Auro Gloss 516-90

Test and Review - Auro 516-90 gloss

I've always liked Auro as a company.  They take the natural paint policy very seriously, all ingredients are listed on the website (unless they forget to add them!) and there is even a section that describes the ingredients and what they do.

I've used their wall paints and ceiling paints in the past and also some of the (plant) oil based satin which was really pleasant to work with.  But this water-based gloss is fairly recent so I had to get hold of a tin to try.

Auro doesn't claim to be free of VOC, which isn't a big issue for me because the subtle fumes from this paint are non toxic and not at all unpleasant.  I've mentioned the VOC aspect elsewhere on the web site but basically, don't get hung up on it too much.

This paint, stright from the tin, is pretty thick stuff.  Being used to acrylic paints, I would tend to add water to paint that is as thick as this.  However, what I have started to realise is, these natural paints are all pretty thick and give the best finish when they are used that way.  I've thinned some of them a little and whilst it makes the paint easier to use, the finish certainly suffers a bit.

What that means is you are going to need a brush that can push paint about - I tested this with the Eco Union pro brush which is a mixture of natural and synthetic bristles and is quite a chunky brush.  But chunky seems to be good with the thicker paint. 

Something else I am learning with the natural gloss paints is not to try and apply them in the same way as acrylics.  Normally we would put the paint on and then lay it off (pro decorator speak for lightly brushing to reduce the brush marks).  But this paint seems to work better if it's applied, spread quickly and then left alone to level itself.  This is where the thickness comes in - if you thin the paint too much it doesn't level so well.  It's a learning curve - understanding how to get the best result from a new product.

Having applied the paint and given a it a few days to harden, it does feel very tough and I wouldn't have any concerns using it on wood trim in high traffic areas.  It's also very white, and because it has no oils it should stay white for a long time.  The sheen level is pretty good - people will tell you a water based paint won't be as glossy as an oil based paint but this one is very good and I think most people would be happy with this as an alternative to petrol-chemical oil paint.

All in all it's a nice product.  The gloss is good, the whiteness is good and when you get used to the thickness, it's a pleasure to work with.  The only downside is that it's quite expensive and if it's to be considered as an alterative to other trade-quality paints it might struggle to compete.  I like it a lot though so I will simply add to the cost of any jobs if I decide to use it.

Available in 750ml for £27.81 and 2.5L for £74.16  direct from Auro.