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Job Site Diaries

Job Site Diaries

Oil vs Latex Paint for Millwork (Ben Moore Aura Review)

comments (0) January 27th, 2014 in Blogs
Matt Risinger Matt Risinger, Blogger

Video Length: 3:40
Produced by: Matt Risinger

When I interview with a prospect for a new custom home build, I often talk about how the paint job on my houses stands above my competition.  It's hard for an attorney/doctor/CEO to judge a good frame carpentry job, but with paint, just about everyone can pick out a sub-par job!  I often refer to this fine paint job as a level of "crisp-ness" that is an intangible difference between Risinger Homes and other builders.  

With that in mind, I'd like to talk briefly about why I've used oil based millwork (trim, doors, etc) paint over the years.  

Oil has been a winner for millwork because it lays down and makes for a very smooth, fine finish. It also sands well and doesn't gum up sandpaper like latex paint does.  Here's a list of quick pro's and con's for oil based paint.

OIL Based Paint PRO:

  1. Lays down for a very smooth finish
  2. Sands well between coats
  3. Durable, scrub-able, long lasting finish

 OIL Based Paint CON:

  1. Cleans up with solvents (environmental issues, recycling issues, expense, etc)
  2. Takes a solid 24+ hours to dry before workers can return or put on a second coat
  3. High VOC content (that "new car" smell is basically VOC's and they aren't good for you)
  4. It yellows if left in the dark. (pocket door left inside a wall will yellow)

 I've tried water based (Latex) paints for Millwork in the past with a few different brands but I've had trouble finding one that mimics the PRO features of oil. In this video I'm using a latex-based millwork paint from Benjamin Moore called Aura. The house we're using it on is a remodel with a tight time frame, but no less desire for excellent quality than a project with a longer schedule.

Watch the video and see for youself.  I think this Ben Moore Aura is a really terrific paint and I think I've finally found an oil killer! 

PS: Here's the link to the Graco Rac X fine finish sprayer tip Mike the painter mentions in the video. 


Matt Risinger

- Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.

Be sure to check out my video blog on YouTube, and follow me on Twitter @MattRisinger 


posted in: Blogs, remodeling, green building, kitchen, restorations, painting, Risinger Homes, paint sprayer, Latex Paint, Benjamin Moore