Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.
Painting a Nursery with Benjamin Moore Regal Select
I painted a nursery for a customer recently who preferred we use a Benjamin Moore paint and color instead of mixing the color in the Sherwin Williams paint we normally use. Having used Regal Select interior paint several years ago with positive results, I thought this would be a good opportunity to use it again for this project and share my thoughts on this popular paint.
For this project, I painted the nursery in the Benjamin Moore color Super White (OC-152), using the pearl finish to make the walls more washable. The sheen of the pearl finish is basically the same as satin, but less shiny than semi-gloss. For those who don't like the sleek look of satin paint, use the less glossy eggshell finish instead of the pearl finish.
I only painted one room with Regal Select, but my overall experience was very positive. I painted only the walls with this product, using Behr urethane alkyd enamel (supplied by my customer) for the trim and door. The walls were previously a darker gray, requiring a separate coat of primer to help the Super White cover without having to apply multiple coats.
Painting Interior Walls with Regal Select Paint
Although Regal Select is a self-priming paint, I primed the gray walls white with one coat of Insl-X Aqua Lock water-based primer. If you're painting a light color over a dark color, it is cheaper and a lot easier to prime with an inexpensive primer first than buy extra paint and apply multiple coats. Glossy white paints, especially pearl/satin, cover poorly over dark colors without a prime coat, even if your paint is 'self-priming'. To learn more about self-priming paint, check out my article What You Should Know About All-in-One Paint and Primer.
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Performance on Walls
- The coverage: Premium paints, like Regal Select, contain a higher volume of solids to help the paint cover better in fewer coats. Cheap paints are usually thin and watery and cover poorly due to the low percentage of solids in the paint. The percentage of solids in the pearl (satin) finish is 40.5%, which is good. The flat and eggshell finishes have a slightly higher percentage than that. When painted over the white Aqua Lock primer I used, the Super White color covered perfectly with the roller in two coats, with some touch-up work needed in the corners to cover a few remaining dark spots.
- Cutting-in: Nothing is more annoying than cutting-in walls with paint that's too thick and difficult to work with. One of the worst paints for cutting-in is Behr interior paint. The paint is too thick and difficult to brush into ceiling corners compared to other paints I've used. While Regal Select is fairly thick, the pearl paint spread into corners easily using my Purdy Clear Cut brush, one of my favorite brushes for cutting-in walls. I was able to cut-in a second coat after about one hour of dry time.
- Rolling: I used a lint-free fabric roller with 1/2-inch nap to roll the paint onto the walls. The first thing I noticed is how little the paint sprinkles and splatters, even less than Duration Home from Sherwin Williams, a similar wall paint. No paint is sprinkle-free, but working with paint that doesn't make a huge mess all over my drop cloths is a big advantage. The paint rolled onto the walls nicely with the fabric roller I used. The coverage was excellent. I didn't have to constantly dip the roller over and over again.
- The finish: I used the pearl finish, which is Benjamin Moore's version of satin for this particular paint. My customer wanted the nursery walls to be more smooth and washable. If you want your walls to be more washable and stain resistant, I recommend eggshell, or the shinier pearl finish. The paint dried evenly without roller marks or streaks in the finish.
- The odor: The paint is zero VOC. I noticed a faint odor while rolling the paint, but the smell was almost non-existent compared to other paints I've used. I paint walls a lot with Duration Home, but it's low VOC, not zero VOC. Duration smells like Windex when wet on walls and becomes odorless as it dries. With a window open, the paint dries in less than one hour without lingering fumes.
- The price: Like most premium paints, you pay more per gallon, but you get what you pay for. With that said, at the full price of $63.99 for the pearl finish, this paint isn't cheap, but covers really well in fewer coats. You can buy this paint at lower prices too through a Benjamin Moore dealer. Many family owned paint stores sell Benjamin Moore paints and allow you to open a store account to buy their products at a discount. See what kind of discount pricing you can get by opening a store account at your local paint store.
Is Benjamin Moore Regal Select Worth the Price?
I plan on using Benjamin Moore Regal Select for more of my interior painting projects now that I'm able to buy the paint closer to home at a good price. On this painting project, the paint covered good in two coats with very minimal splatter, or odor. For those wanting a zero VOC paint, this is a good option. The paint also dries really fast. I was able to apply the second coat about one hour after the first coat.
Aside from their super expensive Aura paint, which I haven't used yet, but is supposed to be the cream of the crop, Regal Select is probably the best Benjamin Moore paint I've used so far, and it performs a lot better than the original Regal Classic.
If the per gallon price is a deal breaker, go with Benjamin Moore's Ben, or one of the less expensive paints from Sherwin Williams. Is Benjamin Moore paint better than Sherwin Williams? I've used Sherwin Williams paint for over twenty years. Their Duration Home paint is very similar in performance to Regal Select. Both brands sell good and bad paints, but I don't believe one is better than the other.
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.
© 2021 Matt G.