What Well-Dressed Moldings are Wearing

oc-17 white dove

“Thank you for shopping at ACE Hardware.  That will be $72.00 for your one gallon of paint.”

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover Series.]

The Sunday we walked into a local ACE Hardware store to buy a can of Benjamin Moore molding paint, Jennifer, dressed smartly in her latest Patagonia ensemble, as always, was looking like a million bucks.

Me, I must have been looking mighty dapper in my ten-year old Ralph Lauren polo shirt.

Wearing nice clothes while buying paint may be the reason why our conversation with the guy helping us in the paint section didn’t go more like this:

Paint Guy  “Yes, Aura is our premium paint for people who can afford it — because with tax it costs $72.00 a gallon.  Would you like me to mix up a can of $72.00 White Dove for you?  What kind of finish would like in your $72.00 can of paint: flat, eggshell, satin or semi-gloss?  Your $72.00 gallon of trim paint is almost finished shaking, is there anything else, other than a $72.00 gallon of paint, I can get for you today?”

Us  “Wow, that’s a lot of money for a can of paint!  Perhaps we’ll just color our moldings with crayons.”

The big price reveal didn’t come until the cashier, in an overly chipper voice and ending on a high note — as if to lessen the impact — said “Your total will be $72.00 today.”

So why didn’t you just ask the price first, you ask?

Because I hadn’t bought a can of Benjamin Moore paint since early 2008, and back then I was paying a discounted contractor price, so I just figured it would cost about $50.00 a gallon.  Silly me.

Is The Price Worth It?

My ultimate goal when I design, install and finish moldings, is to create architectural detail that appears as integrated elements of the home architecture, and not merely painted sticks of trim nailed to the wall.

It’s a little more work this way, but it’s worth the effort.

You wouldn’t go to the symphony in flip-flops, shorts and a t-shirt, would you?  Likewise, don’t dress down your moldings with low-quality paint.

When you consider the sizable impact your new moldings are going to make on your home’s interior, not to mention the care and time you will put into installing and finishing them, then $72.00 is a small price to pay for a trim paint as good as Benjamin Moore.

Well-Dressed Moldings

This is what two hand-brushed coats of Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo paint looks like on moldings.  The walls are also two coats of Benjamin Moore Regal paint.

Satin Impervo Trim Paint from Benjamin Moore

Can of trim paint

What well-dressed moldings are wearing.

Our Ace Hardware didn’t stock Satin Impervo, Benjamin Moore’s paint made just for moldings, so we bought their Aura product instead.

Years ago, after the first time I applied Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo paint on my moldings, I never, ever used anything else — refused, in fact, to use anything else.

The rooms I painted twelve years ago with two coats of Satin Impervo paint look like they were painted yesterday.  No other paint I’ve used goes on as smoothly or levels as well as Benjamin Moore.

The Joy of Moldings is about dressing up your home with really nice moldings.

To that end, good design and careful installation are only part of the process — you want to apply a really nice finish to your architectural details as well.

You want your moldings to be dressed for the occasion.  And the occasion is the life you live in your home.

The moral of the story is this: Cheap paint is for cheap trim, but Benjamin Moore paint is for architectural details.

Cheers, Ken

P.S.  Jocie at One Project Closer wrote an excellent article about Benjamin Moore paint, and a lively discussion follows in the comment section to her post.  It’s worth checking out Benjamin Moore Paint Review: is it worth the price?

P.P.S.  This is a candid opinion and not a paid review, because we don’t do that here on The Joy of Moldings.

[There’s more at our How to Paint Moldings page]

Update: How Aura Paint Worked on Our Moldings

Now that I’ve painted all of our kitchen moldings — crown, picture rail, wainscoting, pilasters and baseboard — with Aura paint, I can say that it’s the most difficult paint I’ve ever applied to my moldings.

The problem with the Aura paint is that it dries so incredibly fast, even after adding lots of paint extender to it. I’m a fast painter and I just can’t keep a wet edge long enough to paint my moldings without leaving ropy brush marks.

Final word: Don’t use Benjamin Moore Aura paint on moldings, stick with their Satin Impervo.