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Old 05-12-2013, 02:41 AM   #1
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


Anyone use the Ultra Spec 500 paint or any contractor's that have used it? We have been having problem after problem with our builder. They include flat paint as their standard, so once we found that out we asked how much eggshell would be, it was $1,160 more. We thought this was pretty high, but after checking into it we learned that that wasn't out of line. So we said screw it and decided it was worth it as we didn't want to deal with painting once we moved in.

Sooo, we were there today and it was totally painted but the walls didn't seem to really have a sheen to it, so I took a picture of the can, and sure enough it's the Low Sheen, not the Eggshell. Even though the low sheen I'm assuming must have a little sheen to it, even though it didn't look like it today, I'm about to blow a fuse since what we paid for and what was on the purchase agreement says "an eggshell finish". Yet they didn't use it!

Anyone use both of them? If so, does the eggshell def. have a more obvious sheen finish? May sound like a minor thing, but we've had so many problems with everything, I just can't believe they used something other than the eggshell. The color we went with is the Revere Pewter if that matters. TIA!! #I'mneverbuildingagain


Last edited by Gizmo19; 05-12-2013 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:00 AM   #2
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


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Originally Posted by Gizmo19 View Post
Anyone use the Ultra Spec 500 paint or any contractor's that have used it? We have been having problem after problem with our builder. They include flat paint as their standard, so once we found that out we asked how much eggshell would be, it was $1,160 more. We thought this was pretty high, but after checking into it we learned that that wasn't out of line. So we said screw it and decided it was worth it as we didn't want to deal with painting once we moved in.

Sooo, we were there today and it was totally painted but the walls didn't seem to really have a sheen to it, so I took a picture of the can, and sure enough it's the Ultra Sheen, not the Eggshell. Even though the ultra sheen I'm assuming must have a little sheen to it, even though it didn't look like it today, I'm about to blow a fuse since what we paid for and what was on the purchase agreement says "an eggshell finish". Yet they didn't use it!

Anyone use both of them? If so, does the eggshell def. have a more obvious sheen finish? May sound like a minor thing, but we've had so many problems with everything, I just can't believe they used something other than the eggshell. The color we went with is the Revere Pewter if that matters. TIA!! #I'mneverbuildingagain

Could you explain why it was that much higher? If you have a written contract that says eggshell, then you should have it. Get them back to make it right. Low sheen is not eggshell.

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Old 05-12-2013, 03:10 AM   #3
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


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Could you explain why it was that much higher? If you have a written contract that says eggshell, then you should have it. Get them back to make it right. Low sheen is not eggshell.
Well they said eggshell or semi-gloss is a lot more work than flat, as when they do touch ups at the end instead of being able to just touch it up like you can with flat, you basically have to paint the whole wall over with eggshell. Something on those lines. I called about 10 builders in the area to see what they do, or if that price was out of line, and most said that sounds about right and confirmed there is more labor in a non flat. Our house is 1,787 finished square ft if anyone needs to know that.

We are "supposed" to be closing on the 24th and are currently dealing with them fixing the fireplace they messed up, so that's the current battle. So now to have them fix this too they are going to flip I'm sure. We had a lot of paint stuff going on in the house, white enameled trim/kitchen cabinets, black enameled doors, dark stained bath vanities and staircase railing. Point being, is if they have to go back and repaint it the eggshell I know they are not going to be happy (why I care about them not being happy I don't know). Ugh just amazing, don't know what to do. I just can't believe after all the talk about paint with them and us deciding it was worth the extra $ to just get it done with now, and yet they STILL don't use eggshell, really!?

*correction to my original post, it's called Low Sheen, not Ultra Sheen

Last edited by Gizmo19; 05-12-2013 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:36 AM   #4
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


Eggshell is a low lustre "enamel" and not a flat so it does take a little more effort to apply and touch up. $1200 more though? Cost would be somewhat higher for the paint itself though so maybe that is factored in the increase.

