"There's nothing more expensive than cheap paint. " So say the folks at Pantone, which is escalating the paint wars with the introduction...

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“There’s nothing more expensive than cheap paint.”

So say the folks at Pantone, which is escalating the paint wars with the introduction of its first retail paint line selling for what comes out to an astonishing $133 a gallon.

Pantone, which provides color systems for a variety of industries, is hardly a household name in the consumer world. But within the design community, the company is known for professional color standards and assuring color accuracy and consistency in graphic, auto, fashion and interior design businesses.

While most American paints sell for $19 to $45 a gallon, Pantone’s Dutch-made 2.5-liter Euro gallon (a smaller can than the American gallon) made by manufacturer Fine Paints of Europe costs $85 to $95. A fan deck of 3,000 colors is $165.

Pantone touts the durability of its “filler-free” product, saying a proper Pantone paint job could last 12 to 15 years.

Lisa Herbert, executive vice president of Pantone, says the paints are aimed at the high-end homeowner. “They are for someone who really wants high quality. The finish is very luxurious. It would take six coats of an American paint to achieve the brilliance and saturation of Pantone paint.”

For more information, go to www.pantonepaints.com, or call 866-692-6567.

A healthier Aura (and richer, too!)

Selecting an eco-friendly paint has sometimes meant compromising on color or finish. That could be changing.

Benjamin Moore recently released a new paint that it says is eco-friendly and provides rich colors in no more than two coats.

The new Aura paints are made with a low volatile organic compound (VOC) formulation and ColorLock, a new waterborne colorant system. The maker says ColorLock binds color pigments into the paint film so most surfaces can be covered in a single coat, and there’s no rub-off.

The paint is available in matte, eggshell and satin finishes for $54.95 a gallon at Benjamin Moore dealers. For details about the product or store locations, go to www.myaurapaints.com.

Fuss-free flat paint you can actually scrub

Some walls seem to be magnets for dirty fingers, food splatters, the crayons of budding artists and other hazards. To make cleanup easier, Glidden is introducing a new scrubable flat paint.

The Evermore Super Washable Flat Paint offers an easy-to-clean, scuff-resistant finish that is usually found only in high-gloss sheens.

The paint’s maker says it also is fade resistant even after washing.

The latex interior paint is $19.99 and can be found at The Home Depot. For more information, go to www.glidden.com.

Seattle Times staff contributed to this report.