painting cabinets with BM Advance
I just finished painting our bathroom vanity cabinets with BM Advance and thought I'd share my experience for those who are thinking about tackling a similar project. I had never painted any cabinets before so I was a little nervous about how the finished product would look. I did some test coats of paint on the inside of a cabinet door but the samples weren't Advance so the test was just for color.
The original cabinet finish was a medium stain with at least one coat of polyurethane. We chose Bittersweet Chocolate which is a very dark brown color.
Here are the steps I took:
1. Remove all cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Be sure to number the pieces so you get them back in the same place. On the drawer fronts I used a sharpie to write on the back which is covered when installed. On the doors, I put a number in the recess left after removing the hinge.
2. Remove all hardware including hinges. Mark all hinges so they go back in the same place; this way you won't need to readjust for alignment.
3. Set up sawhorses and long 2x4s for the doors and drawer fronts. Put screws into the 2x4s to hold the doors above the boards so the edges won't touch anything. I draped an old sheet over the screws so they wouldn't scratch the doors.
4. Sand all surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper. I used an electric palm sander for the flat areas and sanded the curved areas and details by hand.
5. Remove all sanding dust by vacuuming.
6. Clean and degloss all surfaces with TSP (follow directions and rinse well).
7. Paint using a foam roller for flat surfaces and foam brush for edges and details. Start on the backs of the doors and drawer fronts and do 2 coats before turning them over. I tried using a bristle brush but wasn't happy with the brush marks. Take your time, don't put it on too thick and watch out for drips. For the larger flat surfaces, when you've finished painting but the paint is still wet slowly run the foam roller back and forth the entire length to remove lap marks in the middle of the door.
8. Let dry 24 hours before the next coat. I did two coats. BM Advance has an extra long drying time.
9. After the second coat, I let everything dry for 2-3 days before re-assembly. I put the drawer fronts back on but we don't close the drawers all the way so they won't stick to the cabinets. The other day I forgot and closed a drawer and when I opened it several hours later it stuck just a little; this was 8 days after the second coat of paint. I still haven't put the doors on but we're using the bathroom.
When the paint was still wet, there was some "orange peel" texture on the rolled surfaces but as the paint dried it leveled out to a nice smooth finish. I did not use any additives (e.g. Floe-trol); I called BM and they told me that product could not be used with Advance.
I've attached some photos so you can see how it turned out. We're very happy with the color and the smoothness of the finish and I would highly recommend BM Advance for anyone painting cabinets. (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Benjamin Moore and this is not a paid endorsement.)