Benjamen Moore Aura vs. Sherwin Williams Duration

pegmusJuly 17, 2010

Please help! I have searched the Forum for answers to this question but the ones that I find kind of get off the subject. Can anyone tell me which of these is better and why.

We are in the process of building a house and are getting ready for the painter. We realize that neither one of these paints are cheap but at this point we just want the best "finished" job. Our painter mostly uses Sherwin Williams but has on one or two occasions used the Benjamen Moore "Aura" which he finds to be more time consuming and harder to work with (which we antipate him to charge more for putting it on).

The other kicker is that I have been choosing the Bemjamen Moore paint colors for the whole house but have been assured (of course by Sherwin Williams rep) that there is no problem with "matching" their paints. Opinions on that?

Thanks for your help and the sooner the better as we are meeting for the final time with our painter on Monday to get him started.

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Lori A. Sawaya

Wow. What a pickle you're in.

Painter is whining about using Aura and the SW is promising a "match" but no one can really qualify what "match" means except you.

Duration or Aura - neither one is essentially "better". Each of them meet specific project criteria and are neck and neck in the department of quality. Which is probably the reason you didn't find any conclusive statements on the forum declaring one better than the other.

There is no way - no way - I would let a painter get away with charging more to apply Aura. If he can't paint with Aura, then I'd have to wonder just how good of a painter he really is. Truly pro professional painters can paint with absolute crap paint and it looks like Michael Angelo just left the building. It's only after they're gone and the actual living in the house gets underway that you begin to realize the paint per se is crap -- not the paint job.

Even tho super pro painters can paint with anything, they do have their preferences -- and there's nothing wrong with that. It could be a mix of pricing/margins and actual painting performance he's concerned about. Whatever the reason he likes SW, it's always a good idea to make the painter happy if you can. Typically, Duration is no walk in the park to paint with either. You apply Duration, you don't paint with it  I don't see the argument for Aura being an extenuating circumstance compared to Duration.

If you're selecting regular Ben Moore colors from Classic Colors or Color Preview, maybe let SW take a shot at matching those colors. Not a big stretch there.

If you're looking at Affinity colors for Aura paint, that's a different story IMO. Part of what gives the Affinity colors that final, chic look is the finish of the Aura paint - matte is my favorite.

Wonder if he'd be open to a compromise. Duration for the regular BenM colors and Aura for the Affinity colors -- that is if you can logically break out your color specs that way.

If you mix brands, Aura Matte and Duration Matte, the gloss levels will not match. Duration Matte is shinier than Aura Matte. And, Aura Matte will touch up more seamlessly than Duration.

However, both of them are very, very cleanable to the point that touch up might not even be a concern.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 7:27PM
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lilydixie

I've had SW do color matches to BM colors in the past and the results were NOT good! The color seemed to lose depth and richness. If you love the colors you've chosen, I would stick with BM.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:19PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Can anyone tell me which of these is better

Aura, As posted, if the painter wants to charge more, find a real painter.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:48AM
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trk65

Funcolors pretty much said it all.
I'll add two points for the DIYers who may read this thread.
Duration needs to be stirred FAR MORE than Aura while you work with it. It begins to separate very quickly even in the pan. This was a pretty big nuisance for me. I couldn't put as much paint in the pan as I would with Aura and this slowed me down.
Duration Matte is NOT Matte. It is more like Eggshell-Plus in terms of gloss. Aura Matte has the appearance of a more expensive finish IMO. I wouldn't mix the two paints in any sort of open floorplan environment where the two finishes would meet on adjoining walls.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:16AM
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svs128

I'd stick with BM.

I've used BM for years. Love the colors, coverage and finish. Zero VOC is wonderful for occupied spaces. We recently purchased a new home and have been repainting many of the rooms. My husband convinced me to try SW. He has a company account there and gets a decent discount. So I tried it... and I HATED it. Here is why...

1. Coverage was crappy. We changed a formerly navy blue room to a creamy yellow. It took one gallon of primer and one gallon of paint to get an OK cover. I still see issues with some areas. The room is only 144 sq ft

2. The smell is awful. The Duration line is only Low VOW. The salesman said the VOC count was 40 (?) compared to normal paints which have a count of 100 (not sure if this is true). One week later the room STILL smells like paint if you close the door. Yuck.

3. I painted one layer and let it dry. When applying the second coat HOURS later the first coat was pulled off the wall in clumps - sticking to the roller and brush. It took forever to get a decent look.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:00AM
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swesna

Aura is so easy to paint with...at least that is my experience and I only tried it recently.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:42PM
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pegmus

Thanks to all of you so very much! We are taking in consideration all of your thoughts and suggestions. Still a hard choice although we do belong to Direct Buy and can get the Sherwin Williams at a great deal! Of course, the "finished" look and outcome is the most important to us. Thanks "funcolors" for understanding my "pickle"!

Any experience, pictures or thoughts on BM Powell Bluff on being considered a "yellow" for a bedroom?

Also, any experience, pictures, or thoughts on SW Dromedary Camel for Master Bedroom?

Thanks, again! Really do appreciate it! Peggy

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:05AM
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linda_222

Peggy,
I just painted two bedrooms Powell Bluff and love love love it. The main rooms (this is a small condo) are BM Wilmington Tan and the bedrooms can be seen from the main social rooms if you look down the hallway, but the flow of the two colors is terrific. I love this color!!

Linda

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:47PM
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pegmus

Thanks so much, Linda! I just looked at the BM "strip" to look at your color "Wilmington Tan" and with the Powell Bluff they look beautiful together!

The funny thing is that BM-#31 Waterbury Cream is at the top of the strip and that is the color that I am painting our foyer, family room that has cathedral ceiling, hallway on first floor and up the stairs into the upstairs hallway.

The Guest Bedroom is at the end of the first floor hallway so you will be able to see the Powell Bluff right off the Waterbury Cream. What do you think? Will this be enough contrast so that the "Guest Bedroom" will have a somewhat "yellow" appearance (to me it doesn't look yellow at all but on some internet pictures, it does)?

Thanks so much and would love to see a picture of your rooms! Peggy

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:55AM
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calvin_cat

I'm thinking of painting my 2 story foyer and hallway Waterbury Cream, but I'm scared it's too yellow. Do you have any pictures you can post? are you happy with it?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 10:31PM
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