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benjamin moore aura paint: an unsolicited recommendation

i thought kirk had lost his mind when he said we should buy this special paint from benjamin moore.

i went along with getting our friend deana, the color specialist, up to the apartment to choose paint colors. up until this point i had been an enthusiastic advocate of ceiling, trim, and walls all in the same color, preferably white. but i knew i was time to break out and get some color on my walls.

so she brought her voluminous paint sample books, and we chose several colors:

» jalapeno pepper eggshell finish 2147-30 for the bedroom walls
» moroccan red eggshell finish 1309 for the kitchen, one living room wall, the front door, and under the archway
» dash of curry eggshell finish 2159-10 for the living room walls
» driftwood eggshell finish 2107-40 for the bathroom walls
» sandlot gray eggshell finish 2107-50 for the hallway walls
» pale sea mist matte finish 2147-50 for the bedroom ceiling
» alpine white matte finish 2147-70 for the rest of the ceilings and all of the trim


that’s a lot of color for someone who liked his white walls so much.

and kirk really wanted this aura paint. i guess you can get less expensive benjamin moore paint, and i’m sure you can go to home depot and have them mix up an approximation of the color, but kirk really wanted this specific paint. it’s their best, and it covers well and is more environmentally friendly and has fewer fumes and needs a special machine to make it and blah blah blah.


and when, in the store, i found out that the paint was $60 a frigging gallon, i gulped but just whipped out the amex. i’d never paid more than $10, maybe $15 a gallon for paint. and, when my ex caitilin and i painted our house in st. augustine, caitilin’s dad got us the paint in 5-gallon industrial buckets, and i’m pretty sure he “borrowed” it from a construction site.

let me tell you. that paint is worth every penny of $60 a gallon, and more.

it went on smoothly, covered a myriad of wall problems, didn’t run down the wall or drip off of the ceiling, or off of my paintbrush onto the floor. the quality of the paint made it a pleasure to paint, and i hate hate hate to paint. the paint made it easy for an amateur painter to get professional-level results.

and the colors are absolutely stunning, and vibrant, and chameleonic. by chameleonic, i mean that the color shifts subtly in various levels of light. the sandlot gray in the hall has an eggplant-y hue in one light, a grayer hue in another light, and a greenish cast in yet another. it’s amazing. you can’t imagine how good they look. i’ll have to post some pictures when i get a chance.

so, benjamin moore. you made me a believer. i’ll never buy cheap home depot paint again.

and really, you shouldn’t either. the extra money you spend is more than mitigated by your spending less time painting. and your time is worth something, right?

and the results. my god, the results.



  1. Inquisitator

    You know, it is said that BM has spent 135 mamamillion dollars on this Aura thing. Had to believe with Buffett holding the pursestrings but, let’s assume they have…What have they gotten for it. You can barely find a mention of it on TV, other media or even the internet. It seems it only works sometimes in deep colors and that it so overpriced you wouldn’t bu the off whites. Seems like one of those slow implosions that most people won’t know about until Aura is no maura.

    Warren are you listening?

    Posted on 05-Aug-07 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  2. Take a look at to see how Benjamin Moore handles things when their product fails.

    Posted on 30-Dec-07 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  3. hi seth,

    thanks for stopping by. i’ve left one of your comments and removed the duplicate comment.

    in the absence of real proof on your site, it’s hard for me to blame the paint for this. simply referring to two independent lab analyses without identifying the labs or detailing their reports’ methodology, contents, or results doesn’t constitute a credible argument for me. what’s wrong with the paint? what was benjamin moore’s response? how do you debunk their response to your claims?

    i applied the paint as directed and got fabulous results. i hope you somehow get results that you are satisfied with as well.

    Posted on 31-Dec-07 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  4. Caryn

    you have to post pictures – these colors sound amazing!

    Posted on 01-Oct-08 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  5. Nora

    I just painted my dining room jalapeno pepper and I saw you did your bedroom this color. I am trying to figure out what color of drapes to put in there – what do you have in your bedroom as far as window treatments?

    Posted on 05-Nov-10 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  6. Great color choice. I have heard that Benjamin Moore makes an eco-friendly paint. It’s great to see a review. It makes my paint project very easy. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted on 17-May-11 at 4:46 am | Permalink

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