Benjamin Moore Aura satin vs flat?


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Old 02-01-08, 11:27 PM
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Benjamin Moore Aura satin vs flat?

Hello All,
First post here. After reading a lot around here and elsewhere, we've decided to probably go with Benjamin Moore Aura paint for the house we're having built. Our painter will be doing this - I'm not a painter at all (which is why I'm asking for help)... I have a few questions, particularly relating to satin vs flat. First of all, from what I understand, flat is typically harder to clean but easy to touch up and satin is harder to touch up but easy to clean. In reading here, I got the impression from slickshift that Aura satin and flat are both easy to clean and touch up without looking bad / different. So my questions:

1. Is my understanding correct? Are Aura satin and flat both easy to clean and touch up in your experience? Which paint is better in each aspect?

2. Which would you choose for your home (why)? Consider we have a 4 year old son.

3. I'm confused on what I've read about their color matching. Can I take a Sherwin Williams paint swatch (which is what we'd picked from) and have them match? Is that a bad idea? We're doing a chocolate brown (I think it's called portabello) and a "resolute blue".

4. In Consumer Reports, Aura satin had an average rating for "surface smoothness" - absence of roller marks, and poor for "gloss change" when cleaned with a hard-surface cleaner (most low luster paints did, but they were excellent for "scrubbing" with an abrasive cleaner - not sure what the difference is). Aura flat had a poor rating for "surface smoothness" (and average for staining). Should I be concerned with this?

Thanks in advance!
--Kyle
 
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Old 02-02-08, 05:32 AM
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Welcome to the forums Kyle!

I mostly use SWP and have never used Aura so I'll only answer part of your questions.

Satin enamel is always better when young children are around because it's more washable.

BM shouldn't have any trouble matching any competitors colors.

I don't have a lot of confidence in CR.
 
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Old 02-02-08, 09:14 AM
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Thanks marksr,
Yeah, I know a lot of pro painters don't seem to believe a lot in the CR tests. I'm trying to view them as a starting point and just something to consider. That's evident in that I'm not going to use their highest rated Kilz paint... I considered it, but decided to go with a more reputable brand that should really last (and for $55 a gallon, I'm hoping the Aura really will last, be easy to clean, and easy to touch up)... Obviously since I'm not the painter, I'm not too concerned with how easy it goes on, etc...

Would still like to hear about the cleanability and touch-up ability of these paints if some of you have experience with that (touch up is something CR clearly doesn't report on)... Thanks,
--Kyle
 
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Old 02-02-08, 02:51 PM
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"Gloss Change" refers to the burnishing (or shining up) that will take place when you rub a flat paint. "Scrubbing" refers to how much paint will come off when scrubbing. Poor scrubbing resistance means that you will eventuallly wear through the coating, poor burnishing means you end up with an obvious shiny spot.

One question for you: What is the painter's preferred brand of paint? For $55/gallon, it sounds like they are not full-time "BM Guys". Each paint has its own quirks, and you may save money and get better results by going with the top-of-the-line paint in the painter's preferred brand. For instance, if the painter is primarily a Sherwin Williams shot, request they use Duration...

SirWired
 
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Old 02-02-08, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kyley
1. Is my understanding correct? Are Aura satin and flat both easy to clean and touch up in your experience? Which paint is better in each aspect?
Traditionally it has been : The shinier the sheen, the easier the clean
Aura truly has truly broken that barrier
Having used and tested in in a number of situations, I can find a difference in clean-ability between the flat (or matte as they call it), the eggshell, and the satin
I suppose a more detailed scientific method test might reveal slight differences, but it would be "picking nits"

As for touch up, traditionally it's been the flatter the better for touch up
I have not found this true with Aura
To be fair, most of my satin work so far has been trim, and touch up is not quite the same as touching up in the middle of a wall
But traditionally eggshell is extremely tough to touch up, and with the Aura, it touches up excellent

Originally Posted by kyley
2. Which would you choose for your home (why)? Consider we have a 4 year old son.
For the walls it wouldn't matter to me
The matte and the eggshell have very rich finishes
The satin, I would reserve for the trim
That would make the trim a bit shinier that the matte or eggshell walls

To be fair, the satin finish still isn't up to Impervo/ProClassic quality finish, but not much is....
And seems to have some other issues, which I'll address later
But still it's still real nice
And easier for a non-pro (with little experience) to use than Impervo/ProClassic
I would still recommend it

