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How I Painted my Kitchen Cabinets: Chalk Paint, Latex, and Benjamin Moore Advance

by Angie on February 6, 2013

Welcome to the second instalment of our new series “In Angie’s Kitchen: Pretty Kitchen, Bad Cook”!

angie kitchen 300 x 150

Today I’ll tell you about all the mistakes I’ve ever made in painting my kitchen cabinets and all the things I’ve ever done right.

how i painted my cabinets chalk paint verses benjamin moore

In 2009 when we bought our house the kitchen boasted oak cabinets. The house was built in the 80’s when I looked like this:

angie kissing fish lake powell

My dad tells me that in the 80’s, oak cabinets were the thing to have. But 25 years later when we moved in, I felt like black cabinets were the thing for me to have.

Hence we went from this to this:

before and between

But right this second, here in 2013 when I do a search on Pinterest for simply the term, “KITCHEN” most of the images that come up are white kitchens. I can hardly find a dark-toned cabinet in the bunch! A white kitchen is and will always be a classic design standard. You really can’t go wrong with it.

Two other things I see almost in almost 100% of my white “kitchen” search results? A contrasting kitchen island and a contrasting natural texture like a butcher block counter top or natural wood beams on the ceiling. Yep. (These themes are an entirely separate post waiting to happen. Stay tuned.)

Let’s focus on paint- The first time we painted the cabinets this is how we did it:

  1. we lightly sanded and cleaned the cabinets with TSP
  2. we bought a paint sprayer, set up shop outside, and painted the doors with a coat of gray primer
  3. we sprayed the doors with Valspar’s Martha Stewart paint called “French Bulldog Black”
  4. we used both angled brushes and small high-density foam rollers to paint the cabinets themselves
  5. we kicked ourselves for 3 years and cried on and off about how poorly they turned out

I can’t explain why, but the paint we used never set right. It never hardened solidly on the cabinets. Honest. I could take my fingernail and scratch the paint off if I wanted to torture myself. The cabinets remained slightly tacky until it was time to “Sell the House” and then I knew it was time to tackle the paint job all over again and fix the mess I had created in Round 1.

I did a lot of research the second time around. First question? Should I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP)?

side note: I realize that while most Home/DIY Bloggers and their readers know what ASCP is, really only a slim portion of the general population does. It’s a new product not sold on the mass market. Does your Mom or Mother-in-Law know what ASCP is? See? So let me just take a second to explain–>

annie sloan chalk paint source: decoratedlife,com

Annie Sloan, a lady in England (who doesn’t live at Downton Abbey) created some paint that is awesome. It’s called “chalk paint”, but it’s not CHALKBOARD PAINT. That’s the paint that you can use to turn a wall into a chalkboard. This paint is different. It has chalk IN IT. That makes it awesome somehow. It allows the painter to skip sanding and priming. It adheres amazingly to everything. Yet, at the same time, the chalk paint can be sanded away easily to create a distressed effect. Let me rephrase that– the paint was CREATED to be distressed and to create a weathered look. When you paint with ASCP you should sand between each coat to create the SMOOTHEST FINISH EVER. It’s like baby’s butt smooth! NO BRUSH STREAKS. The paint job is sealed typically with a wax coat that is rubbed on and buffed off. (Dear Mother-in-Law, is that enough back story for you? Call me if you have questions. And please come visit soon :-) Moving on…

Back to my question- Should I paint the cabinets in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so I don’t have to sand down and prime the cabinets? Could it really be that easy?

I knew I wanted the upper cabinets to be white this time and I would keep the bottoms black. There are some amazing kitchens out there sporting this two-toned look. The most famous and best example of this is Tommy Smythe’s kitchen:

white upper cabinets black lower cabinets

(Tommy Smythe is Sarah Richardson’s assistant on her HGTV shows and an incredible designer in his own right. If you don’t know who Sarah Richardson is, I forgive you. We are all people.)

sarah richardson tommy smythe

I drove to my nearest ASCP stockist (you have to get it from licensed stockists) and bought one quart of Pure White for the uppers and one quart of Graphite for the lowers.

I flew my mom out to help me paint the cabinets. I need her for these types of intense projects. She is my painter fairy.

