bit off–and none listed the formulas. I contacted Customer Service and they replaced the samples at no charge. Perfect!! So then I ordered three gallons of different colors and two quarts of still different colors. I think you know how this “color story” ends. I ended up with Easter egg lavender (the “Approaching Storm” that initially had been “Approaching Mudslide”), toothpaste green (for a deep blue with a purple cast called “Indigo-go”) and other horrors. I’ve kept them in case I can mix them in with other projects, but ended up painting my study in B-M’s Classic Colors.
My retailer offered Color Stories only briefly earlier this year.
Just came back from BM Upper West Side store where I tried to return 3 gallons of custom tinted paint. Second time this happened to me. The paint is runny, it seems to be much thiner than usual. First coat coverage seems to be half transparent. The walls were primed twice with two coats of BM Aqua Look primer over a very pale shade of gray. Second coat test resulted in half saturated coverage. Last time I had this problem I went back to the store and asked for a replacement. I was given a new can of much thicker viscosity and the paint then covered quite well. This time I run into a different crew behind the counter and all I achieved was listening to someone trying to persuade me the paint is OK. I am keeping a sample of the paint and go for the next batch to a hardware store two blocks further that also sell BM and then compare both. Someone is cheating there. Either the company is trying to stretch the profit by putting less pigment and more binder, or it’s the store that adds water while mixing the paint.
I am a contractor and use Ben Moore almost exclusively as the store is conveniently close and the selection is good. But after this experience I am ready to look elsewhere.
As an artist and colorist I have to say that switching brands of paint as if the colors can be the same from brand to brand is completely wrong. They will never be exactly the same. I find the Benjamin Moore aura paints to have an incredible scope and breadth to the color. From what I have seen Benjamin Moore paints have more pigment in them. Pigment is expensive so I imagine that contributes to the higher costs. I believe in paying for better quality to get better results, if you can afford it.
For application, I definitely have an easier time applying Benjamin Moore paints than I do Sherwin Williams or Martha Stewart for example. my one attempt at using Farrow and Ball paint did not go well. I think the F&B paint actually spoiled it smelled like rotten eggs
First – Never use primer when repainting INTERIOR walls unless there is a specific problem – mainly smoke staining or – RED. I started painting when Morgard was 13 bucks a gallon. Two coats of virtually any B. Morre product does the job 99% of the time. The exception is of course, RED. Then a medium gray primer will set up the red topcoat, which will still almost certainly require two coats to look good. When committed to three coats a primer does come in handy because it often drys more quickly than paint. Red without a gray primer can be a nightmare. Well, at least a very bad dream. Aura red over white might make it in two coats or even one, but I would have to see it work on sight before I would bid a job with it, especially at 50.00 – 60.00 dollars a gallon. Fortunately , customers rarely paint their entire interiors red.
Certainly a primer will save money on new construction, but of course most new construction paint jobs consist of one prime, one flat, which is why they look lousy and are problematic with repaints. An eggshell finish will never make it in one coat on a matte finished wall, even white over white. Professional painters know why but amateurs do not. The eggshell will be absorbed unevenly. Because a lustrous finish of any kind reflects light to a greater degree than a matte finish, the uneven absorption will result in flashing on the first pass.
A Ben Moore product for which I have a profound love is SuperSpec interior eggshell. Priced at least a third less that Aquavelvet, (do they still make that?) it is almost as inexpensive as the most expensive primers and makes a beautiful two coat finish every time. EXCEPT RED. Plus I think it makes a truer eggshell finish than the higher priced product. I suspect interior decorators hate the name, but it’s the results that matter.
One more time – primers are overrated and overused. Two coats with a quality product will get the job done beautifully 99% of the time.
Ian, I totally agree with your comments about the primer and reds (almost always three coats). But even though I know what a problem covering red with another color is, we’re still painting our living room Sherwin Williams, Bolero red. I just hope the room looks as good with Bolero as an accent wall as it will when I paint the whole thing that color.
Very interesting comments. Much appreciate. Thanks.
If you want to use Aura in a bathroom or an area where there is high moisture and/or humidity, make sure you use Aura ‘Bath and Spa’. The other Aura products will not hold up under these conditions. I made this mistake…once. ‘Streaking’ appeared on walls and you could see the color in the water that dripped on some of the woodwork. We gave the paint 48 hours to cure before using the shower. I repainted two coats with the Bath and Spa, huge difference.
I love Benjamin Moore’s Aura eggshell. It goes on perfectly. But I just can’t seem to get the hang of Aura’s satin or semi-gloss on wide surfaces (e.g., cabinet doors). Streaking, smudges, flatness, touch-up discoloration–you name it, I’ve had the problem. Fortunately, I’ve only used it a few times on smooth surfaces.
I am about to paint my living room (house is two years old and living room still has contractor’s original paint). The living room is circular, 16 ft. high with four floor-to-ceiling Swiss windows facing all directions. It backs up to forest land. You cannot imagine the dirt this room collects; nearly every day, I use compressed air on the sills. I wash the walls down weekly and my rags are always black.
So I’m thinking of using satin instead of eggshell. But given my previous experience with satin, even though it was on smooth surfaces rather than plaster, I desperately need advice. Worse, the color I want to use is a deeply saturated red ( cinco de mayo).
The one important thing you have to remember is that Aura dries quickly, so you have to work quickly. I would not recommend it for woodwork, not even with an ‘extender’ mixed in. I always used Benjamin Moore’s ‘Acrylic Satin Impervo’ but am now finding that I like their ‘Advance’ acrylic product even better. There is longer ‘open time’ and flows out nicely. For your walls, since they get dirty so quickly, I would probably go no less than an eggshell sheen. Remember, the higher the sheen, the more surface imperfections will show (i.e. brush and roller marks, texture imperfections). Flat and Matte sheen’s are the most forgiving. One other bit of advice, try to work from corner to corner without any interruption. If you take a break and return to roll over partially dried paint you will be creating a texture and your work will look uneven. Best to just let it dry before you resume. This is on of the benefits of Aura because you don’t have to wait long for it to dry. Good luck.
