Today I made a visit to Benjamin Moore's UK base in Slough with fellow decorator Curtis Fry.
Craig and his team, his wife Helen and Ian, were very accommodating, with a bacon roll and tea shortly after arrival! They were more than happy to answer all our questions and to let us try out any paints and finishes we chose too. They even let us try out the rollers and brushes from Benjamin Moore's own range, one of which is currently not available to buy in the UK.
Here's a little of what we got up to. We really pushed things to the limit, probably giving BM a bit of a hard time!
We started out by trying the advanced primer over a couple of old woodstained doors, application was great, though there were signs of a couple of more stuborn 'stains' bleeding through. We left these to dry with a heater on them for around an hour before trying a scratch test, which you can see below. This is way below the recommended re-coat time and as with all water based products would usually need a few days to harden off. As you can see though, its already pretty tough after just a short period.
Next the Aura scrub test. On 2 patches previously painted by the Benjamin Moore team we scrubbed very firmly but no colour came off onto the cloth at all! This is definitely a plus, however once dried there was still signs of smears where it had been wiped.
Next we tried out some coverage tests. We tried various combinations of colours and finishes, 2 of which you can see videos of below. The coverage is on another level to anything else and covers extremely well in 1 coat, so I would see no issue in applying just 2 coats of any colour, even with pale colours over dark ones.
Overall it was a great visit allowing us to try the whole range and discuss the finishes and benefits of each. Well worth a visit if you get the chance, just allow plenty of time. We were there for around 4 hours! They have an extremely good knowledge of the whole range of products and were able to answer anything we threw at them.
Many thanks to Craig and co. for extending the invite to us and for taking time out of their busy schedules to accommodate us. We even came away with a few gifts, which will come in handy!