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Exterior Paint:  Smooth and Tough

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Smooth and Tough

Key Features:
  • Hides well, dries quickly
  • Covers in one coat without primer
  • Resists mildew and fading
  • 60 color combinations
  • About $60 a gallon (2008)
  • Pricing as of 2008.
Ask For:
  • Aura Exterior Paint
Learn more about Benjamin Moore Paints:
by Deborah Holmes, Ebricks.com
If you've got a house with wood siding, chances are you'll spend some summer vacation scraping and painting. Or paying someone else to do it.

Benjamin Moore feels your pain. The company's new Aura exterior house paint promises to cover well, dry fast and last a long time.

Think of the paint's surfactant as velcro on a tennis ball, says the company. Long, ropey polymer molecular chains wrap around the pigment particles to bind the mixture, giving it a thick, velvety consistency. That's chemist talk for a paint that hides well, dries quickly, and resists fading, mildew and weather.

As with any exterior paint job, you'll have to do surface preparation -- scraping, sanding and washing. But you may be able to eliminate primer and second coats, the company says. The thick Aura paint hides well enough to fill in minor cracks and crevices and to cover even over dark paints, according to Benjamin Moore.

The paint can be applied in temperatures as low as 40 degrees, a bonus in northern climates where painting season is short. And because it dries quickly, touch-ups and second coats can be done within hours of the first application.

Like its interior counterpart the exterior paint is low on volatile organic compounds.

Aura is available in a rich array of colors. Coming up with a multi-color paint scheme can be a daunting task, so Benjamin Moore has 60 suggested combinations. The company's website also has a helpful slideshow of some multi-color paint schemes on houses, like this Craftsman style home.

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