Benjamin Moore Aura paint

jane123December 14, 2006

Does anyone have any experience/reviews of the new Aura paint by BM. Does it act more like a full spectrum paint? I can't decide whether to go for it or try a Citron paint instead (probably about the same price) but haven't been able to get any information from anyone that has actually used it yet ... Any information would be great - and which colors did you use?

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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

If you're sincere about full spectrum, Citron or Ellen Kennon is your best source for now. The Aura paint has limited availability and they are not selling it as full spectrum. They are marketing the ColorLock technology as the most important benefit.

One major difference is they will use waterborne colorants which helps to make it low VOC.

No VOC paints are only no VOC before colorants.


Here is a link that might be useful: Aura

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:44PM
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I've used Aura paint three times in the matte formulation and really like it a lot. I've used it twice as "regular' BM colors - Barley and Grasslands - and once Morrocan Spice, one of the Affinity colors. It goes on easily and the color, while it may not be full spectrum, is definitely richer and has a depth to it that sets it apart, IMO. By comparison, I painted my powder room Shaker Beige BM Regal Matte, and while it looks very nice, it doesn't have the pizzaz the Aura walls have. Hope this helps and have fun!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 4:21PM
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Thank you both of you for your input - I will definitely have to try it and report back - I like the idea of paint with pizzaz ....

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:27AM
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My color guy also said you don't need primer with aura paints which I have a hard time beliving but I thought I'd share that info for what it's worth. It's worth asking about at least.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 10:54PM
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My paint store said you need only one coat with Aura. Any experience with this? I'm in NJ, and he said he should be getting it within 4 weeks. I have an entire first floor and foyer to paint, and am wondering if I should wait for the Aura. Any painters know how easy it is to work with and if there is a learning curve?


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:13PM
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I was told it didn't need a primer as well, but that just didn't sound right to me so I used Zinsser primer tinted the color of the paint and the result was beautiful. As for the one coat claim, I did not find that to be true. Used two coats each time as one coat just didn't quite cover as well as I wanted.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 2:18PM
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So if you need 2 coats, what's so great about the Aura paint?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 3:50PM
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If you got to the Aura site that Michael linked to above, and then click on "Color Lock" it explains what's so special about their paint ;)

Would like to give it a try, but talk about a limited market, not in my area so I checked in the city (Chicago) and not available there either :/

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:16AM
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Just to follow up on my original question - I tried quite a few sample pots of the Aura paint. Most of the colours did not work for my room - a couple were pretty though - so I will not be using it for that reason alone. But I did notice a difference in the paint itself - it is much thicker and does dry quicker - which for some people would probably be a good thing. For me this wasn't so great as I like to have a bit more time to make sure I covered the walls well (they are very rough) and go back if need be (!) so the drying time was just too quick.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 1:36PM
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I would say painting deep reds, yellows,and darker tones do cover extremely well, but its a bennie moore product with more emphasis on advertising then product development.
For the best Paints that deliver try ppg manor hall, or the most advanced, Muralo Ultra paints.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:27PM
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"Would like to give it a try, but talk about a limited market, not in my area so I checked in the city (Chicago) and not available there either"


I was at my local BM dealer for paint recently and asked about the Aura paint. He said that it is an optional product and they probably won't carry it. They'll need a whole additional mixing system he said is quite expensive, so it may not be found in some areas-like mine.
Fortunately, I just found out about EK paints and I have 3 distributers near my house.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 8:35PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Aura isn't full spectrum either, so something else to consider.

I love Ellen Kennon colors, I've worked with her for about three years now. I think her colors are an excellent value for a custom designer product. Working thru the ICI stores can sometimes be a pain. Not many of them have mixed full spectrum paint and they don't understand it. Once you choose which ICI store you want to use, EK contacts them and handles it so it goes smoothly. But if you go to the ICI store with questions about full spectrum and/or looking for EK color chips, they'll likely look at you like you have two heads.

Just remember to work exclusively thru the EK website or 800 number and that the ICI store is simply where you go to pick up your mixed gallons.

I also adore the Manor Hall Timeless from PPG. Wow, what a gorgeous paint. PPG just launched their Accent Colors base which is 100% acrylic, burnish proof, and washable. The eggshell finish is lovely.

Ben Moore does not have a very large presence in my area either and I seriously doubt the few independent stores that offer BenM will go to the expense just to offer the Aura line. Too bad because I think it would do rather well in my market. Most people think $50 for a gallon of luxury, quality paint is reasonable and easily see and understand the value.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:07PM
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The Benjamin Moore Aura Paint is by far the best paint on the market. Nothing even comes close (period). Anyone who has used it will attest to this. The coverage is phenomenal (two coats of your brightest red or yellow over bare sheetrock and you are done), it is super durable (you just can't get it off) and the colors made in Aura have a richness/intensity that the color made in another paint simply will not have. This paint really blows me away. The biggest problem fro most people is that is isn't available in their market but a company called will ship it anywhere.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:27AM
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The Aura is not available in my area yet. Funcolors, what is PPG?

