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Review of Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane

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Matt is a professional painter who owns and operates his own painting business, specializing in interior and exterior house painting.

Learn everything you need to know before purchasing Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane paint

Learn everything you need to know before purchasing Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane paint

Emerald Urethane Paint

For many years, the paint I've used the most for cabinets has always been Pro Classic semi-gloss (acrylic) from Sherwin Williams. I've had good experiences with this product, but one thing I've always disliked about the paint is that it sags easily when sprayed. I've also found the finish of Pro Classic to be slightly soft and rubbery. I wanted to upgrade to a paint that would dry harder for long-term durability, especially for use on cabinets.

I recently used Emerald urethane to spray paint oak cabinets and I was very satisfied with the results. This product should not be confused with the regular Emerald interior paint. The urethane version is a water-based, modified alkyd, best for use on trim, doors, and cabinets. I was originally skeptical of this product because I'm not a fan of the regular Emerald interior paint, but the two paints are completely different.

In this review, I'll cover the following topics:

  1. Paint leveling
  2. Paint hardness
  3. Semi-gloss finish
  4. Price
  5. Is it worth it?

As a bonus, this article will end with a second opinion in the form of another painter's video review.

1. Does the Paint Level Well?

When spraying cabinets and doors, using a paint that levels is a must. If a non-leveling coating is used, the material won't lay out over the surface, causing uneven paint build-up and imperfections to dry exactly how they look when sprayed on.

I spray-painted oak cabinets with this product and found it to level exceptionally well over two sanded coats of BIN shellac primer. The first coat leveled better than the second coat. I found that the second coat had to be sprayed heavier to build up the paint for even leveling. Spraying the second coat too fast would result in texturing that wouldn't level much.

Compared with the leveling quality of Pro Classic, I found Emerald urethane to perform the same, if not better. I sprayed and stored the cabinet doors horizontally, using Door Rack Painter racks, and the paint leveled on the doors uniformly without any drips.

I should also mention that I use Aqua Coat grain filler before priming and painting oak cabinets with this paint. The filler, combined with two coats each of primer and paint, achieves a really smooth finish.

Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane paint levels surprisingly well on oak cabinets and doors.

Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane paint levels surprisingly well on oak cabinets and doors.

2. Paint Hardness

One of the reasons I wanted to try this product on cabinets is because it's supposed to dry harder than basic trim paint, and using a urethane paint would make the surface more durable for cleaning. No need to top coat the paint with a clear coat.

Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane does dry noticeably harder than Pro Classic. The paint isn't gummy, or soft, once cured. When I remove cabinet doors to spray them, I number the backside and stick a small piece of blue tape over it. Removing the tape from the doors at the end of the job was difficult. I had to carefully scrape the tape pretty hard to get it out of the dried paint.

The re-coat time for this paint is four hours. The paint was dry to the touch in about that time. The final coat of paint dried somewhere between four and six hours. I let the doors sit on my drying racks in my workspace for several days before wrapping and delivering them to my customer for installation.

I found the paint to be noticeably harder to the touch after two days had passed, passing the fingernail test. The paint finish itself feels harder than other paints I've used. I wrapped the painted doors in moving blankets and delivered them to my customer without any issues.

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3. The Semi-Gloss Finish

I used the semi-gloss finish on the cabinets I painted. A satin and gloss finish is also available. My Sherwin Williams store had recommended the semi-gloss finish for cabinets because they said the satin finish is too dull. The semi-gloss finish of Emerald urethane is similar to Pro Classic semi-gloss, but maybe a little more glossy.

I've read complaints online by people saying the semi-gloss finish was dull, but in my experience, two coats of semi-gloss over two coats of BIN shellac primer was the perfect sheen for cabinets. Even the first coat looked very shiny, but the second coat looked even better. The semi-gloss finish is very smooth, perfect for washing.

4. The Price

In my opinion, it's insanely overpriced. The regular price for Emerald Urethane enamel starts at $103 per gallon. Yes, that's $103 per gallon without discounts or coupons. If you're painting cabinets, you'll only need two to three gallons anyway, but still, that's a lot of money for paint.

If you don't already have an established store account with discount paint pricing, Sherwin Williams runs 30% to 40% off paint sales throughout the year, which saves a lot of money if you're patient and wait for the next sale. You can also apply for a Pro charge account at your local Sherwin Williams store to get discount pricing.

I also recommend signing up for their Paint Perks option to get coupon codes on paint and supplies via text message. I get notifications for discount deals on a weekly basis.

5. Is Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Worth It?

As of this review, I've only used this product one time on cabinets, but so far, I'm very satisfied with the results. If something changes, I'll update this review. I can't comment on its performance for brush and roller application, since I've only sprayed it with an airless sprayer, but for spraying, the paint levels really well and dries harder than other paints I've used.

In my experience, this paint doesn't sag easily on vertical surfaces, unlike Pro Classic, which can be a nightmare to work with if you aren't careful. I sprayed two thick coats of Emerald on cabinet wall boxes and had no issues with dripping paint. The paint levels, but holds in place without sagging, which I really like.

This paint smells like Play-Doh. A mask is definitely needed when working with this product, especially if you're spraying. The odor lingers for a while, probably due to the alkyd modification.

I can't comment how this product compares to paints like Cabinet Coat, or Break-Through, since I haven't used those products yet, but when compared with other trim paints I've used from Sherwin Williams, this is a solid upgrade. The full price of $103 per gallon is overpriced, so definitely take advantage of available discount options.

A Second Opinion

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: We painted (sprayed 2 coats) the kitchen cabinets with a SW satin oil base with kilz as a primer. The paint separated and after 30 days the paint scratched off down to the kilz when 2 doors bumped together. SW suggested this urethane paint. They said to sand the oil base paint and spray on the urethane. What're your thoughts on the paint adhering to the oil base paint?

Answer: The paint is peeling because it isn't bonding with the primer, and the primer probably isn't bonding with the surface too. If you used latex Kilz primer, that's the reason. It could also be the oil paint you used isn't compatible with the primer, or the surface wasn't prepared correctly through cleaning and sanding. The oil paint should not be scratching off. Painting over that won't fix the problem. Strip the failing cabinet paint and primer down to the bare wood and start over. Clean and sand the cabinets, prime with OIL primers like Cover Stain, or shellac primer like BIN and apply two coats of Emerald urethane.

Question: I read some reviews that Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane paint takes a long time to dry/cure. How was your experience in this? Also, can deglossing replace sanding?

Answer: The dry time isn't bad. The re-coat time is four hours, but this all depends on the air temperature. The first coat took around six hours to dry because I sprayed the doors in my garage and it was hot and humid. The second coat dried in about three hours. The paint dries hard the next day. No, you should always sand.

Question: Since Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane is a mix, what reducer should I use for this trim paint for a sprayer?

Answer: If you're referring to thinning, you don't need to thin this paint for an airless sprayer; it sprays fine out of the can. You do need to thin it if you're using an HVLP sprayer, but I have no idea on the ratio or what to use since I haven't had to do that yet with the product. I recommend contacting your Sherwin Williams store for a recommendation.

Question: Are you sanding between paint coats? I've read both yes and no, if you do what grit do you use?

Answer: Yes, I sand between primer coats and once before paint. I usually use 220 grit.

