Friday, January 30, 2015

Paint Review - Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Satin Alkyd Paint

I refuse to work with oil based paints. They are messy, stinky, and too much hassle. I am a simple girl. If there isn't a simple way of doing something, I just skip it.  Unfortunately, we couldn't skip painting our kitchen cabinets.  All we could afford in the chaotic hustle to rebuild our kitchen were these unfinished sets from a discount supplier. 

They were beautiful and well built, but they needed paint.  And I knew better than to use any old paint on such an investment ( a lesson learned the hard way in our last kitchen). 
I wanted that beautiful professional enamel finish. I didn't want yellowing, dings, or a complicated application process. How could I get the best of both worlds?
After researching paints for several weeks I finally chose the Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Satin Alkyd. I was swayed by some comments on a professional painters forum that described it as "working with Advance is like painting with a latex paint, but getting oil enamel results. Its so simple."  That did it for me!

 The only place that carried it was a tiny paint dealer 40 minutes away.  So, we filed into the van and headed out.  Once we were there I had to wade through the color catalogs to find just the right white. I told the sales lady I was looking for a "plain white. Not too pinkish. Not too bluish. I just want a simple white."  After sifting through, we settled on the ironically titled "Simply White" - which is a warm, rich, beautiful white. Love it! 

(hard to tell on the computer screen, but it is actually a warm creamy white)

The paint was almost $50 a gallon. Yikes! I bit the bullet and bought two to avoid running out and having to drive back out for another batch. 

We had a Wagner Power Sprayer and was all pumped to use it, until I read several posts about the self-leveling property of the paint and how it really wasn't suited to being sprayed on a vertical surface (gravity, and all!)  So, after 2 coats of primer, I layed all 22 cabinet doors and 12 drawer faces (and a coffee table that wanted in on the action) out in the shade for the first coat.

I used a cheap brush with synthetic bristles - nothing fancy.  I was AMAZED at the paint application. I have worked with a lot of paints and this was just a dream. It self-leveled perfectly, eliminating bristle strokes, hiding touch ups, and creating a beautiful smooth surface.
I left everything to dry for about an hour.  When I cam back, to my horror, I found butterflies, gnats, and tiny little grasshopper-y things stuck in the paint - ON THE CABINETS!! 
I reached down to pluck one out and to my surprise the paint surface was dry to the touch, and with a little flick, the bugs just wiped right off.  The surface was smooth as class. I took a rag and wiped the others lightly.  Whew!! 
So, just to be on the safe side...we moved the painting operation indoors to my husband's workshop. Praise the Lord for this 20'x30' insulated workspace. It has been a blessing in so many ways!
I left the doors to dry over night. The next morning I sanded each door and drawer lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and wiped them down.  Then I applied another smooth, luxurious coat of Benjamin Moore Advance.  I repeated this process over and over until I could do it in my sleep (and might have once or twice).  I think it was a total of 6 coats (2 primer and 4 paint) when I finally felt confident that it was evenly coated and completely opaque. 
 I then did the same - very carefully - with the cabinet bases.  These were a little tricky because they were standing upright and were more susceptible to drips. Overall, light coats, and lots of sanding, I only ended up with one bad drip under a drawer opening that I needed to go back and touch up.  Pretty painless.

Here is a close up of the beautiful satin finish.

We waited about 2 weeks before bringing the cabinets in for installation (mostly because we didn't have any floors in the kitchen yet).  The paint was pretty tough at this point, but the official curing time according to the can says up to 30 days.  It has now been 3 months since we put our cabinets in and we are still COMPLETELY happy with the paint choice. It is as hard as any oil enamel and has taken a lot of rough handling (from transporting, installation, and daily use) without any sign of wear.  I absolutely recommend this paint for any DIYer who wants a simple (albeit a little pricey) paint to work with and a beautiful, tough (scrubbable) finish on their cabinetry.
And, best of all. I only used 1/2 a gallon! Which means I have 1 1/2 gallons left to do the trim and molding in the rest of the house....when I feel like painting again.

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