Reader Question: Benjamin Moore Metallic Paints

A reader wrote in with a question about Benjamin Moore’s Metallic Paint collection. I decided to post it, because I am sure others are wondering the same thing!


Hi – I am a devoted reader of your blog – LOVE IT!  Have a question for you if you don’t mind?  I am contemplating using one of Benjamin Moore’s metallic glaze paints in my master bedroom…in particular I’m considering “veil cream” (saw a picture of it in an old Domino pic).I don’t want anything to warm toned (no yellow-y-ness) but rather a subtle beige (with some grey tone to it) and looking for the walls to feel a bit dressy.  Anyway, I know from your blog that you used metallic paints in your living room and was wondering your thoughts both as to looks (for a master bedroom) and ease of application (i.e., whether your painters were able to make it go on seamlessly – have heard some not so hot reviews about ease of application).  I completely understand if you don’t have the time to respond to this…figured I’d give it a shot since I don’t know anyone personally that has experience with this line.  Thanks!!!

{Veil Cream in Domino}


Of course I have time to respond!

I used two different BM Metallic paint colors in a 50%/50% ratio: White Pearl and Silver but had them applied in a strie finish. Meaning the painter took a bristle brush and dragged it down the wall to create a vertical line effect. I basically had to watch them paint every single stroke on the wall.

Here is an up close photo of the LR walls:

You can see imperfections, but I think that is part of the look!

Here it is the foyer before I hung the fixtures and mirror etc… In the squares on the ceiling the painter applied the mixture with a roller brush and it looks decent, but I think that is because its high up and light isnt reflecting off of it:

In my dressing room- I actually tried the Veil Cream in a normal application. It was seriously awful. You could see every stroke, every mistake. (So awful that I dont have one picture of it!) I ended up wallpapering over it after 2 weeks.

I know these paints are supposed to be more like glazes that go over coordinating paint. But they are so sheer that if they arent applied PERFECTLY, which is impossible, it looks really bad.

If you go with Veil Cream- you should have it applied in a way that will purposely show the strokes like strie- or I saw someone who had it applied in little fan like shapes made with a roller brush and that looked good.

Another option is to use a wallpaper that gives the same effect. I know Phillip Jeffries makes a lot of different metallic wallpapers(as well as many other companies that are much cheaper!) that have the strie look. If you use wallpaper you can be sure of the results.

{Phillip Jeffries wallpaper, Lacquered Strie in Platinum and Creame Luster}

Here is their Lacquered Strie in Bronze in a room designed by Kerry Delrose and Diane von Furstenburg for the Aldyn 2010 showhouse:

Let me know if you have any more questions! And thanks for reading!!!



Does anyone else have anything to add? Any experiences with the BM Metallic paints or Ralph Lauren?

{Also, dont forget to enter the Clayton Gray Home Giveaway, you can win a fabulous mirror. Enter by leaving a commentHERE.)

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  1. I think I learn something new every time I visit here. That silver strie looks fantastic! Great choice.

  2. domesticbliss3 says:

    I had the same experience with the BM silver. I used it for stenciling so I didn’t mind the coverage not being even. However, I can’t imagine trying to make it work on a wall as actual paint. If you could get it to work it would be stunning.

    Nicole your silver looks amazing. Love it.

  3. loved it! which other wallpaper companies do you recommend that have metallics and other cool finishes and that are not as expensive as phillip jeffreys?

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Sure, I have a lot on file… I will look some up and get back to you later in the week if that is ok!

  4. I am an interior designer in Chicago & had a disaster with veil cream.
    It looked so terrible & a disaster.
    My painter is skilled and tried applying it a couple different ways…no luck.
    I think a “technique” is the way to go so the imperfections look intentional.
    (beware not all painters are skilled with faux finishes)
    Have you ever worked with Modern Masters Metallic paints?
    I have used their products on ceilings & they are great.
    Your walls need to be in pretty decent shape because they will highlight flaws.

    I just framed a piece of artwork I purchased from you & I L.O.V.E. it…Thanks!

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Yea… I felt the same way. No matter what we tried it looked terrible.
      And you are right, the only way to get it to look decent is by using a technique. I havent tried the Modern Masters… Ill definitely look into that.

      Which piece did you buy?!? I would love to see a picture of it framed!

  5. Only thing I have to add is that if there are any imperfections in your wall at all (never lived in a house with perfect walls but Im told they do exist somewhere) this paint will not work. A friend used it in her house and she applied it exactly as she should but you could see every indententation and deviation in the drywall. It doesn’t matter how perfectly its applied if the underlying wall isn’t perfect to start with you end up with a hot mess.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Agreed! My painter spent a full week sanding and plastering over my already new walls. Any place that isnt perfectly even looks like dented tinfoil in the sunlight.

  6. great advice on using phillip jeffries wallpaper. i’m a huge fan and it’s so much easier.

  7. Colette says:

    “Dented tinfoil” is a perfect description. This is a technique that screams for prep-work. You make it look easy :)

  8. the BM metallics are just plain awful. they are so sheer, that I’ve even had trouble using them for faux effects where I was embracing imperfections. And they are so expensive. Supposedly they are designed to be sprayed over a co-ordinating primer coat, but based on my experience, I can’t imagine them ever working. The modern masters are, on the other hand, incredible to work with. While expensive, they really cover a lot of territory, and the opaque ones (they range from sheer to translucent to sem-opaque to opaque) are good enought to use as a straight paint (in the hands of an experienced painter). The ralph lauren metallics fall somewhere in between–not as good (or as expensive) as modern masters, but far above the BM metallics in performance and much less expensive than that line.

  9. Dianna says:

    I was thinking of using metallic paint over a textured wallpaper I put on my ceiling. it’s a 4×4 square with a simple pattern inside. I want it to look like a copper ceiling. Right now it is still white. I’m not sure how well the BM metallics would cover or look. Valspar has a copper metallic glaze also. Has anyone tried this? Should I base coat with a coppery color or maybe a black? I’m very new to decorative painting and not at all familiar with how to use glaze.

  10. So this is an old thread that I stumbled upon while looking for info on how to use the Benjamin Moore metallic paints. I picked up two tins that were a mis-tint for seriously no money.
    I had tried using them on a cabinet before and despaired over how thin they were, so I mixed it 50/50 with the base coat I had used (their technical info says you can do this. Voila. Perfect coverage. Behaved just like a normal paint.
    Now I am going to use the leftovers on my hall ceiling, and had been thinking of using the straight paint (ie unmixed). Thanks to this thread I decided to mix 50/50 again.
    I seriously l-o-v-e your strie finish, but with my highly textured walls, I dont think it will work …
    Now I have found your blog, I am really looking forward to delving into it further.