We wiped the cabinets clean, but didn’t sand them. Did we, Mom? I don’t think so. She wanted to though. She was all, “Can I sand just a little?” And I was like, “Only if you do it behind my back and stop making fun of me for eating McDonalds for every single meal.”

The chalk paint went on very nicely with a brush. We were able to just slap it on thick-like (which also gave my mom nervous twitches) and didn’t worry about brush strokes, because since we had to sand it lightly (with a “between coats” sanding block) any brush strokes that were there came off with that sanding. The paint sorta crackled as it dried too. Which was also fine as that top layer just sanded right down.

I know this picture is dark, but it has to be in order to show you the crackly, rough finish that is there after a good layer of paint has dried and it is ready for a light sanding:

annie sloan chalk paint crackles before sanding

Tidbit of info for ya– This sanding process, though not difficult, does make a mess. It’s as if you are throwing chalk dust all over your house/face/clothes/burger. And also, I thought the point of using ASCP was to skip the “sanding and priming” steps. Hello? I’m sanding here, people! A Lot!

Actually, that’s where my problems began. Chalk paint is ideal for a weathered, primitive, or beachy look. If you want the edges of your cabinets to have a worn, darker look, you should paint them with chalk paint. If you want a clean, crisp white look (I did), then DON’T use chalk paint! The paint, although lovely and smooth as baby bum-bums, was working against me the whole time. I think we did 3 or 4 coats on the upper cabinets, because every time I went to do that last bit of sanding (to smooth off the subtle grit of the paint), a dark edge would reveal itself and I’d have to go back and paint again! Remember that I was going from BLACK to WHITE. It was tough work.

edges annie sloan chalk paint

By the time we had finished painting the upper doors (front and back) and the actual cabinet skeletons we were TOTALLY BEAT. In the meantime we had gone back to the ASCP Stockist to get a second quart of the paint, because of all the coats we were cranking out. Did I forget to tell you that the paint is $38 PER QUART?! Ouchy.

I told myself that the base cabinets would be a totally different story and that the ASCP would be way easier on them, because we were just going to do “Graphite” over black. But then I took a look at the grout on my tiled kitchen counter top and saw BLACK not Graphite. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint doesn’t come in a true black.

how i painted my grout

See where the wood edge and the grout meet? The thought of having to make a distinct line in that grout between gray and black made me want to hurl. I wanted the black grout and the cabinets to be the same color so that I wouldn’t have to obsess over a clean line. As you can see in the image above the paint I ended up choosing is the exact match to the black grout.

My solution? I did what any sane DIY painter would do- I went to Benjamin Moore.

“Dear Benjamin, give me your most amazing paint ever. The most expensively amazing paint ever. In your very darkest black.”

I walked away with this:

bm satin

Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint in Jet Black. It is not a latex, and it is not an oil-based paint exactly, either. It’s an Alkyd Paint. “An oil-based paint that requires only soap and water clean-up,” the lady said.

benjamin moore advance paint on cabinets


Wow, that image is really bad. I promise it looks great!!

What’s the most amazing feature about this Advance Paint? It is self-levelling. I used a brush, but you wouldn’t know it! It’s as if it levels to completely flat before it dries. It has an amazingly silky texture. I love it so much. I feel like I should send it a Valentine right now. This is getting weird.

painted kitchen cabinets white upper black lower

ONE COAT AND DONE, people! AND… for the kicker. I was so tired of the whole painting charade that I didn’t even paint the insides of the cabinet doors!!!! I left them the old black! yikes. I shouldn’t admit that, but guess what- I THOUGHT I WAS MOVING AND THAT THE NEW PEOPLE WOULDN’T NOTICE MY TRICK BEFORE WE WERE LONG GONE! *LOL* “Jokes on Me!”

Actually, to be honest, I haven’t noticed it myself since then. I guess it was an okay choice?

So, to wrap it up nicely for you:

Don’t use chalk paint to cover dark-colored or dark-stained cabinets if you DON’T want a distressed edge.

That was a double negative…

So, IF you want a distressed look to your cabinets, USE CHALK PAINT! It’s so easy and a total no-brainer way to achieve that look.

If you want an amazingly smooth painted finish that requires minimal skill and little to no sanding AND you don’t want a distressed look- just go get some Benjamin Moore Advanced Paint.