Originally Posted by kyley
3. I'm confused on what I've read about their color matching. Can I take a Sherwin Williams paint swatch (which is what we'd picked from) and have them match? Is that a bad idea? We're doing a chocolate brown (I think it's called portabello) and a "resolute blue".
Yes (you can)
No (not a bad idea)
Although, they may have the formula in the computer already
Still, it's best to bring in the swatch just in case
As Aura uses a different tinting system than all other paints, they may not have all the competitors formulas in the Aura data base yet (BM has over four thousand just of their own)

Originally Posted by kyley
4. In Consumer Reports, Aura satin had an average rating for "surface smoothness" - absence of roller marks, and poor for "gloss change" when cleaned with a hard-surface cleaner (most low luster paints did, but they were excellent for "scrubbing" with an abrasive cleaner - not sure what the difference is). Aura flat had a poor rating for "surface smoothness" (and average for staining). Should I be concerned with this?
I'm not sure about the CR testing
They don't use professional painters to test, and often use criteria that are not pertinent to proper paint performance, and use criteria that may seem important...on the surface-but with a little background information and education about paint products, are down right silly

That being said, Aura satin is not as smooth as Ben Moore's Impervo Enamel
Not much is as good as Impervo (or SW's Pro Classic)...but that is true...the Aura satin is not as smooth
I don't think it's a deal-breaker, as Aura satin has other benefits going for it, which may out-weigh that issue
But it's still a better finish than AmTrad or Behr semi-gloss on many, many levels (though not as shiny)

Scrubbing with a hard surface cleaner can change the gloss on just about any coating depending on the cleaner
I have found it's more depending on the cleaner than the paint
Some cleaners affect some paints more/less

Abrasive cleaners always run the risk of affecting the sheen on shiny paints
They'll even say so on the cleaning product
I can't recommend it, unless it's absolutely necessary
Nice to know Aura held up OK though

Absence of roller marks?
I would rate Aura extremely high on absence of roller marks
Maybe that means roller "stipple"
The little bumps left after rolling?
I have found Aura to have extremely good leveling characteristics (very little stipple)
But it does have it's idiosyncrasies
It cannot be over-rolled, in an attempt to reduce stipple
In fact, it's another reason DIYers tend to have an easier time with Aura than pros
It should be rolled out with as little over rolling as possible, then left alone...the paint levels fine on it's own
Where a pro might keep rolling to "smooth out" more stipple
The Aura does pretty well w/o any help

But rolling always leaves stipple (even if it's teeny), and I don't care for stipple on trim
IMO brush marks look classier than stipple, so I always brush, or roll and back brush, trim
And really only use satin on trim, so that's not really an issue

I'm not sure what "staining" is...staining like spilled coffee or flying spaghetti sauce staining?
Admittedly, I haven't run into that yet
 
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Old 02-02-08, 07:44 PM
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Some clarification on terms

Picking nits I know, and not to pick on the everhelpfull sirwired (and hopefully he will appreciate this), but it can be confusing

Burnishing is actually not so much a sheen change
It's really a tint thing
As most traditional paints evaporate and coalesce, the actual "tints" or "color" settles on the "top", or surface that we see
This leaves them vulnerable when rubbed against...especially darker colors (with much more tint)
Rubbing against it (or scrubbing it) would/could actually rub off the top layer of "color" allowing other "colors" (that were in the tint to make the color) to almost appear to spill out, or at least appear in the spot
That's why traditionally a shinier sheen would give more protection (washability, scrubabilty, and burnish resistance)
The sheen would protect the color

As far as Aura goes, it's different on a molecular level
The "tints" or color is actually inside the molecules
That's why even the flat (matte) is washable and burnish resistant (this I have tested and it's very burnish resistant)

Flashing is not a change in color, but a change in sheen
Usually just in spots, and making the surface look bad
This could be due to many things having to do with prep or application

De-glossing is the removal, or over-wise affecting the sheen by dulling it through mechanical (usually abrasive of some sort) or chemical means

The report seems to be referring to de-glossing
 
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Old 02-02-08, 10:10 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys. Our painter is going to use the BM Aura. SirWired, when I called the paint store, they actually said it would be $46.99 - so a little better than the $55 MSRP...

slickshift, thanks for your detailed explanations. I'm leaning towards going with flat since you've found it to be very washable. Also, the paint store said the Aura satin was quite glossy - I'd like a little gloss, but not as glossy as they were describing it. ...and if I did have any trouble cleaning it, at least I'd know I could touch it up easily.

