Asked on Feb 24, 2014

SW's ProClassic vs. BM's Advance

I'm painting the kitchen cabinets and I'm looking for a good paint. I've heard good things about both of these lines and I'm curious if anyone has used both of them and can give me input on them.
Things to know:
1. I'm using Olympic's High Gloss Enamel in off-the-shelf white for crown and the board and batten between cupboards. This paint is not a glossy as I expected, but still has a bit more sheen than I'd want on the cupboards and the board and batten area.
2. The bottom cupboards will be painted in SW's All Surface Enamel (latex, satin finish) because it was the only one that could be stained the dark color (SW - Iron Ore) I was going for on the bottom.
3. The bulk of my cabinetry is opposite two full length windows, so sheen is important. I would like the durability of a higher sheen without the gloss of one, otherwise I'll need to wear sunglasses in my kitchen during the day.
Any recommendations?
  21 answers
  • Pretty cabinets! I like the Pro Classic in Satin sheen and the crown in semi-gloss (not high gloss - I think that tends to look plastic - semi gloss gives an oil look but like the fact you say it is not as glossy - I'll give it a try!). Also,why are you staining the lower cabinets in Iron Ore and not painting them? I paint Iron Ore quite frequently on exterior doors and shutters, and it looks rich and beautiful. I'm just curious? I can't wait to see your final result! Please post!
  • Suesan - Frou FruGal Suesan - Frou FruGal on Feb 25, 2014
    I'm painting the lower cupboards in the Iron Ore. I have a couple of areas in my kitchen with barn wood that has a chippy black paint on them and black appliances. I thought the Iron Ore would tie them together and ground the bottom cupboards. My floor is light and with the dark countertops, I just think the darker base cupboards is the way to go. My concern with the satin sheen is the durability on cupboards. The paint rep at Sherwin Williams was quite insistent that no matter the brand of paint, a satin finish will not be as durable over the long run as the higher sheens.
  • Maly Porter Maly Porter on Feb 25, 2014
    I love what you've done so far! The board and batten for the backsplash area really rocks! I've had good success with Benjamin Moore in a satin finish for trim, but the trick one rep gave me may be why - he said for high use areas inside, use their exterior paint! I would guess to stand up to weather, it would have to be pretty hardy. Also, application affects sheen. If you brush it on, it has less sheen than rolled. If you want smoother, add an extender to help it settle and give you more work time. I'm sure what ever you do, it's going to look great - remember to post "after" pics!
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    • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 28, 2014
      I love the board and batten just gave me an idea!
  • FurnitureWorks FurnitureWorks on Feb 25, 2014
    The SW paint rep is right, somewhat. The satin finish won't be as durable, true, but really it's the latex that won't be as durable as an oil-based paint. I paint furniture for a living and use Benjamin Moore's Advance almost exclusively because of its durability and clean up. I have also used the SW ProClassic. Here's what I love/some tips about the Advance: 1. I use the satin finish and I'd say it's a bit shinier than a latex satin finish, but not much. You're not going to get a high sheen. The next step up, though, is semi gloss, which might be too shiny for you. I'd stick with satin if you're worried about glare. You can always have the paint store do a comparison for you, or get a tester of each and try them out in your home to see which works for you. 2. The Advance is amazingly durable AFTER IT CURES, which can take up to two weeks. I tell all my clients to not set anything on their pieces or even look at it funny until two weeks (at least) have gone by. Then, it's as durable as an oil-based paint. 3. Advance can be tinted in every color BM carries, even the dark ones. 4. The Advance is a water-based alkyd, which just means it's an oil paint dressed up like a latex. It paints on like a latex, cleans up like a latex, but acts like an oil paint. 5. There's no smell. I'm also an interior designer and the painters I've worked with choose Advance for cabinetry nearly every time. As for the ProClassic, it has the same qualities. I've noticed it has a bit more odor, is a bit thinner, and takes more coats than the Advance. Good luck!
    • See 3 previous
    • FurnitureWorks FurnitureWorks on Feb 25, 2014
      You're welcome! Good luck with your cabinets ...
  • Suesan - Frou FruGal Suesan - Frou FruGal on Feb 25, 2014
    I forgot about the extender and I've read several things from people that recommend it. I will definitely pick some up. For the board and batten areas, I use a combination of brush and roller.
  • Kris Kowalski Kris Kowalski on Feb 25, 2014
    So if you use the Advance, you don't need to put anything over it. Just be sure it cures for 2+ weeks? Also, do you sand in between coats or even initially? Primer? I have the hideous oak '80's cabinets I want to do.
    • See 1 previous
    • FurnitureWorks FurnitureWorks on Feb 26, 2014