To OCD Painter: Thanks for confirming what I’ve only recently come to suspect — that Aura dries way too fast to be used on woodwork. I’ve been using Aura for the first time on our new kitchen moldings, and even with paint extender added (X-I-M) I can’t paint fast enough. And I can paint fast. We’ll use it to finish a few more kitchen moldings and then I’m just going to throw what left away because it’s just unusable on trim, and go back to using Satin Impervo. Again, thanks for the confirmation.
Thanks, OCD. I love Aura and can’t imagine painting an eggshell finish with anything else. One coat creamy coverage in deeply saturated blues, greens and purples–yes, it’s definitely worth the price. But as for higher sheens… I haven’t heard of either “Impervo” or “Advance” but will check them out and ask my retailer.
And you’re absolutely right about the quick drying, as is Ken. Unless you’ve worked with it, you have no idea what “quick drying” means! If you miss a spot or make a mistake, keep going! Otherwise, the eggshell is not temperamental. Again, the higher sheens are impossible. Ken, you have my sympathy, especially with unforgiving red.
I’m in my living room now and I just don’t know how I’m going to do it. The last time I painted a room red was in 1985 with Sears’ Best. And that was a traditional rectangular room with 8 ft. high walls. This room is twice the height and circular with no place to stop. There aren’t any corners for 30 ft. There’s 1-1/2 ft. of wall space above and below each window, but I can’t “cheat” with curtains or other window treatments as the windows are weird and open inward.
I may have to use something other than Aura 🙁
Update: I just finished painting the wall leading to the living room with Aura Cinco de Mayo, a coral-brown red, in an eggshell finish. I painted it over two-year-old matte off-white with an orange peel texture in great shape. One coat, no primer. It required less than a teaspoon of touch-up for the texture “craters,” which I dabbed with an eyeliner brush.
All I can say is: Magnificent!! Although the paint still has to “cure,” the cut-ins are invisible and there are no streak marks. (I’ll do the woodwork later.) So, back to the original question: Is Aura worth the price? Yes. It’s expensive, but it LOOKS expensive. I strolled through the house, looking at the rooms I’ve painted with Aura, and I was newly amazed at their beauty. The master bedroom, done in Affinity’s Boreal Forest, Windchime and Amulet, looks like something from House Beautiful. My study,despite its beat-up desk and ratty recliners cat-scratched beyond repair, is truly a color study of blue-violets which captures and reflects eastern light and shadows. $65 a gallon is a small price to pay for something which approaches art.
I have been using Benjamin Moore paint for years. Mostly, I use the Historical Collection. All of the colors are tasteful and from room to room to hall to door to deck, they all co-ordinate very well. I used the Aura once, for a red. Reds, I found out the hard way, are a problem, but the Aura finish was the only one that wasn’t streaky. My state has outlawed the Satin Impervo for trim, so I either drive over to Kentucky, or give the Advance a try. Those of you who have used both, what do you think?
Interesting. Did your state outlaw both the Impervo Alkyd and Acrylic paints or just the Alkyd(oil-based). I use the Advance primarily on cabinets and have found it perform excellently. It has more ‘open’ time then the Acrylic Impervo which can be a real advantage depending on your environment (drafts, temperature). Although they call Advance a acrylic paint, it actually has a little oil in it which explains the longer open time and provides a smooth, even finish. I have had great success with the acrylic Impervo on doors and trim as long as the environment is suitable. Hope this helps you.
I just finished painting a kitchen with BM Aura, tuscan red, and it covered very nicely, 2 coats over properly prepped walls. One major warning I did not see mentioned above is to AVOID TAPING on top of the aura paint. We waited 2 days and then applied the blue painters tape (3M) so we could do the trim. We did 2 coats of trim over the next 2 days and when we removed the tape, the Aura peeled off like an onion, in rubber-like strips! What a mess. We had to sand them down and repaint. In a spot where we waited taped over Aura in gold in an adjacent room (painted 10 days earlier) that peeled in spots also, but not as badly.
The BM customer service gave me a hard time about it and said I should have waited for it to cure, 4-6 weeks!
I’ll use BM paint again, but not the Aura. They at least should warn the non-pro’s to not use any tape.
I’m so sorry for your experience, Bailey.
Except for ceilings, I’ve never used tape over areas that I don’t plan to paint. This includes freshly painted walls. I don’t know who told me this, maybe my mother. It just never occurred to me to use tape.
When cutting in with Aura, I use those long cardboard windshield protectors to keep the woodwork and/or adjoining walls safe. (I use multiple protectors, one right after the other, so that I don’t inadvertently apply wet paint to previously painted surfaces. I also use a lot of artists’ brushes, children’s paint brushes and eyeliner brushes for touch up and narrow surfaces. And I always, always have a pitcher of room-temperature water and lint-free rags by my side or on the ladder for “oopsies.”
Please don’t give up on Aura. I just finished painting my circular living room Cinco de Mayo–one coat!!–and it is absolutely stunning. (Since it’s summer, I paint between midnight and 4:00 a.m., but I realize many people can’t do that.)
Choice of tape is critical. I’ve always used 3M, but Lowes stopped carrying it and now have a ‘blue Hawk’ brand of blue painter’s tape. It’s made in China, and almost guarantees paint failure. It has a low initial tack (peeling off clean glass when spraying), but a day later, will rip your top coat off the primer. 3M tape in the same application has good initial tack and does not rip the top coat off the primer. Ask me how I know.
We have just finished having a proffesional painter paint the inside of our two bedroom home with Aura Matte finish with a like color and what a disappointment.
