Benjamin Moore Ben Interior Paint

Written by on November 10, 2011 in Interior Paints, Interior Products with 17 Comments

Ben Eggshell

Benjamin Moore Ben Interior Paint

This one goes out to all the BM loyalists. If you are having a hard time building the ultra-premium lines like Aura or Natura into your project pricing, I can tell you from first hand experience that the new low voc Benjamin Moore Ben line is actually impressive.

We have used Ben on small projects requiring significant color change, and observed surprising coverage in one coat, buttery leveling, low odor, very little spatter, good open time and dry times.

Brushed well, rolled well, felt good, looked good. By comparison, I would say it performed better than the old Regal formulation that we all used for years and years. Also, more user friendly than some of the faster drying ultra premiums.

Ben is so user friendly that we have even taken it out on some of our Prep to Finish student training workshops where we teach high school aged technical students how to paint, and it has proven to be a great entry level paint for that purpose.

Ben is on the Gennex waterborne platform, available in all colors, and appears to retail in the mid $30s. While we still believe in Aura and Natura as premium paints, we have been impressed so far with Ben on a number of levels. There is certainly a time and place, or a bunch of times and places, where a good “bang for the buck” paint is desirable…especially in a day and age when mainstream marketing would have you believe that Home Depot is the only place to find that sort of thing. It is certainly refreshing to find clear proof to the contrary. The proof is in the pudding, as always. That would be Ben.

Will keep you posted on further exploration with it, looks like an overachiever so far.

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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  1. Reader Question: Paint Prices - Topcoat Review : Topcoat Review | January 4, 2014
  1. Gary says:

    Hello, My question is that I am trying to decide if I go with Ben vs Regal in walls and trim. Some say go with Regal on Trim and Ben walls are same as Regal. Any inputs wll be appreciated.

  2. kathy says:

    We need help. Having a contractor do the painting but we need to buy the paint. So, it is a condo in a highrise – 2 beds, 2 baths etc.
    We had the unit painted in 2005 — painter used Sherman Williams Duration. Did not use a base coat as he said that it was part of the paint and the coverage would be good. Not so. For 8 years I have looked at walls that show the were suppose to be a cotton colour but the previous light green makes it a sickly colour. We have chosen Benjamin Moore Simply White for 90 percent of the unit and BM Watermelon red for one small wall in the kitchen and one wall in the den. THe den currently has a terracoat colour on the wall we are changing to red and the kitchen is a yellow colour.
    Questions: Do we use SuperSpec Base Coat followed by two top coats of BM Ben or should we go with BM Aura and no base coat? Or are both of those thoughts wrong and there is another direction we should go in? Thank YOU Very much.
    Kathy

    • Scott Burt says:

      Kathy, I would use Aura for the accent walls and Regal Select for the rest, with no primer or undercoater. We have had excellent coverage results from RS in one base colors. Make sure your painters scuff sand the walls first.

      • kathy says:

        Wow Scott thank you very much for the quick response.
        Just to be sure I have it right — The accent walls (Watermelon red) would be two coats using Aura and the rest of the unit (Simply White) would be two coats using Regal Select. No base coat needed.
        Finally, I ask the painter to scuff sand the walls first.

        • Scott Burt says:

          Kathy, yes, from what you are describing, I would expect this program to work if surfaces are prepared properly and paint is applied properly. If you hired good painters, I would not expect a problem. Sometimes, when the painter assigns purchasing the paint to the homeowner, that can be a red flag, but hopefully that is not the case here. Please keep us posted!

  3. Doug Parsons says:

    We just used this paint on a kitchen remodel. My painter applied to coats of semi gloss, white over an antique white (walls/ceilings). The coverage was terrible. I still have bleed through. The store agent gave him white tint 1x, (without any tint, just white) to match the white cabinets. I have called the Ben Moore store, and they are going to send a rep out to check it out.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Sounds frustrating, Doug, but my guess would be that it can be resolved with an additional coat in areas where there is bleed through. Just curious, did your painter pole sand the walls prior to applying the new paint? Sometimes this helps to dull the previous color and create better adhesion for the new coats, so they can be applied to the full recommended thickness.

  4. Oh and forgot to ask. Did Ben excel in those oranges in the picture Scott?

    • Scott Burt says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Tommy. Yes, that is one coat in the picture, it was going over a glazed faux finish. We were able to selectively second coat as needed to get solid, which along with the low odor was actually kind of important because the project was two dressing rooms in a boutique clothing store. Looking forward to checking it out in other situations too.

  5. Its one of my favorites in the gennex line Scott. It performs very well for the price, and is a worthy upgrade to Super Spec. It is also very easy to work with compared to others in the new line, which makes it a great DIY paint.

    I have used it on both interior and exterior projects this year. Will see how good color retention and durability are in a few years.

  6. Nick says:

    I do believe BEN is better than the Super Spec line, although it is nearly $10 a gallon more money. We used it on a large job that had big changes in color and small changes in color. I feel it covered very poorly. There were many areas we had to do three coats around the edges, just to hide the old color. Definitely pales in comparison to Regal, but a good replacement for Super Spec.

  7. MAK says:

    We have been using this as a replacement to Super Spec since Ben came out and have been happy with the results in the eggshell, wish they had a matte finish in that line. It does and will flash patches on occasion so something to consider… But over a good product for the pricing.

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