So, Does It Work? – Dunn-Edwards Enso Paint

Yesterday, we began the work on our series of “So, Does It Work?” posts by painting an 18″ x 18″ patch of wall with Dunn-Edwards brand new low odor/no VOC line of paint, Enso.  Other than the comedy of me painting in heels and a chefs apron, while my p/t assistant Julia scribbled notes, everything went smoothly.  Read below for what we found out…

Manufacturer:  Dunn-Edwards

Paint: Enso Interior Flat Paint (color – Tintable White)

Cost:  $55.48 per gallon (some discounts available, please inquire with store)

Composition: Water based acrylic latex. Contains titanium dioxide to boost hiding ability of paint. MSDS indicates no reportable hazardous ingrediants.

VOCs: Less than 2g/l (grams per liter)

Certifications:  MPI Extreme Green

Color range: Virtually entire standard range of Dunn-Edwards colors, with the exception of several deep reds.  Pigment can add to VOC level.

Coverage: Estimated by mnf. at 300 – 400 sf per gallon

Testing results

Paint odor in can – Typical latex paint smell, but unnoticeable if more than 8″ from can

Consistency of paint – Smooth, medium flow, slightly gummy.  No spatter experienced.

Coverage – 2 coats to cover existing dark tan paint

Drying time – 30 minutes till dry to touch.  Waited recommended 2 hours before applying second coat.

Odor after one day – slight latex paint smell when less than 2″ from wall.  Otherwise, no odor noticeable.

Adhesion after one day – Applied clear tape to paint.  Only faint residue visible on tape after removal.

Note:  Paint provided by Dunn-Edwards for our use in test.

Conclusion:  This is still a very new paint on the market, and as such it is hard to get a gauge on what is happening in the field.  Based on our try out, this is a good choice for the casual painter who is looking for a no-VOC option that is fairly affordable and readily available.  I’m happy that this new line is available in (virtually) all of their colors.

Note: We chose not to apply paint under ideal conditions, including the use of a primer, so results may vary.  To read more about how we approached our review process, please read this post.

If you have any experience with this paint, please feel free to add your comments below.  The more people who share their knowledge, the more useful these reviews will be.

4 Responses to “So, Does It Work? – Dunn-Edwards Enso Paint”

  1. Runka Says:

    Good Thing to start with …. must try on walls and see what you got..

  2. evan Says:

    I’m n the middle of painting the entire interior of my house with Enso Eggshell and Semigloss. In one bedroom I went with a blue-grey over beige and I got it done with 2 coats. Today I did Swiss Coffee over beige and it took a good 4 coats to get the color right! Probably should have done a primer. Also, I’ve had to drive all over Southern California to get the paint because most Dunn Edward stores are out of it when you go in.

    My bedroom has been dry for weeks and still smells a bit like paint. Not sure if that’s normal or not.

  3. Rick Says:

    I’ve been painting for 30 years and had 2 bathrooms and 6 doors to paint ‘white-white’. Got the Enso semigloss with two extra ounces of titanium white added. I liked the lack of odor, the consistency {which was a little on the thin side}, used white primer and did two coats. My doors and some of the walls still feel sticky a month later. I prefer KellyMoore’s Dura-poxy+ for doors, no matter what it smells like.

  4. Irene Says:

    This is an old post, and I know a few things with enso have been reformulated and updated. For instance, Dunn Edwards is now advertising that they use zero VOC pigments, so the statement that adding pigment will add to the VOC level is no longer valid. They can also make all of their colors now, as well as matching. I was able to get a dark red, and I was told it was because they no longer need their red base to make their red colors.

Leave a Reply