Its proffessed to be self priming and it is not, even after two coats we had to touch up countless areas that did not cover. We did not recieve any suggestions or directions from the BM staff, we only had whats on the paint can which does not come close to what you need to do to make a half decent job. We also used the Aura Semi-Gloss for baseboards and doors and had to mix in Extender and two coats plus touch ups to get a exceptible look.
Our BM store is in complete denial and of little help, thier opinion is that these “proffesional painters” need to learn the new way of painting and forget the method they have been using for years.
We were covering BM Regal paint which we have been happy with but this new Aura you can keep especially considering its the most expensive paint out there.
Oh, John, what a horrible experience!! Had your painters ever used Aura before? There’s a video on the Benjamin-Moore site that shows you exactly how to paint with it. I’m so accustomed to Aura now that I don’t think I could paint with anything else.
I’m an avid amateur decorator who’s been painting and repainting my own homes for almost 30 years. I’ve tried every major brand out there, and then some. Aura performs as claimed, and better than most. And at $72 a pop, it had better perform. But, considering you don’t have to buy separate primer or apply a second coat, the price isn’t really so unreasonable. It covers deep red in a single coat. How many paints can do that? At first, I was skeptical about the built-in primer, but having tried it, I can say that it really works – with only one caveat: I find that brand new unpainted/unprimed drywall needs 2 coats, but repainting needs only one. It’s luxuriously thick, and dry time is short, so you need to have good technique if you don’t want overlap marks. Practice on a small section first. Make sure you use the recommended brushes and rollers. Cheap ones give a less professional look. Aura takes one of the top two spots on my list. But considering its widespread availability, it usually edges out Pittsburgh Manor Hall, another pricey favorite of home decorators, which is almost impossible to find these days.
I am a prof designer, and there really is a huge difference in the levels of paints (aura, natura, ben moore, regal) and this article totally underestimates and glosses over them.
The Aura and Natura lines are without a doubt the best of the BM line, and much better than the lower level Regal and Ben Moore. Especially for exterior! You think that “smell” and VOC aren’t worth paying for? Think again. Paint odor is toxic, and often when people paint a home, they’re still living in it. Natura literally has no smell at all. Aura, also, is low VOC and can often cover in one coat. You also get a lot more coverage per gallon with Aura, and I find it MORE than pays for itself on jobs. Often one gallon can give two coats to the walls of a mid size bedroom, whereas you might use 1.5 to 2 gallons of the lower grades.
This is most important with Aura. Exterior ever dark colors will last for seven to ten years or more. With Regal, not even close.
Having said that, if you’re after a lower price, go with the Pratt & Lambert lines. Their lower Read Seal lines (while smelly) are almost as good as the higher lines of Benjamin Moore. Their Accolade is on the Aura level and, I think, costs a little less. If you’re into saving money. Best of all P&L color chips always match the paint. Benjamin Moore’s color chips are NOT reliable and MUST be tested. Must. You will regret it if you don’t test first with BM, and in fact, you should always color test, period. But if you’re in a hurry, P&L chips always match the paint. (Whether your choice will look good in a specific room with specific light is always another issue altogether.)
Finally, whoever on this board says that Ralph Lauren Paint is any good, needs to have their head examined and be banished from the internet. I agree that their color pallet is awesome. I love it, it truly is. But match that color with a good brand, not Ralph Lauren brand. It’s a nightmare of bad quality, and the absolute worst for a painter to use. Takes three to four coats for any color but the lightest, and the quality is patchy and just awful! Avoid avoid avoid!
Oh, I do want to say that if given the choice between P&L and Benj Moore, all other issues being equal, I would always go with Benjamin Moore for quality and long lasting ability. Pratt and Lambert is great, but about 90-95% of what Benj Moore is, and only slightly cheaper.
It’s been very interesting reading all of these comments. I’ve worked for Benjamin Moore for over two years and have heard every one of these complaints and praises for our products almost daily. Aura is OUR best performing paint and it does what it’s expected to. In almost all cases the problem lies with the application, however, the consumer is always right and therefore they believe it’s the product that is not good. Most homeowners are not qualified painters and shouldn’t quit their day jobs, and seasoned professional painters become comfortable with what they know and will, more often than not, avoid using Aura simply because they would have to change their technique and they’re not comfortable with that. I wish I had the time to address some of these complaints because the answer is obvious but I don’t. As I’ve told many customers,” Every company has a good paint and you always have the choice to buy whatever you wish too”. By the way, when shopping around for paint, you can always ask for a TDS sheet on anyone’s paint product so that you can compare each paints attributes. You will be surprised!
Rob, I am unsure of who you’re talking about, that a pro would balk at a BM product. Every painter I have used, once they painted with Aura, was a convert.
The best part is the coverage. It covers a lot more than the average gallon of goo. For every can of Aura, my guys use a can and a half of other brands.
And I hate the myth that anything can be painted in one coat. You always need two coats. But my guys and I joke after the first coat of Aura, because it looks so great. We joke about how it’s almost impossible to find the areas that really need two coats.
If anybody balks about Aura, it’s because it costs $65-70 per gallon. But that pays for itself.
And if any of the painters you’re talking about are Kelly Moore guys, then they are so poor at their jobs as to be unsalvageable. My joke to customers is, if your painter has cans of Kelly Moore in their truck, do not hire him!
You need a copy editor – “Ben” by Benjamin Moore is not themost expensive of the interior paints as stated above. see below:
ben Interior is the last and most inexpensive line of Ben Moore paint. It’s only available in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss sheen, and is designed to attract consumers who balk at the more expensive options. One gallon of ben Interior cost $35.99.
I don’t know where you are buying your paint but stop and go somewhere else – these prices are crazy. I am a professional painter and i use Benjamin Moore products every day – I would never pay that much for paint.
These products are all great if you do the prep work, and allow yourself enough time to do the job properly.
