Breakthrough, the name itself suggests a product that is something special. For a number of years, it was a great product. My paint company specialized in painting cabinets with Breakthrough and we never had any complaints or product failures over many years. We liked this product so much that it was the only product we would use for cabinets.. I even recommended Breakthrough in this 2010 ActiveRain article. Unfortunately, PPG had to change Breakthrough a few years ago to comply with California regulations.
In 2017, we received multiple complaints. Clients would call saying the product was getting soft and sticky in multiple areas. Some complaints began as early as six months after we completed the project. The paint was deteriorating on trim, doors and cabinets. The fix was not easy. We had to remove the sticky paint, prime those areas and repaint all the surfaces with a different paint product.
Initially, PPG Paints was reluctantly helpful. They compensated our company (labor and material) to fix four of the jobs. Early on, we did not know their was a problem with the paint so we repaired some jobs on our own. Recently, those projects have started turning soft and sticky again.
I reached out to a PPG representative for compensation to fix these projects. The representative responded with an email explaining their limited one year warranty and attaching the following label showing the warranty.
Basically, it says they will stand behind their product for one year, materials only. When I first purchased Breakthrough, the salesman highlighted these two areas of the label.
The label states that Breakthrough is "Ultra D-Durable" and "Adhesion and hardness on the most difficult substrates." The label also says "At PPG PAINTS we are dedicated to helping you do your best work on every job. We stand behind every product and give you our best BECAUSE EVERY JOB MATTERS."
It is frustrating when a product changes. I only promote products that I really believe in, sold by companies that I know will stand behind their products. I do not know why, but the new formulation of Breakthrough does not hold up well to hand oils (per the PPG representative). The product becomes a gummy mess in areas. Sometimes very quickly. Even more troubling, I do not believe the company is adequately standing behind their product. I have clients that spent thousands of dollars to completely remodel their kitchen and repaint their bathroom cabinets. They have already had me repair their cabinets and door trim once and now are having paint failure problems again. PPG believes they only need to supply the paint to fix the cabinets. It is up to me to strip the gummy paint, prime as needed and repaint the whole kitchen. They spend a few hundred, I spend a few thousand and my client has to endure losing their kitchen for a week. I believe a high end product should hold up well for much longer than three years. It should certainly hold up longer than the one year limited warranty stated on the label and quoted by the PPG representative.
For the reasons above, I can no longer recommend this product for painting trim, doors or kitchen cabinets. PPG does have a lot of other really good products, but I can no longer recommend them either. Every job does matter and when you put that statement on your label, it should mean something.
If you are looking at painting your cabinets, I understand (per a contractor friend) that Aristoshield, by Dunn Edwards is a good product for cabinets. I have not personally used the product, though. I have retired my painting business.
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro
3412 Babson Drive
Elk Grove, CA 95758