Matt is a professional painter who owns and operates his own painting business, specializing in interior and exterior house painting.
A Painter's Review of Aura Bath and Spa Paint
If you're painting a bathroom, you're probably researching paints and trying to decide if it's really worth spending $80 for a gallon of Aura Bath and Spa paint. Yes, this paint really does cost a whopping $80 per gallon! But is the paint worth the high cost? I cover my likes and dislikes in this review after using this product to paint the walls and ceiling in a bathroom for a customer who wanted me to use Benjamin Moore.
My experience using Benjamin Moore paints over the years has been very positive. Like most paint brands, their premium paints come with a higher price tag, especially the Aura series, but the performance is exceptional. One of my favorite paints from Benjamin Moore is the interior Regal Select, but this paint probably isn't the best choice for a steamy bathroom. Using a dedicated bathroom paint, like Aura Bath and Spa, is better because it's formulated for high-humidity and for preventing surfactant leaching streaks on walls.
Things to Consider When Choosing Bathroom Paint:
- The paint should be mildew resistant
- The paint should be formulated to handle high-humidity
- The paint should be low/zero VOC
- A good bathroom paint will prevent surfactant leaching
Aura bathroom paint ticks all the boxes for performance, but is the $80 per gallon price really worth it? Continue reading my review to find out.
Brushing and Rolling Benjamin Moore Bath and Spa Paint
I used this product to paint the ceiling and walls in a large master bathroom that was partially remodeled with new drywall and a new shower. After the drywall taping and mudding was finished and sanded to perfection, I primed the new drywall with a PVA primer sealer before painting. This was my first time using paint from the Aura series and I was very pleased with the results. I painted the bathroom walls and ceiling with the Benjamin Moore color Blue Lace.
Here's what I love about this paint:
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- Rolling. Like Regal Select paint, the coverage with Aura bathroom paint was even better than expected. I bought two gallons to have enough to paint the high walls and ceilings in the bathroom, but only ended up using a little over one gallon for the whole job. The color Blue Lace covered over a medium tan exceptionally well with one coat alone, using my favorite lint-free roller, Purdy White Dove with 1/2-inch nap. I painted two coats in an effort to increase the low gloss of the matte finish.
- Brushing. The performance for cutting-in was the same as rolling. I was able to get solid coverage painting the corners with only one coat of paint, but two coats were applied. To make it easier to cut-in the high corners and light fixtures in this large bathroom, I used my Goose Neck extendable paintbrush (featured in the last picture). This bathroom was easier to paint because the walls and ceiling were painted the same color. Aura Bath and Spa paint is thick, but brushes onto drywall noticeably better than other bathroom paints I've used.
- Zero VOC. The VOCs from wet paint in a bathroom are usually worse because it's a smaller space with less windows to open for ventilation. I wore my painting respirator while I rolled this paint onto the ceiling and walls, but I noticed when returning to the bathroom after the paint was dry, the odor was barely noticeable. Not bad, considering I rolled the entire room from top to bottom with two coats of paint.
- Mildew resistance. I can't rate the actual mildew resistance of this paint because I painted a bathroom for a customer, not my own, but this paint is formulated to resist mildew caused by bathroom humidity. The paint is also said to prevent surfactant leaching (oily drips and streaks on bathroom walls). Surfactant leaching can occur when paint is applied to bathroom walls when it's too humid. Over time, surfactant ingredients in the paint migrate to the surface and form brown drips on the wall.
Here's what I don't like about this paint:
- The matte finish. I was a little hesitant to use this bathroom paint at first, because strangely, it's only available in a matte finish. Normally, I use a satin finish in bathrooms so the paint is shinier and more forgiving for cleaning purposes. The matte finish is pretty dull in appearance, even after rolling two coats on everything. The benefit of the matte finish is the low gloss does hide drywall imperfections better, but if you want a higher level of gloss on your bathroom walls, you might be disappointed with this product.
- The price. At $80 per gallon, this paint is far from cheap, however, most bathrooms only consume one to two gallons, and this paint does cover really well too in fewer coats. Cheap paint might end up costing you more when it covers poorly and you need to buy additional gallons to finish the job. No doubt though, the price is high for a gallon of paint, but this is a good example of getting what you pay for.
Should You Buy Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa Paint?
I've only used Aura bathroom paint one time, but my experience painting walls and ceilings with it was very positive, and I would use it again for future bathroom painting projects. In terms of coverage, the paint is thick and spreads onto walls like butter when a high quality brush and roller is used. The extra thickness of the paint helps it cover in fewer coats too, even when using a light color over a dark color.
Another advantage I didn't mention earlier is the Color Lock technology that is exclusive to the Aura line of paint. This technology enhances the paint color and keeps it looking fresh, even after washing the walls multiple times. The paint is also 100% acrylic and more durable than latex paint.
I definitely recommend Aura Bath and Spa if you're painting your bathroom and don't mind spending a little extra for high quality paint that can tolerate humidity and repeated washings. Using any old wall paint in a bathroom is a no-no. Some paints react poorly to humidity and you can end up with hideous drip marks on your walls from surfactant leaching.
I guess if I had one complaint it would be the matte finish; I'm not a fan of it. I like bathroom wall paint to be smoother and more glossy, but that doesn't mean this paint isn't washable. The paint finish was more glossy after applying the second coat, but the less shiny matte finish is something to be aware of if you prefer glossy bathroom walls.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Matt G.