The difference between Benjamin Moore paint and other Top Brands (ie. sherwin williams, Behr premium) is minimal in appearance and workability – but B. Moore lasts longer is more durable and retains original color longer.
thanks for your time
We didn’t write that Ben was the most expensive of the interior paints. In fact, the text you copy and pasted says inexpensive.
Also, often professional painters receive a discount that homeowners don’t. Perhaps that’s why you think the prices are too high?
What happened to the quality of the paint can? I’ve been a loyal BM customer for
decades. In the last couple of days I tried re-opening part cans that were stored in my basement and both were extremely difficult to open because of rust. Now I’ve always hammered down the lid, turned it over to coat and seal and then left it upright on the shelf. Is it perhaps the tin manufacturing? I had to turf both of these part cans because of the rust, something that never happend before.
I just got through attempting to paint trim with Benjamin Moore’s High Gloss White Enamel, and for the $50 per gallon I paid for it, it is not worth it. I got better results with Duramax from Lowe’s than this paint.
I used a high quality primer and sanded the primer so I had a smooth finish to start with. I first then used HVLP sprayer to put it on, and the paint was either slightly rough or satin looking, certainly not high gloss, so I thought it was from HVLP air drying it too fast. It was such a poor finish that I wound up sanding all of that down (crown, base, casing and the built-in cabinets), then trying another coat with a Graco RAC X FF 208 tip, which is the finest tip Graco makes, and though the rough went away, there is still no high gloss to the paint, and unless I put it on so thick it runs it’s almost a flat sheen. I thought perhaps I was having a paint shear problem, so I tried out a 311 tip (which is in the spec of the TDS from BM), and still had awful results. I did not thin or add any additives to the paint. I’m also concerned about the adhesion to the primer, because in one place where I had a run on the wall (from spraying casing), I scraped it off, and it just peeled off the wall, leaving some primer behind. It has performed like really cheap paint. Awful experience with this paint, and at this point will not buy BM again.
Around between 20 to 25 years ago I had the trim to my house painted a jade green with your paint moor life flat finish latex house paint. I have the can of paint kept in the cellar. There was a clear liquid in the top of the material in the can with heavy color material in the bottom of the can. I used spinner stirrer with electric brill. Will the paint be good to use? It looks good to me to use. Please advise me.
Sincerely Joseph Panzarella
Just painted our whole house with BM Regal select in various colors ( all versions with primer already added) and found that the color dictates how many coats are required. All walls were TSP cleaned and no primer was used. Some colors took 2 coats consistently and some colors took 3 coats. Regardless, all colors look amazing when dried although I am dissapointed in havering to do 3 coats of this very expensive paint ( in Canada it’s $64 a gallon). I found on average if it took over half a gallon to do an area, the remainder would easily do 2 more coats as the first coat “sucked” the most into the wall.
So when commenting on the coverage / coats it really depends on the color so I don’t think a flat out blanket statement can be made. Another positive I found worth mentioning is splatter as it is almost none existant. actually did a few rooms with no tarps! I just had a wet rag handy and found 1 or 2 drips to clean. This was amazing.
CC-460 inukshuk ( 3 coats )
HC-108 sandy hook gray ( 2 coats )
About to do kitchen next, update to follow…
Sherwin Williams Sherscrub Supreme is my new favorite.
I’ve painted all manner of exterior and interiors over the years, with all manner of paint. I know my way around a paint brush and roller. I’m good at it, and don’t cut corners on tools and materials.
Although I’ll generally agree that you get what you pay for, I’ll say that I hated the Aura paint.
Some people take great pride in using difficult or tricky products. Some of us just want to get the job done quickly and easily.
If you’re the former, and feel it’s worth spending time and money to figure out the EXACT perfect application for this paint, then go ahead. And yes, I mean EXACT. It is far too unforgiving for those of us with better things to do.
If you’re used to other premium brands that just go on the wall, cover, and don’t require endless touch ups and tweaks, then look elsewhere.
Our experience: the paint was purchased by my partner based on the price (expensive) and the recommendation of the paint dealer. It allegedly has “better” colors.
Despite BM’s “one coat” claims, we wound up doing three coats on all most every wall of a small bathroom. When we tried to lay it on thick it dripped and ran. When we laid on on thinner it didn’t cover.
I’m sure there some perfect amount of this paint that should be applied (or “floated” as someone once claimed), but we never found it.
Honestly, there are dozens of very, very good paints out there that apply easily – why on earth would I bother with the hassle or Aura?
There’s nothing ‘difficult’ or ‘tricky’ to Aura…. except it can prove challenging for those ‘quick and easy’ type painters who won’t take the time to read. I mean really, you applied the paint to the point where it ‘dripped and ran’?
Do you work for Sherwin Williams?
I hope OCDPainter weighs in on this.
I’m an Aura zealot. Once I tried it, I was hooked. My painting style seems to match Aura’s painting requirements. I’ve painted nearly all the rooms in my three-year-old house with deeply saturated colors and love watching the shadows and light bring out the depth of these hues.
I’m about to paint my kitchen in “boring” Bleeker Beige and Mascarpone, although I’d love to top off the beige with a metallic or luminescent paint. Except for the areas behind the stove and refrigerator, I don’t have a lot of wall space. (For example, the area above my cupboards is 1-1/2 ft. high x 16 ft. length; one “wall” is 2-1/2 ft. square; and I’m lucky to squeeze in a 2-1/2″ brush in other areas.)
Because I’m as avid a cook as I am a painter, I need paint that will hold up to my “creative” cooking and necessary scrubbing. (I’m constantly setting off smoke alarms when I roast chiles or blacken fish.) I’ve scrubbed the walls and applied a smoke/stain primer, something I’ve never done with Aura before. But I use and abuse this kitchen.
Should I use satin or semi-gloss? Will a metallic top coat work, that is, hold up to repeated scrubbings? Any hints on painting those tiny spaces? (When I primed the “walls,” it seemed like cutting in was enough, with just one more sweep of the brush or pass of a mini-roller.)
