Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

Starting off on the back of the cabinet doors was definitely the right decision. And my kitchen is a FREAKING MESS.

Over the long weekend, I took care of a long list of shit-I-keep-forgetting (like replacing the busted light bulbs in the garage with ones that are guaranteed to last longer than I’ll probably own the house). I also took care of the devil screw that thwarted the first go-round of cabinet door removal (the screw was nearly stripped, I couldn’t get leverage, and it was too tight of an area for a power tool). So, a big thank-you to the folks that commented on this post with tips on what you use to get out those not-so-wholesome screws that keep on stripping (long after they’ve “saved up for med school”, haha). For those wondering, I used a socket wrench and spent several frustrating minutes jamming my arm into the area to create pressure on the screw, and little by little, the sucker came out.

first coat cabinet paint

Anyway, for the first coat on the cabinets, I wanted to test out the supposed “self-leveling” properties of the Benjamin Moore Advance paint. I’ve heard amazing things about using this stuff, but wanted to see for myself. After seeing a few brush marks using the brush alone for the first application, I sanded each door and cabinet lightly with a fine-grit sanding sponge (I used one like this; look for “between coat” on the label when shopping, and the angles on the ends help to get into the little nooks and crannies). I was too heavy-handed on the first door, but corrected my mistakes by the second. Then, I wiped each surface down with a tack cloth (I have a thing about sticky hands, so tack cloths and the residue they leave on my fingers are definitely not my favorite step – I know there are residue-free ones available, but I usually go for the cheapest/quickest ones in the aisle and muscle through the scrubbing later).

second coat cabinet paint

For the second coat, I used the brush again, but this time used  soft foam roller to go back over the entire area to smooth out any brush marks. The key to keeping your work neat is to use a dry foam roller – it’s meant only to smooth out the existing paint that you already applied, not add more paint on top, so there’s no need to dip it into paint separately.

second coat cabinet paint

As of last night, everything was still drying (there’s a long wait time between coats), but I could already see that the finish is a lot smoother. And by tonight, I’ll be able to flip the doors over and take care of the first coat on the front (I wanted to be confident on my technique before touching the front side). I’m hoping I’ll also have time to take new pictures with something other than my phone.

kitchen drawer

I think the cabinets have finally turned the corner in terms of looking different. Sure, the first coat is splotchy (I didn’t want to paint the corner area until I had removed the devil screw and primed that last part), but hopefully by the end of the week, any visible signs of primer will be gone. The coat near the fridge is the closest to completion (it may need one more coat before I can call it finished), but things are definitely looking up!

Did you use the long weekend to work on any projects?

P.S. On Friday, I promised you a giveaway starting this week, but due to some complications with install (on my part, not because the product), I am getting some info from the vendor before I post the giveaway. Hope to have that up later this week!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Feel free to let your words of wisdom and humor fly (there's no swear jar on this blog), but if you're overly spammy, rude, or just plain boring, you're just going to have to accept that your comment may not see the light of day. P.S. If you leave an affiliate or monetized link when making a comment on this site, such links might get overwritten by a plugin I have installed that uses my own internal tracking. See terms and disclosure page for more info! Thanks in advance. You rock.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I’m so excited about your remodel ’cause we have the same kitchen layout and I can’t wait to changed it! =]

  2. Keep up the great work! You will feel SO GREAT when this project is marked done. Years back, I went from oak cabinets to painted, stained, moulding, beadboard and hardware. It actually looked like a welcoming kitchen with character! And how is it I missed the comment you made about strippers paying for college? I even went back to the post and comments and still missed it–ha??? Great priorities on my part–searching for the stripper comment. Sad soul….

    1. Haha, joke fail. I was making a pun on the screws “stripping” – I’ll have to edit that so it’s clearer :)

      1. All I really wanted was a good laugh and I got it from your reply. So often you hear those terms. I have tried to push that out of my mind being an “adult”. The worst is when I get some guy here working on something and one of those technical terms comes up that is really a funny term. In my mind I’m thinking “don’t let it show that he just said….”. Of course I live with a husband who still thinks he’s 12 and I hear way too much nonsense from him. One that got me awhile ago from SDG was “scarf joint”. Not innapropriate, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around that one. How bout that scarf joint, eh?

  3. I am loving the color! You’re making me reconsider my all white kitchen for sure. After all… I haven’t even gotten to the bottoms… yet!

  4. Looking good.

    You are moving faster than me. After a bout of zero motivation this weekend, I anly put up two pieces of drywall. :)

  5. I’m following your cabinet painting project closely, because I’m considering the same in my bathroom, where I have some “golden oak” cabinets that have veered off into just-orangey-enough that they’re sorta wince inducing. And I know everything’s a mess now, but just keep in your mind the final goal. It’s looking great!

  6. The cabinets look superb. Look real damn good!
    Such projects when completed give so much satisfaction :D

    PS the color looks very nice
    Love & hugs
    Jessica x

  7. I love seeing these pics! This weekend I’m going to tackle the bathroom… sanding and painting here I come!

  8. I am so glad I found this. I have a very small u-shaped kitchen and will hopefully be getting new counter tops to replace the almost burgundy ones that make the kitchen seem even smaller. I have zero experience in painting so, thanks to your product links I may tackle this alone when my husband goes off hunting for a week this winter.

  9. Sarah I’ve been reading your kitchen cupboard painting project and now I can’t find it after you painted the cupboards. Would you mind sharing that post again? I believe it was posted in 2013. I was so much younger then. Anyway I have ugly 20+ year old oak cupboards and I’m going to paint them chalkboard grey. I already bought way too much stuff so I have to start this. Might wait until September when it’s cooler. 110 today in sunny Arizona! Please don’t say ‘it’s dry heat’.

    1. Which post, specifically, are you looking to find? I actually just updated some of my tutorials about the kitchen with related posts to make them easier to find! A lot of my stuff from the early blogging days have terrible titles, so I don’t blame you for not being able to find it (I’m working on a LONG project to go back to my archives and update things to make them easier for readers and flow better). But I do have quite a few in 2013, so if you were looking for a specific detail, I’ll track it down for ya!

  10. Hi Sarah, the post said Coat #2 but I can’t find the remainder of the post. It was definitely 2013. I really appreciate you getting back to me.

    1. Sorry, still not sure I’m following. You’re commenting on my post titled “Kitchen 2013: Coat Number Two”… what am I missing? The whole post is here, right above where I’m typing this reply on my site. Here is the link if this is winding up in your inbox.