Question: Can I use an antique glaze over Sherwin Williams' emerald semi-gloss (I used antique white) and, if so, can I seal it with a coat of polyurethane?

Answer: You can, but my local Sherwin Williams store advised against it when I was going to do glazing on one of my cabinet projects because they were unsure about the compatibility between Emerald urethane and the top coats of their Faux Impressions glaze and poly. You might want to speak with your local SW store about this, but if you do glaze them, make sure the Emerald has fully cured before applying the glaze. I'd also test it on one door first before glazing everything. You'll definitely want to apply poly over the glaze as the glaze alone won't be durable enough for cabinets.

Question: I painted an exterior door with the Sherwin Williams urethane enamel. I should have place soft towels over the horses when I flipped the doors and now have some marring and impressions from the horses. What process would you recommend to fix them?

Answer: Soak a sanding sponge in warm water and lightly wet sand the imperfections. This works best a day or two after the paint has dried. If you have dips and voids in the finish you can patch over them with spackle or patching compound.

Question: Are you using the Emerald enamel or trim enamel or it there a difference?

Answer: I use Emerald urethane trim enamel. This product is great for doors, cabinets, and trim.

Question: I am using this paint on a large bookshelf. I used the oil-based primer (2 coats) and the emerald paint. This is in my home schoolroom and the shelves will be used heavily. How long should I wait after painting before I can start piling books on my shelves?

Answer: I would wait a few days before putting your books back onto the shelves. The paint takes a day or two to harden.

Question: I’m laying down SW Emerald Urethane with a Home Right Super Finish Max HLVP gun using their Green Tip (2.0mm). The issue I’m having is the paint is spitting, not spraying regardless of what flow rate I am using. Due to the very good leveling properties of the paint, the finish isn’t bad but it isn’t smooth either. The gun came with two other tips, a 1.5mm, and a 4.0mm. What can I do to stop the spitting?

Answer: I'm not familiar with the sprayer you're using. I use an airless Graco sprayer. Emerald urethane is thick and will probably need thinning to pass through your HVLP sprayer. That's probably the reason it's spitting frequently. You can try thinning the enamel. Check your sprayer for clogs.

Question: I used a latex primer on oak wood cabinets and it bleeds through two coats of primer. Can I use Emerald Urethane paint to change the color of the cabinets?

Answer: Latex primer doesn't seal wood to prevent bleed-through and it doesn't bond well to wooden cabinets. It's also too soft. Oil primer, or BIN shellac primer, are both great choices for preventing bleed through and getting a strong bond with the surface and paint. Strip the latex primer off the cabinets and prime them with oil primer, or BIN. If you paint Emerald over the latex, it won't help anything. The latex primer is the problem.

Question: What sprayer did you use without having to thin this product? I have used it once but had to thin to get it through the srpayer properly.

Answer: I spray Emerald urethane through my Graco 495 airless sprayer, using a size 212 FFLP tip (green color). It sprays fine through my sprayer with no thinning.

Question: What base color did you use for Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel? I am trying to decide from this website:

Answer: I used the color Snowbound from Sherwin Williams. This color has an extra white base. If you're referring to the color underneath the paint, I prime all my cabinets with BIN shellac primer, which is white.

Question: We just got a quote for our kitchen using this exact paint. This man charges $100 per cabinet door and drawer. (We also have some large wall areas that will be painted, but are included in this price). We have a total of 37 cabinet doors and drawers. Does that seem like a fair price, which includes paint and labor? Appreciate your opinion.

Answer: Yes, I think the price sounds fair. Cabinet painting and preparation is very time consuming and 37 doors is a big kitchen.

Question: I have oak cabinets that are great shape and I want to paint them. I plan on using Sherwin Williams bond primer and emerald (the sides are laminate). Is that going to look bad painting?

Answer: The laminate sides will look smoother than the oak part when painted. Don't use latex primer on the cabinets. Prime with oil primer, or BIN. The Extreme Bond primer is fine if the cabinets are already painted.

Question: I love Sherin Williams Emerald Urethane for cabinets but have only brushed and rolled it. I have a small sprayer that requires thinning. Does thinning this paint make it less durable? Is it important to top coat it with a clear coat?

Answer: Over-thinning can reduce the gloss of the finish, so yes, thinning too much can reduce durability if the finish is less smooth and less washable. If you follow the specs for the extender you're using and add a small amount for what's recommended, a gloss reduction won't be noticeable. The paint alone is washable enough without a clear coat, but you can top coat it.

Question: I want to paint my kitchen cabinets gray on unfinished oak, can I use the Sherwin Williams Emerald semi-gloss as a top coat or does it only work on white painted cabinets?

Answer: The cabinets need to be cleaned, sanded and primed first then you can paint them gray with Emerald.

Question: Setting up to spray a final coat of this product on a job that the other guys got fired from because they're hacks. Just curious if you reduced it for hvlp or if you used a finished tip and an airless. We haven't used this one yet?

Answer: When I spray cabinets, I use a Graco 210 FFLP tip (green) with my airless. A 310 tip is good too, but less overspray with the 210. You don't need to reduce Emerald urethane with an airless. I've never sprayed this product through an HVLP, but you'll definitely have to reduce the paint in that case.

Question: Is there a specific color of white you select for cabinets with the semi-gloss? Also, slightly of subject but when you are doing jobs, do you spray the inside of the cabinets and the shelving for these projects? Last question, what’s the best DIY paint sprayer for this paint?

Answer: On cabinets, I've used several whites from Sherwin Williams. Some whites I've used are Snowbound, West Highland White, Creamy and Extra White. I typically only spray the inside of cabinets if there are glass doors, or if my customer requests it. I use Graco spray equipment and definitely recommend that brand. I actually wrote an article about the sprayer I use.

Question: Do you send between coats of paint? I am doing 2 coats of primer and sanding between them. Anticipating doing 3 coats of paint, do I need to sand between the 1st and 2nd coat of paint?

Answer: I usually only sand in between coats of primer and between the last coat of primer and the first coat of paint. If I see something stuck in the paint (dust, crumbs etc.) I'll sand between coats of paint. If you sand in between coats of paint, make sure you're using a fine-grit otherwise you'll leave scratch marks in the paint very easily. Use a 320-grit sanding sponge for detailing.

Question: You mention a 210 and 212 tip in your replies. Which size shoots the emerald urethane trim enamel best? Just did a test with a 314 and there are small pinholes and blemishes after the first coat. Maybe I need to up the pressure?

Answer: I actually started using a 208 tip. I used a 210 tip for a long time, but the smaller orifice of the 208 gives me better results. The small pinholes are from spraying too thin in spots. Increase your pressure and spray the doors with a couple light and quick passes. It might look too light at first when you spray in quick passes, but the enamel lays out after a few minutes and looks thicker than when you put it on. That's what makes it tricky to work with at first. You want to spray just enough enamel so it's evenly coated. Then you won't get the pinholes anymore. You might also be spraying too far away from the surface.

Question: I sprayed some cabinet doors a little too heavy with the emerald paint and some of them need to be repainted..does this paint sand okay in between coats or do I need to strip down and prime them again ?

Answer: Yes, Emerald urethane sands well by wet sanding. Soak a sanding sponge in warm water and sand the paint drips gently to remove them.

Question: What primer did you use with Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane and did you have to apply a sealer afterward?