Also, a friend who shares my Aura fanaticism suggested using Clark Kensington for the kitchen. (I haven’t bought the beige or white yet, but I understand Ace will tint CK in the BM colors.) I’m not happy with the reviews, but she swears by it for the higher sheens in light colors. Thoughts? Do you use the same painting techniques with CK as you do with Aura? Aura doesn’t spatter and spattering is one of my main concerns in the kitchen, given the limited wall space.
Sorry for the length of this–I wanted to get everything in before I go down the hill next week for paint.
I’ve never used Clark Kensington, so I can’t comment on that product. I would question just how well they could match BM’s colors. BM uses their own proprietary resins along with Gennex colorants which is what separates them from the competition. Maybe they can get close enough though for you. If it were me I would tile that space. Otherwise, just go with Aura semi-gloss. Even with Aura, as with any paint,you should let fully cure a couple of weeks before wiping/washing stains off.
Thank you, OCDPainter!! I’m so glad you saw my question!!
If you haven’t used Clark Kensington, neither will I. I’m too accustomed to Aura now to change my ways. When you consider that I need only a quart of each color, max, it probably would be foolish to consider a new paint, given (1) all the cabinetry, windows and tile that I need to paint around, and (2) my familiarity and comfort with Aura.
A few have brought up a good point: If it requires special handling (as compared to other brands), many, including contractors, are going to have trouble with it. After all, many contractors have several employees with different techniques. Of course, homeowners don’t always have the best equipment or technique.
That said, I try to operate on the “I can’t afford cheap” theory. That doesn’t mean I have to drive a Rolls to work, but it does mean I don’t want to depend on a junk yard escapee to get me to jobs. So it also goes for paints and techniques. For example, though it may look good with one coat, the added thickness of a second layer can mean the difference between being able to and not being able to wash a wall
When I have to use big box store product, I often ask them to tint the primer, only to be told it can’t be done. Then, I have to educate at least one, if not two or more employees. To be fair to the “pro’s” at the big box store, please note I took a gallon of shingle oil to a well known paint store and asked them to tint it and they, also, said it couldn’t be done. After tinting it, they, almost insistently, offered to shake it for me. In the end, they wanted to see if it worked and were surprised at the results (if it mixes, it’s fair game).
When you compare paint quality between brands and grades within a brand, there IS a difference in performance, both in application and durability. If your paint job is going to get abuse, you may be better off spending more. Generally, higher end paints use more binders and pigments, resulting in easier application (e.g., better hiding) and a more “scrubable” product. As such, even some ceilings might be suited to for higher grade paint, just in case of that bump by a Christmas tree or some other light mishap.
I used to use Kelly Moore paint almost exclusively. I used their mid and better grades with good results. Next year, it might be Sherwin Williams, or Benjamin Moore. Just like any business, they all compete for business by way of the quality and cost of their product they offer and it can change from year to year.
As to matching colors, I insist my work be invisible, when touching up a job where the paint has faded. Interestingly, some of the best matches I ever got was from an employee who matched by sight, rather than a computer. There were times I could not find where I had been working. Clearly, much, if not most of the ability of a given store to match a color may run more to the employees they have working for them than the computer equipment they use.
I wish I could see this match by sight with my eyes. Could be. Match made in invisible heaven and never a note detected or spoken I like that as well
i personally use bm paint regardless of the price, because in the long run it really saves you money by not having to by more and apply more paint. ive used glidden sherman williams and valspar and have had bad experiences with all of them!!!!! although i believe bm aura paint is the top grade best paint ever, the ben regal is also very good and a reasonably priced paint… looooovvvveee ben moore paint, i will not use anything else.
I had a beautiful result with Aura. Because it dries quickly you need to be ready and keep moving and paint in a criss cross pattern.(There are other methods – this is just what works for me.) Don’t let the edges dry, just keep moving and I never had any seams or lines. After the second coat it was spotless and i used matt over ancient walls. I can see that if you don’t keep working the paint across each wall it is possible to have some lines. It wasn’t a problem for me. I would look at some videos of how to use the roller first. Honestly, my walls were beautiful and I am really fussy.
I think I did all the cutting in by the windows, etc first and just feathered the edges. I guess if you use thinner paint that takes longer to dry you can have more time to get smooth results – but it is entirely achievable with Ben Moore and it’s very high quality. It will last ages. It’s done in a day. There’s virtually no odor. It’s worth it to me to spend twenty bucks for gorgeous walls.
We used Benjamin Moore Gold metallic on our kitchen and now have all kinds of shapes and depth of the gold on the wall. Would a second coat clear up this problem or what can I do. Thank you so much.
I used this on a ceiling once. Overlapping will give you an uneven finish, much like when you add texture (sand) to a paint and roll it on. Very hard to get a perfect, even finish. Adding a second coat will help if you roll a different direction (Ex. If you rolled a wall using an up and down motion the first time, roll the second coat left to right). Don’t beat yourself up too much, sometimes imperfect or uneven faux finishes will give a more dramatic result.
This Aura paint sprays pretty good out of a hvlp gun. Just did one room in 1 coat. Any missed areas I went back and got it a second time.
Get out of the dark ages with your rollers and brushes people.
Geez its the 23rd century or something like that.
If you got to backroll then do it otherwise spray.
Would you use an hvlp
I guess you could
I mean an airless or a pressure pot even would be faster…
Hvlp to me is good for auto body and trim or cabinet coatings
Aura… Hmm I wouldn’t put it through an hvlp
Different strokes for different folks
I wish you were from WA
We could have a contest
You take your hvlp and I get a brush and roller setup that I am familiar with
Then we see who can paint the room faster and make it look better
With pro judges
All these comments are worthless…I’ve painted for 43 years…have 4 different paint company’s an only use glidden paint…best damn paint they ever made….Benjamin Moore is junk….behr is half ass ….I am the best damn painter there ever was or is…y’all both couldn’t stand a chance with this roller in hand BOYS
not only was Aura paint very expensive – you will need to keep the windows open as you paint the room – it doesn’t brush out smooth and you will have to apply TWO COATS… I will never ever buy this paint again.
