I’ve used Benjamin Moore Advance Paint for at least 10 years now, probably even longer. I thought it was about time a paint review was in order.
So let’s examine what Benjamin Moore claims this paint can do and see if it lives up to the hype. Also, if you’re checking this out, I’m assuming you’re thinking about painting your cabinets. You can go checkout my blog post about my favorite gray cabinet finish.
Benjamin Moore Advance Paint is a waterborne alkyd paint. Which, in laments terms means, it is a water based paint that acts like an oil.
Benjamin Moore states that this paint product has:
- Exceptional application and feel
- Excellent flow and leveling
- Extended open time for minimal brush marks
- Cleans up easily with soap and water
- Outstanding coverage and hide
- Cures to a hard, furniture quality finish
- Tints with BM proprietary waterborn colorants
- Low VOC
- Available in all Benjamin Moore Colors
Exceptional application and feel
I started out my cabinet painting biz using BM Advance and I still use it often. I would agree that it does have an easiness of application if you know what you are doing and take the necessary prep steps. Clean your cabinets well and sand well with 180 grit sandpaper. You must also use a high quality shellac based primer to prevent tannin bleed. (Advance primer does NOT prevent tannin bleed.) Sand smooth after priming.
Excellent flow and leveling
BM Advance has an excellent flow when sprayed through an airless sprayer. I haven’t had good luck with spraying it through my HVLP though. Even if I use a size 6 needle and thin with water, I still seem to give me trouble. For this reason, I typically use my airless and spray the doors and drawer fronts in my shop and brush the bases in my clients home. This application is BM Advances “sweet spot” in my opinion.
Extended open time for minimal brush marks
BM extended open time allows me to brush the cabinet bases in my clients homes and still provide them with a smooth finish. This saves me from having to cover a kitchen for spraying. I can typically go in and have the bases prepped, primed, and painted in two days!
The downside of extended open time is BM Advance has a 16 hour recoat time. Does one always need to wait 16 hours? No. As long as you do all your prep right and have a perfect finish between your first and second coat. That means, you can’t have one single drip…not one on splatter or anything to mess up your spray pattern. If you do, you gotta wait the 16 hours to repair your mess up and repaint!
This extended open time also effects when you are painting your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Whether you brush or spray, you have to paint the backs, let dry, and then paint the fronts. I usually spray my first coat on the backs in the morning and then let set all day and spray second coat at night. I then flip and spray the fronts the same way. With Advance, I recommend letting those babies sit for 48 hours before flipping them. Why 48 hours, when there’s a 16 hour recoat time? Well that’s recoat, we need them to be dry enough they won’t leave a mark from the weight of the door.
Cleans up easily with soap and water
I love that I get the benefit of an oil but cleaning up is a breeze.
Outstanding Coverage and Hide
If you use a good primer, you won’t have any trouble getting the job done with 2 coats. I’ve never had to do more than 2 coats, even with painting white.
Cures to a hard, furniture quality finish.
Yes, Advance does dry to a hard finish…eventually. This product takes a good 60 days to cure! It’s still a good product for cabinetry but you need to be careful with it for 60 days. Also, because of the cure time, it is not a good fit for glazing or applying a poly acrylic clear coat over it. Nobody wants to wit 60 days before applying a clear coat!
With less than 50 VOC / ltr it is excellent! I have no problem feeling safe using this paint in my pregnant clients homes or new babies. I’ve also used it in clients homes with high allergies without any effects. Advance smell seams to be minimal when brushing. It’s a little harsher when spraying, so always where a mask.
I hope this helps you determine whether you want to try Benjamin Moore Advance on your cabinets. I really think BM Advance paint lives up to all the hype. If you decide to try it, I would love if you came back here and left me a comment. I would love to know what you think!
If you’ve thought about using General Finishes Milk Paint to paint your cabinets, I did a review awhile back. You can check it out here. If you are looking for a DIY tutorial on how to paint cabinets from start to finish, I have one available in my membership group. You can find out more about it HERE.