Benjamin Moore and PPG Breakthrough are high-end finishes ideal for doors, trims, and cabinetry. Because both of them are highly reviewed and are so well-loved by painters and DIYers, it can be difficult trying to figure out which one would be the best choice for your specific project.
Of course, like anything else, each of these paints comes with its pros and cons. So, we will take a closer look at both of these so that you can pick the one among these popular paint brands based on your needs.
Benjamin Moore Advance
Benjamin Moore Advance is a high-quality paint that boasts waterborne alkyd enamel and promises perfect flow and leveling abilities whether you brush it on, roll it on, or spray it on. Plus, you will not essentially need to apply a topcoat with it to get the right finish.
The paint is also remarkably easy to apply and when applied correctly offers a tough satin finish (without being overly glossy) that can be safely washed with just a little soap and water.
On the downside, Benjamin Moore Advance’s drying time is a bit longer than average – it can take as long as 16 hours for it to dry. Dark colors sometimes seem to take even longer.
Also, to fully cure, the paint needs around 30 days which means you’ll need to be careful and gentle until the paint has entirely cured; otherwise, it may chip.
This matters much when painting cabinets or doors that require a layer of primer and two coats of paint on both the inside and outside – you will be waiting days for it all to dry thoroughly.
PPG Breakthrough is also a type of waterborne acrylic enamel paint that holds similar strength along with excellent flowing and leveling properties, because of which it can be applied to both horizontal and vertical surfaces both inside and outside of cabinets.
Perhaps the biggest perk of using PPG Breakthrough is that it needs no primer, so your projects don’t take nearly as long to complete. The added advantage of this paint is that it dries quickly, has early block resistance, and is easy to clean by just using soap and water, much like with Advance.
On the downside, PPG Breakthrough comes with a thinner texture, and it doesn’t cover as well as Advance does. This means that you’ll need to use more paint to get the same job done, which is essential to consider if you are working on a tighter budget.
Also, because PPG Breakthrough dries so quickly, it doesn’t level out as well as the competition.
This seems only to be an issue when rolling or brushing, as it sprays well enough. So, if you use the proper painting supplies, you can still make the finish look even and balanced.
Benjamin vs. PPG – What to Choose?
In my opinion, PPG Breakthrough is super durable and creates a hard surface. If you are finishing cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom, you can handle the cabinet doors quickly after painting them with PPG without fear that the paint will be wet or tacky. This is a huge perk if you need to transport the cabinet doors to install them elsewhere.
The PPG Breakthrough paint also dries much, much quicker than Benjamin Moore Advance. It can be dry to the touch in as little as 20 minutes and is ready for another coat in only two hours.
This cuts down on time spent on the project exponentially, which is important when you’re painting furniture that you need to use. This also means it reduces the amount of time you need to remain on-site when painting.
That said, when using PPG Breakthrough, you should keep in mind that it offers a slightly matte finish. Some people like their paints to have a glossier finish, but this one tends to lean toward a satin finish, though the difference isn’t terribly noticeable.
Before You Settle on PPG Breakthrough as Your Choice
It is good to be armed with knowledge because there have been some complaints about this paint up until recently.
PPG Breakthrough Paint has earned a reputation for being a high-quality product for several years, with many painting contractors using it professionally and recommending it to their clients.
But the complaints about it stemmed from the time when the EPA started to roll out stricter regulations on paints when companies had to change their products to do their part to protect the environment. The manufacturer of PPG Breakthrough also had to change the formula of the paint to meet the newer requirements.
In 2017, a few complaints came in about PPG Breakthrough paint.
People complained that the paint they applied to their cabinets and other surfaces was becoming sticky and soft in as little as six months after finishing the project.
It was not an easy problem to correct since the paint would get sticky in many places, and fixing it required scrubbing the paint off entirely, priming the area again, and then repainting with another paint brand.
At first, the manufacturer did not seem eager to help but ended up compensating contractors/companies for the cost of labor and materials.
This happened because, initially, companies were unaware that the paint was causing the problem, so they attempted to fix the projects independently. But once they identified the actual issue, they switched to a different paint product.
Regretfully, when a manufacturer changes something about a product, they don’t tend to reveal the changes if the effects are not positive ones. Therefore, many believe that the manufacture of PPG Breakthrough paint is not properly standing behind its product.
If you still want to use PPG Breakthrough paint, I recommend going with its old formula, which is the PPG VOC250 version. If you go with the VOC50-rated paint, you may end up with a finish that gets soft and sticky after a few months.
You should be able to find some of these older formulas in your local home improvement stores. But if you cannot, it may be best to just go with Benjamin Moore Advance Paints.
The Bottom Line
Both PPG Breakthrough and Benjamin Moore’s range of paints are of excellent quality, non-toxic, and go on pretty smoothly. Once thoroughly cured, both can be scrubbed and cleaned without chipping.
The only way they differ is in terms of gloss and matte-leaning satin finishes, but even this isn’t all that noticeable to the untrained eye. So, at the end of the day, which paint you use will come down to personal preference and the project requirement.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.