Answer: I use BIN shellac primer. I was advised by my local Sherwin Williams store not to spray sealer over this product.

Question: When spraying cabinets I’m getting air bubbles, why?

Answer: Air bubbles can form for a number of reasons. You didn't mention when the bubbles are forming, or the type of sprayer you're spraying with. Small bubbles form right away if you spray too thin of a coating. This happens more on the second coat for some reason. The enamels thick and won't layout without the right thickness applied. Bubbles can also form if there's air inside your spray line, assuming you're using an airless sprayer. Another possible reason is contamination inside the spray line, or on the surface, you're spraying. Make sure you've flushed out the sprayer really good with clean water before spraying the enamel. Make sure the surface is clean too. Spraying too thick of a coating can also cause problems. When the paint's sprayed on too heavy, the surface starts to skim over before the paint deeper below has dried, so it starts off-gassing through the top, creating air bubbles. It might be too dry in the room too.

Question: If we have grain filled already and are rolling BIN primer, do we caulk first or after priming? also we wanted SW high reflective white in the emerald enamel, however they said they have high hide white which is the base in the can. Have you used this color as a top coat before?

Answer: I usually caulk before I spray the first coat of primer. If you're applying a second of primer you can just caulk in between coats. I like to prime the caulk to seal it in, but even if you caulked after priming it's fine. Yes, High Hide White is the base color for this enamel before tint is added. The base color was Extra White before, but they changed it to High Hide White, which is slightly different. The base color is a bright white. I've sprayed cabinets with only the base color before, but most of my customers go with a tinted white. I've used Snowbound a lot.

Question: I'm getting ready to paint my primed cabinets now with this now and want to make sure I don't ruin the backs by not waiting long enough before I flip them. My drying rack is a ladder with PVC pipes running through the steps. Backer coat 1 dries in about 4 hours. Should I apply a second coat and check between 4-6 hours or overnight before I flip them to start the fronts?

Answer: You'll probably have to let them harden overnight before flipping them. Even though the paint will be dry to the touch in 4 to 6 hours, the paint will be soft and marr easily when flipped over. Place soft rags or towels underneath the doors to protect the paint.

Question: When I used it, I found it did much better in cooler temps. I also used this in a hot garage in summer. It was much harder to get the desired finish. Have you experienced issues with Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane in the heat of the summer? Have you, the writer of the article, ever filled oak grain with rock hard?

Answer: No, but temperature plays a role in the finish and dry time. Exposing wet paint to high heat and humidity isn't good. I've used Durham's Rock Hard putty to repair holes on cabinet doors, but not as a grain filler. The putty is very hard to sand. I wouldn't attempt to use it as a grain filler. Having to sand that putty off of 20 plus cabinet doors and frames would be a nightmare, even with an electric sander. Regular joint compound, or Aqua Coat, work great and sand easy.

Question: What primer should I use on Kraftmaid factory painted and distress glazed cabinets? I am unsure if oil based primer will work since I don't know what type of paint Kraftmaid uses. Sanding everything down to wood would be impossible given the amount of detail in these.

Answer: Sanding and priming the factory painted cabinets with oil primer before applying the new paint should be fine, but it's a good idea to contact the manufacturer too to check compatibility between products.

Question: You sprayed the cabinet doors laying flat. How did you paint the the cabinet frames? Did you paint the inside of the boxes?

Answer: Yes, I remove cabinet doors and spray them off site, laying flat on a spray rack that allows me to flip the door over so I can spray both sides in one session. The doors are stored on a drying rack with curved bars that don't make direct contact with the wet paint. I don't spray the inside of cabinet boxes unless there are glass doors where the inside is visible. The cabinet openings are covered with plastic so everything can be sprayed. I don't brush and roll cabinets. Everything is sprayed, including the primer.

Question: I am painting my oak kitchen cabinets. We primed them with Cover-stain but we made the mistake of doing in the direct sun using a brush and roller. We did 2 coats of primer too heavy and now the trim area looks horrible. We had to sand like crazy but the detailed trim looks bad still bad is gummy. I’m lost and do not know what to do to fix it?

Answer: You have to let Cover Stain dry overnight before sanding it otherwise it's soft and doesn't sand as easily. Oil primer takes more time to cure. Once you allow it to dry, the primer sands really nice into a fine powder. In your case, you'll have to give it more time to harden because it was applied too heavy. Use a sanding sponge to sand it.

Question: I painted the cabinets with the emerald 2 coats over 2 coats of primer, now 2 days later the paint wipes off in spots wherever water was used to clean. How long does it take to set for cleaning?

Answer: You didn't specify what type of primer was used on the cabinets, or if the surface was cleaned and sanded. The best primer is oil, or white shellac (BIN). If you used latex primer, that's likely part of the reason the finish is weak and rubbing off. You're also cleaning the cabinets way too soon after painting them. The paint is soft at first and needs to harden more before you can clean it with water. Paint takes a good thirty days to fully cure. You should wait at least a couple of weeks before wiping down the fresh paint with water. Having worked with this product many times, I suspect the paint rubbing off like that is more than likely a result of exposing the fresh paint to water, or the wrong primer was used. If you didn't sand too, the surface could have been too smooth and glossy, and that could have contributed to the problem.

Question: I used the Emerald Urethane paint on my cabinets, how long should I wait before hanging the doors?

Answer: Let the doors and frames dry a few days before installing them.

Question: The guy at the store told me I didn’t need to prime with this product is this true?

Answer: Whether or not primer's needed depends on the surface you're painting. Emerald urethane enamel should not be applied directly over unpainted wood without cleaning, sanding and priming first with primer-sealer. If you're painting over a previously painted surface, or factory pre-primed wood, you can just clean the surface, scuff sand, and apply the enamel. If the guy at the store said this product can be applied without primer, no matter what, he is wrong.

Question: Can you top the emerald urethane paint with a water-based polyurethane? I used the satin finish and it is way too flat for my taste.

Answer: You didn't mention if you painted the cabinets with two coats or only one coat. Two coats are more glossy and smoother than one. I haven't used polyurethane over this product. I'm sure it would be fine, but the clear coat can sometimes change the color of paint a little, or yellow it. Even though it's clear, the film has some color to it.

Question: Have you had any successes or challenges using Sherwin Williams' Emerald Urethane in darker colors (e.g., navy blues, dark grays)?

Answer: Yes, I've sprayed this product in dark grey on cabinets without any challenges.

Question: I have both Graco X7 and hand held Ultra. What tip size did you find works best for you spraying this paint?

Answer: I use Graco FFLP tips. Size 208 and 210 are best.

Question: I'm in between the same steps with the same products and I've come across your great post. I brushed the doors in place with bin have two even coats I'm planning to hand sand for the wood grain but I'm noticing the bin primer doesn't build as high as I'm used to. Is it durable to use a filler between bin primer and emerald urethane spraying?

Answer: Yes, you can fill the grain after priming with BIN, but the filler should be primed to seal it. If you apply filler after BIN, sometimes the filler pulls wood tannin right through the first prime coat. That's why it's always best, at least for me, to fill the grain first, sand, and prime two coats to prevent those problems. Two coats of BIN will give you a higher build and better seal, plus your paint will perform best over two prime coats. Removing the doors and laying them down flat for priming is better too for leveling out the grain versus priming them hung.