Regarding the one coat issue; I think all paints need two coats. The first might cover, but the second adds the richness and wearability factor. It's worth the extra time and money IMO

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 9:33PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

kerryO, it's Pittsburgh Paints. The Manor Hall Timeless and their Accent Colors Matte are the only product out of PPG that I'm attracted to. Manor Hall's finish is luxurious and is achieveable by DIYer, not just pro. The Accent Colors has been an excellent solution for two-coat (over primer) coverage of deep reds, navies, chocolates, etc., plus it's scrubbable and is a good fit for kitchens and bathrooms. It's newer, haven't spec'd a ton of it, but so far so good with those darker colors.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 1:09AM
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BM does not claim one coat for Aura, rather they claim no more than two coats for any color. There is a big difference between the two but for anyone that has struggled with clean reds or yellows, this claim is still pretty remarkable. As for whether their colors are full spectrum (if that even means anything to you), I would suggest sampling the colors and let your eyes be the judge, not the marketing hype from them or anyone else. If the colors work, then use them, if they don't then it doesn't matter what they are.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:23AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Mixing full spectrum color is solidly rooted in color theory. Every artist who has ever picked up a paint brush (or a mouse) understands what it means to mix color full spectrum and to mix in color chords. Color chords is the most binary way to describe mixing full spectrum color.

Most people think that color is mixed to some sort of recipe going *around* the idealized and pedestrian color wheel in some set pattern. Color doesn't work that way. The traditionally known color wheel is a slice from the middle of a color organization method. It's not a guide for designing color. The use of black to mix color is a whole other discussion. Black is a color crutch for those who don't know any better or those who need an easy out. Using black in color mixing is not beneath me, sometimes *easy* can be a good thing. It's just not preferred.

Talking about how (and why) color is mixed is easy. Actually doing it for a living is another story. People who don't know how to mix color, don't know how to *see* it either. So it really doesn't matter where they get their color from. A $50 can of Full Spectrum Paint or a $12 can of Kilz from Wal-Mart, it's all the same to them.

There are many, many people who are not experienced color artists but are most certainly able to see, appreciate and detect fine nuance and complexity of color. Fortunately for those people who want to learn more and better understand the craft of color design, or maybe just have access to it so they can live quality color, there is an educated community to help and support them. Sometimes it is possible to find educated and experienced guidance on decorating forums like this one and sometimes it's not.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 3:43PM
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If you don't know how to mix colors to get colors - you really aren't a true color artist IMO. Just because someone can speak of oh beautiful colors in full spectrum without using black is someone who does not fully understand the art of mixing colors to get colors. Many many famous artist will debate this issue and if you don't know what makes a lime green, or say eggplant - one can't truly speak color mixing, full spectrum or otherwise. Has to be a little knowledge of knowing how to mix colors in there somewhere.

Just because one speaks of full spectrum color DOES NOT make them an artist unless they can mix it to ACTUALLY SAY you are a true artist. ;)

Colors change I don't care what you mix with them due to other factors- doesn't have to be full spectrum to see a Benjamin Moore color change and do the same thing.

Many famous artist use black as in old school and can get some mighty fine color results.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 10:56PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Of course black has its place and purpose in color theory - that was not the point. The discussion is about full spectrum paint. The point is what makes full spectrum color different.

I absolutely agree if you have not mixed full spectrum color successfully and or actually USED it to transform a room then you really have no business talking about it. Could not agree more.

Having designed full spectrum colors that are successfully being marketed at this very moment would make one's opinions even more pertinent. Gosh, wonder where we could find some one like that.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:55PM
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Have been in several homes that have used some some full spectrum colors on their walls.

Once again, ALL colors have their place , ALL colors WILL CHANGE - don't care whether it is full spectrum or another full quality paint that uses excellent pigment colors.

Googling full spectrum and getting books to read and read about the so called phenomeum, does not make it the top of the world paint when you can achieve the same depth with some other companies and by KNOWING HOW TO MIX COLORS.

Anyone can read and read all day long, but if you haven't had any training or have any knowledge on how to mix colors, this does not make one a true artist. I can translate all day long over the web things in books and from goolging and change it so there isn't any plagiarism and everything sounds super.

So old school artists and teachers would have a fill day with this topic of full spectrum and black. Just have to know HOW MUCH of any COMPLEMENT and what and how much and when to use black to make and mix colors. Color theory is NOT just about what is written in books and relayed, IT is the PRACTICE and KNOWING HOW TO MIX COLORS TO GET COLORS.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:06AM
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I liked it, but I have to say I prefer Muralo's coverage. I didn't get one coat like they said.. also, it picks up if you go over it even a tiny bit!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

DW - I am not exactly sure what the point of your post is, but I'd love to hear about the specific full spectrum colors and brands you have seen "in several homes". How exciting! I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that your input and evaluation would be very interesting to read. So, please, share!

I do hope you get the opportunity some day to actually mix color with full spectrum as a goal, as I have, and execute with them, again as I have many times - not just see it. Here's a link to my Gallery. I'm always trying to get that "perfect shot" that shows the colors best, but as I'm sure you know getting those "after" pictures and managing them is tedious work. Playing with color is more fun than playing with pictures!

I can tell you from experience that full spectrum color is a great addition to the many, many wonderful paint brands that are currently available. There is so much quality product to choose from. Truly, there is something out there to fit every budget and aesthetic; everyone should be able to find something that makes them happy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gallery

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 3:47PM
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(I'm a rapper now ;-) )
You've said EK goes through ICI dealers, correct?
* If a color gets ordered, say, in Fargo here, does she fax some formula to them, or are pigments shipped to the selling store?
* Because ICI normally uses 11 or 12 "normal" tinting-colorants (like 99% of companies) by Colortrend, how is the paint tinted at the store??
* We used to use ICI/Colortrend colorants for RL, but switched to ACE colorants for RL because they were SO similiar...very hard to tell apart. There's a separate electronic-fandeck/formula-book for RL/ACE tinting.
* Home Depot uses Behr-colorants for their RL tinting.
* Sooooo...I'm familiar with the ICI colorants IF they're used for EK.