Like any enamel, and unlike flat, eggshell can take up to 30 days to fully cure. However, not trusting my memory for sure I looked at my Ben Moore sheen guide. The eggshell is barely different from flat. In fact even with them right next to each other under my nice bright desktop halogen, there is not a major sheen difference. I doubt you would notice it at all if both were on a wall. The eggshell should, perhaps, be more washable though because of its "enamel" properties.

I believe UltraSpec only comes in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss. Perhaps it comes in satin too? I knew the SuperSpec line but think UltraSpec, being low VOC, has replaced it?

By comparison, the options in Ben Moore Regal, increasing sheen with each step are:

Wall Satin (flat), Eggshell, Pearl, Satin, Semi-Gloss and High Gloss.

My Pittsburgh selector sequence shows the gloss meter readings and the sequence is:

Flat (below 5), Eggshell (5-20), Low-Lustre Satin (20-35), Semi-Gloss (35-65) and Gloss (over 65)

So, sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but you may have gotten what you asked for in requesting eggshell when perhaps you meant pearl or satin? They should have shown you a sheen guide though. In any event you should go to the store if you can and look at one to see if you have grounds for your argument. Obviously Regal AquaPearl is going to be at a higher price point than whatever in the UltraSpec contractor grade.

Sheen issues have come up a couple times in the last week or so in threads here. It is really important folks look at a sheen guide to make sure they are getting what they want before it is up on the walls or trim.

Last edited by user1007; 05-12-2013 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Added Pittsburgh Info
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:27 AM   #5
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


imho,they did you a favor by using low sheen .
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


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imho,they did you a favor by using low sheen .
Can I get a little more info why that is your opinion? Would be helpful if we have to stick with it..

Sdsester - thanks for the detailed response. Here's the link to it, so based off this the low sheen is only one step above flat, below the eggshell, my guess is it was cheaper so that's why they used it. I'm going to call the store they got it from today and ask and ask more info about the two...http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/f...7&advs=0&tab=2

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Old 05-12-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


Looks like there is a sheen level I did not know about in Ultra Spec. If they used that and not eggshell you can certainly stand your ground I should think. Have them redo it to what you want or navigate something off the price. You shouldn't have to compromise so much on a new home.

Do remember that any defects in the surface show up more as you raise the sheen.

Last edited by user1007; 05-12-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #8
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


Ultra Spec has a different sheen chart than most other BM paints. it is Flat-Lo luster- Eggshell- semi .
Personally I like the lo luster- it is sort of like BM's Matte in other paints.

New builds like the really flat paint for the reasons they have told you, it hides imperfections ( and there are always imperfections) , tape and nail mudding, and it touches up easily- which is always needed at the very end because so much has gone on during the finishing.

But all that said- you asked for a sheen called eggshell. Now the exact reflectance level of eggshell is really a range- not an exact thing. The egg in Ultra Spec is actually higher than say the Regal line, because they have the lo luster which is a little higher than Regals matte. Very confusing stuff.
But they would have had to spend considerably more on the paint to use the higher line, even though it might have saved them some of the touchup headaches because it does that better.

I don't really have an answer for you, I guess Im just going on about the qualities of the paint. The low luster will be more dirt resistant and scuff resistant than the flat, which i assume is at least some of the reason you wanted the higher sheen to begin with.

Good luck and hope you are satisfied with how ever it works out.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Looks like there is a sheen level I did not know about in Ultra Spec. If they used that and not eggshell you can certainly stand your ground I should think. Have them redo it to what you want or navigate something off the price. You shouldn't have to compromise so much on a new home.

Do remember that any defects in the surface show up more as you raise the sheen.
Agreed on the compromise, that's basically all it's been. I know there are always hiccups in a new build, but I don't think not this bad usually. What's so upsetting about this is when this was originally brought up they basically said I was being unreasonable for wanting anything other than flat, that all their homeowners basically do flat. Why would we even want anything different. Even when we said one of the main reasons we wanted it was for washability purposes, they reacted like that was not normal.

