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Kitchen Cabinet Repaint with Cabinet Coat

5 years ago

A few months ago I painted my bathroom cabinets with BM Advance (here) and was so pleased, I decided to do the same to my kitchen cabinets but with Cabinet Coat. I'm very happy with how it turned out, and learned some things I'd like to share.



Cabinets: Insl-X Cabinet Coat in Satin, tinted to Chantilly Lace

Backsplash: BM Aura Satin in Silvery Blue

Backsplash: BM Aura Satin in Heaven on Earth (before I repainted to Silvery Blue)

A couple comparisons between Cabinet Coat and Advance:

Tint: I had to go to an independent BM paint store to get the Cabinet Coat. This being a professional's paint store, I felt the tint should have been matched to the swatch of Chantilly Lace perfectly. It did not. The actual paint was a little cooler toned, not as warm as the swatch, even though Chantilly Lace is already a bright neutral white. In contrast, I had Advance tinted at an Orchard Supply and felt that the color matched what I requested much better. I chalk it up to Cabinet Coat not being as well catalogued for tint formulas since it didn't start out as a BM product. Also, it can't be tinted to darker colors but that didn't affect me in particular here. FYI, there had been some discussion about not tinting the white base of Cabinet Coat. On the official website, it states the white base can take 2 oz. of tint per gallon. My paint store only sold the tintable base (CC-4560) so that did not affect the color accuracy.

Sheen: For the kitchen, I decided to use Satin even though Cabinet Coat is also available in Semi-gloss now. After seeing how my bathroom cabinets turned out in Advance Semi-gloss, I definitely wanted something more subtle. I do like how the level of shine in Satin looks, but I can really feel a difference in slip and stain resistance, which I prefer the Semi-gloss for. The Semi-gloss Advance I can wipe with my finger and stains come right off. Cabinet Coat Satin allows you to wipe splatter off with a napkin easily but it is quite prone to gray marks from anything metal brushing it, especially zipper pulls or buttons on jeans. Also, I read some posts during my research that said it felt plasticky and attracted dust like crazy. Both not true. Dustiness and ease of cleaning dust is about the same as the Advance. The feel of Cabinet Coat is hard like an oil paint but with a very slight rubber undertone. It does not feel like actual rubber but has an extremely mild slip resistance. Latex wall paint has more of that plasticky feel.

BM Advance Semi-gloss closeup

BM Advance Semi-gloss in perspective (dim, artificial light)

Cabinet Coat Satin closeup

Cabinet Coat Satin in perspective (natural and artificial light)

Durability: I have to give this one to Cabinet Coat. I had three times the cabinets to paint in the kitchen and didn't have the time to wait for each set to go through overnight recoat time plus a few days of curing after the final coat. Well, it surpassed my expectations. I waited 6 hours between layers of Cabinet Coat. It was well ready for sanding, no problems. I didn't wait the seven days after the final coat like I did on the Advance. I reinstalled the cabinet doors and started using the drawers two days after finishing painting, and have NOT had a single chip!! Two weeks later of normal kitchen use, still not a single chip. The Advance in the bathroom where the cabinets get much lighter use, has had minor chipping on some edges, and this is after two months since I painted them. After two months, the Advance is beginning to feel harder and less plasticky. The finish does look slightly smoother than Cabinet Coat but I don't like that Advance is still chipping at week 8 with regular use.

Hide: Advance is better here. With the bathroom cabinets, I painted two layers of Zinsser 123 and two layers of Advance. The white was generously opaque. With the kitchen cabinets, I started out with two layers of primer and two layers of Cabinet Coat and found the final layer was not quite as evenly opaque. I had to switch to one layer of primer and three layers of Cabinet Coat for a better result but some areas needed a fourth layer of topcoat.

Brushability: Pro painters swear by oil paints for leveling, and Advance is more forgiving than Cabinet Coat for the flawless, smooth finish. With Advance you can lay the paint on, work with it a good amount of time and be happy with the look as it's starting to dry. With Cabinet Coat, you need more practice. Because it dries much faster, you have to lay the paint on smoothly within one or two strokes. If you fuss with it, it will dry pretty unsightly, which you then have to sand down and redo. IF you get the technique right though (load up the brush generously but not dripping, swipe in a straight continuous line, let the paint fill in the brush strokes by itself) you can actually get a sprayed on look better than maybe even Advance. For the lady DIYer, think like painting with nail polish. Having said that, Cabinet Coat does level exceptionally well for a latex paint.

Odor: Cabinet Coat has no odor to me. I thought Advance was good in the odor department and it is, but I still got buzzed when painting with it. Months later, the Advance cabinets are still off-gassing a mild amount. I think this is common with alkyd paints. Cabinet Coat on the other hand, had really no odor while I was painting it, as it was drying, and definitely no odor from the cured paint. I have an indoor cat and didn't want him breathing fumes from a kitchen he hangs around a lot.

All things considered, I would use Cabinet Coat again.

Other Factors:

Primer: For the kitchen, I used Insl-X Stix. Now that is a good primer! Painting with it, you can immediately tell how good the adhesion will be, so you gotta paint with it fast because it will not take backbrushing or rerolling well. I watched a comparison video (here) that convinced me to try it. It is hands down better than Zinsser 123. Don't know how it compares to Zinsser BIN firsthand but for primers with tolerable odor and easy cleanup, Stix is great and formulated for use with Cabinet Coat anyway.

Brush: I have tried a Purdy Nylox angle sash, Corona Cortez angle sash, and now a Wooster Chinex FTP shortcut sash. They're all pretty good but I would say my favorite would be the Wooster Chinex FTP (it's not the same as the one at Home Depot). It brushes so smooth and cleans most easily out of the three. When you want a sprayed on look, brush with only the bristle tips touching the surface. It's beautiful! The Corona handle is ideal though. Great balance and weight. I guess Corona's Chinex brush would be my next purchase.

Roller cover: I kept seeing on most of the DIY blogs that you should use a high-density foam roller. Well, I didn't use just any high density foam roller you can get at your local store. I researched this and tried these Made-in-Germany Whizz foam rollers and then I tried Whizz Velour rollers and both had a big orange peel effect, the foam ones more so. It was terrible. I went back to the flocked roller I had used with the Advance and that was as good as it was gonna get with a roller.

Hardware: I bought Amerock knobs and hinges online after trying ones I got from my local big box store. The online price was so much better and Amerock quality was superior. Solid uniform finish on the Amerock knobs. I got some unusable screws with the big box hinges. The Amerock ones came with a ruler guide and door bumpers.

Drill bits: I've never installed hardware on cabinetry and when you drill holes, you really have one shot, so I wanted to make sure I did it right. Want a hole with clean edges for that perfect circle? Use a brad point drill bit. I used this one and it was so worth it.

Steelex Plus 3/16" Brad Point Bit

Need to make a recess for the screw head on the back of your doors? I ran into this problem when some knob screws hit the cabinet frame. At first I tried to put screw caps on the screw heads but the doors were clearly still hitting the frame at the one point where the knobs were screwed in. That's when I found this specialty drill bit that worked like a charm.

Diablo Forstner 3/8" High Speed Drill Bit

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