See I guess people’s opinions differ. That’s ok, but I find myself wondering what brush you are using. I use Purdy or corona 2.5 inch angle sash stiff or ultra stiff and I love the way it lays out. Sometimes I use a 4″ oval. Part of being a pro is using the larger brushes. You know, back 100 years ago they used 6″, 10″, even bigger horsehair brushes that make my 3.5-4″ ones look like toys for little girls. Anyway a big brush is key. And confidence.
I meant 3.5 inch angle sash not 2.5
You get what you pay for. If you are doing a garage go to Lowes. IF it is your living room …Go Better to Best Benjamin Moore. They have a cheap Benjamin Moore but I found it drippy and not as good. Buy The Aura, your time and labor matters.
I just used Aura in one room and Regal Select in another. I had to do multiple coats in the Regal Select. With the AURA, only one coat was needed and it was a lot smoother looking. There is a learning curve with AURA (and Regal Select). You can NOT paint like it’s other brands of paint (I’ve used RL, Behr, SW, & Valspar in the past). With Aura & Regal Select, there’s a certain technique that the BM Salesperson told me. Best advice too! “You have to commit to the roll. Get the paint on, roll it smoothly for full coverage, THEN MOVE ON!” It wasn’t until I started doing his method, that I really understood what he was saying. You literally put the the paint on roll it one once or twice, make sure even coverage, then move on. Don’t use the old painting technique used with cheaper paints, where you roll, spread it out, roll some more and end up rolling over the same spots over and over. Let the expensive paint do its job. Commit to the roll and move on!
Work in 4ft spaces….cut in on top and bottom, roll – commit to the roll, move on to the next 4ft area. Really ended up being faster too. My learning curve came from doing 1.5 walls. Once you get the method, it’s really easy and good.
The end result — AURA is worth the money if you use the right technique. Saves money in the long run, because now I have to go buy another gallon of the Regal Select for that first room. The AURA room is all DONE on one gallon, one coat, and looks better than room with Regal Select. Aura room = $72. Regal Select room = $144. There you have it folks!
I agree with the general application concept here concerning aura. I cut in the full wall and paint very fast with an 18″ 1/2 inch nap roller and I do not second guess myself. Always creamy rich results with no roller lines or flashing.
I used BM paint for my garage and house window frames on my beautiful brick bungalow home in Milwaukee. We went through a bitterly cold, brutal winter. The paint held up as though it had just been painted. I used the white oil paint ( exterior). It is a rich paint that adheres marvelously and looks very creamy and rich. It is twice as expensive as other brands, but in my opinion, the quality is incomparable. According to BM, they use much less H2O in their paint and this is why it is such fine quality. After using BM, I would never go back to any other brand. This is , without question, the best paint sold in America. They only sell from their own stores, which I really like, because the sales people are very knowledgeable and helpful. This is a fine , American – made product!! Remember when Sears used to boast about their “Weatherbeater” paint? We used it on our home 22 years ago (outside) and it has held up very well for 22 years. BM paint is the new “Weatherbeater”. Painters who did some of our painting agree it is the best paint on the market.
I can attest to that Weatherbeater being good I saw a house a few years back painted 31 years ago still no chipping or peeling just faded and dirty from the decades. What the hell did they make that Weatherbeater out of anyhow? I’d buy it in a second today.
I chose Ben Moore’s Aura paint because of the low VOC/low odor component; I live in an apartment that has poor cross-ventilation and is hard to air out. I painted 3 rooms with it–two 12’x 18′ and one 8′ x 12′, all with 9ft ceilings. I was painting over moderate-to-light colors with Dove white and a pale blue–I used the Natura primer and two coats of Aura color. I was extremely pleased with the results. I had some slight problems with “lifting” when I was painting the primer, but none when I was using the Aura–I thought the roller edges blended extremely well, and that it was very forgiving.
I’m sure there are other paints that work just as well in terms of coverage and color, but if you are concerned about VOCs (as I am) your choices are more limited, and this is an excellent option. Since I figure I saved money by doing the painting myself, I’m ok paying some extra to ensure I’m not breathing more chemicals than I have to.
I am a painting contractor with over twenty five years. Around ten years ago BM was horrible for exterior. I could come up to your building and tell if it was BM just by glazing my finger on the paint. Back then I would not pay $5/ gallon.
Aura is a very good product:
Is it worth the cost? Aura deep bases are the best on the market. The hiding power and coverage are well worth the money, and will save you labor and sundry costs. Saving you one coat saves material not to mention the coverage is better per gallon. You don’t have to use a deep base primer, and that again saves you on paint, and sundry products.
On the flip side we do not use BM as a contractor. To be honest no one can afford it unless the product warrants the cost. The quality talk is nonsense, when so many multi billion dollar companies are making paint. We use Deluxe especially there flat whites.
BM has too many average products, that are priced out of range. They have sold too many bubble gum rings with fancy labels.
I wouldnt paint a dog house with BM water it down to make it workable is all you can do and forget touching up repaint is touchup BM stands for Buy More
Or bowel movement
All these comments are worthless…I’ve painted for 43 years…have 4 different paint company’s an only use glidden paint…best damn paint they ever made….Benjamin Moore is junk….behr is half ass ….I am the best damn painter there ever was or is…
When I first began residential painting, I actually found two really great companies that were willing to give me work experience. One company was mostly residential pre-existing homes. The other was largely commercial and new construction.
One company was a huge fan of Sherwin- Williams. The other was Kelly-Moore. Price was a concern for both, but I was too young and dumb to worry too much because I wasn’t paying for it. As long as the prep was done well, I noticed just about any paint applied correctly would look nice.