Question: I'm using a Nova 390. I did 2 coats of SW Extreme Bond latex primer & 2 coats with the SW Emerald Urethane on raw doors. I’ve been sanding in between coats for drips & overspray. My light buffing with 1,500 paper turned into 220 paper sanding in some spots & my super smooth surface is now dull. Should I lightly sand/buff in between coats of primer or should I spray 2 coats & then lightly sand/buff?

Answer: On raw doors, I would have primed with BIN, or oil primer. Sand between the first and second of primer and before you spray the first coat of paint. I use a 220-grit sponge. You only need to scuff sand. It gives you a smoother finish and removes debris stuck in the primer.

Question: If you wet sand a drip or run, do you sand it down to the primer? And then spray it, touch it up with a brush or a roller?

Answer: Sand the drip until it's level with the surface. You don't have to grind it down to the primer. Touch up the surface the same way you applied the paint (sprayer, brush, roller, etc). That way the touch up will blend in better. If you touch up a sprayed surface with a brush, it won't blend in right with the surrounding finish.

Question: Have you used any colours other than white with this Sherwin Williams paint? I’m finding that the black paint isn’t curing properly and hasn’t passed the scratch test with my fingernail. I’ve used the white and it passes no problem within a day. The black I have is coming off between coats.

Answer: Yes, I've used this product in darker colors. Dark colors, especially black, is tinted a lot more. The more tint, the longer it takes for the enamel to cure, so the finish will be softer longer. Let the paint dry. You can also attach door stoppers to the inside of the doors so the fresh paint doesn't stick together when the doors are closed. Attach them to the drawers too. You might also want to leave the doors open for a day or two.

Question: I plan to paint laminate cabinets, do you recommend a primer?

Answer: Yes, you definitely need to prime the laminate cabinets. I would use Zinsser BIN primer. It works great on multiple surfaces, including laminate. It's also excellent for spraying. The primer is very thin and leaves a smooth finish when sprayed through an airless sprayer, or an HVLP.

Question: Can I use the BIN shellac primer with the emerald enamel over the top? Thanks

Answer: Yes. I prime cabinets with BIN shellac and paint them with Emerald urethane.

Question: I have a small drawer front that needed to be remade using hard maple, is there a primer in a spray can that you have success with?

Answer: Sherwin Williams Pro Block, Zinsser Cover Stain, or BIN, are good options. All three are available in a spray can. The Sherwin Williams primer you can only buy at their stores, but the other two are sold online and at most home improvement stores.

Question: Can you use urethane trim enamel to seal chalk paint?

Answer: Emerald urethane isn't a sealer. If you want to seal your chalk paint, using primer sealer will seal the coating and provide a good bond coat for the trim enamel on top.

Question: Can you sand runs or defects on cabinets?

Answer: Yes, the best way to sand runs is wet sanding them with a sanding sponge soaked with warm water. Let the paint dry overnight and it will sand smoother without leaving an indentation in the paint. Sometimes if you sand runs too soon, it will break off, or tear open. Then you'll have to patch it. This product wet sands really well in my experience.

Question: what color did you use in the Emerald Urethane hide white or extra white?

Answer: I've used several different colors with Emerald urethane, including Hi Hide White, which is one of the base colors (no tint) for this product that's replaced the Extra White base.

Question: Do you use any grain fillers before painting to get that smooth finish?

Answer: Yes, when painting oak cabinets with Emerald urethane, I use the grain filler I linked to in my article, which includes my full review on that product.

Question: What topcoat do you recommend?

Answer: I don't recommend top coating this product. I have been told by two Sherwin Williams employees that certain topcoats used over this particular product can cause alligatoring. The enamel itself is washable without a topcoat. Of course, a clear coat will enhance the washability and durability, but I don't have a product recommendation as I have been told there have been known problems top coating Emerald.

Question: I started spraying my bed with emerald paint which it’s looking great, but I notice a couple of areas I have missed a spot. Is it possible to just repaint missing spots on the cabinet with my sprayer PT or do I need to go over the whole panel? If I can do the one spot what’s the best way to approach repainting a cabinet?

Answer: One option is to tape off the finished part of the bed around it with masking paper and only leave the one-touch up spot exposed so you can spray it without getting paint on the finished part around it. With paint, it's hard to spray touch up in the middle of a finished surface without ruining the area around it from over-spray texture. The other option is to simply spray the whole panel again. I would probably just spray the whole panel again though if the touchup's in the middle. The masking trick can work if it's where two pieces meet or an area that's not noticeable.

Question: If I am going to stain my ugly yellow/ orange oak cabinets which sand paper do I use to avoid scratching the wood. In addition, do I need to apply a top coat polyurethane?

Answer: I wouldn't go any rougher than 120-grit. I like using 150-grit for the first sanding to remove the clear coat, then I use 220-grit in between coats. If you go any rougher than 220-grit in between coats, you'll probably see scratch marks in the paint. You don't have to apply a clear coat, but you can. The paint is washable. I use the satin finish a lot.

Question: I am spraying Emerald on some cabinets. 2 colors, Satin. The main color is SW Snowbound, and the island color is SW City Shadow (gray). After 2 coats, the gray was butter smooth, the off-white, not so much. I've tried different tips, different thinning ratios, different booth set-ups, with no difference in the feel of the white Emerald. Any tips?

Answer: Emerald urethane lays out nicely on its own without thinning, but if the sheen of the satin is looking dull and not smooth, it's possible you thinned it too much and diluted it. If you add too much extender or water, the sheen dulls. The satin finish should be slightly glossy and smooth. Another consideration is the primer that was used. This plays a role in how your paint finish turns out. The cabinets should also have been cleaned carefully and sanded before priming and painting.

© 2018 Matt G.


Mack on August 30, 2020:

310 and 210 let the same amount of material through. A 310 gives a 6" fan and a 210 gives a 4" fan. Double the first number and that equals the fan size at 12" away. The second two numbers are the orifice size.

Mack on August 30, 2020:

*successfully convert, not successfully complete covert, lol. My phone's auto correct is horrible

Mack on August 30, 2020:

I forgot to add that everyone loves the look of the satin finish in my part of the woods (west coast,) but it's the feel to the hand over the finish that is not preferred, or should I say the "touch." If you are spraying and want a finer finish in a waterbased topcoat, most people successfully complete covert over to the Pro Industrial Waterbased Alkyd Urethane line, the sheen is called low-gloss, which is not a good product to brush and roll. It is more of a professional line, whereas the Emerald is more of a DIY line.

Matt G. (author) from United States on August 30, 2020:

I use Graco sprayers. I'm not familiar with the Wagner sprayer you mentioned, but airless sprayers can usually handle enamel. If you have problems atomizing the enamel you can thin it. Either size tip is fine, but for doors, the 310 tip is better. I use a 310 tip for my cabinet painting projects.

Allie Hunter on August 30, 2020:

I will be painting my kitchen cabinets with Emerald using a Wagner pro 130 airless sprayer. Is Emerald too thick for this airless? Will a 210 or 310 tip

Matt G. (author) from United States on August 28, 2020:

The 400 grit didn't ruin anything, you're fine. I would use 220 to sand the primer and 320 for the enamel if you sand between coats.

