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Benjamin Moore Regal Select vs. Aura: What’s the Difference?

Are you preparing for a paint project but can’t decide between Benjamin Moore Regal Select and Aura?

Both are high-quality and highly recommended paint lines, but what’s the difference?

In this comparison of Benjamin Moore Regal Select vs. Aura, I break down how these paint lines differ in coverage, durability, finishes, price, and more.

Plus, I reveal what Benjamin Moore authorized retailers say about both options.

By the end, you’ll be able to confidently decide which paint is right for your project.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Similarities Between Benjamin Moore Regal Select and Aura

Benjamin Moore Regal Select and Aura are premium, high-end paint lines. The two options share several similarities.

First, both paints are water-based and utilize Benjamin Moore’s proprietary Gennex Color Technology — a special color formula that eliminates many of the chemicals which dull the intensity of other paints.

Benjamin Moore Regal Select and Aura_Gennex Color Technology
Gennex Color Technology

Like most of Benjamin Moore’s paints, both the Regal Select and Aura paints include primer.

Both paint lines are mildew-resistant and fast-drying. They both require two coats and come in the same broad, award-winning array of Benjamin Moore proprietary colors.

With both lines, you get access to Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer, a tool that allows you to upload a picture of your room and see how any color looks.

Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer
Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer

Finally, both allow for easy cleaning. Once your painted surface is completely dry, you can simply use soap and water to wash it.

Differences Between Benjamin Moore Regal Select and Aura

Now that you’re familiar with the similarities between Regal Select and Aura paints, it’s time to review the key differences.

Volume Solids

One component of paint that many people overlook is the “volume solids” percentage. Simply put, volume solids refer to what’s remaining after the paint dries.

A higher volume solids percentage is ideal, as it means there is a significant amount of pigment and binder that will remain once the water and other carrier ingredients have evaporated.

More pigment and binder means richer hues, better durability, and overall higher quality paint.

The chart below shows the volume solids percentage, organized by finish, of Regal Select versus Aura.

First, let’s review the interior paints:

Note: Aura does not come in Flat or Pearl finishes, and Regal Select doesn’t come in a Satin finish.

Finish Regal Select Interior Volume Solids Aura Interior Volume Solids
Flat37.8%N/A
Matte42.7%47.8%
Eggshell41.1%46.3%
Pearl40.1%N/A
SatinN/A42.0%
Semi-Gloss36.1%40.1%

You’ll notice that Benjamin Moore Aura paint has higher volume solids percentages.

Here are the numbers for each lines’ exterior paints:

Note: Aura doesn’t come in Soft Gloss finish, and Regal Select doesn’t come in Satin or Semi-Gloss.

Finish Regal Select Exterior Volume Solids Aura Exterior Volume Solids
Flat42%46.0%
Low Lustre43%44.0%
SatinN/A40.4%
Soft Gloss42%N/A
Semi-GlossN/A38.0%

Differences aside, both the Aura and Regal Select formulas include a relatively high volume solids percentage compared to other paints on the market. For example, less expensive brands like Glidden or Valspar include volume solids in the mid 30% range.

VOCs

These days, you’re likely to see many paint brands advertising “low VOCs” or “no VOCs” on the labels, and you might be wondering what this means.

VOCs are “volatile organic compounds” used in paint as solvents. When the paint dries, these compounds are released into the air.

VOCs can cause acute symptoms like dizziness or headaches when inhaled, and the Environmental Protection Agency is studying their long-term effects as possible carcinogens.

Benjamin Moore has made significant attempts to reduce or eliminate the VOCs in its paints. Regal Select paint has a low 47.9 grams per liter (g/l) VOC level.

Aura has minimal VOC levels and is considered a no-VOC paint. Depending on the finish, VOCs in Aura paints range from 1.5 and 2.8 g/l.

With that in mind, consider buying low or no-VOC paints exclusively — especially if you already know you’re sensitive to airborne chemicals.

Finishes

While the overall number of finishes available for either Regal Select or Aura paints is comparable, the exact options vary.

