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Facing the Crayon Test: New Formulas Promise to Resist Stains

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By Sara Schaefer, The Wall Street Journal

RISMEDIA, July 23, 2007—Hate seeing marks on a freshly painted wall? Paint manufacturers are pitching new formulas of paint that promise to be stain-resistant. We found that they did a great job resisting water spots and shoe scuffs, but none could completely withstand a parental nightmare: assault with a crayon.
Many paints don’t do a good job resisting stains. Even if marks can be scrubbed off, a shiny patch can be left behind, especially on a flat, or matte, finish. Now, manufacturers have developed new formulas that stand up to cleaning and have a coating that they say prevents stains to begin with.

We marked up some of the latest coatings with water droplets, shoes and crayons, and then cleaned them off with soap and water. Here is what we found:

Product: Ace Sensations (pictured) Company: Ace Hardware Corp. Price/Availability: starts at $24.99 per gallon, www.acehardware.com
Comments: The paint showed no stains after we splashed it with water, and the shoe marks wiped right off. But the crayon scrawls wouldn’t budge. The company said crayon stains require extra scrubbing.

Product: Duration Home Interior Latex Company: Sherwin-Williams Co. Price/Availability: starts at $40.29, www.sherwin-williams.com
Comments: Dirt and water wiped right off this paint as well. But the crayon marks were stubborn.

Product: Benjamin Moore Aura Company: Benjamin Moore & Co. Price/Availability: $54.99 per gallon, www.myaurapaint.com
Comments: This paint also resisted water, but the crayons didn’t wipe away, and slight dirt marks lingered. The company advises waiting longer — a full two weeks — before washing, so the protective film can set completely.

Product: Martha Stewart Colors Company: Valspar Corp., exclusively at Lowe’s stores Price: around $25 per gallon
Comments: The paint also stood up to water, and dirty shoe stains cleaned off easily. We were able to get a little bit of the crayon marks off this one — but repainting would still be in order.

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