I get a lot of hits from people searching the differences between two lines of Benjamin Moore paint, Natura and Aura. I talked about the differences a while back before Natura was released, but now I’ve had a chance to really compare them side-by-side when I painted the TV room closet.
Both paint colors I used in that project were from leftover paint cans. The can of Aura must be 5 years old, because I painted the living and dining rooms in February 2008. The leftover can of Natura is from our attic remodel, so that is only 3 years old, from Fall 2009.
When I opened the can of Natura paint, there was an obvious layer of water at the top. Since it’s a waterborne paint, this makes perfect sense. Probably because of the water base, however, there were more rust flakes around the rim of the can than with the older can of Aura. I would consider buying empty paint cans in the future and transfer any leftover paint to a new, empty can to prevent that from happening and polluting the paint with rust flakes.
The Natura paint was very thick and hard to mix as well. Even so, I didn’t have trouble applying the paint with a brush and roller, and the coverage was good. The paint odor was almost non-existent. If that, along with zero-VOCs are your biggest concerns, then I’d say go with the Natura.
But if ease-of-use and longevity are a factor, e.g. if you’re not going to use the entire gallon of paint, or may want to use the leftovers for other projects like I did, then I’d say go with Aura. It still has very little odor (it’s actually quite pleasant), and has low-VOCs. It also goes on much smoother.
While I do like the Natura line and have no problem with it, overall I have to say I prefer Aura.
Hope that helps!