I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I was the designated painter for our new house.  I’ve done a ton of painting, particularly at our old house.  I don’t hate it, as long as I have some peace and quiet to do it.  That wasn’t a problem in the new house, as my family wasn’t there :).

Which Paint Should I Use for New Construction?

In the past when I’ve painted, the best paint I had ever “paid-up” for was Behr from Home Depot.  I don’t remember the specific Behr paint that it was, but it was Behr brand.  I’ve never been one to buy expensive paint because Color Place from Walmart has always served it’s purpose.  This time I would need to prime everything first, and do at least 2 coats of the final color.  In the past i had lucked out and painted rooms that were lighter than the color that I wanted the walls to be.  I had never painted fresh drywall either.

As I started looking at the task before me I decided to look into having a professional painter do some of the harder rooms, which I defined as enormous or very tall.  The first 2 rooms that came to mind were the foyer and the family room.  Both of these rooms were approximately 17 feet tall and the family room is the biggest room in the house. 

When speaking to the best local painter, he recommended that I try the Aura paint by Benjamin Moore.  He said it was pricey, but it saves an entire labor step of having to prime everything first because it’s self-priming.  He also said that it covers much better than your typical paint.  After some research I found the following benefits:

  • Self priming, even in bathrooms and spas
  • Coverage was well beyond average after the first coat
  • The paint doesn’t “flash” when you touch it up due to some color-lock technology they have
  • It washes with out leaving marks in the paint
  • You can use a matte paint in a bathroom as opposed to a semi-gloss
  • 1 hour recoat time, with superfast drying
  • Low VOC, low odor

Sounded good to me, but how much $$!!!!

Turns out it was a little over double what I was used to paying for a gallon of paint.  There was definitely some sticker shock.  Then I did the following:

  • Calculated how many gallons of Walmart’s Color Place I would need per room
  • Calculated the cost of primer for the whole house
  • Calculated the extra time it would take to prime and paint

I came to the conclusion that I would need less paint per room, no primer, and spend a third less time.  Since I was already taking a whole week off of work to do this, the time saver was very important in my decision making process.  I found that Aura paint goes for anywhere between $48/gallon to $60/gallon depending on where you look.  Because of the quantity of paint that I had to buy, I was able to get it for around $48/gallon.  It was well worth the extra money.

Colors We Chose: (how many shades of beige can we fit in one house? :) )

Benjamin Moore Aura AF-130 Truffle Benjamin Moore Aura AF-310 Subtle Benjamin Moore Aura AF-370 Citrine Benjamin Moore HC-81 Manchester Tan
Foyer and Upstairs Hall
Truffle – AF-130
Living Room
Subtle – AF-310
Dining Room
Citrine – AF-370
White Chair Rail and Wainscot
Kitchen/Breakfast Nook
Manchester Tan – HC-81
Benjamin Moore HC-80 Bleeker Beige Benjamin Moore HC-84 Elmira White Benjamin Moore Aura AF-420 Agave Benjamin Moore Aura AF-165 Kona
Family Room
Bleeker Beige – HC-80
Mud Room
Elmira White – HC-84
Office
Agave– AF-420
Office Accent Wall
Kona– AF-165
Benjamin Moore HC-81 Manchester Tan Benjamin Moore Aura AF-95 Hush Benjamin Moore Aura AF-85 Frappe Benjamin Moore Aura AF-310 Subtle
First Floor Bath
Manchester Tan – HC-81
Master Bedroom
Hush – AF-95
Master Bath
Frappe – AF-85
Spare Bedroom
Subtle – AF-310
Benjamin Moore 2022-60 Light Yellow Benjamin Moore 2012-70 Soft Pink Benjamin Moore OC-122 Cotton Balls  
Eldest's Room
Light Yellow – 2022-60
Youngest’s Room
Soft Pink – 2012-70
Kid’s Bath, Laundry Room, Play Room, Closets
Cotton Balls – OC-122
 

Technique

As I mentioned before, I had never painted fresh drywall before.  The biggest difference for me was how much paint was absorbed on the first coat.  I was also used to getting away without sanding between coats.  That wasn’t really an option with fresh drywall.  The paint feathers up the drywall paper a bit creating rough patches on the wall.  I got a much better finish by pole sanding between coats.

In the past I’ve always used tape on edges, trim, etc…  I tried one room without taping and it took me forever to cut-in.  I went back to the tape, and it flew right along.  The biggest issue with the tape was that it didn’t pull away clean.  It tore the paint in some spots.  I had my painter cut-in again, and all was good.