      @Kris Kowalski Just to be clear, I'm not a cabinet painter (furniture), but a lot of the same techniques apply, and this is what I've seen the cabinet painters do that I work with as a designer. Suesan is right -- prep is key to a quality job. Sanding is always ALWAYS the best thing to do. Sand the cabinets before painting and then sand between coats with a progressively higher grit to get a really smooth finish. I start with a 180, paint the first coat, sand with a 220, paint the second coat, sand with a 400, etc. Some painters use a primer, some don't. The Advance is advertised as "primer not necessary" but then in the contractor's sales page on the Benjamin Moore Web site they recommend priming. I tend to prime my furniture if there are a lot of knotholes (such as with pine wood), or stains, or heavy dark color and I'm going light. When in doubt, always prime (on those gross orange oak cabinets we all love to hate, I would prime because that color is hard to cover and it will reduce the amount of paint coats you have to use). Again, as far as putting a finish over the Advance -- Ben Moore says you don't have to, but I always put a coat of paste wax on my furniture at the end for more protection and I like the little bit of shine it adds. And, yes, let the Advance cure REALLY well before you go to town with heavy daily use of your cabinets. At least 2 weeks ... Painting cabinets yourself is a LOT of work, and tough work, but it can be done and will last if done well.
  • Kris Kowalski Kris Kowalski on Feb 25, 2014
    P.S. Definitely post pictures! I love what you've done so far!
  • Laura Laura on Feb 26, 2014
  • Jim L Jim L on Feb 26, 2014
    If you can find a painter who will spray the cabinets, that will be fantastic! Since we not longer have lead in paint, it streaks...spraying is the best!
    • Suesan - Frou FruGal Suesan - Frou FruGal on Feb 26, 2014
      @Jim L I've been toying with the idea of spraying the doors and brushing the bases. I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm pretty impatient in the spraying department and I'm not sure I could get a good finish without it looking too thick in some places and too thin in others.
  • Jim L Jim L on Feb 26, 2014
    Susan, I would advise you to hire a painter to spray the who has a spray "room". If you do this, you will NEVER regret it! (Trust me on this!)
  • Betsy Bodrero Betsy Bodrero on Feb 26, 2014
    I'd paint the cupboards white, change out the handles to something dainty and enjoy !
  • Cathy B Cathy B on Feb 26, 2014
    I recommend cabinet paint. I thought it was wonderful.
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    • Lori J Lori J on Feb 26, 2014
      @Cathy B Where is this paint sold? I have never seen this product.
  • Sue Hebert Sue Hebert on Feb 26, 2014
    Hi Connie Carroll, I sent that message before I had read a reply below it. I do want to thank you for taking the time to send this information to me. I will certainly heed your advice on this matter.
  • Karen Klager Karen Klager on Feb 26, 2014
    My husband & I used Sherwin Williams paint that was recommended for cabinets. It's been almost a year & I'm not sorry in our choice. My husband took the doors off the cabinets & painted them in the basement. I did the base units.
  • Cathy B Cathy B on Feb 26, 2014
    I bought in a local paint store. If you look up their website, there is a tool to find locations that carry it. It is a little more expensive, but I thought it was well worth it.
  • Patty S Patty S on Feb 28, 2014
    There is a new product out by Rustoleum. It is a kit, deglosser, paint, glaze and final finish. I am going to use it on my cabinets. Many colors to choose from. I found the brochure at Home Depot. They also have a countertop finish which is also a kit.
    • Cynk  Calvin Cynk Calvin on Apr 25, 2014
      @Patty S I tried the countertop finish by Rustoleum and was soooo disappointed - I ended up sanding the whole thing off. What to do then? Luckily, I found a product called Giani Granite on-line. It took some time to dry but really looked great!
  • Wendell Davis Wendell Davis on Apr 25, 2014
    I used Valspar paint, I have done a lot of painting and it is the best I have seen since lead paint was here.
  • Jason Miller Jason Miller on Apr 25, 2014
    The advance is going to be better than the pro classic. I work at a Ben Moore store and we sell both the cabinet coat and Ben Moore's Advance. BM also owns the Insul-x that makes the Cabinet coat. We sell leaps and bounds more Advance than the cabinet coat for cabinets, furniture, trim, and vanities. One of the reasons people love the advance paint is that is a self leveling paint that levels out to , minimize brush strokes to give you a smoother, flatter finish.
    • As a professional cabinet painter we started using how it lays down but it needs 16 hours dry time between coats and a long cure time. Nice finish though. We spray it.
  • Centrd Centrd on Apr 25, 2014
    Just found Nuvo Cabinet Paint - Claims you can paint your cabinets in one day! You don't need to remove your doors, sand or prime. Nice colors, too. Wish their website was a little more informative.
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  • Linda Linda on Sep 23, 2014
    My cabinets are really old and I could not afford to replace. Bought new handles and I painted my kitchen cabinets white with the only lead paint on the market. I used Rustoleum and it worked super. It has been two years and I do need to touch up a spot or two. They wash up so nice.
  • Clara Williams Dossett Clara Williams Dossett on Jan 29, 2017

    Starting this journey myself, not enough money in the budget to gut and replace the cabinets or to pay a pro. Attempting to use milk paint, first pass looking good, but getting great advice here for baths. My first DYI and it is scary.