Real Estate Ray's Blog: Breakthrough by PPG Paints, No Longer Recommended

Breakthrough by PPG Paints, No Longer Recommended

     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.

Breakthrough by PPG Paint label

     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.

PPG product promise on label     PPG Breakthrough Front 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.

     

     

     

  

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758

RayRHenson@gmail.com

916-698-8415

 

 

Comment balloon 31 commentsRaymond Henson, SRES, GRI • May 14 2020 11:18PM

Comments

      Sounds like a potential class-action suit against PPG Paints.  Of course, they probably have an "arbitration clause" buried somewhere in the fine print on their paint cans.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) 3 months ago

Hi Raymond- very interesting. And if you're using the services of a professional painter, let's hope they know about this. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 3 months ago

Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, If I had 8 to 10 complaints alone and as a small operator, there must be so many more.

Kathy Streib, PPG definitely knows about this and they continue to sell the product. I guess Breakthrough would be OK on a wall that no one touches.

Thank you both for your contributions.

 

 

 

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

Hi Raymond:

This was all news to me! Sounds like a product definitely worth staying away from!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) 3 months ago

Hi Raymond... I had not heard this until I read your post, so thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) 3 months ago

Nina Hollander, I think PPG only changed the formulation in two states, CA and, I think, Michigan. Other states should still be good. I would ask the distributor first, though.

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

It is sad, but I see this sort of thing in pretty much every industry.  A company starts out small, has quality products, but when they become big their quality is diluted yet people keep using their products because they are supposedly a trusted brand.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 3 months ago

Hi Jeff, I started my painting career sometime in the 70's working for my dad. I have never seen a product that was so good change in such a short period of time. It has been a real challenge to make this right for my clients. I

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with this product. This is a good alert to share.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 3 months ago

Raymond, have never heard of this paint, maybe it isn't carried in Denver.  Great article to share.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 3 months ago

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 3 months ago

Thank you for sharing! Now we can all stay away from PPG's Breakthrough. What a pain for you though!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) 3 months ago

Good afternoon Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI ,

Well I learned something today about PPG's Breakthrough. I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 3 months ago

I get discount from every name manufacturer. The best according to area painters is Sherwin Willams. They have the best service. Years ago I left my passport at a store there. They called college and drop off at Dean's Office. 

I get 35% off which is probably the highest discount rate I know of. My profession as a realtor is the justification.

Sam

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) 3 months ago

Someone I met on the street thought I work at a paint store. He asked about binder on primer etc.  Then he says you don't talk like a paint store worker. I say my shirt says "Keller Williams". 

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) 3 months ago

Wow Raymond now a situation I heard of makes sense to me. I'm guessing my clients bought a house where one room had been painted (with this product) at some point before putting on the market.  They called about a month or so after closing saying the paint was coming off the wall. What?  How could that be?  Seriously?  It all got redone with Dunn Edwards materials and all is well once again.  Thanks for heads up......very good to know.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) 3 months ago

Roy Kelley,  it was painful to share.  We have had a very good relationship for a long time.  Thank you for your input.

Joan Cox,  I think Breakthrough is just about everywhere.  There are only two states that have the new formulation (per one of the salesmen).  Thank you too for stopping by.  

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

Kathy Streib , thank you so much for featuring my article.  I really appreciate it and am always surprised when my writing is ever acknowledged.

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

Kat Palmiotti, it was a pain and so stressful, especially when I had no idea what was going on.  The first job to fail was a huge house, every door, casing and cabinet had to be redone.  It was a huge job and thankfully, my clients were understanding

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR,  I believe the original formulation is in your area.  I would just ask first.  

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

Sam Shueh,  lol, I had the same thing happen when I worked at Keller Williams.

 Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana! , there can be so many reasons.  The the wrong paint(latex over oil paint the most common), inexpensive paint, poor prep and foreign substances on the wall.  One issue I have noticed over the years is over zealous cleaning.  Acrylic paints and ammonia (or ammonia products)  do not work well together.  The paint gets gummy.  I actually thought that is what was happening in this instance, but the each and every one of my clients had received my caution against using these products and they did not use them.  Dunn Edwards paint company does have some excellent products at their top end.  I just painted my Goodyear home with Dunn Edwards paint.  It looks great!

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 3 months ago

PPG brings back memories.
I used to work at a Pittsburgh Paints store in late eighties/early nineties. We pretty much just served professionals, and PP was highly regarded back then.

Learned a lot about paint :)

Posted by Dario Ferreira, Internet Marketing 3 months ago

I am glad that Kathy Streib featured your post because I have now learned something about Breakthrough - too bad the paint had a breakdown

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) 3 months ago

Why is it when, so many times, the government steps in results are less than desired Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI (Not to say all things the government does produce poor results) "I'm from the government and we're here to help you" wasn't that Ronald Reagan?

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) 3 months ago

Great post!  I can see why Kathy chose to  highlight it this week!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) 3 months ago

Raymond, thanks for the heads up to inform everyone.  Though not in an affected state, the PPG brand here is not well known.

Posted by Kris Collis, Associate Broker, Professional Results you Expect 702-574-8102 (Smart Way America Realty) 3 months ago

I'm not in CA and I know that you have much heaftier safety standards in your neck of the woods than any other state - which is both AWSOME and not so awsome.  

I really like a product called Advance Self Leveling.  I use the high gloss on cabinets and the results have been nice.  The self leveling is terrific, too.  Definitely sand and prime first.  But I don't know if it's CA available.  

So sad that the company doesn't stand behind the product as stated.  :-(  But let us know when you find a really great product that you love again, please!  

Posted by Maralea Norden, Sedona/Verde Valley Pricing Strategist (eXp Realty, LLC) 3 months ago

Dario Ferreira, PPG has been a good company.  I have a tough time understanding why they are not standing behind a customer that has used their product and recommended it for years.  Definitely, a good place to learn the business.

 Lise Howe, yes, Breakthrough had a breakdown in CA for sure. 

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 2 months ago

Doug Dawes, one of my favorite quotes.  It has been an issue here in CA for years.  They get more strict every year and it has created real problems for those that want to paint their home.  

 Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, thank you very much. 

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 2 months ago

Kris Collis, Associate Broker,  Thank you for stopping by.

Maralea Norden, I wish I knew of one.  I just spoke with a cabinet manufacturer that I used to finish cabinets for.  They are also having issue.  I wonder how much the regulations are helping when the paint does not last as long and needs to be redone again so quickly.  I used to be hired by people that told me they had not painted in twenty years, but were tired of the color.  Their implication was, your job better last too.  Those days are long gone.  I would be surprised if you product was available here in CA unless it is manufactured differently.  Thank you. 

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 2 months ago

PPG Breakthrough now comes in 2 formulas: 250 VOC and 50 VOC. They only sell the 50 VOC in California and yes, many professional painters here are bemoaning the change.
Most everyone I know (myself included) has had tremendous results with Benjamin Moore Advance. The downside is it has a 16 hour recoat time, which is brutal if you're a professional. It levels tremendously, however, and cures quite hard.

Posted by Tom Coyan 20 days ago

Thank you for your input Tom.  Yes, a 16 hour re-coat time is a little problematic, but if it works, it might be worth it.  Is it enough to put two coats on cabinets or does it take three coats?  

Posted by Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 17 days ago

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