Adriana on August 28, 2020:

Thank you for this article, so much useful information! I just wish I found it earlier as I already painted the first coat on some of my cabinet doors.

In general, I think I did a good job preparing my doors. I used AquaCoat to fill the grain and two coats of BIN shellac primer but I think I messed up the sanding part. I used 400 grit sandpaper in between primer coats, will that affect the final result? Should I sand with again the remaining doors with a 220?

Thanks a lot!

Matt G. (author) from United States on August 26, 2020:

Thanks for sharing. I sprayed this product a lot and haven't had any complaints about the satin finish or experienced any gritty texture with it. The finish is more dull than semi-gloss which some folks might not like. But the semi-gloss is extremely glossy and had a plastic look to it when I used it before. The customer wished she would have used satin because the finish was too shiny for her liking. It all boils down to personal preference.

Mack on August 25, 2020:

I hear all day long how the finish of Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in a Satin sheen, has a gritty finish. That unfortunately is the nature of the product. The flattening agents used in the product are what is contributing to some of the texture that you feel. I've had a lot of people not like the product because of it, both homeowners and cabinet finishers alike. The semi-gloss does not have the same issues.

Matt G. (author) from United States on August 22, 2020:


I've never sprayed with the handheld sprayer you used, but those sprayers have very small pumps. The pump likely isn't powerful enough to atomize the enamel into a fine finish. This is why you were getting the uneven spray pattern. The enamel is thick. You can try thinning it, or use a different sprayer. The pin hole texturing is from laying it on too thin. Emerald urethane is a little tricky to spray. Pro Classic acrylic enamel is easier to spray.

Sonny on August 19, 2020:

I used a Graco Ultimate (corded handheld) with a 210 tip to spray my cabinet doors. At first, by mistake, I used Emerald interior latex. The finish was near perfect!! I had the gun set to a 7. I later realized and switched to the Emerald urethane enamel. I initially tried the 210 tip and same speed, but the finish was very gritty like it had pieces of sand in it, almost like I was getting trails overlapped into sections. I’m not sure. So, I switched the tip to a 212 and it turned out even worse, very orange peely. I then turned the speed up to 10, the finish was better, but now there are pin holes and the tip tends to spit a little towards the end. Also, to be clear I sanded the finish smooth and started fresh each time. What am I doing wrong!!??

Mack on August 10, 2020:

So... I dunno if you are aware, but regardless of they "hybrid" technology, any water based paint, is going to fully cure after 30 days. There is a difference in dry time and cure time. Dry time means you can recoat or handle it. Cure time means when all of the polymeres have finally set or linked into their place. So, the dry time (which means to-the-touch,) but not the cure time (which is when the paint fully hardens,) needs to be taken into account. Lacquers have the best turnover time, but even an alkyd (oil-based) paint is still going to take at least 2 weeks to cure (final hardness,) that includes Emerald Urethane Enamel. The water base makes it dry fast, the alkyd base makes it level out, and the Urethane base makes it dry harder. You are still looking at about 30 days to cure. So if you are noticing a fingernail test after a few days, imagine what it will do in 30!

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 27, 2020:


If you're brushing and rolling the vanity, one gallon would probably be fine. Don't use latex primer unless it's already painted and in good condition. Use oil-based primer if it's unpainted oak. I would advise against tinting the oil primer too. You can only use up to 2 ounces of colorant for oil primer, in most cases, but even following the specs, I've had problems tinting oil. The colorant impacts the dry time and the durability. In my experience, the primer doesn't stick to the surface as good as without colorant. It will take an extra coat of your navy enamel to cover over the white primer, but you won't have any durability problems.

Leah on July 27, 2020:

I was wondering how much of this paint to buy for a small bathroom vanity? I'm going to be using a navy color over oak but I plan to use primer first and am considering tinting the primer as well.

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 26, 2020:


The problem is the latex primer that was used on the cabinets. As you've learned, latex primer doesn't seal over tough stains and tannin. It also dries too soft for use as an undercoat on unpainted cabinets. Top coats of enamel over latex primer on unpainted wood results in a soft, unsealed finish, that isn't durable.

For unpainted cabinets, the store employee should have recommended their version of BIN, which is a white pigmented shellac primer, or their interior oil-based primer called Pro Block. If the cabinets would have been primed with either of those products, or BIN, the finish would be hard and durable without the fingerprint problem.

Another potential problem is over-thinning the paint. It's possible you thinned it with too much water, which reduces durability as well, but the latex primer for sure is the problem.

Another consideration is the paint color. You didn't mention if the color was white, or a darker color. If the paint was tinted to a dark color this slows down the cure time a lot. All of these things combined can cause problems.

If it were me, I would strip the cabinets and start over with BIN primer, or an oil-based primer, followed by two coats of the enamel, otherwise the cabinets won't be durable with that latex primer underneath.

Emerald urethane dries to a hard and washable finish when applied over the primer I mentioned. I would also spray it with an airless sprayer, which requires no thinning. When sprayed between 2,000 to 2,500 PSI, using the right size fine finish tip, the enamel lays out nice. I've sprayed it multiple times.

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 26, 2020:

Thank you for the comment. I'm glad to hear my article helped you with the project. Yes, their paint sales can save you a lot of money. Their blue bucket sale is the big one. I load up on supplies when they run that sale a couple times per year.

Mike on July 24, 2020:

Thanks for the info Matt. We just finished spraying (older Wagner HVLP) our cabs with SW Emerald urethane and I wanted to share a few observations. First, I do not recommend the SW water-based primer that is marketed by SW alongside this paint. Although we did a good job cleaning the cabs, there are always going to be small areas with gunk that will bleed through, and the water based primer was terrible in this regard. The most used cab fronts had bleedthrough spots so I went and got a quart of BIN (shellac-based) and it sealed them up well. Second, although water-based has advantages, the cure time is just too long... I needed to thin this (5% max allowed according to SW) to get it to spray well, and our cabs still fail the fingernail test 10 days after spraying the last coat. I'm worried. One of our girls touched her toes to the side of the island 5 days after painting, and her prints are still there... Despite being 10 days out, if you rub a thumb (with some force, but not too hard), the semi-gloss finish is gone forever. This stuff is just too tacky for how long it has been.

Alejandra on July 24, 2020:

Thank you for the information. I actually just spray painted my kitchen cabinets using the Wagner sprayer and the SW Emerald paint you just mentioned.

It's the first time using this paint and also a sprayer. I'm a homemaker and I loved the finish.

It is exactly as you described. Tomorrow I'll be putting everything together, including the new hardware.

I did sign up for the Perks account to save money, and I was lucky that during the last week of painting they were running a sale.

Thank you again!

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 09, 2020:

I would recommend Emerald urethane enamel over Super Paint. The enamel dries harder. Super Paint is good for walls. I wouldn't use it on cabinets.

Emerald or SuperPaint? on July 09, 2020:

I’ve seen you recommend both in your articles (I’m not wanting to use ProClassic because I am an amateur painter and I’ve heard it’s difficult to use). Would you suggest Emerald Urethane or SuperPaint for painting oak wood cabinets?


Jessica on July 09, 2020:

I had my cabinets professionally painted with this product recently (sprayed) and they are definitely NOT passing the fingernail test. They scratch easily with a fingernail after over a week. Also, there's small amounts of caulk accumulated in all the corners of my shaker cabinets making them look kinda rounded. Should I be worried about the scratching of the paint or give it more time to cure? Should I be asking them to fix caulk? I don't know if I'm being unrealistic about the shaker edges being perfectly square and crisp.