For Regal Select paint, the finish options are:

  • Interior – Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Pearl, and Semi-Gloss
  • Exterior – Flat, Low-Lustre, and Soft Gloss

For Aura paint, the finish options are:

  • Interior – Matte, Satin, Eggshell, and Semi-Gloss
  • Exterior – Flat, Low-Lustre, Satin, and Semi-Gloss

These differences in finish options are important to note, especially if you’re partial to a particular level of shine once the paint dries.

Coverage

All Benjamin Moore paint is formulated for excellent coverage, but there are some minor variations between the Regal Select and Aura lineup.

The estimated coverage for Regal Select paint is 400-450 square feet per gallon. Aura’s coverage is actually less despite being the highest-end paint in Benjamin Moore’s collection. It has an estimated range of 350-400 square feet per gallon.

That difference is because Aura paint is thicker, and therefore can’t be spread over as large a surface area. However, most consumers would consider this a compromise, as thicker paint means superior durability and hideability (you won’t need as many coats).

Color Lock Technology

Benjamin Moore’s proprietary Color Lock technology is a major selling point for the Aura paint line. This feature is exclusive to Aura and adds another level of quality to the paint’s performance.

Benjamin Moore Aura Color Lock Technology
Benjamin Moore Aura Color Lock Technology

Color Lock is a pigment-based technology that “locks” color into the paint’s film, making the hue deeper, more intense, and longer-lasting — even after numerous washings.

It also imparts a smooth finish and better coverage, so you won’t have to use as much paint to hide surface imperfections.

Stain Release Technology

One advantage of Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select paint is the brand’s proprietary stain release technology. That enhancement makes the paint stain-resistant and easier to clean than other paints.

Color Stories

Aura paint comes in a unique range of colors called “Color Stories” –– no other Benjamin Moore paints come in these hues.

Colors within the Color Story collection are made with a blend of five to seven pigments (traditional colors blend two to three pigments). The additional pigments “elevate the color,” according to Benjamin Moore.

Price

Since Aura is Benjamin Moore’s most premium paint, it is also the most expensive. Regal Select is one step down from Aura, but it’s still not cheap.

Expect to pay approximately 30% more per gallon for Aura than Regal Select.

The chart below gives you a comparison of the current prices:

Paint View Price
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior (Matte)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior (Eggshell)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior (Pearl)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior (Semi-Gloss)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior (Matte)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior (Eggshell)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior (Satin)AceHardware.com
Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior (Semi-Gloss)AceHardware.com

What Experts at Benjamin Moore Retailers Say

No one knows Benjamin Moore paint better than the people who sell it and get customer feedback every day.

So, to get an expert opinion on the differences between Regal Select and Aura, I connected with authorized Benjamin Moore retailers.

When I spoke to the paint specialists at each store, I asked them a simple question: what’s the difference between Regal Select and Aura paint?

 First, I talked to the paint expert at Aubuchon Hardware in Concord, New Hampshire.

He said that Aura is a thick, high-build formula. It delivers phenomenal coverage and is super scrubbable. It has unique color-lock technology, which prevents fading even if you wash it repeatedly.

He mentioned that Aura would be the perfect paint for daycare classroom walls but joked that most daycares wouldn’t splurge on it since it’s expensive.

During the conversation, he highlighted that Aura Bath and Spa is one of the few paints designed for high-moisture areas with a matte finish.

Most bath and spa paint has a satin or gloss finish to repel the water. But the problem with those finishes is that they show every imperfection. With Aura Bath and Spa, the formula has a special chemical that repels moisture while the matte finish hides the imperfections.

When I asked about Regal Select, he said it’s a high-quality paint that covers great, goes on smooth, and is washable. The colors won’t fade, and it holds up to everyday wear and tear.

He mentioned that Aura is noticeably thicker than Regal Select, and Aura covers better. But both are of excellent quality.

For most homeowners, the paint expert at Aubuchon Hardware recommends Regal Select. In fact, he claimed Regal Select makes up the majority of the Benjamin Moore paint they sell.