  1. Should I buy a paint sprayer to apply the paint in an even smoother fashion? No.Don’t bother with buying a paint sprayer like we did in Round 1. Those things clog up SO EASILY. And even when you think you’ve cleaned it to perfection after using it– you haven’t. You likely won’t get a good second use out of the thing.
  2. Should I put a protective coat on top of the paint? For the upper cabinets I rubbed on some Minwax Paste Finishing Wax, waited 10 minutes, then buffed it. For the lowers? The ones with the Benjamin Moore Paint? I didn’t cover-coat with anything! That sorta scared me at first, but I was so tired by the time we were done with this project that I had another one of those, “let the next buyers of the house deal with how this holds up” moments. But since that “next buyer” is me, I am happy to say that the paint is holding up beautifully without a poly coat.
  3. What paint colors did you use, again? Allow me to show you…

paint my cabinets in annie sloan chalk paint benjamin moore advance paint

What other questions do you guys have for me? Lay ’em on me.

angie kitchen 300 x 150

As part of this “In Angie’s Kitchen” series I am encouraging you guys to try out the PlantoEat Website to make your meal planning, shopping, and cooking SO MUCH EASIER. I love that site and especially the way I can pull up the web version on my iPhone and grocery shop from my list so easily. I used to print my list and put it on a clipboard (which made me feel like a boss!) but now I don’t even have to do that. They let you try the site for a month without even entering your credit card info. It’s not one of those, “here enter your credit card now, but you can cancel at any time in the next 17.5 days and not pay a penny!” kind of tricks.

Last night we ate cooked-from-scratch Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa Sandwiches on Home made hamburger buns with the creamy tomatillo dressing in our fancy kitchen. I made the food, but PlantoEat got me there.

Other than that, have I talked you into painting your cabinets? Or have I scared you away?!


how i painted my cabinets chalk paint verses benjamin moore

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelli February 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

GAH! I love black/white cabinets! back in 2005 when I wanted to do that my hubs thought I was nuts! but it turned out great! not sure if you like links left in your comment section, but it was too far down the list to be added by your website below.. if you get a chance, take a look at it: http://kellitfox.blogspot.com/2012/07/long-ago-renovations.html

Thanks for all the info in this post!
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Heidi February 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I really like how it all turned out!!
Question…I heard somewhere that ASCP actually Can be used as a chalkboard paint as long as you don’t wax at the end. Which would be awesome, but I can’t discover if it’s true. Is it? Would you mind pretty please testing this out for me?? Maybe with an awesome crafty project????
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Angie February 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Ah, you tempt me. I still have that quart of graphite paint. How about I paint something with it and test it out for ya?? Ok, bye.


Kristen C April 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Since I have been googling Chalk paint, rustoleum transformations and anything cabinet related all morning ::ahem…day:: I actually have that answer. I found it here http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/testing-1-2-3-versions-of-chalk-paint.html


Cindy February 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I love this post!! Your kitchen looks amazing! I liked the all black too, for the record. DH and I have been looking at painting cabinets for a while and I have a few questions about this awesome BennieM paint. First off, how are the fumes? Did you and the kiddos have to stay out of the room for a few days?? If you had started with this from the beginning would you have sanded and primed before hand or just gone straight to your one coat wonder – cuz that just sounds way too good to be true! Loved the background info for ASCP. Have you ever tried milk paint? Keep it coming!!!


Angie February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Cindy, I don’t remember any fumes. It’s Low VOC. I think if I were doing this the first time around I might do a good cleaning, a light sanding, then use the BM Advanced paint, 2 coats. Come over and see it! Never tried milk paint. Again, I would only use that to paint something that I wanted to be worn/weathered/chippy.


Natalie February 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

You’ve talked me into it! :) Only, it’s not just my 1983 ugly kitchen cabinets that need help. It’s also the floor. And the appliances. And the walls need paint. And I hate the whole layout of the kitchen. So, I’m kinda tempted to gut the entire thing and start from scratch. But, that’s kinda pricey… And you should never start a sentence with a conjunction…

Maybe until I’m in a position to replace the entire thing, I’ll just paint it all…even the floor and appliances! :)
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Angie February 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Oh, girl, you are thinking right when you say, “paint it all!” Don’t wait for the “someday” to love your kitchen! Especially when you spend so much time in it! Paint the cabinets, Tile the countertop?, paint/tile the floor? Honestly, I want to see your befores at least!


