Glidden vs. Benjamin Moore

In the early days of this blog, I talked about paint a lot. I hated painting the first few times I changed the wall color in my bedroom. I didn't mind the prep work at all. In fact, I found taping off trim sort of calming. I didn't mind priming, either. But the painting was so hard!

Everything changed when I switched to Benjamin Moore's Aura paint. I had my doubts that a $60 gallon of paint could be dramatically different from the stuff I had used before. Well, I started to really enjoy painting because of that Aura paint. Aura has a thicker texture than traditional paint, it's low in VOC and therefore doesn't smell very much, and touch ups blend in seamlessly (even a year later).

When Glidden came out with their answer to Aura, I wanted to give it a shot. Well, the blogsphere came through with this Glidden test pack. The cover letter that came with the pack said it contained a quart of Glidden's new paint and a quart of Benjamin Moore's Aura paint. Hm. No Aura. Just a Glidden t-shirt. Luckily, I have plenty of Aura on hand.

Getting the plastic ring off the can of Glidden took a good three minutes. Is this a new thing?

The tester kit included these sheets that were supposed to show how well paint covers without priming. I personally think that paint that claims to have primer in it is silly. There's no way the primer "knows" to adhere to the wall first. I always prime before painting, even with Aura.

On the left of the page is Glidden applied with a roller. On the right of the page is the paint applied with a brush.

Next up, it was time to give the Aura a try. Though it claims to be a one coat paint, I've never found that to be the case. However, on the test sheets, it covered quite well. I actually used less paint on this sample because I didn't want to pour a bunch out into a tray.

I thought that the paint that came in Glidden's kit might not be covering well because it was white. It also seemed a little watery. I had a quart of creamy yellow paint from one of their paint giveaways, so I gave that a try, too.

Here are all three test sheets side by side.

I'm sticking with my Aura paint for now. The color is great, the texture is nice, and the coverage is obviously pretty good. I think the difference is in the texture. That pudding-like texture of Aura's makes a small amount go a long way.


  1. Very helpful. I'm about to paint the dining room (once I pick a color) and am thinking of going with the Aura paint. Sad that I will have to prime anyway though. :(

  2. I totally agree with you about the primer. I've used Glidden before and thought it was fine, but Behr has always gone on thick and the flat paints touch up seamlessly as well. I've also used Sherwin flat (Color Accents) and it seems to be easily marred. Benjamin Moore Regal Matte finish looks lovely on the wall, but goes on rather thin and splattery. I have yet to try the Aura because I balk at that price! But your experiment cannot be denied. I'd be interested to see Behr next to the Aura....thanks for sharing!

  3. I love BM paint! I used their Simply White in as many places as I could in my house!

    Kat :)

  4. I tried Aura on the advice of my BM dealer and found it very hard to work with. I switched back to their Regal which I LURVE.

  5. I recently did my house with Glidden and the hallway with BM paint, both eggshell. I found the Glidden paint to be much thinner and runnier. The BM didn't drip off the brush and roller and seemed to cover quite well. I have no problem using Benjamin Moore.

  6. Aura is difficult to work with. It dries really fast and requires a painter to change his or her methodology a little bit. Not sure if you have tried the BM Natura line yet. Its more user friendly and its a true zero voc. I have published reviews of both if you are interested.


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