Choosing the Right Paint

As a consumer, contractor or business owner it is a daunting task to choose paint and paint colours. I'd like to focus on paint in this post.


The best paint based on 'consumer' response is Benjamin Moore Aura and Behr Premium Plus a close second.  Surprised? You shouldn't be!  Benjamin Moore's reputation and colour palette is unmatched in the industry and big box stores have higher traffic, bigger dollars and a greater marketing capacity then most local paint stores.  Note:  this is based on a 'consumer' based resource, not a professional painter's resource. My top picks are either Sherwin Williams Opulence or Benjamin Moore Regal - these are my go to paints for performance, coverage and durability.

• Benjamin Moore Aura Matt is a very good product.  It covers remarkably well but does require a different application technique as it dries very quickly and is self levelling. Backrolling is not recommended. BM recommends a microfibre roller - it's not my preferred method, but it does work.

• I've only used Behr Premium Paint a few times, and each time coverage was poor and I found it sprayed too much off the roller.  After one wall, I had to mask off the baseboard to keep the over spray off my work. Also, I don't frequent Big Box stores for paint purchases simply because I don't have the time.  

My paint suppliers have my paint mixed, colour matched and ready for me when I arrive.  I have a business account with them and can call ahead, you can't do this with the big box stores.

Here are my top picks: (These are the paints I use most because they work)
Trim Paint: 
 Sherwin Williams Pro Classic or Benjamin Moore Advance (latex/oil hybrid)

Zero VOC Paint:  Sherwin Williams Emerald/Harmony or Benjamin Moore Natura

Bathroom Paint: Sherwin Williams Harmony or Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa

Best Interior Paint:  Sherwin Williams Opulence (Cashmere in the US) or Benjamin Moore's Regal

Best Exterior Paint:  Sherwin William's Emerald Exterior Paint or  Aura Exterior Paint


Within every paint company there are numerous product lines. Ask about the various options and price points available to you.  Aura is one of Benjamin Moore's top brands as Emerald is Sherwin William's top brand. 

Feel free to comment or add your two cents.  Thanks for reading.




What's the best kind of paint?

Professional painters are hired for their skill set, expertise, know how, product knowledge and quality service.  Today, you might add in, honesty and integrity.  Finding someone to ‘do the job’ is no longer enough, it helps if you can trust the person in your home.


In the area of product knowledge, every painter has an opinion and personal preference regarding brands of paint and the equipment used.  At some point in the conversation the term ‘best’ will be used.  Examples: Purdy is the ‘best’ paint brush, Sherwin Williams is the ‘best’ paint or Benjamin Moore has the ‘best’ colours. (I don’t actually agree with all of these examples)  For most consumers, paint is purchased based on available funds rather than quality.  Simply put: The best paint for you is the paint you can afford.  Paint suppliers have various product lines within their brand for the consumer and professional alike.  Choose the one that suits your budget.  As a professional, I tend to offer premium brands of paint so as to ensure quality and reliability.


What is the best kind of paint on the market?  According to – a consumer’s guide to products – Benjamin Moore Aura wins their overall rating when choosing an Interior latex satin or eggshell paint. Please note the qualifications within the rating:

  1. Interior vs. Exterior
  2. Latex vs. Alkyd
  3. Satin or Eggshell vs. Matt, Semi, Gloss

There are other factors to consider in your purchase that are not included or mentioned in this rating, namely:

  1. Eco Friendly or Environmentally Safe – VOC rating (Zero, Low, other) Kid and Pet Friendly paint
  2. Coverage
  3. Wash ability and Scrub ability
  4. Paint vs. Paint/Primer in one
  5. Durability and ‘Stickability’ – can you scratch it off easily with your nail?

Benjamin Moore Aura is a premium paint that performs very well, however, there are alternatives.  Even within Benjamin Moore’s own product lines – I prefer Benjamin Moore Regal line of paint.  Why? It has GREAT coverage, you get more square feet per gallon, it’s a better price point, it’s a paint/primer in one and it dries quickly so you can recoat faster.


Sherwin Williams Opulence is a self-leveling product that has great coverage at a strong price point.  However, it is NOT a paint/primer in one. Meaning, if you have patching or repairs you will need to pre-prime these areas or ‘spot prime’ (use the paint as its own primer – allowing for sufficient dry time between coats). 


Sherwin Williams Emerald was introduced in 2012 to compete directly with BM Aura, it is a strong contender as a Zero VOC environmentally safe product with good coverage and highly washable paint. However, it should be used in a well ventilated area as it has a 'paint' smell.

I used to be a Glidden/Dulux guy – but have moved away from their product lines in recent history.  Why? I never liked their interior LifeMaster series – it did not roll out nicely, felt too slimy if that makes any sense.  Other guys swear by PARA paints – another good company with strong products, but I haven’t used enough of them to formulate an opinion.


Behr Premium Interior paint sold at Home Depot has done a lot of marketing and is accessible.  Consumers Report gives them a high rating. (no.2 to Aura) I recently used their product and had a completely different experience.  It was AWFUL! It did not roll out well, you had to work the product unto the wall, very very poor coverage – even after two coats you could see shadows of the previous paint – thus requiring three coats in areas. Simply put, I am NOT A FAN of Behr Paint!


Overall Recommendation:  Benjamin Moore Regal Paint or Sherwin Williams Opulence Paint


Benjamin Moore Regal
Benjamin Moore Regal