Matt G. (author) from United States on June 21, 2020:


I believe the aerosol version performs the same as far as sealing and priming, but I can't confirm this one hundred percent. I have used the aerosol version to do spot priming for various projects and the finish is different than spraying through an airless. I wouldn't use the aerosol can to spray primer over all of your cabinets. The finish will be less smooth than if you were to spray through an airless with high atomization. You're also going to need multiple cans. The tips on these cans clog more too in my experience.

Matt G. (author) from United States on June 21, 2020:


I use a Titan 440 Impact and a Graco GX-19 Finish Pro for cabinet painting. One is for spraying primer and the other for paint. I wrote two articles about each of those sprayers. Check out my articles list if you'd like to read my reviews about them.

Freddy Belt on June 20, 2020:

Is it OK to use the aerosol version of the BIN shellac? Is it the same thing that using the regular one with my airless sprayer? I dont want to use my airless sprayer with oil paints for now.

Kevin Wunschel on June 20, 2020:


I want to paint my kitchen cabinets. What type of airless sprayer did you use with Emeralds urethane paint?

Matt G. (author) from United States on June 17, 2020:


If the paint on your cabinets is in good condition with no signs of corrosion or peeling you can scuff sand and apply the new coating, but I would lean more towards applying a latex bonding primer first to ensure a solid bond. It's up to you. If you're asking if you can use the cabinet paint on the drywall, yeah you can, but the wall should be sanded down first if it's glossy and primed with a latex bonding primer before painting it. The cabinets should be cleaned and scuff sanded before you prime and paint.

Matt G. (author) from United States on June 17, 2020:


Sand the boxes with 220-grit to prevent scratching the wood. You don't have to sand it down to the bare wood, just enough to remove the lacquer. You can use coarser sandpaper if there's a thicker lacquer coating on the boxes. Priming with Pro Block oil primer is good, or BIN. I would use a micro fiber roller instead of a foam roller. The foam roller sometimes leaves bubbles in the paint for some reason. Sand between coats.

joseph halstead on June 16, 2020:

Hi Matt,

I have metal cabinets from the 50s-60s. They are still in good condition and I'm painting them. I used a Muralo latex product when I last painted them 12 years ago. Was gonna use Emerald Urethane this time. I assume I simply need to clean them and then use a 220 sandpaper. And then apply two coats. Just making sure there's no need to do anything else to the cabinets prior to painting. Then we also wanted to paint a wall in the kitchen with the same color paint. Could I use the same paint on this previously painted drywall wall? thanks for your help.

Kimber on May 26, 2020:

Hi Matt,

I am prepping to finally get to painting my new cabinet doors. I've kept the old cabinet boxes, as I completely remodeled my home and was trying to save where I could - I will be cleaning and sanding the boxes but the doors are unfinished pine/MDF ready for paint. I plan to paint with a foam roller (I know spraying is preferred, but my schedule doesn't allow me to rent a sprayer without having to return it immediately after without fear of keeping it for the next three weeks) and sand using my B&D Mouse, using the Sherwin Williams ProBlock and Sherwin Willians Emerald Urethane (when the 40% off rolls around again). What foam roller & sandpaper grit would you recommend? Is there anything else I should consider to try to make the best of the hours I'll be putting in to this?

Really appreciate all of your articles.

Michael Peyton on May 23, 2020:

Thanks again for your help Matt.

I really hope this helps someone else avoid the same headache.

I had reservations when I saw her mess up tinting the first batch. I wish I would have went with my gut and just used untintec BIN.

I will sand everything down to bare wood, reprime with nontinted BIN, and reapply the Emerald.

Matt G. (author) from United States on May 23, 2020:

At this point, the finish and bond was comprised by over-tinting the BIN primer. The person at the store didn't know what they were doing and unknowingly overloaded it. The powder you're seeing is the extra colorant that separated from the pigment in the shellac. This primer doesn't react well with tint and can only be tinted with a max of 2 ounces of universal colorant. I looked up the specs to confirm and I was correct in my previous reply. I've had problems tinting BIN before so now I don't do it anymore, even with deep base colors.

The tinting issue is your main problem, but it's probably also too hot and humid in the garage.Try to control the air better with a small portable AC unit with fans and exhaust so the fumes are being filtered out and fresh air coming in.

Sand off the primer and paint and start over with either no tint in the primer, or no more than 2 ounces of colorant per the specs. If it were me, I wouldn't even tint the primer at all. It sucks to have to start over, but at least you'll feel confident the project will be done right the second time without bonding issues or a soft finish. I also highly recommend spraying instead of rolling. You can get a nice even finish and it's a lot faster.

Michael Peyton on May 23, 2020:

Thanks so much for your help Matt.

It looks like I have all of those things you mentioned in your response.

-Paint color is black so the base is Ultra Deep.

-I’m doing this in a garage and it has rained a lot in the last 10 days. The temp here in Nashville, Tennessee has been in the 70s for the most part.

-The primer was tinted - I’m not sure how much they put in, but it’s gray not white. The person at Lowes tinting it messed up the first batch and had to tint a new can. I’m not confident that it was tinted to spec and is actually causing the issue.

-I don’t have a wet mil gauge but when I rolled the first coat it didn’t cover the gray primer completely. That should be under 4 mils but I could have applied the other two coats thicker. With a 1/4” nap there was only a very small texture when wet.

I’m afraid it’s the primer.

I performed a scrape test with a paint scraper this morning. The Emerald peeled and rolled away from the primer without too much effort. Scraping the primer resulted in “primer” dust. Last night I painted a piece of plain plywood with two coats of Emerald. Scraping it this morning resulted in peeling but it seemed noticeably harder. Sanding with 220 of both the primed and unprimed pieces results in “rolls” not “dust”.

I set a small ceramic heater at 85 degrees with a oscillating fan in hopes that will help harden the paint a bit faster. Considering the possibility of the primer being tinted too much, do you feel this is all for naught and I should just sand everything down to the bare wood or do you still think I need to wait it out for another few days?

Matt G. (author) from United States on May 23, 2020:

Coating thickness and air temp is important. Using a wet mil gauge is very helpful. When I started using one, I was surprised to see I was spraying a lot heavier than I thought. A coating thickness of 4 wet mils is what you want. Beyond 4 mils, the enamel dry time slows down.

You didn't mention the color, but that also plays a role in dry time. White colors dry very fast. I can handle a white cabinet door the next day without leaving marks in the finish. Deep base and ultra deep base colors take longer to dry because there's a lot more tint in the enamel. The excessive colorant slows the drying.

If the BIN primer was tinted too, especially beyond the recommended specs, which I believe is 2 ounces of colorant, this can also slow the drying a lot and cause problems.

Air temperature and humidity also impacts drying. If it's hot and humid, or too cold, this matters.

So the reason is either excessive colorant from deep base color needs more time to dry, the primer was over-tinted, the enamel was applied thicker than you think, or it's the air temp.

Hybrid enamel takes longer to cure than straight acrylic enamel. You applied three coats. All you can do is leave it alone and let it cure.