Later, as I started my own company, I begin to experiment with different products on various substrates. Various alkyl and alkyd primers. Pre cat and post cat epoxies. Varnishes. Elastomerics. Hybrids.
Aura is the best interior wall paint I’ve used for a variety of reasons. My favorite sheen is Pearl. If you want to paint red over a white wall Aura is it. That’s the kind of coverage you get. Another reason I like it is its creamy and rolls on nice. It’s not thin like Sherwin-Williams interior Duration. I like the buttery thickness of it.
I’m also a big fan of Advance waterborne alkyd. It’s water cleanup but an oil finish when it dries. Very nice in semigloss. Sherwin-Williams pro classic hybrid is just as good. I use either.
But Aura is my fave. I find good materials actually save time and money over the long haul.
All these comments are worthless…I’ve painted for 43 years…have 4 different paint company’s an only use glidden paint…best damn paint they ever made….Benjamin Moore is junk….behr is half ass ….I am the best damn painter there ever was or is…
You’re too funny.
I use Benjamin Moore on every job, and Aura on most. I am amused with the comments regarding the paint being uneven or that it streaks. I use a Wooster Super-Doo-Z roller cover, 3/8″ or 1/2″ nap, depending on texture. I keep the roller cover loaded with paint and do not dry roll the wall. If people have problems with the finish streaking after application, it is not the paint, it is the skill level of the applicator. Is Aura worth the money? For me it is, because I never use more than two coats. Most jobs require only one, unless the colors are deep and clean, such as fire engine red or lemon yellow. I can save time and labor costs with one coat of $65 dollar paint vs two coats of $30 paint. This isn’t hard to do, people.
Has anyone had issues with bad leaking cans? I bought a house that had been painted with BM. I neede to repainted a few walls so made the long drive to the BM dealer. Paid the hefty price for supposed quality paint. 3 years later half the can is dry. Took one can in and they blamed me for a leaking lid. It was rusted? Had another one same thing. Now I opened the third gallon and its solidifying around the handle connections. Obviously junk cans. The guy at the store tried to blame it on freezing. No way….
Contractors wouldn’t know since you paint and go.
Also had to listen to the guy in the store complain about retail customers who waste his time buying one gallon
I’ve previously used Homers Behr and had very good results. Painted my homes for ever and no issues. I have 5 other brand gallons sitting next to these and no issues.
I feel ripped by wasting money on BM.
I have had lots of problems with leaky cans from
BM in the last few years. I have to keep new spare empty ones on hand. It’s really annoying actually. I’ve painted for 30 years and never had this problem before. They get pin hole leaks in the bottom of the cans.
After a long and expensive reno including the kitchen, bathroom and dining room, laying down new floors etc. we are ready to choose paint. Would love to hear from pro painters because we are hiring a pro painter to do it right. After spending so much on everything, $20 a gallon difference won’t matter financially in the long run, but the results will.
I love Farrow and Ball colours. Just love them. I don’t believe in matching colours (particularly with a brand like F&B because the paint formulation is just too different). I am willing to pay a premium price, (my hubby disagrees completely) but after reading reviews for the last three days I am completely torn, because what concerns me is durability and quality of finish. Also, I am unclear whether you need primer, and if so what type. (Obviously the F&B folks say to use just their brand. I get that, from their perspective.) Some folks have stated that F&B doesn’t last well, if you scrub it it gets scuffed etc. Others swear by it.
I plan on painting the kitchen a white /barely grey in Modern Emulsion; the dining room in alternating wide stripes of Modern Emulsion/Full Gloss. The walls are a mix of old drywall with light grey paint, and a whole lot of new drywall.
The living room in Modern Emulsion. (All the walls are old, pale grey on them right now.)
I think the entrance hallway and staircase, which are high traffic areas, I should just go with BM (never used Aura before so now after reading all the pros and cons… I will ask my painter if he has used it before and is familiar with the technique. if he has, then I will go with Aura.) If you guys think a different line is better, would love to hear it.
And finally, in my teen’s room… I do love the F&B colours but if the scuffing, marking really happens quickly, I wouldn’t mind going with BM. Probably not Aura though as I am planning on a combination of various width stripes on about a third of the wall, and based on how you describe the techniques needed, roll up and down, that would probably not be the best line to choose. I guess Regal is the best choice for that room.
Anyway, long post from a very confused and renovation weary owner. Thanks in advance for your input!
Used Regal Classic for many years. Paint store pushed Ben line a couple of years ago . BIGGEST MISTAKE USING THIS LINE!!!!! 3 years later, I went back to jobs using Ben and for whatever reason it started to stink and emit the most noxious gases ever! This was not in the same house nor the same color but the same base eggshell bought at 2 different stores so you can’t blame one store for possibly having bad colorants. The owners of the homes possessions in the rooms painted with Ben had to throw out most of their belongings in the rooms painted with Ben cause it stunk so bad. Both homeowners only complained of the issue in the rooms that were painted with Ben. I keep a record of all my jobs with paint used (brand, sheen, color, dealer)
This sounds like an unusual case. I use ben flat all the time and there is no smell and it goes on like a dream w one coat.