Stephanie February 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I love it! Your style is so “we live here, it’s not just a showcase for my blog” and I love that. It doesn’t all seem so precious that you can’t be comfortable.

I’m your BFF from Instagram. Your biggest fan! I mean that in a totally nonthreatening way, I just think you’re the coolest though!


Jenny B. February 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Wow, this post is so perfect for me! :) I started painting our kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a couple of weeks ago, and just went to the Benjamin Moore store this weekend. Ha! The ASCP is wonderful, BUT… the waxing is killer (using the AS Soft Wax). I painted just a few cabinets (uppers in Old White and lowers in Duck Egg Blue), and then started waxing the lower section. It was such hard work, and made the beautiful paint job look all streaky. I know this “hand-rubbed” finish would look awesome on an old piece of furniture, but it’s just not the uniform look I want for the kitchen cabinets. So, I am now going to repaint with BM Advance in Linen White on the uppers (which is the exact color of all the trim in our house and happens to be a near match to the ASCP Old White). I’m still trying to figure out which BM shade of blue/green I’m going to use. Wythe Blue is really close, but I think I want to go a little bluer (everything looks yellower/greener in our house). I got the Linen White in Semi-Gloss, and now I’m second-guessing thinking I maybe should have gone with Satin. Anyway… Just thought I’d share! I am happy to see that someone else had a similar experience with the ASCP on kitchen cabinets. :)


Maria June 14, 2013 at 7:43 am

How did your kitchen turn out? I’ve been thinking of the same colors for my kitchen. I am not sure if I want to use Benjamin Moore or Annie Sloan’s paint.


Jenny June 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

Hi Maria, I will probably post before and afters on my blog, but… I still haven’t finished painting! I kind-of stalled out, and now my husband says he’s going to do it for me (yay!). I’m actually still at the exact same point I was when I first commented on this post… still have a portion of my kitchen painted with ASCP and still haven’t picked the BM blue for the lowers. I’m leaning toward Colorado Gray, but I need to go get a tester to make sure. :)
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Holly February 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Thank-you for posting this!!!
I painted my oakies last summer and they are chipping like crazy…I want to smooth finish so I’m going to get some of that Benjamin Moore paint. I didn’t see it in the post, did you sand the black cabinets before you painted? Or just paint over them as is?


Angie February 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Holly, I think we did a mix of just cleaning them really well with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and lightly sanding them. Not much at all. Remember, we were painting over paint at that point. In the first round, we did clean with TSP AND sand pretty well, then primed, then painted. And it was awful. BM Advanced is amazing.


Tessa February 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Thanks for the detailed descriptions. We did our cabinets (white washed oak, blech!) in white with a sprayer and found the same thing. Smooth finish but took meticulous cleaning and I’m not sure worth the additional work to use the sprayer. I must say love the white cabs though.

I’m looking to redo a large entertainment center and though enticed by the no priming and sanding of chalkpaint the lack of black has sent me back to the drawing board. I think you sold me on the BM advanced. Is it supposed to be pretty durable stuff? My entertainment center will be attacked by my 5 kids daily. I may need to poly it but I’m glad to hear your black is standing up well.


Felicity @ Our Little Beehive February 16, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I’m totally obsessed with BM Advance. I painted all the doors and trim in our house with Behr and HATED the way it came out. Then at 7m pregnant I got totally neurotic and redid them all with BM Advance. It’s all I’ll use on furniture and trim. Kind of makes me want to go re-paint some furniture…

Love the white uppers/black lowers. We’re working on plans for an addition and I want a black island. Well I want a whole new kitchen, but that’s not really in the cards.
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Angie February 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

felicity, sorry it took me a while to get to this comment. I wouldn’t know this personally, but “totally new kitchens” are probably lame. We don’t want those. We hate those. (keep telling yourself that.) BM Advance can fix anything!