Michael Peyton on May 22, 2020:

Adding to my previous post - I used a 4.5” Purdy 1/4” nap micro fiber roller. Coats were not heavy - and I waited 24 hours between coats of Emerald and 72 hours of drying time after the last coat to handle the cabinets.

Michael Peyton on May 22, 2020:

I built two cabinets with 19mm Baltic Birch plywood. I applied 3 coats of Emerald Urethane over 2 coats of Bin Shellac based Primer sanding with a 220 between each coat. The finish “was” flawless. However even after 72 hours of drying time (with a fan as well) it is still “soft” with noticeable “give” and a slight stickiness when you press hard with your hand. I flipped the 125 pound cabinet over to paint the front. The entire back face was supported on a slightly textured floor for 20-30 minutes. Something told me to check it - so I flipped the cabinet over and the texture had transferred to my flawless finish. I checked the primer - it has bonded to the plywood as expected. What do you think the issue is?

Matt G. (author) from United States on May 07, 2020:

I'm not sure what you mean by "lines" in the coating. If the sprayer wasn't atomizing the paint correctly then your spray fan could have left tails on the edges of it. You can wet sand them out and spray another coat. Other possible causes could be not spraying in one direction, keeping a wet edge. That would cause flashing, especially if it's a darker color.

Hacemakes on May 07, 2020:

Hi Matt, I've just finished the second coat of my cabinets with the SW Emerald Urethane in semi gloss. It worked really well but in certain light, I'm noticing lines in my work. I used an inexpensive HVLP sprayer from Wagner to apply the paint. Is there an easy fix for this and/or do you think applying a third coat would do the trick? Any advice to prevent this from happening again on the final coat? Thanks for the original post. It was very helpful in determining the right paint for my project!

Matt G. (author) from United States on April 30, 2020:

The semi-gloss finish of this product is very shiny. You probably wouldn't like it if you don't want the extra sheen on your cabinets. Unless you plan on cleaning the cabinets a lot, the satin finish is fine. The satin finish is less glossy, but not dull like flat paint. When I used this product, most of my customers chose the satin finish and were very pleased with the sheen. The level of sheen also depends on prep and the number of coats too. Two coats of primer and two coats of paint enhances the gloss. If you were to only prime one coat and paint one coat, the finish will be less shiny, so that could explain some people saying the satin finish looks flat. With one coat, it's more dull. I definitely recommend two coats each of primer and paint for durability. It makes a big difference at the end. You want some gloss on the cabinets for easier cleaning.

Mandy on April 29, 2020:

Matt G, I am thinking of using this paint for my cupboards, but like you, I have heard mixed reviews about the satin sheen. I have heard that it tends to look flat. I would prefer the look of satin. Do you feel like the semi gloss isn’t as shinny and possibly looks like a Satin normally looks? I want to try to avoid a lot of shine on my cupboards.

Matt G. (author) from United States on April 13, 2020:


I think you're referring to the latex Extreme Bond primer from Sherwin Williams. If the cabinets are already painted that primer's fine, but if they're not painted, it's best to use an oil-based primer sealer, or white shellac primer, on the cabinets. Either one seals wood.

Melissa on April 12, 2020:

Hello! Thanks for the nice article, I’m about to paint my cabinets. sherwin Williams website recommend a extra bond latex primer But I read here latex primer will ruin the cabinets which one I should use

Matt G. (author) from United States on April 08, 2020:

The Graco X5, a DIY sprayer sold at big box stores, doesn't have a sealed motor and cannot be used with flammable coatings like BIN. Most of the inexpensive sprayers sold at Home Depot, or Lowes, are the same.

If you use a contractor sprayer from Graco, or Titan, these have sealed motors and can be used with flammable coatings. I own a Graco 495, Graco GX-19 Finish Pro and a Titan 440 Impact. All three can be used with BIN.

Emerald urethane is thick enamel and the small pump in your X5 has to work harder to atomize it without the tailing. I've sprayed Emerald enamel many times with all three of my sprayers and never had tailing with a 208 and 310 fine finish tip. I use the green FFLP tips. I'm glad you found the spray tip size that works with your sprayer.

Dave Contant on April 08, 2020:

Great information in this article, but I want to make a point about the BIN shellac primer. I intended to use it, but the sprayer I have (Graco X5) says you can't spray "flammable" materials. The flash point of the BIN shellac is too low for the sprayer. I had to go with Cover Stain. So make sure your sprayer can handle the shellac. Also, although the Emerald Urethane application instructions say to use a .015 to .017 tip at 2,000 PSI, I couldn't get rid of tailing with a 315 tip even at the max 3,000 PSI of the sprayer. I ended up having to buy a LP (low pressure) tip to get a nice pattern with feathered edges.

Matt G. (author) from United States on April 02, 2020:

If the primer isn't coming off then I'd just prime over it with Cover Stain.

Victoria on April 02, 2020:

Thanks a million! I will use cover stain after doing some more research. This primer has been on for more than 24 hours and is not budging with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper .. Is there a trick?

Matt G. (author) from United States on April 02, 2020:

Yes, I would remove the primer and prime with either oil-based primer, or BIN. Start over with a clean slate. If the primer's fresh it should sand off easily. You could prime over it too, but if the primer on there now hasn't bonded good to the surface you risk issues later. Oil-based primer, or BIN, both stick to prepped wood really well. Both seal the surface and provide a durable base coat. Cover Stain oil primer is a good product for this. Yes, sand in between prime coats with 220-grit. Use 320-grit if you sand between paint coats to avoid scratching the finish. Microfiber rollers and foam rollers work good. I like microfiber. Sometimes foam rollers leave bubbles in the paint. You can seal the cabinets if you want just make sure the two products are compatible.

Victoria on April 02, 2020:

Thank you so much! I wish I found this forum sooner! So I should sand off the current primer then apply bin shellac? Is a certain roller best for this? Do I need to sand again once the primer has dried before applying the paint? If so with what grit sand paper is best? I think I read somewhere else here that you don’t suggest sealing the cabinets once they are painted if this and emerald ere is used? Appreciate your help so very much!

Matt G. (author) from United States on April 02, 2020:

The yellowing is tannin bleed. It's happening because the primer is probably latex. Use oil-based primer, or white shellac primer. I would remove the primer and start over.

Victoria on April 01, 2020:

Hi Matt! I currently have BM advance primer on my Oak cabinets and have changed my mind about their paint because yellow is showing through primer after cleaning with tsp and sanding with 120 grit paper first. I am painting white and don’t want it to yellow so I’m going to use SW emerald erethane as suggested. Do I need to sand this BM primer off and start over? What primer should I use? Again painting white and don’t want it to yellow. Thank you!!

Matt G. (author) from United States on March 24, 2020:

Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you found the information helpful for your project.

Poper on March 24, 2020:

About to do all my cabinets with this paint using the extreme bond primer and emerald urethane on the laminated panels. On the wood surfaces I'll do extreme block with the emerald latex. This post answered many questions I had before I start. Great thread!

Matt G. (author) from United States on March 12, 2020:

No problem, thank you.

Cristina steadman on March 12, 2020:

Thank You Matt!

Matt G. (author) from United States on March 11, 2020:

You can use poly on top of Emerald urethane if you want. Sherwin Williams basically told me they wouldn't back the product though once it's top coated with another product. I can't really recommend a paint brush for furniture because I don't paint furniture at all. Purdy paint brushes are what I've always used the most. I like Purdy XL brushes. I've also used Corona brushes and like them. I know Wooster has some good brushes too, but I've never used them.

