Dries very fast
Easy to apply - very smooth, thick so it resists dripping. Not so thick as to waste paint
Very good coverage of old paint, possibly with one coat
Easy to clean up
Fully compatible with Benjamin Moore's older paint colors
Cost is high but you pay for quality. Should last a very long time.
Odor during dry time is similar to ammonia.
Availability is restricted to Benjamin Moore dealers.
During recent house renovations, we have used Benjamin Moore's Aura paint. We have extensive experience using their older paint brands which are excellent. The new paint is reported to be better in some ways. It comes in several varieties, interior/exterior, eggshell/smooth, glossy/semi-gloss/matte. We used the interior, semi-gloss in several different colors. While there are new colors available for this particular paint, they have maintained compatibility with the colors available in the older paint lines. We have one of the Benjamin Moore paint color selector guides from some years back. The store was able to mix the Aura paint according to the older instructions for a result that appears to exactly match the expected color.
The instructions for the paint indicated that it is applied somewhat differently than normal paint. Rollers and brushes are more heavily loaded with paint. The paint starts drying fast so you can't let the equipment run out of paint. This also means that you have to work fairly fast and can't leave your equipment lying around unused. Despite this, the paint doesn't splatter or drip. In fact, it is very drip resistant. It is possible to overload the roller, but the suitable amount of paint is easy to determine with a little practice. The drying time is reported to be very short. We found that the recommended time between coats of 1 hour was sufficient.
We did not use the exterior paint but did hear from the store's owner who did. He painted a door in the early spring time. At an ambient temperature of 40F, 5C, he painted a bare wooden door. The coverage was excellent and it dried quickly. He has been very satisfied with the look of the door ever since.
The paint colors were very good and coverage of old paint was excellent. It seems that the paint has primer built in so that it can be used to cover any type of paint, oil, stain or latex. Instructions given said that the paint can often cover in one coat. Using a 13mm, (1/2 inch), roller, you apply paint thickly and it will often give good one coat coverage. We did this with an off-white going over a light yellow. It was perfect after one coat. This might not work well with a light coat being applied to a dark one, but we didn't have to do this.
The amount of odor given off by the Aura paint is very low. Being quite sensitive to strong smells, I was concerned when our bedroom was painted. I slept in the room just a few hours after it was painted. During the night, I had no problem sleeping and did not notice any paint odor. There was a faint ammonia smell early on but it was definitely not overpowering.
I would definitely use this paint again and I will recommend it to my friends and family.
Benjamin Moore has a great series of paint color selection cards. These are available in volumes that are specific to particular types of paint, (Aura, regular). With them, you can see an extensive range of particular colors that you can choose from. Some of the pages have various shades of blue. Each is shown as a small sample with the name and product code. There are dozens of shades of blue in the book. You can either buy the sample books or borrow them for a day or so from most dealers. When you have it at home, you can compare the sample colors to items in your home. You can really customize your decorating with these color samples. When you identify the colors you want for your paint, you can give the store the color name or the product code. Your paint is mixed with the blends of tints necessary to create the required color. Benjamin Moore updates these color sample books all of the time and releases new ones when new paint is developed. They are able to use older codes, however. We had the store mix Aura paint using older paint codes and the color match was perfect.
If you are considering a quality paint, Benjamin Moore Aura is a great product to choose. Besides the good coverage and durability, the ability to paint a second coat after waiting only 1 hour is very helpful. When painting, especially during renovations, you want to get back to normal quickly. You can paint a room with two coats in just a few hours and get your house back.