Lemme know when ya can!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:39PM
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I'm no color expert (just a paint expert) but I have had the opportunity to evaluate about 50 colors under various lighting conditions that were made the "full spectrum" way and the same color (in a given light) made conventionally (using black and three or four colorants). The purpose was to understand how each match would change in color under different lighting conditions thus testing the full spectrum theory. To our surprise, both versions of the same color exhibited the same amount of shifting although not always to the same place as the matches were metameric. That is, they matched in one light but no longer matched in different lighting since they were made with different pigments. In the end, we concluded the "old school" method was better since you get the same dynamic result without some potential drawbacks like metamerism and uneven fade. The fade issue results in unwanted color change over time since it's likely that one opposing pigment (the organic) would fade in a brightly lit room or exterior, thus shifting the color permanently.

The lesson is that all colors will shift, some quite dramaticlly, full spectrum or not, simply as a function of their color, not the number of pigments that go into them. Perhaps the FS colors shift more or differently and perhaps not every one is sensitive to these shifts. In the end, none of this matters if you don't like the results. Let your own eyes and tastes be your guide.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Firstly, not sure where "old school" came from as a negative inference in this discussion of color, but it most certainly did not come from me. It really doesn't even make proper sense - just about everything to do with color theory is essentially "old", no? Including the artistic *choice* to omit black in mixing colors.

The problem is that most all color information that is available (that has been properly credited and sources sighted) deal with color samples that are flat and one-dimensional. I've looked for the experts. I've looked for the information. Now mind you, that certainly is not to say it does not exist, I simply have not found those sources. If any one wants to share the sources they have found, please do! Email, call me, send a pigeon!

However, I did find Stephen Westland, Professor of Colour Science, Head of School, School of Design, University of Leeds. According to my exchanges with him, moving different color chips to different light sources isn't the same as painting a room with light sources that change by the second.

In a painted room the viewer sees the two (or more) walls illuminated differently at the same time. To quote Westland, "color and vision scientists are still struggling to understand this more complex situation."

He also tells me that Ronnier Luo, at Leeds, has taken interest in this problem and has been painting whole rooms with one paint color and then performing visual experiments in these rooms; not just another flat one-dimensional color sample evaluation.

Luo's breadth of color work to date looks to be quite impressive, and needless to say, I'm hoping for a chance to read his opinions about his most current color work.

As far as full spectrum color on exteriors, I haven't arrived at a good reason to use FS color that way. It is important to note what Sherwin Williams is doing, however. They are marketing vinyl safe colors. Those colors include almost all of their stock colors. The formulas are re-worked to omit black pigment. I would think "fade issues" would have been at the top of their list in re-working color for exterior application.

So perhaps I missed something or I'm simply not understanding, but I am not clear what this means in reference to fade:

"In the end, we concluded the "old school" method was better since you get the same dynamic result without some potential drawbacks like metamerism and uneven fade. The fade issue results in unwanted color change over time since it's likely that one opposing pigment (the organic) would fade in a brightly lit room or exterior, thus shifting the color permanently."

as it seems Sherwin Williams intentionally removes black from their exterior colors "for vinyl" with the intent that sans black is a more effective solution for this exterior color application -- and as we all know color fading exterior is a far greater likelihood and concern than interior.

While 50 one-dimensioanl samples sounds like a totally fun and interesting way to spend an afternoon :-), I have to admit that I'd be more intrigued by an evaluation of 50 rooms.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 2:20PM
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For those of you unable to find Aura in your area, try, they ship anywhere, and offer free shipping. Aura is not available in my area, so I have been getting it from them.
Addressing some further comments and concerns...
Aura is self priming, that is entirely true. There are other self priming paints as well. You have to realize what a primer is...its a "paint" thats main purpose is two fold, adhesion, and sealing. That being said, it does not mean that a primer is never necessary when using aura. Some surfaces are just to slick for any paint, and if you have one of these situations, i recommend checking out a product by INSL-X called STIX. Its a urethane waterborn primer that sticks to ANYTHING!
As for drying time, yes AURA dries very fast. It uses acrylic based tints (as opposed to glycol based ones, which are high in VOCs, and also slow down drying time). For me this hasn't been an issue, since Aura's touch up properties are incredible. If you miss a spot, just keep going and go back to it, you cant see the touch up.
Aura is NOT a full spectrum paint. However, its color is better and more luminous than any other traditional paint.
My customer's favorite aspect of it though is the "Any finish anywhere" part. I am a life long professional painter, and with Aura, you can use a Matte that is a deep red and paint your bathroom with it and not have to worry.
Previously i used mostly BM Regal, and Muralo (a smaller company, which in my opinion, prior to the introduction of Aura, was the best paint on the market), but now I will be using a lot of Aura.
At first the price bothered me a little (hey, this is my lively hood, and I have to make money), but when all is said and done, aura levels off so well, its like a sheet of glass on the walls, and its great touch up just makes my work look better, which makes my customers happy, and that in the long run is better for business.
I even contacted the owners of and bought a color sample of each color, so I can take them to clients houses. I have also bought quarts from them (not currently offered through their online venue).
Its limited availability does stink, but since i can get it shipped for free(they offer free shipping), and pay the market price for it, i can make do.

