Benjamin Moore Aura Paint

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When my husband and I moved into our new apartment recently, we knew a coat of fresh paint would spiff up the place, but with a new baby we wanted to pay special attention to the kind of paint we used. Unlike a lot of VOC-free paints (VOC = volatile organic compounds), Benjamin Moore’s Aura line of low-VOC acrylic paints isn’t thin or runny, dries really fast (literally an hour or less) and it’s available in a satisfying array of colors in eggshell, matte, satin, and semi-gloss. It’s VOC rating is less than 50 grams per liter (a standard paint might have 250 grams; VOC-free paints can still have up to 5 grams per liter). The Aura paint isn’t cheap — I think we spent $10-15 more per gallon than we normally do — but I have always been partial to more expensive paints because the colors appear truer and, in many cases, they require just one coat. With Aura, we found even the deepest of wall colors only required two coats to cover, and we didn’t use primer. The best part is there was no stinky paint smell residue, only beautifully-painted walls to gaze at with our little one.

-- Amanda Hughes-Watkins  

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint
$55
(1 gallon)
Available from Moores Hardware

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Manufactured by Benjamin Moore