Benjamin Moore Aura
Benjamin Moore Aura

Best interior paint

Aura's price certainly gives pause, but it has earned good grades in professional reviews and raves from professional painters who use it on a day-in, day-out basis. Reviewers praise its great covering ability, low-VOC formula and fast drying times. Benjamin Moore justifies the cost by noting that the paint is self-priming and that most projects -- even turning darker hues into lighter ones -- will require only one coat. That may be marketing hyperbole, but most pros who have used Aura say that you'll rarely need more than two coats for even difficult jobs, and they love its smooth, quick application and beautiful finish. However, Aura's fast drying times take some getting used to, reviews warn -- if you paint over an already drying area, you could wind up with brush or roller marks. Some reviewers find the less-expensive Benjamin Moore Regal (*Est. $40 per gallon) covers fine in two coats and is easier to work with.
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Benjamin Moore Regal
Benjamin Moore Regal

Best value interior paint

According to professional house painters, Benjamin Moore Regal interior paint strikes a good balance between performance and value. It bridges the price gap between top-of-the-line interior paints and budget brands. Regal proves scrubbable and mildew- and stain-resistant in independent tests, and it also hides other colors well, although it doesn't boast one-coat coverage like the pricier Benjamin Moore Aura (*Est. $55 per gallon). Benjamin Moore Regal also has higher amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than Benjamin Moore Aura or Natura (*Est. $50 per gallon), and these chemicals have been linked to respiratory and other problems.
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Ace Royal
Ace Royal

Budget interior paint

Ace Royal is the only budget interior paint on which expert testers, do-it-yourselfers, and professional house painters agree. Ace Royal fades a bit more and has a slightly less rich finish in expert tests than pricier paints such as Benjamin Moore Aura (*Est. $55 per gallon) and Benjamin Moore Regal (*Est. $40 per gallon), but testers and painting contractors find it's easy to apply and generally performs well, and it's especially durable when scrubbed. Unlike Benjamin Moore Aura and Benjamin Moore Natura (*Est. $50 per gallon), Ace Royal is not a low-VOC paint.
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*Est. $20  per gallon Estimated Price
Benjamin Moore Natura
Benjamin Moore Natura

Zero-VOC interior paint

If you are sensitive to paint fumes (which can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea), consider a paint that contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can also cause eye and throat irritation. Benjamin Moore Natura is the most highly recommended zero-VOC paint in reviews. It handles like a regular latex paint and can be custom tinted to more than 3,000 shades without adding VOCs. Natura shows no real weaknesses in tests (except for a tendency for the semigloss variety to fade), even when compared with top-rated Benjamin Moore Aura (*Est. $55 per gallon) and Benjamin Moore Regal (*Est. $40 per gallon).
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*Est. $50 per gallon Estimated Price
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