Just my 2 cents....

PS...if you think its expensive, dont ever look into Fine Paints of Europe!!!!!! (Which isnt as good as Aura for that matter)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 7:27PM
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Lori A. Sawaya


I'm so sorry, I was on my laptop and I missed your post on that little screen.

Ellen Kennon's process is really not a big deal. She's simply developed formulas using ICI's colorants - sans black. It's ICI paint - just about any of their bases you'd like and ICI's colorant. It even comes in an ICI can with an ICI label.

There are entire communities of artists who mix color omitting black. It truly is nothing new under the sun and you can mix "any color in nature" without black pigment. That's a lot of colors!

I learned how to mix colors in the additive relm first, then the subtractive, which is where paint colors fall. Because of that, I do have a different ideal of what the truth of color is, but it's not like it was MY idea. There are many more just like me.

Don Jusko is a good example. He's easy to find on the web by Googling. To quote Don, "any color you see in nature you can mix with three transparent primaries, you can mix them faster with the secondary colors added to the palette. With a full palette it's very easy."

I "interviewed" him this weekend and asked him some questions that are pertinent to this discussion. Perhaps his opinions, since he is so easily *Googled*, will be helpful and meaningful.

You'll see he echoes my attitude (as expressed on the 18th) that black is a crutch and a little lazy. As I indicated, I've grappled for that crutch and call me lazy because using black is not beneath me. I'm just not that good at mixing color without it -- yet. Don has dedicated a lifetime to mixing color without black pigments.

As I said before, there is, of course, a place for black, but in the spirit of color truths and philosophies, it is possible that black does not have a place in all artistic journeys.

Here is an excerpt from my interview with Mr Jusko:

ME: I would love to know WHY mixing color without black is so important in your theory of how to successfully mix color.

JUSKO: Hi Lori, Darkening your colors with black is a bad color move, why you ask.. Why would such a shortcut be dismissed when it is so easy? The answer is obvious when two paintings, one using black and one using complements to mix neutral darks are compared. One has a gray lifeless cast while the other has color in the shadows and near shadows. Any color can be mixed closer to nature with out black pigment.

ME: What is the advantage of omitting black? Isnt easier and faster to use black to get, for example, olive green or an eggplant color?

JUSKO: I supose the more you know about color the easier it is to mix any color you see with opposites. Usually the person that uses black doesn't mind just dirtying up greens and yellows. This habit spills over to darkening other colors with black too. Never mind that thay say they don't use black in the highlights, the painting is already half dead.

ME: Using your methods, is it possible to mix ANY color imaginable or is one limited without black pigment  opaque or transparent?

JUSKO: Any color you see in nature you can mix with three transparent primaries, you can mix them faster with the secondary colors added to the palette. With a full palette it's very easy.

Here's a link to Mr. Jusko's site. Again, since he has such a presence on the web, perhaps it will be easier for people to relate to him. No surprise to me that Mr. Jusko's career includes advertising, graphic design and printing.

These color ideals were introduced to me long ago -- from peers and teachers alike. Which is why I gravitated to the mass marketed full spectrum paint colors. They spoke to color in a language that was familiar.

Faron, I hope this answer any colorant related questions you may have. I don't have all the answers, but am willing to share whatever I can.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:27PM
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Hey Fun-C! ***sniff...sniff*** (tears)
Thought you'd ignored me...**** SNIFFFF ****

Wow! How's THAT for "Paint drama!" Sounds like a bad Geico commercial! Remember the "soap-opera-style" one?

Woman: "You didn't use full-spectrum paint!"
Man: "Of course not. I saved $$! I thought that meant something to you!!"
Woman walks off in a huff...

Seriously (if that's possible now...!),
Since ICI has the "normal" 11 or 12 colorants (black being one), are her formula's just faxed to the store?
* Is it just a few shots here & there of most of the 11 or 12 colorants from a master formula I'm assuming?
* Guess I'm tryin' to get to the actual-tinting regimen when a store gets an order...
* One thing I grapple with is our C2 line, which has 16 colorants...and TWO of them are Black!! A High-Black, HK (high-strength), and a "normal" Black, BK. Even the normal Black is a higher-strength than our normal ACE Black.
* Tinted a C2 color today with 6 colorants...Horseradish...kind of a light yellow/cream. This is kinda unusual for normal paint lines, but yet I realize it isn't a full-spectrum.
* I've gotta study some of your info. now!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 1:03AM
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Lori A. Sawaya


I have plodded slowly with this. Coming from a graphics background, I knew that color worked differently "on the other side", but I didn't realize how different. Simple discussions about what the *primary colors* are would leave me with a headache. It's almost as if you have to figure out what dialect of the language of color theory people speak before you can have a conversation about it. Could go on forever about bridging my old color world to this newer one. So have fun plowing thru the info! :-)

Ellen's colors: She faxes in her formula with each order and the ICI store is suppose to shread each one after they mix up the colors. I have never seen a formula sheet, never really felt the need to see one. What's it gonna do for me, ya know. What's it gonna tell me? That she used a balanced mix of colorants and no black - kinda already knew that. (shrug)

Full spectrum and uber-multi-pigmented color vs. regular color. It's not a competition it's an artistic and aesthetic choice. A choice that happens to be my favorite for reasons that would fill a book.