To get another opinion, I spoke with the paint expert at Green’s Hardware in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

His opinion on the two paint lines was similar to the expert at Aubuchon Hardware.

He said Regal Select is a mid-range paint. It covers and levels (distributes evenly) well.

It typically requires two coats, but you may also need to prime, especially if you’re painting lighter colors over darker colors.

Overall, Regal Select paint is a quality formula at a reasonable price. He mentioned that its overall value is the reason it’s the Benjamin Moore paint they recommend the most to homeowners.

He said that Aura is Benjamin Moore’s best formula and highest-grade paint. It levels and covers better than almost every paint on the market, including Regal Select.

He advised that if you’re looking for super durable paint that will hold up over time, Aura is the best option. It’s ideal for high-traffic areas because it’s washable, and the colors won’t fade.

However, he also acknowledges that it comes with a high price tag. Therefore, the extra cost might not be worth it for people who might move soon or frequently change colors. 

Clearly, there’s a consensus among Benjamin Moore retailers: Regal Select is great quality paint at a reasonable price while Aura offers superior coverage and durability — but you pay extra for it.

What Others Are Saying

The New York Times chose Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select paint as its top pick out of 60 interior latex paints, praising it for its “coverage, durability, cleanability, and color selection.” Considering the fact that the reviewers based their choice on the combined testimony of eight professional painters, this is high praise.

The experts also had high praise for Aura. They highlighted its exceptional coverage, saying it’s ideal for bright accent walls. They also mentioned that it has the highest volume solids of any paint on the market. But, at such a high cost, it’s not worth it for everyone.

Good Housekeeping magazine praised Regal Select for its superior coverage, in addition to the quality of its finish, resistance to wear, and low-VOC content.

Aura received plenty of accolades, as well. Good Housekeeping reviewed the paint and noted that it “goes on smooth.”

According to its consumer testers, this paint “looked the best of any in [their] test.” They also praised its durability and coverage, both of which received the magazine’s highest marks.

In Bob Vila’s list of the Best Interior Paints, the experts named Benjamin Moore Regal Select the top choice. They praised its ability to resist fading and mildew and its stain release technology. Aura wasn’t mentioned in the article.

Bottom Line: Should You Use Benjamin Moore Regal Select or Aura?

Now that you’ve learned the key differences between Benjamin Moore Regal Select and Aura, you should have a good idea of which is best for you.

To recap, here are the key points to consider:

  • Both paints are water-based, feature Benjamin Moore’s proprietary Gennex Color Technology, are mildew resistant and fast-drying, and can be washed with soap and water once dry.
  • While both Aura and Regal Select have high volume solids percentages, Aura’s is higher – making this paint more vibrant and durable.
  • Regal Select has low-VOC content, but Aura paint is VOC-free.
  • You can purchase either Regal Select or Aura in various finishes, but the exact options vary by collection and application (interior vs. exterior).
  • Regal Select covers more area than Aura, but Aura is thicker and does a better job covering the colors underneath.
  • Aura paint is the only option that uses Benjamin Moore’s award-winning Color Lock Technology, making it more durable and vibrant, even after multiple washes.
  • Aura comes in the same colors as Regal Select, but Aura also offers a unique Color Stories collection.
  • Regal Select contains Benjamin Moore’s Stain Release Technology, which makes it easier to clean.
  • Aura is more expensive than Regal Select. It is the highest tier offered by the brand.

You really can’t go wrong with either Regal Select or Aura paints. Both are premium quality and rank among the best paints you can buy for your home. Furthermore, they both provide excellent coverage and are durable.

Aura is VOC-free, features higher volume solids, and includes Color Lock Technology, which justifies the higher price you’ll pay for this option.

If you can afford Aura paint, it’s the best of the best. That said, Regal Select is excellent paint and the more practical option for most homeowners.

If you want to learn more about both paint lines, check them out at any Benjamin Moore retailer. You can also find them online at AceHardware.com.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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