For a quality interior paint at a reasonable price, professional painters and other experts pick Benjamin Moore Regal. It's a step down from the top-rated, top-of-the-line Benjamin Moore Aura (*Est. $55 per gallon), and Regal lacks some of Aura's selling points: Regal does not promise to dry in one hour or cover in one coat (although pros say it covers very nicely in two coats), and Regal is not a low-VOC paint. It has 100 to 150 grams per liter of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have been linked to respiratory and other problems, versus 50 grams per liter for Aura. However, Regal performs just as well or better than Aura in most independent tests, where Regal dries with a smooth, nontacky finish that holds up well to scrubbing and is especially fade-resistant. Benjamin Moore Regal comes in flat, matte, eggshell, semigloss and pearl finishes. It is available at independent retailers and some Ace Hardware stores.
ConsumerReports.org comprehensively tests Benjamin Moore Regal, along with dozens of other interior paints. Regal gets high praise from professional painters and do-it-yourselfers on PaintTalk.com, DoItYourself.com, ContractorTalk.com and DIYChatroom.com.
ConsumerReports.org tests Benjamin Moore Regal flat, eggshell and semigloss alongside 48 other interior paints. Each is rated in eight categories, such as stain resistance, with editors recommending the best performers.
Review: Interior Paint, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, March 2010
In this discussion forum thread, professional painters reveal which interior paint they would choose if they could paint with only one for the rest of their lives. Three choose Benjamin Moore Regal.
Review: If You Only Had One Interior Paint, Contributors to PaintTalk.com
Benjamin Moore Regal is one of the favorite paints on this discussion forum. One reviewer says he is glad he went with Regal instead of the pricier Benjamin Moore Aura when painting his living room and dining room -- Regal costs less than Aura, looks and applies just as well, and it emits little paint smell.
Review: Is Benjamin Moore Interior Paint Good?, Contributors to DoItYourself.com
4. Contractor Talk
The original poster here -- a professional painter -- praises Benjamin Moore Aura, but other pros reply that Benjamin Moore Regal works just as well and costs less.
Review: Aura Paint Review (Matte Finish), Contributors to ContractorTalk.com
5. DIY Chatroom
When asked about Valspar paint, posters in this discussion thread recommend better paints instead -- including Benjamin Moore Regal.
Review: Valspar Paint, Contributors to DIYChatroom.com