On the HGTV Forum I posted a really long response to a FS question too. Plus, I've been getting a ton of emails. So I hope between this post and the one on HGTV, I've managed to give people enough direction so they explore further and can make their own choices.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 2:26AM
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What Makes Aura Truly Low VOC (green paint) & the best covering, low odor & strongest paint in the industry is its newly invented pigments. They reinvented there pigments out of waterborne acrylic resins. No other company does this except for them that I know of? Traditional paint companies including Benjamin Moore for there other lines use universal pigments so that the tinting machines have colorant that dont dry up in the machine and will work with both oil and water based paints. This causes a problem for coverage in medium to darker paints. We have all experienced trying to get a dark color to cover and it has a translucent first and second coat. That is due to those pigments of the old way of thinking. Thanks to California's tough environmental laws Benjamin Moore decided to go for a truly low VOC (volatile organic contents) paint. this could only be accomplished partially with old universal pigments so they Remade the Pigments to only work with water products in the highest quality resins. They had there dealers invest in 10 to 15 thousand dollar machines just to be able to work with this pigment. The result is Aura. Trust me this is no hype, if I were to compare Aura to anything I would say they are the Toyota Prius of the paint industry. Anyway I found a site that you can buy this stuff on and you can seek out all the colors on you screen from not only Benjamin Moore but any other paint company practically on the planet. Why is this good? Traditional way to shop for paint is to drive to either Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Home Depot or Lowes and see the selection they have. You can not find Benjamin Moore at the home centers and you might not find a dealer near you. Aura is a very limited market now and hard to find. When you do find the chips you end up buying a small tester if your lucky enough and they have that color in the tester or you have to buy a quart. The site lets you browse all companies, all colors and buy a tiny can to test every single one if you like. If you like the color they will either give you the formula and you can bring it to your local Benjamin Moore dealer or you can have them mix it for you in the new aura. Shipping this stuff is not expensive and they get it too you within a couple days. I dont want to mention the site because that is not respecting of the policies of this wonderfull blog. I love that we have this forum to discuss otpics like this. good luck everyone

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:35AM
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dasinnyc---after I choose all my paint colors, I was all set to get the Aura line. But read on this blog that someone had trouble getting the Aura to color match--even to another BM color. So I tried it, and also had trouble color matching.

Now I am wondering what to do? It took me a long time to pick out all the colors for the house we are building, and I am not about to restart selecting colors (some of the shades we picked out are Dunne Edwards and Pratt & Lambart.)

Any suggestions what I should do? I want something that is washable and can be touched-up. Should I just do a flat BM Regal?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 12:39PM
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That's Aura matched so perfectly it was hard to see it on the chip.
But a side note on the Aura: It does indeed cover beautifully, however the touch ups are visible in certain lights. Daylight to be exact.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 5:43PM
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FL this can be true with all brands in all finishes. depends on the condition of the chip, or the store that mixed it. The science of mixing paint can always vary a bit from the chips across the enitre industry. The Aura will match just as well as any other product out there. My advise to you would to go to you neigborhood store and buy a sample jar of the color you like and the new aura line has it's own collection of colors called affinity. The enitre collection of colors somewhere between 150 to 200 colors is available in 2oz jars. The only negative to this you can only get 3 or 400 colors in the jars across the entire line so you might be forced to buy a qaurt, this could be a good start. But I found a really cool site that let me purchase any color from any brand in a little can and I was able to browse the colors directly on the site and have them shipped to me within a couple days. I have never seen any company with testers in al lthe colors. They also had top seller lists by room and overall top 50 list. I found this helpfull and i think you might too. I can not stress enough how important it is to test before you buy. colors will often look different in diffrent lights. I like to say "the ocean is blue on a clear day and gray on a gray day" light reflects color and this is why it is so important to test first then buy. If you test I reccomend using foam board so you can move it around the room and hold them up individually rather then next to each other which can play trciks on you. this is also a great toll to use the foam borad to go to the carpet store or furniture sotre and lay your foram board next to what you might watn to buy. What ever you decide keep me posted and dont give up on Aura it is truelly the best out there

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:11PM
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Linlee--did you match the color to one of the affinity colors (aura shades) or another BM color?

dasinnyc--thanks. I know that some stores are better at matching than others. Unfortuanetly, the BM store that I found that is best at matching is about 40 minutes away. So it is not easy to run back when the color is not perfectly matched. (Since we are doing a whole house --new construction--it is a lot of colors).

I bought an aura sample and a BM ounce sample of the same color to test. They were both yellow, but very different shades of yellow.

So, you say the "aura will match just as well as any other product out there." So it doesn't make a difference if I try to color match it in the aura vs. the matte? The "re-invented pigements"/special aura forumlation doesn't make it any more difficult to match than the other BM finishes?

Also, do you still get the rich color of the aura paints if it is not an affinity color? (It is so much more expensive, I need a lot of reasons to justify going with it!)

Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:14PM
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I didn't go with the Affinity color palette, but did choose
a color from the BM palette. The color is very rich/saturated with pigment.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:36PM
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that will be fine. the advantage to the afinity colors are with the new Aura you get deepr more vibrant colors then before but no matter what paint you buy ranging from regal falt, matte or eggshell or the aura matte and eggshell the variations will all be relative to the chip but lal the same color that you ask for. Just remember to test a samll can of it first and make sure you like it. also dont forget when working with mulitpel containers of mxed paint also end in a corner because paint is made in 50 gallon batch lots and by either ending in a corner or you can box the paint togehter frist for consistancy. also check out the site to test all your colors so you dont need to drive anywhere and this company is really good at making colors up and they give you the formula. good luck

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 8:20PM
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Is it worth the money to use Aura paint in a bathroom? I'm presently stripping off the wallpaper, then will prime and paint.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 8:13AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Aura doesn't cost much more per square foot than the other high quality paints. Use it everywhere.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 8:15PM
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I just painted a wall in my entry with Dragonfly, one of the Affinity colors. It went on beautifully, one coat over a cream color on a textured wall. I'll have to see how it looks after it dries. As for the one coat coverage, I found that it had no trouble covering in one coat. I ALWAYS use two coats with any paint. I get sick of all this "one coat coverage" debate. IMO, up till now, all paints do better with two coats. One coat may save you money now, but two coats will wear better and look better for a longer time. Trust me, you will see the difference. Don't skimp on paint, it's still the cheapest way to transform a room.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 8:09AM
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this paint is all about marketing, the one coat coverage claim is a joke. I did a room form light orange to a pale yellow and it definetly took 2 coats. Why pay 50 a gal. for paint you are going to use for priming. Go with a gal. of tinted primer ($20.00) to match your final color and one coat of regal over that ($30.00), for guareted results.
Aura is hard to work with due to its rapid dry time. It shows brush marks and leaves an orange peal type surface when rolled out. Don't believe the hype!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 6:57AM
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They don't claim one coat coverage. They say most colors will cover in one coat with a maximum of 2 coats for any color. Aura is more durable than any finish in the Regal line. That's why you pay the $50 per gallon, not because of coverage.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 8:13AM
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I just painted my basement with this stuff. It's awesome. I did have to change my habits though--no going back to recoat/fix after 10 minutes. You need to let it dry before you go back over it. I cut in the trim, and my buddy had to wait a bit to start rolling behind me--wait for it to dry or you will pick it up.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 9:11PM
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I had been using EK paints pretty much exclusively, but I had some problems with the color match; never quite right, for example oasis in my daughter's home looks green while mine is more blue. We thought it might be the lighting, but when we painted mine and hers together, there was a noticeable difference. Which one is right? It also took two really good coats to get the depth of color I want The matte seemed just a bit chalky to me. I decided to try Aura and loved it. My entry is painted in Dragonfly with Mascarpone trim. I have a bit more molding to do, but I'm really liking it a lot.

I'm using Aventurine for my office and Agave for my guestroom. My daughter is currently sampling some blue grays which she will have done in Aura paint for her living room. I have purchased mine from but they only do the affinity colors. will do any Benny Moore in Aura and will change the formula for you if you want to do that.

Actually it's just as convenient for me to order online and have it delivered than it is to make a 52 mile round trip to pick up the EK paint.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 4:48AM
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kerryokie, i'd bought 2 gallons of aura paint from and they were colors NOT in the affinity collection.

i added this to the cart and then i think there was a message box once you check out, and i type in the paint name/collection/paint number to let them know what colors i wanted.

i haven't had a chance to paint yet though.

would love to see pics of dragonfly!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 7:50PM
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As a professional painter, I have tried most paint products distributed in my geographical area. Aura is truly unique. Probably the best paint in terms of scrubabilty in the flat finish.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:40AM
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Just had to chime in with my 2 cents worth even tho I'm nowhere near a professional painter. Just did a ceiling and walls in Aura "Oat Straw" in eggshell finish and loved the paint. It was a difficult ceiling about 17' long with 2 of the sides sloping up 4 feet and a middle level section about 5 feet wide painted white by the builder in a very absorbent flat. It went on beautifully but with one coat I could see roller marks, my wife could not and was mad when I went out to buy one more gallon (especially at those prices). The second coat totally erased the flashing which is something for an eggshell finish on a ceiling with slopes and angles and reflections right by a window. The best surprise? Not one spatter of paint... I mean NOTHING, not on my hands, forearms, the roller handle, my face, hair, nada! I was amazed! I literally could have not put down a drop cloth! When I went back to touch up a few areas where the trim I painted got on the ceiling the brush blended seamlessly on the rolled ceiling, can't see it.
Other thoughts:
1. It seems to take a bit more paint than what you calculated.
2. The odor is there but is much lower and disappears rather quickly.
3. Dries FAST.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:55AM
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I just recently painted my whole house using Aura paints. Some were actual Affinity colors and some were regular BM color in the Aura paint.

Although I have always used top of the line paints, this paint is absolutely phenomenal. The coverage was great. I found the opposite of tristedlimbz in that I used half as much paint as expected. I bought the usual 2 gallons for one good sized room (22x16x8). I used only 1.25 gallons for a complete 2 coats. Even covering a 12 x 14 room in a bright gold to a Dijon took only 2 coats and used 1 can of paint. I really load my roller too.

Because of the 1 hour dry time, I am able to finish 1 room per day, including hanging up paintings etc. The low VOC makes a difference too. Within a day, you cannot smell any residual odor.

