Both Benjamin Moore and PPG Breakthrough paints are highly reviewed and have stellar reputations when it comes to painting cabinets.
Because both are so well-loved, 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 comes with its own pros and cons. We will take a closer look at both of these popular paint brands.
Benjamin Moore Advance
Benjamin Moore Advance is a high-quality paint that boasts waterborne alkyd enamel and promises perfect flow and leveling abilities.
It brings with it a tough satin finish that can be safely washed with just a little soap and water. It is also remarkably easy to apply.
This is a type of substance that will harden, meaning the painted surface can be cleaned easily using soap and water.
Solvent-based products can be avoided when washing surfaces coated with this product, so you won’t have to suffer from the smell and the mess.
It provides the best of both worlds: no messy cleanup and excellent durability.
The product easily levels out whether you brush it on, roll it on or spray it on.
The paint offers a nice amount of shine without being overly glossy. Plus, you will not essentially need to apply a topcoat with it to get the right finish.
Benjamin Moore Advance’s drying time is a bit longer than average- it can take as long as 16 hours for it to dry totally.
This matters when painting cabinet 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 completely.
To fully cure, the paint needs 30 days. This means that you’ll need to be careful and gentle until the paint has entirely cured; otherwise, it may chip.
Dark colors sometimes seem to take even longer to dry.
It can be touchy
Though this paint does level out, you need to be careful not to get too aggressive when rolling on and to brush on the paint.
If you do mess it up, it won’t properly level out.
PPG Breakthrough is an equally as strong waterborne acrylic enamel paint that also boasts great leveling and flow properties.
It dries quickly and offers nice early block resistance.
It can be applied to both horizontal and vertical surfaces on both the exterior and interior 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.
PPG Breakthrough is waterborne acrylic, so it’s easy to clean by just using soap and water, much like with Advance.
The paint dries much, much quicker than 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.
Overall, this means it reduces the amount of time you need to remain on-site when painting.
PPG Breakthrough is super durable and creates a hard surface.
You can handle the cabinet doors quickly after painting them without fear that the paint will be wet or tacky.
This is a huge perk if you are transporting the cabinet doors to install them elsewhere.
Slightly matte finish
Some people like paint to have a glossier finish, but this paint tends to lean toward matte.
The product has a satin finish, but it is a bit glossier when compared to the others.
Overall, though, the difference isn’t terribly noticeable.
Because PPG Breakthrough dries so quickly, it doesn’t level out as well as the competition.
This seems to only be an issue when rolling or brushing the frames of cabinets, as it sprays well enough.
If you use the proper painting supplies, you can still make the finish look even and balanced.
You’ll need a flocked foam roller to ensure that you get the smoothest finish when you paint using PPG Breakthrough.
Because PPG Breakthrough has a thinner texture, 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 as you’d need for Breakthrough.
This is something to consider if you are working on a tighter budget.
An important note to remember is that you should pay attention to VOC250 and VOC50.
There have proven to be some issues with the 50, though the higher version of this will outlast more time.
If you can’t find the VOC250 near you, it may be better to just go with Advance.
Before You Settle on PPG Breakthrough as Your Choice
It is good to be armed with knowledge before making any purchase, and that is true with PPG Breakthrough as well.
This 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.
Even so, there have been some complaints about this paint over the years up until recently.
They stemmed from the time when the EPA started to roll out stricter regulations on paints, so companies had to change their products to do their part to protect the environment.
The manufacturer of PPG Breakthrough had to change the formula of the paint to meet the new requirements.
Sticky, Soft Paint After 6 Months
In 2017, a few complaints came in about PPG Breakthrough paint.
People were complaining that the paint they applied to their cabinets 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.
This 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 they ended up compensating companies for the cost of labor and materials.
Originally, companies didn’t realize that the paint was the issue, so they just tried to repair the projects all on their own.
After discovering the real problem, they just moved on to another 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 want to use PPG Breakthrough paint, you need to make sure you go with the old formula, VOC250, as stated above.
If you go with the VOC50-rated paint, you may end up with the kind of paint 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.
In the event that you cannot, it may be best to just go with Advance paints.
The Bottom Line
Both PPG Breakthrough and Benjamin Moore’s range of paints are of excellent quality. Both are 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.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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