Most paints contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs -- chemicals in paint fumes that have been linked to respiratory and other health problems. Some manufacturers have started to offer zero-VOC paints, but some of them don't perform as well or come in as many colors as regular paint. Benjamin Moore Natura is an exception, reviews say: It comes in more than 3,000 colors and performs comparably to top-rated Benjamin Moore Aura (*Est. $55 per gallon), which has 50 grams of VOCs per liter, and Benjamin Moore Regal (*Est. $40 per gallon), which has 100 to 150 grams per liter, depending on sheen. Natura's flat and eggshell versions show no weaknesses in tests for hiding, scrubbability, stain and mildew resistance, fading and smooth finish, but semigloss Natura does fade when scrubbed in one test. As for odor, some users who post on Internet forums complain of a strong smell with Natura, and others smell almost nothing at all. One expert tester reports a mild, fruity smell.
ConsumerReports.org tests Benjamin Moore Natura against dozens of other regular-, low- and no-VOC paints, ranking the paints from best to worst based on scrubbability, fade resistance and more. The New York Times includes Natura in its performance test of low- to no-VOC paints. Professional painting contractors post their opinions of Natura at PaintTalk.com and PainterForum.com.
ConsumerReports.org tests each of the available Benjamin Moore Natura sheens -- flat, eggshell and semigloss -- alongside dozens of other interior paints. Editors name the best paints based on their performance in eight categories, including stain resistance and ability to hide other colors.
Review: Interior Paint, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, March 2010
2. The New York Times
Benjamin Moore Natura is one of the top performers in this test of 10 low- and no-VOC interior paints. Paints are judged on odor, smoothness of application, hiding ability and cleaning ability.
Review: Finally, Good-Looking Nontoxic Paint?, Stephen Treffinger, Feb. 10, 2010
Three professional painting contractors recommend Benjamin Moore Natura to a poster looking for a low-odor paint for a fume-sensitive client. However, although one pro says he likes Natura a lot, he does detect an odor.
Review: Need a Good Low/No Odor Paint, Contributors to PaintTalk.com
The original poster in this thread complains about poor coverage with The Freshaire Choice zero-VOC paint from The Home Depot. Two professional painters reply that Benjamin Moore Natura is a good-performing, zero-VOC alternative.
Review: Freshaire Paint Line from HD, Contributors to PainterForum.com