Cristina steadman on March 11, 2020:

. I refinish a lot of my own and friends furniture pieces. I’ve always used alkyd paint From BM or HD with a couple coats of poly. They say with Emerald you don’t need too , that it’s hard enough. Could I use poly on top if I feel like it needs it? The color I chose for my next project is a navy Also what is the best paint brush you’ve used for furniture pc, I know you use a spray gun but would like your thoughts on brushes


Matt G. (author) from United States on January 11, 2020:

Did you prime first, and if so, did you use latex or oil primer? If latex primer was used, that's likely why the paint is coming off like that. Oil primer or shellac primer dries harder and forms a stronger foundation under the paint.

Did you clean and sand the surface before priming and painting? How long did you wait to sand the paint? I've never experienced any issues with this product sanding off like that with my process for prep and application.

I clean, sand, caulk, spray two prime coats, using BIN shellac primer, sanding between coats. I let the primer harden overnight, scuff sand, and spray two coats of Emerald urethane at 3 1/2 to 4 mils max, allowing the paint to dry overnight between coats. Emerald urethane has good blocking if you prep right and let the paint dry and harden up overnight before scuff sanding.

Shawn C on January 10, 2020:

I sprayed this on using the homeright hvlp. I thinned the paint 15%. It seemed to work very well. It dries a little rougher than I would have liked, but nothing a little 400 grit couldn't take care of.

Matt G. (author) from United States on October 27, 2019:

Oil-based paint is very durable, but as you said, the smell is an issue. Emerald urethane enamel, not the regular acrylic Emerald, is durable too. The enamel dries hard, similar to oil paint. It's washable for dirt and food stains. I'm not familiar with Pro Choice paint, so I don't if you meant Pro Classic enamel. Pro Classic is a good product. I've brushed and sprayed a lot of the acrylic version. On cabinets, Emerald urethane will dry harder and be more washable than Pro Classic acrylic. There's also a Pro Classic hybrid enamel, similar to Emerald urethane, but I've never used that product. Your painter should use BIN shellac primer, or oil-based primer.

Lindsey on October 27, 2019:

Hi, I am so glad I ran across your post, I hope you are still answering questions! So they are installing our new kitchen cabinets next week and I’m using SW paint. I’ve really been studying the best way to go about this as I’m not a painter and I don’t want to get it wrong! My painter always works with oil base paint but I’m sensitive to oil base paint for some reason and the smell is too over powering(I’ve remodeled lots of homes). Anyhow, I find the Emerald water base to be maybe exactly what I need for myself and my painter. Is the smell super strong and overpowering? I mean if so, I should just go oil base.

My local SW says the Pro Choice is what most painters use? It’s a lot cheaper but I’m curious if you have continued using the Pro Choice? Is there a difference in looks of the two paintsOr is it just the application is better for my painter? My painter has been doing this a long time but prefers oil. Is there a difference in the way they clean once finished? I need about 20 gallons and I don’t mind spending extra but I’d theres not a huge difference to the quality or the eye, I will go Pro Choice. If there’s not a big difference in the strong ness of the odor, I might as well go oil.

Sorry, so long, I’m just excited to find someone talking about my exact issue and me and my painter have a language barrier which makes asking difficult.

ALSO...if I paint my fresh cabinets with either of these pints, which primer do you suggest?

Thanks so much!!

Matt G. (author) from United States on October 10, 2019:

Cleaning and scuff sanding the SuperPaint on the doors before applying Emerald urethane is fine. That will dull the gloss of the existing paint so the new paint grips the surface better. You can of course apply primer too. Sherwin Williams sells a latex bonding primer for that purpose.

Vanja on October 02, 2019:

I am using Emerald urethane paint on interior doors, previously finished with SW Super paint in semi gloss. We are sending doors slightly. Do we have to apply a primer before repainting with Emerald urethane paint. If yes, what kind of primer?

Matt G. (author) from United States on August 09, 2019:

Yes, BIN shellac primer will seal the MDF doors for your paint.

T Cao on August 08, 2019:


Can the same process (BIN Shellac + Emerald Urethane Paint) be used for MDF cabinet doors?

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 03, 2019:

How did you prep the cabinets and what type of primer was used? I've never had any problems with the paint coming off.

Pam on July 02, 2019:

I used Sherwin Williams Emerald urethane trim enamel for bathroom cabinets and the paint and primer both are gummy and come when you rub them. Any suggestions what went wrong?

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 02, 2019:


Yes, Emerald urethane levels pretty good when brushed on. If it's already painted, you don't need to use primer. Just clean, scuff sand the surface, and paint, but if there's bleed through with the existing paint, use oil primer. If there's a big color difference that could impact the number of coats, use latex primer.

Tony on July 01, 2019:

Can the SW Emerald Urethane be brushed on?

I am wanting to paint an already painted base cabinet with it. I don't know what type paint was used.

What primer would you suggest?

Thank you.

Matt G. (author) from United States on May 25, 2019:


No problem. I'm glad you found the article helpful.

Brenda Grant on May 25, 2019:

Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate it more than you know. I'll let you know what happens down the road.

Matt G. (author) from United States on May 25, 2019:


A poly coat will harden the surface, but I've never used that product before so I'm not sure if oil or latex poly should be used. Oil is more durable, but you need to know one hundred percent what's compatible with the product on your cabinets. I would contact your SW store and talk to the manager and ask them to call their product hotline with your inquiry. My local SW store has done this for me many times when the store employees couldn't provide a definite clear answer about product compatbility.

Brenda Grant on May 25, 2019:

Just found the paint was SW Pro Industrial, Pre-Catalyzed Waterbased Epoxy. K45 T 1154, 6509-83984 Egg-Shell He did prime the cabinets and left them for 24 hours before painting. They were originally stained cabinets. Since SW recommends I wait 60 days before doing anything, can I after 60 days, put on a polyurethane coat? And if I can, should it be a water- based polyurethane or an oil- based? SW man says it should be an oil based. I know you must use the right based polyurethane. Hoping a polyurethane will harden the finish and provide a little bit of shine, just not too much.Thank you for your help here at this site. It means a lot to me.Wished he had used the paints your recommend. with your recommendation, I hope I can help the situation. Thank you so much.

Matt G. (author) from United States on May 24, 2019:


Did the painter use latex or oil primer? What paint from Sherwin Williams was used on your cabinets? SW has many paints for different purposes, some of which shouldn't be used on cabinets. If the paint is soft and rubbery, it sounds like a cheap wall or trim paint was used, or the cabinets weren't prepped right. ProClassic and Emerald urethane are good paints for cabinets. I use Emerald urethane. It dries a little harder than ProClassic.

Brenda Grant on May 24, 2019:

I am so disappointed in my newly painted $2200 kitchen cabinets. The painter used SW paint but as you said it is soft and rubbery. I don't know what type he used but it was the eggshell finish. I am just sick over it. I live on retirement pay and was so excited to get them painted. But alas, the finish is sad. I called SW and they say wait 60 days for the paint to set. After 60 days, is there a polyurethane I could put on them to add a little shine and harden them up? Thanks for any help you can provide.

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