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The future of paint?

Product Review: Aura paint with colorlock technology

• Manufactured by Benjamin Moore
• 800-344-0400; www.myaurapaint.com
• Cost: about $55 per gal.

When my friend asked me to paint her new office, I agreed and told her to buy 4 gal. of water-based eggshell interior paint in whichever colors she wanted. Two gallons for each large room, I figured, would be plenty of paint for two coats with a little left over in case I had to do any touch-ups. When I showed up to paint, though, I found only 2 gal. waiting for me, one of each color. The paint store sold her a new line of Benjamin Moore paint called Aura, which they claimed “is about to turn the paint world upside down.” They assured her it would cover in one coat. I was both hopeful and skeptical.

When I cut in a room, I work slowly and methodically, hoping to get the job done in one pass even if I have to roll the walls twice. I found that Aura was easy to load onto my 21/2-in. sash brush, but the paint set up quicker than I was used to. One brush stroke too many, and I was taking the paint off the wall. After I got a feel for the paint, though, I moved around the room quickly.

Unlike when I’m cutting in, I roll quickly. In one room, I had to use a 3/8-in.-nap roller cover to get paint into the grooves of some paneling. Even with the roller and my speedy pace, there was no roller spray on the baseboard (or on my shirt). The Aura rolled on evenly, and the bead of paint usually left by the roller disappeared.

In the end, I decided that the paint didn’t cover completely in one coat. But Aura did have the disappearing touch-up characteristics usually found only in flat paint, which made the second coat a breeze.

Benjamin Moore says that Aura is scrubbable in all finishes and that it is eco-friendly. I didn’t test the first claim, and the latter is based strictly on the fact that Aura meets VOC regulations. I can say, however, that the minimal odor is definitely a plus.

Is Aura going to turn the paint world upside down? I’m not sure, but I would certainly choose Aura for my next project.

Photo by: Justin Fink
From Fine Homebuilding192 , pp. 40 November 6, 2007