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Disappointed with Aura

SuzyChooses4's picture

I Repainted my kitchen cabinets with Aura semigloss paint by Benjamin Moore. I did not find the paint gave good coverage despite lightly sanding, priming, and lightly resanding before giving to coats. I let the coat of paint dry several days before repainting. The door were allowed to cure for 2 weeks before being installed. I find the doors have chipped on the edges.  I should have stuck by my usual brand Beauti-tone. With all the advertising with BM I wanted to try it out.
Sadly disappointed.

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gmcauley's picture

Hello SuzyChooses4,

Have you had a chance to browse our Best White Paints? It's a great resource if you're not happy with Aura — it lists several brands, finishes and shades of white.

I hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Gwen McAuley (gmcauley at

Nestor_Kelebay's picture

Well, with a name like "Cloud White", it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that this was essentially a white semigloss paint.
By "coverage" I presume you mean that the Aura didn't hide the underlying colour completely, even after two coats (three, including the primer).
What I would do is take one door off again and give it a third coat only around or within some natural division on the door.  For example, if it's a paneled door, you might want to give it a third coat ONLY on the panel, or ONLY outside of the panel.  Give that 2 or 3 days to dry and see if you can see any difference in colour density between two coats and three.  If you can, then that means that two coats aren't hiding the underlying colour completely.  If two coats did hide the underlying colour completely, then you wouldn't see any difference in colour density between two coats, three coats, four coats or a dozen coats; they'd all look exactly the same.
You see, the ability of a paint to hide an underlying colour depends on the pigments in the paint.  But, it's not only the kind and amount of coloured pigments in the paint, but also the kind and amount of "extender pigments" in the paint.  In your case, the coloured pigment is the white pigment titanium dioxide, (TiO2), which has very good hide.  Titanium dioxide is the second highest hiding pigment used in  house paints; second only to black.  So, on the one hand, one would expect good hide from an expensive paint having lots of that expensive (relative to other pigments) titanium dioxide  in it.
However, the glossier the paint the less well it hides an underlying colour, and you've got semi-gloss paint which is fairly glossy.  And, those two factors work against each other.  You have a high hiding pigment in a fairly glossy paint.  That's kinda like putting in a hearing aid, and turning the volume down.
So, try another coat on either part of a door, or on a whole door and compare three coats to two.  If hide is the problem, then you should see a difference with the third coat.
PS:  You don't need to know the rest, but it'll help explain what's happening.
When a paint doesn't hide completely, what's actually happening is that incident light is traveling through the paint film, reflecting off the coloured substrate, and making it back through the paint film to your eye.  And, of course, the higher the percentage of the incident light that does that, the poorer the paint "hides" the colour of the substrate, and the more you can see the colour of the substrate through the dry paint film.
It's easy to understand the reason why glossy paints hide poorly when one considers that ALL paints would dry to a high gloss if it weren't for something called "extender pigments".  Extender pigments are clear, transluscent or white solid particles added to the tint base at the factory to make it dry to a duller finish.  The lower the gloss of the tint base, the larger the amount and the coarser the grind of the extender pigments added to the can at the factory.
Imagine you have a block of glass two inches thick.  That glass would be almost completely transparent.  However, if you had a stack of microscope slides two inches tall, that stack of slides would be almost completely opaque.  The reason why is that at every glass/air interface in the stack, light gets reflected back in the direction from which it came.  So, if only 4 percent of the light gets reflected back, then in a stack of 40 slides, my Windows Calculator tells me that only 20 percent of the incident light would make it to the bottom of the stack.  And, of course, only 20 percent of that 20 percent would make it all the way back out of the stack to reach your eye.  That's only 4 percent of the light that entered the stack, and it's why 2 inches of solid glass and 2 inches of plates of glass are 2 totally different things; one will be almost transparent while the other is almost opaque.
It's a very similar thing with paint.  If you use a flatter paint, then there are more of those clear, transluscent or white extender pigments in the paint to make it dry to a flatter gloss.  And each of those extender pigments creates solid/plastic interfaces in the dry paint film that reflect and refract light in all different directions.  The result is that a lower percentage of the incident light can get all the way through the paint film to reflect off the substrate and make it all the way back to your eye.  Consequently, even though these extender pigments don't affect the colour of the paint, they have a big influence on it's opacity.  That is, how opaque the paint film is, which is really all that counts when it comes to hiding an underlying colour.
Hindsight is 20/20.  If we knew this was going to happen, it mighta been better to put on two coats of FLAT Clowd White, and then top coat with semigloss Clowd White.
Try another coat, and lemme know what happens.

SuzyChooses4's picture

I used OC40 cloud white. Perhaps I didn't put enough coats on ( I did put 2 of the cloud white.)

Nestor_Kelebay's picture

What was the colour of the paint you used?
It's not necessary to sand the primer before painting.

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