I also made it clear that we probably wouldn't be painting rooms other colors in the future as I love the Revere Pewter and unless we paint a nursery or something one day, this will probably be the only paint in our house for a long time. Which is a big reason we decided to just spend the extra money to get it done and over with.

Brushjockey - Thanks so much for the response, it was very helpful! I'm thinking this can at least give us leverage right now on our fireplace issue and maybe either lower their paint costs or throw an upgrade it. Do you think why they used the low sheen compared to the eggshell is the low sheen is less labor and similar to how touch ups work with flat?

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


Probably- Most new builds do use what is called a builders flat for all those reasons, and often the painters aren't that skilled at using the higher sheen paints. To keep costs down it is all about speed.
Which gives repaint guys like me a place to come later, take more time and do the "upgrade".
How light hits an egg can be very reveling-
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


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Probably- Most new builds do use what is called a builders flat for all those reasons, and often the painters aren't that skilled at using the higher sheen paints. To keep costs down it is all about speed.
Which gives repaint guys like me a place to come later, take more time and do the "upgrade".
How light hits an egg can be very reveling-
Nice, that's what we were guessing, which is so irritating as that was the reason we were getting charged that amount. Well time to have a discussion with them I think! We are in MN too btw
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


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Nice, that's what we were guessing, which is so irritating as that was the reason we were getting charged that amount. Well time to have a discussion with them I think! We are in MN too btw
You might want to upgrade your profile to include basic geographic location. It was not critical for this thread but might be for other questions down the road.

Good luck resolving your paint issues. Sorry you have to go through the confrontational encounter. It is not your fault they used the wrong product though.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


I worked for a builder for a while that would not use eggshell on walls at all. It was even in his contracts. Flat was ok, even satin walls were ok, but no eggshell.
I think it's a little better now but eggshell used to be the absolute worst for flashing. Definitely a pain to new construction crews, who are usually going for speed and easy touch up.
I went through a similar situation with a customer that decided she wanted eggshell walls. The contractor kept telling her no,( different contractor than mentioned above) but I, as the painting sub contractor, stuck up for her and used eggshell. ( I was young and idealistic at the time). This led to a ton of Sheetrock repair after the fact because the sheen brought out defects that were never seen with the flat.
Well the lady "won" in the end, she demanded "eggshell perfect" walls and got them. What I didn't understand at the time was that the budget for that house simply didn't allow for all that. I "lost" though because it ruined my relationship with that contractor. Live and learn.
Having paid extra, and I don't think it was too much either, you seem to me to have every right to demand what you paid for.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


For the record, I'm very indebted for all the information and guidance I receive on this forum for my paint questions.
And I just wanted to share my experience with BM UltraSpec, as a DIY homeowner.
Last year, we painted about 1400 sq ft - 4 bedrooms and a hallway with BM SuperSpec EGGSHELL in Edgecomb Grey (just a little lighter than Revere Pewter.) Given the price point ($30/gal), we were pretty happy with the paint. Due to furniture moving, etc., we've had to do some touching up and it touches up great!
Our BM dealer has since changed to Ultra Spec 500. So far, I have used the Ultra Spec in EGGSHELL for the master bedroom (again, Edgecomb Grey) and the dining room (Stonington Grey). Their price is $34/gal for the flat, and $37/gal for the eggshell! (We are also in Mpls, MN).
At first, we thought the sheen was a little too high (and we did have some sheetrock issues to consider), but after a few weeks and watching at different times of the day & different lighting, it's not a problem.
Conclusion - the UltraSpec seems to be quite a bit better paint than the SuperSpec.

(The Regal and Aura lines certainly have their place, but in our case, we are being conservative with the wall paint, and splurging on trim paint.)
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #15
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Help-Ben Moore Ultra Spec 500


Guys I may be wrong But I guarantee you if I paid him $1200 extra for eggshell it damn well better be eggshell. I really don't care how inconvenient it is for the builder to touch up or fix imperfections. If he couldn't handle it he should have said no and not taken the money.

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