Bm is terrible paint.. I’ve a new house and just painted most of it in behr. I got a free can of Bm from work.. The white is a dingy white compared to the behr, I only used the Bm on 2 doors. They ate 3 coats each (painting over white), used almost the entire gallon.. Yes on 3 coats on 2 doors, no way this stuff covers the suggested 350-400sq ft.. 20 years in the construction trade this year and worked for 4 professional paint companies too.. Don’t blame the painter. Blame Bm. Im glad my free gallon is gone.. Now to get rid of the dying white color me. Bm paint.. Works great as primer for real paint
To those talking about BM ceiling paint, Muresco is a much better product and costs about $8-9 less a gallon. And all I can say about the complaints is that you didn’t deal with a competent retailer. Aura is designed for, among other things, a fast recoat time. It’s totally different than other paints. It’s designed to go on thick and dry fast. Probably why BM makes a special “Aura” roller covers. It holds more product, so it goes on thicker and still dries fast, which is why in most colors, it does provide one coat coverage. That being said, I’d never buy Aura. Not because it’s a bad product, but because I have half a clue and would use (and have used, interior and exterior) Regal Select instead. Find a competent retailer and follow their instructions. Any good retailer would rather you were happy the first time so you come back (and tell a friend), versus selling you more just once. Also, my father works for SW and has told me that the product they can’t even come close to is Advance. Others, they’re within a shout (but can’t quite match). But they have nothing like Advance. (For those who dont know, Advance is designed for cabinets and trim and other high-traffic areas. Self-leveling waterbased alkyd) And if anyone is hiring a pro to paint for them, and that contractor isn’t using Ultra Spec, fire them. Ultra Spec needs to be applied by someone who knows what they’re doing, not the average homeowner. And it’s as good as most BM products at about $25/gal (although your contractor probably gets a discount). Although if you’re doing a bathroom or other humid area, Aura Bath & Spa is worth the price (which should be the same as Aura, but it has extra mold & mildew protection).
I have used aura ben and regal. All are great paints. I use the ben most often and it is a great paint. It is thinner than Regal and maybe might splatter a little more if you are rolling too fast. But I still think it is a great paint with great resuls.
The flat has awesome touch up abilities. I have tried others and always come back to ben.
Benny Moore is not what it used to be – period. Overpriced – period
Thank you for your…well, I suppose we’ll call it, your arbitrary findings on the matter. Well put.
Pretty great to see non-painters complaining about a product when 99% of failures are due to incorrect prep or application. BM is priced higher than most other paints on the market because (gasp) they use higher quality raw materials in their paint. BM is really the only company to grind their own pigments in the USA as well, everyone else comes from china.
The guy using Aura on the ceiling? Why would use you use a fast dry paint on a ceiling? Probably also using a tiny 9″ roller and rolling in the wrong direction. Use a paint with a longer open time, an 18″ roller running perpendicular to the light source. Of course this isn’t info you will get at Home Depot because the guy staffing the counter probably has never used the product.
Professionals charge $40+/hr for a reason. If painting were easy then everyone would do it.
BTW the BM brushes and roller covers are just rebranded woosters.
I tried Ben by Benjamin Moore and was extremely disappointed it stinks worse than the cheaper paints I usually buy the better Benjamin Moore paint first time trying Ben the cheaper brand of BM not worth it I will need to put 2 coats for a better result it went on like water did not cover well a real disappointment what a shame I always spoke so highly of NM now my opinion has changed as we move on in life you would assume that things should get better and easier not the other way around
Just had walls painted for baby nursery. The room had navy walls and I chose a cream/beige for the nursery. I used the Aura paint in eggshell finish. Painters only had to do two coats so it didn’t add to the cost of the job like I thought it would and looks great. No streaks or anything. We did the bathroom in a bluish and used the Aura bath and spa paint. Totally gorgeous!
I just used Ben Moore Ben Eggshell Revere Pewter in my master bedroom and it took 2 coats. It’s lovely and I’m truly happy. I have 3/4 a can left, mine took 1 and 1/4 of a can so it was over a $90 price tag for the walls not to get into the cost for the ceiling and woodwork in the room. Then I wanted a new bedspread so the costs soared.
Seemed like it was going to be a good review until I came to the part about one-coat coverage. Give me a break. It doesn’t matter how expensive the paint is, if it doesn’t claim one-coat coverage then determine it’s worth on what it does claim: superior results when applied correctly. Benjamin Moore is about the finished product, not the half-way finished one. Don’t expect your first coat to unlock the paint’s potential, but do expect it from your second coat.
I use Moore for exterior and though I paint about every 7 years it could easily go another 3. I use Behr one coat marquu for interior and always have great results.
We have used BM Aura throughout our house and have never been disappointed. No primer, 2 coats, and our walls look beautiful. My mom, my father-in-law, and my husband have all painted our house using this paint and they all did a great job even though they are novice painters. They all said it was easy paint to use. But we made sure to get the rollers that BM suggested.
If you use poor techniques, tools, or a bad batch, you’ll likely get terrible results no matter which paint you use.
We used Aura for exterior paint on cedar shingles. The house had not been painted for atleast 15 years in New England weather, maybe more. The painters said they need to maintain a wet edge or something for the paint, so the cost increase is more for labor than paint. The end result has been excellent. Super smooth uniform finish. The warranty from the painters is also longer. Hope it lasts another 15.
Knowing how painters can skimp on time and quality of materials (e.g. cheap rollers) all of which add up to a subpar job. I discussed with company rep that I wanted all painting done in accord with mfg specs including incl roller type, time between coats,primer type, etc. and provided detail sheet from paint co. Got a quote for me to sign which note “paint specs.” So when before i signed I attached the company specs to the quote, so there was absolutely NO AMBIGUITY. Painters reply, “oh, we cant guaranty all that…” GONE. Next, please. (Contractor who “got it” did just fine.
As a contractor, I have used Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams almost exclusively, aside from the occasions where the customer has purchased the paint already and have gone with Behr or Valspar. Many have chosen price as their rationale. My response has always been “this project (with ceiling, walls, trim, and my time which ALWAYS includes wall repairs), we are using approx 5-6 gallons of paint. You chose the $39.99 option. So, that’s $200-240 worth of paint. If I am there for 2-3 days at $300/day, we’re at $900 plus paint , so total cost to you is 1100-1150. For an extra $100 (5 -6 gallons at $15 per gallon more for BM or SW) it’s less than 10% more of the total cost, not to mention the finished product always looks better.” DO NOT SHOP BY PRICE!! There have been jobs where I had to stay an extra day and put a third coat on the walls to get a finish that I am happy with. Penny wise was definitely pound foolish in that scenario.