Best Semi-gloss White Paint: Dynasty, Emerald, and Aura
For years of painting, I told my customers and myself that PPG Manor Hall was the best semi-gloss white paint on the market. But I never did a deep dive into comparing other premium paints such as Ben Moore Regal Select or Sherwin Williams Duration.
I used those products from time to time, but never really compared them to each other.
After 33 years in the industry, it’s time to find out who has the best semi-gloss white paint.
In full disclosure, I have not been a full-time painter working in the field since 2010.
Are these paints the best of the best? Maybe. But they certainly are the most popular.
The Best White Semi-gloss Paint Starts With Excellent Coverage
Most premium paints have good to excellent coverage. And if you want to be the best white semi-gloss paint, excellent coverage is a good place to start.
Applying a single additional coat of paint will cost a painting contractor $10,000 when multiplied over a year.
Coverage for Aura and Dynasty is excellent. Emerald Urethane has poor coverage. There are many other less expensive paints that Sherwin Williams sells that cover better!
Of the three, the best semi-gloss for trim for coverage would be as follows:
- Aura – Excellent
- Dynasty – Excellent (but not as complete as Aura).
- Emerald – Poor. If changing colors, it may take three coats.
The Best White Semi-Gloss Paint Needs To Be Easy To Apply
Paints that drag or are challenging to spread can reduce productivity and cause fatigue. A paint that spreads easily versus a challenging paint can increase productivity by as much as 30%.
Therefore, spending an extra $20-$30 more on a paint that glides on can be a wise investment.
Aura glides on very quickly. Spreads smoothly, and has good working time.
Emerald is a little thinner but spreads and glides on beautifully. Its workability is equal to Aura.
Dynasty is somewhat difficult to spread, especially compared to the other two. Perhaps a conditioner would help. Using this paint will decrease production compared to the other two.
Washability and Durability
If we are going to grade the best semi-gloss for trim, it has to be washable. Cleaning these paints with mild detergent will remove all common stains and marks. All three of these paints cleaned equally well, and I found no burnishing or damage caused to the finishes.
Who Is The Whitest Of Them All?
Who Has The Best White Semi-gloss Paint?
As you can see, all of the premium white interior paints have mostly strengths but a few weaknesses.
My first pick of the best interior white semi-gloss would be Ben Moore Aura. Why? It covers the best, goes on easily, and has a nice smooth finish. What’s not to like except the $90.00 price tag? I’m okay with that because I can make up the difference in speed of application and coverage.