The scrubbability is not as great as I expected (in the matte paint, there IS a sheen change where I washed off a mark) and I have not yet retouched up areas yet so I cannot comment on that.

The self priming feature is key too.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 12:58PM
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You can get Aura paint made in any color form any brand. has the technolgy to match any color in the Aura perfectly and they show you the colors on the site. They also send you a small test can for every color. I like there color combinations from pottery barn best. I can't tell you how many times i have had to get qaurts at teh paint store because they dont have my color in a jar. MPC has every color in a test can!

There are a few places to buy aura online but the site I like most is

you can buy Aura paint in any color matched to any of the major brands:
Ralhp Lauren
Benjamin Moore
Sherwin Williams
Martha Stewart
Pottery barn

I would reccomend using regular paint for ceilings though since it is a bit more money. I hear alot of people talk price and how it should or should not cost the same as regular paint when it is all said and done. Here is my advise, Paint is the cheapest material you will ever have to buy in your home! If you are worried about the difference of $100 for 2 gallons compared to $75 for 2 gallons then go to walmart. Benjamin Moore is in the top ranking of paint companies and they had the courage to re-invent a paint to be better and it is. I know becasue I have used it several times.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:28PM
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Used Aura this week. Magenta (can't get a richer red" over 5 year old Contractor White (new home)). Dealer told me "no primer (they call it Foundation for Aura) needed, two coats -- you ready to go." They explained to me the differences in painting, pre cut - not wet edge cutting, 1-2 hour recoat etc. Two coats -- job looks great in daylight. Next morning (Hall has south and east facing windows) you can see roller lap (light/dark). Went back. They seemed surprised but they gave me 2 gallons of Aura Foundation (colored magenta) for free and their apologies. I will triple coat the area I painted and prime (foundation!) the rest of the stair hall. I expect 2 coats over primer.
With BM's deepest colors even with colored primer I have always triple coated.
Also can reads 500 sq ft coverage. I covered 100 sq ft with two coats -- have perhaps 1/4 gallon left.
I love BM paint their Regal line is great. I dont see a HUGE difference in this, except a $10 a gallon up charge. Sure less smell (barely noticeable) and quick drying. I does "Paint" differently, very nice but not THAT big of a difference.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:16AM
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I'm a do-it yourselfer with OCD. Here is my quick Aura review-
I'll never go back. In my experience Aura delivers on every level.
Application-if you take a little time to learn how to paint with Aura it is really easy to apply. Cut in the entire room first then roll it out. If you start at a corner and work your way around the room by the time you get to where you started out you are ready to roll. You need to move rather quickly, and you REALLY need to resist "overpainting"-get the paint on the wall, get it smooth, and MOVE ON.
Spatter is almost nonexistent. Clean-up is very easy. Odor is minimal and dissipates very quickly.
The finish is exceptional. I prefer the matte for just about any room including a bathroom.
Coverage-as good as any paint I have used. Two coats gives a gorgeous result. The paint really covers flashing from repairs-you could probably fill a hole, sand, NOT prime, and get away with it.
For me the weak link in the Aura chain is the "Affinity" color pallette. The colors all seem to try too hard, if that makes any sense-with the exception of the very light colors, the whole pallette is super saturated. I have sampled at least 2 dozen Affinity colors for 4 different spaces and ended up deferring to other BM colors (and in one case a match of an SW color my wife was dead set on).
Right now we are trying to land on a sage color for our great room and there is nothing in the Affinity pallette that doesn't completely overwhelm the room.
The last point I'll make centers around cost. For those who simply think the stuff is too darn expensive, you need to really take a look at how much paint a given room will take to get a great result. If you are going to paint, you may as well paint for the long haul-with most big box brands any darker color will take 3 to 4 coats to really get the color right, while with Aura it's two and done. My last three rooms (kitchen, dining room, and master bath) took ONE gallon of Aura for two good coats with paint left over. There is no way I could have gotten away with one gallon in just about any other paint I can think of, so 2 @ $25 is the same as 1 @ $50. There is also far less waste in the form of open gallons siting on a shelf until you make the time to get rid of them.
I don't think I would spray with Aura, or use it on wide expanses of bare wall, but for any other application it's just superb.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:30AM
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I just wanted to add my perspective with Aura from a total novice's perspective -- so much a novice that I've never painted anything of consequence before (this website has been a great resource for me.)

I just recently painted my bedroom in Subtle (a very pale yellowy cream color.) I really liked the paint. I was working alone, so I cut in the entire room, waited for it to dry, then painted the walls. I used 3/8 inch Purdy White Dove rollers.

Price: in my area, it's $60 a gallon.

Usability: I didn't find the paint unusually hard to work with, and it didn't seem to dry unusually fast on the wall. I did see drips here and there; I know you're not supposed to do that, but I did anyway I don't see where it has caused a problem. I painted using an up-and-down motion as recommended by someone else on this board -- up, down, up, and then lightly down. A lot of time my roller lines were kinda crooked so I had to go back over them, and that seemed to work fine.

Cut ins: I didn't see any hatbanding from painting over cut-ins that were dry.

Odor: It is there. Maybe it's less than with other paints, but it's certainly present. I wouldn't recommend it to someone based on a supposed lack of fumes.

One-coat coverage: Not for me. I'm not a good enough painter to avoid "holidays," so I would be painting two coats even if it was the best paint in the world.

