Ultra Spec SCUFF-X Review - Scuff Resistant Paint from Benjamin Moore

Will the Ultraspec SCUFF-X paint make life a little easier for facility managers and building owners?

Benjamin Moore describes SCUFF-X as A high-performance, one-component latex coating specifically engineered to deliver outstanding performance and protection for the toughest high-traffic areas in busy commercial spaces. This breakthrough product offers superior durability and more scuff-resistant properties than traditional 2-component coatings.”

Building managers are always on the lookout for tough coatings that make maintenance easier. There are a few good paints out there and the performance of acrylic paints is improving. For example, the “Ultraspec 500” is a very good, multi purpose paint for facility managers. If you wanted scuff-resistance in high-traffic areas, the go to product was always alkyd or epoxy based. The customers’ environmental concerns and subsequent regulations made oil paints obsolete. On the other hand, painters never liked the short pot life and expensive waste of two part epoxies.

When Benjamin Moore introduced SCUFF-X in 2017 the industry was ripe with expectation. Contractors wanted an easy to use out of can alternative to alkyds and epoxies. The building industry responded positively as evidenced by the impressive awards in leading publications.

The Review of Ultra Spec SCUFF-X

In 2017 we picked up some of the eggshell Scuff-X to test on some projects. Some of our projects consist of painting the interior of churches. In the summer of that year we were painting the interior of The Church of the Transfiguration. This beautiful church is located in the Davisville Village of uptown Toronto.

We tested SCUFF-X on this church project

Churches are busy places and they need their walls to stay clean and easy to maintain. The main product line we specified for this project was Benjamin Moore’s Aura. Since Aura is the benchmark of quality, what better paint to test this “new kid on the block” paint against?

We used Scuff-X on some of the lower wall sections, next to the walls that had the Aura eggshell. Overall our experience was positive, at least the application part of it. It felt thinner and not as full bodied as the Aura, which not many paints are. According to the Technical Data Sheets, it’s volume solids are 40%, which is respectable, just not as high as the Aura (47.2%). The real test of this type of product is how durable it will be on the field. Some other observations:

  • As easy to use as any regular paint.
  • Spatter resistant.
  • Good leveling.
  • Low odour but smells a little more than the Aura.
  • It hides well (two coats off white over beige).
  • It dried fast, one hour to touch.

Ecopainting’s Field Experience with the Product

In our commercial painting experience, every coating has it’s appropriate use and place. We had a few opportunities to use Scuff-X and we are confident that it will not let the customer down. Recently we used it in two schools for walls and trim. The first time when the school was out and recently while the school was in operation. Both times it was easy to apply, dried fast and the hiding was very good. We used the pearl sheen on baseboards and door frames and couldn’t think of a more appropriate surface to test it’s durability. Since we haven’t tested it’s adhesion qualities, we primed the surfaces with a bonding primer. The facility manager at one of the schools commented that the smell was fairly noticeable in the activity room we painted. When we repaint the school in the summer he suggested using it in the hallways and classrooms, while sticking with the Ultra Spec 500 for the office. Taking his observations into account, we definitely recommend painting schools during the summer.

Scuff-X is quickly becoming an easy product to recommend to the commercial client. During the last few months we used the product in office hallways, washrooms and cafeterias. We painted the hallways, stairways and laundry area of an apartment building as well as the doors and baseboards.

Office space with Scuff-X paint

Uses of SCUFF-X in Different Industries

Hospitals and Care Facilities. Having to avoid harmful solvents when servicing the health sector is a game changer. The hallways and common areas in healthcare institutions accommodate a lot of service carts and wheelchairs. Busy professionals and patients prioritize on things more important than wall maintenance. Washrooms, examination rooms and cafeterias have to stay constantly clean.

Sports and Fitness. The fitness industry is growing and new spaces are constantly being built. Gymnasium walls and arenas see balls thrown at them, they use sports equipment, while thousands of people enjoy games. The locker rooms and shower areas need constant washing and upkeep.

Retail stores and floor space. Stores stay open for long hours and seven days a week. This is good for business and customer convenience but not so much for the maintenance people. There are only a few hours available to maintain and paint the interiors, so the durability of the paint is critical. Clean walls and change rooms may be as important as the merchandise being sold. For that reason, the paint has to withstand constant wash cycles and still look like new.

Ecopainting painter at a city museum

Public Institutions. Ecopainting has a lot of experience painting museums, art galleries, exhibits, and public transit locations. All these public spaces see thousands of every day users, many of them in a hurry. Maintenance and upkeep of public spaces is a constant concern.

Closing Thoughts

Benjamin Moore’s Ultra-Spec SCUFF-X is an excellent new product. It was definitely designed for facility managers and they will learn to appreciate it’s durability. For the painter this is a great alternative to any epoxy product, especially the two part solvent epoxies. The cost is about $50 CAD which is good value compared to Aura or any 2 part product. For the estimator and specifier, this is an easy product to sell and insist on.  

We hope you found this review useful. Ecopainting is an experienced painting contractor servicing the Greater Toronto Area. We paint daily in the facility maintenance sector and are happy to discuss your building’s paint requirements.

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