Unfortunately our painter has already painted the trim in our house before I started researching paints. I'm sure they used some cheap Kwal paint (that's what our painter normally uses - $15 / gallon - not sure what line though). Wish I had gone with the Aura for the trim as well... It's white trim and I'm sure it will get dirty quickly. Thanks again,
--Kyle
 
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Old 02-05-08, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Flashing is not a change in color, but a change in sheen
Usually just in spots, and making the surface look bad
This could be due to many things having to do with prep or application
After one of my first painting jobs in my (then) new house, I did some wall repairs (nail pops, etc.) with spackle but did not primer. Simply put two coats of BM Regal Eggshell on the wall. Of course there differences in gloss on the areas where I had made repairs versus the non-repairs surfaces (I guess this is the term flashing).

So I am repainting this area/rooms again, do some repair again plus some electrical/wiring work that requires patching drywall. My interest in BM Aura has piqued (specifically in Eggshell). Is it really true that I will not have to prime the walls? Just put two coats on and thats it?
 
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Old 02-05-08, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dcv2002
...I did some wall repairs (nail pops, etc.) with spackle but did not primer.
Of course there differences in gloss on the areas where I had made repairs versus the non-repairs surfaces (I guess this is the term flashing).
That is exactly what it is
It can happen other ways to, but yes, that was flashing

Originally Posted by dcv2002
So I am repainting this area/rooms again, do some repair ...that requires patching drywall. My interest in BM Aura has piqued (specifically in Eggshell). Is it really true that I will not have to prime the walls? Just put two coats on and thats it?
It truly bothered me do this the first time
I have been so ingrained to prime repairs, that it almost was physically painful to paint right over some rather large repair areas
But when the opportunity arose, I had to take it to test it
The only reason I could go through with it, is I had already tested how well it touched up, and knew the whole wall wouldn't need re-painting if it didn't work

After one coat right over the repairs, it covered well and did not flash
As it was a two coat job, I did not see how it cured (which would take a week)
After the second coat (40 minutes later) there was no flashing whatsoever
After it was fully cured there was no flashing
I've had more chances to try this since then with the same results
I would have no problem saying that you won't need to primer repairs

I suppose at some point, we may find certain circumstances or certain colors that may flash, but so far so good
 
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Old 02-06-08, 08:04 AM
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Primer?

Hey slickshift and others, for a new home when painting the drywall, I know you mentioned the primer isn't needed. I personally don't know much about primer and its role. So I'm wondering:
1. Would the primer help in covering imperfections in the drywall better than just the two coats of paint?
2. Without the primer, would there be problems with things like paint cracking or peeling after many years?
3. Any other issues I should be considered about if I told / allowed my painter to not use a primer?

I'm not sure what the savings would be, but with Aura our paint cost is getting really high, so I'm wondering about going without the primer to save money, but I don't want to do it if it might cause any problems later... Our painter used cheap Kwal paint ($12 / gallon), but I have no idea what his primer costs... Thanks again,
--Kyle
 
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Old 02-06-08, 04:10 PM
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Personally I couldn't imagine not priming new drywall - at least not when desiring a quality job.... but I've never used the Aura line of paint.
 
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Old 02-06-08, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kyley
1. Would the primer help in covering imperfections in the drywall better than just the two coats of paint?
No
Paints color, they don't fill
A "high build" primer is the only thing that will fill, and it must be sprayed and it kills your sprayer
It's total over kill for most jobs
Originally Posted by kyley
2. Without the primer, would there be problems with things like paint cracking or peeling after many years?
As it's only been out for a few months, I really can't say from personal experience
But it has tested well in the "accelerated testing", simulating years of wear, the only way you can test a paint for that long w/o actually waiting that long
Nothing of that sort has shown up
Originally Posted by kyley
3. Any other issues I should be considered about if I told / allowed my painter to not use a primer?
Not if Aura paint is used
...and I must reiterate, the only paint I would even consider recommending this would be Aura

Originally Posted by marksr
Personally I couldn't imagine not priming new drywall - at least not when desiring a quality job.... but I've never used the Aura line of paint.
Mark, this stuff just blows my mind
If you get the chance to sit in on a demo at the Paint Store or Home Show, take a look at it
Of course, everything looks good in the demos, lol
But this stuff is really a different animal...it's pretty cool
 
 

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