Splatter: Negligible. The few drops that hit the floor were my fault for having an overloaded roller. I'm not even sure I really needed dropcloths (but of course I'd use them anyway!)

Conclusion: I don't know if Aura is better than any other paint; I used a regular Benjamin Moore white paint for the ceiling in that room and it seemed to be fine as well, didn't splatter, covered well, etc. However, the fact that I am able to do all my cut-ins ahead of time and not have to worry so much about maintaining a wet edge does make Aura easier to use for a total beginner working solo, like me. I'd like to try C2, but I'm afraid that the cut-ins may be an issue.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:13PM
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I'm using Aura now (in "Dining Room" red, one of their affinity colors) in semi-gloss on my 6-panel front door. First I did 2 coats of deep tint primer to cover the dark green paint (and the door needed both coats!). Let it completely dry, lightly sanded with a 300 grit fine sandpaper, tack cloth off the dust and then did one coat of the Aura.

I know it needs 2 coats, but so far it's not looking very good. It looks splotchy in places and coverage is not even. Now that could well be my technique as I went back over where some brush strokes were showing, but I was being so careful to load up my purdy brush properly. Hopefully the 2nd coat will give me good results and even coverage. I will be again doing a very light sanding with that 300 sandpaper to smooth everything out.

I'm a bit worried as this is my FRONT DOOR and it's semi-gloss and I want it to look great. And that one coat on top of the primer...nope, not looking so good at the moment.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:10PM
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Red Semi-Gloss is very difficult to work with and has horrible coverage. Two coats is almost always needed. Even a good paint like Benjamin Moore takes two coats, regardless of what the label says.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:09PM
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I just used Benjamin Moore Aura for the second time and this time was as bad as the first. I bought the satin for exterior slab doors. First of all their satin looks like a semi-gloss to me. It has a lot of shine which is fine for exterior doors so it will last longer but the more shine the harder to blend roller marks. The stickiness is a huge issue.
The first time I tried it on a threshold and so much dust stuck to it and shoe prints transferred I had to repaint it. The Dunn Edwards I put on top worked like a dream. So the doors I'm agonizing over have been painted and sanded down 3 times already. The paint leaves lap marks from weenie rollers so fast no matter how light a feathering we try or how fast we paint. We finally tried a 2 roller method with a regular roller for application and foam roller to flatten out paint with flow additive. It worked a little better but not good enough. I have almost used up 2 quarts of aura at $25 a quart. Biggest waste of time and money. I'm going to go buy another brand I had good luck with last time that actually looks like satin finish and does not leave lap marks or a sticky residue. I left the doors in the hot sun for a day and they are just as tacky after "drying". Same problem as the threshold I painted. I did the first two coats and a professional painter tried another and he didn't have any better luck. I will never buy this sticky hard to use paint again. Lesson learned.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I painted my powder room with Aura eggshell and now it has water marks running down the wall from people washing their hands and reaching for the towel. We waited about a month before using the powder room after painting. I am not happy. Although it applied well.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Is this a dark color?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:55AM
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Aura is a great paint, but obviously too many people are having problems that don't paint for a living. Of all the paints on the market, Aura is the best paint to use when you are looking for a product that you can roll on and have it dry to look like a sprayed on finish. But, you need to have some painting experience to achieve this. The extender really helps and it is very important to paint in an area with no wind and no sun shining directly on what you are painting.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 8:26AM
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paintguy and anyone else, how much of the extender do you use per gallon?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:17PM
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    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Well, there are little markings on the side of the jug. I believe it is 2 ounces per gallon but it should specify on the can of paint and the extender.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:51AM
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It says up to 8 ounces per gallon.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Great! Really, I don't even measure it exactly. I just pour it in until it feels about right. I just use the little marks on the side of the jug as a guide.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:54PM
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So I guess you use about 2 ounces then.

Some walls went on kind of tacky so are rough more like a vinyl wallpaper. If I put another coat on (using extender), will the surface become more soft, smooth and paint like if it isn't overworked this time?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Yea, usually the second coat is easier than the first no matter what brand you are using.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:31PM
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I've been using Aura since it came out. I am not a professional painter but repaint my rooms frequently. I do love Aura in any room but bathrooms. I have used it in 2 different houses, and painted in 4 different bathrooms in 2007, 2008, 2012. Each of the bathrooms has proper ventilation and the exhaust fan is always used when showering. All of the walls were properly cleaned before painting. In every bathroom where it was used, the paint has streaks. Some of these can be "washed" off but re-appear soon again. Do a search on Aura paints and you will see this is a wide-spread problem in bathroom use. I will continue to use it in other rooms but no more bathrooms!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 3:31PM
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jkpita, are you referring to their Bath & Spa paint or regular Aura?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 1:33AM
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I just did 2 bathrooms in Aura Bath & Spa which is matte. At first, I was unsure about using matte as I always use eggshell on my walls, but the guy at the paint store told me that streaking is due to the sheen on the finish. Matte finishes do not streak. I assume that applies to all brands.

My main bathroom has a window so it does not get steamy and until I saw this thread I forgot about looking. I will check it out.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Has anyone had issues with this paint not drying? I started with a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 primer like the store recommended. A few days later I painted the first coat. Now, 3 days later it is still tacky. I have used Zinsser 1-2-3 under other paints and had no issues with drying. I used Ben Moore because my dad is a professional painter and highly recommended it. Everyone says how great it is but it's not drying.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:33PM
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