Amanda March 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

I painted by cabinets with latex last summer, and it’s already becoming chippy. I imagine it has to do with the fact that I used a builder-grade latex and the amount of use our cabinets get. It’s time for a new coat, and I’ve been looking for something more durable, so thank you for this review! One thing I have a question about: the ASCP — did that his the wood grain on your uppers? The wood grain on my cabinets I pretty unattractive, and I’d like it to be less visible. I’ve been researching DIY chalk paint recipes and have convinced myself that the Plaster of Paris version is the way to go, but I really love the sound of the Benjamin Moore Paint. I’m wondering how things would go if I did a light Benajamin Moore Plaster of Paris DIY chalk paint blend to hide the grout lines, then a coat of straight Benjamin Moore paint to brighten/level/smooth. If the chalk paint doesn’t fill the grout lines, I’m not going to bother with a second step, but if it does, I sure would (because that’s how much they irritate me). Thanks for your feedback!


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:47 am

amanda, have you started your project yet?? i am so late in responding to the comments and questions on the post, but i want to help!! When you say “Grout lines” do you mean the wood grain on the uppers? I think you do. Good question. I think, yes, the ASCP does fill in and hide the little lines in the grain. If you apply it thick enough, then sand it down smooth it’s soooo freaking smooth to the touch! But the sanding can be a lot of work. But listen— don’t make your own chalk paint. Buy the real deal. “homemade” chalk paint is made with a latex paint base, and latex is what is sound like- plastic-based. It won’t fill and sand in the same way that the real ASCP does. It rolls a bit more when sanded. In my experience.

Here’s another thought for you- you already painted the cabinets with a builder-grade latex and the grain lines are showing through, right? What color are they cabinets now and what color are you planning to paint them? I have some idea brewing for you, but I need to know the colors before I can decide what to tell you! good luck and get back to me!


Angie April 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Amanda! I asked my local Benjamin Moore store owner about your cabinets and what she would recommend. Here is what she said- Just do two coats of BM Advance. It really fills in the lines very well and levels itself out. Don’t even do another paint or product. Also? She said that BM Advance doesn’t require a poly seal on it! It’s so easy!! The only reason you would need a primer for it would be for color coverage. LIke, if you were going from one color to a contrasting color the advance primer would help get you there. But it’s not needed for adhesion. K??? Good luck!
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Amanda March 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

Sorry for all the misspellings. I’m typing on my tiny little phone keypad. The question was does the ASCP *hide* the wood grain on your uppers?


Elizabeth March 5, 2013 at 1:24 am

You can make your own chalk paint, so you can get any color you want. There are recipes online; some use baking soda and others use plaster of Paris mixed with paint. A friend swears by the baking soda recipe and has redone furniture with it. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to. Just Google chalk paint recipes.


Rachel March 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I second what Elizabeth just said. I have bought too many quarts of ASCP. I’ve done linoleum and concrete floors with it, and of course, lots of furniture, but the cost was killing me. I did the calcium carbonate (bought on Amazon) in some flat white from Lowe’s and used it on my bathroom floor. Sealed it with the AS Lacquer and it’s worked out great.


Glenna April 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

Do you know if you could glaze over the chalk paint on a kitchen island instead of using the wax sealer? I’m going for a distressed look.


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

Glenna, good question. Here’s the thing- you HAVE to sand the chalk paint before waxing/glazing/finishing in order to get a smooth finish. When you do that light sanding, it will naturally distressed your edges for you. If you want to have an even MORE distressed look, then Annie Sloan sells a “dark wax” that many furniture re-finshers use to add some depth, darkness to the finish. Or a finishing glaze would work too. You just want to make sure that you “seal” the whole thing with something. Good luck with the island!


Melanie April 4, 2013 at 8:29 am

Any trouble with prolonged drying time on the BM Advance? I’ve read about that on some other websites.


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:33 am

not at all!!


Melanie April 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

THANKS! My husband is a school teacher and on vacation this week. WE’VE RIPPED THE KITCHEN OUT!! I’m at the “OMG, what have I done?” stage right now. Trying to feed four kids with no kitchen is, um…”challenging.” :-) Thanks again for your response.


kristen April 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm


If I’m going from black cabinets to a much lighter color, but I don’t want a vintage look, would you recommend the benjamin moore paint? Also, I will need more than one coat, but I hate sanding! With that advanced paint, could I get away with 2-3 coats of the lighter color, without sanding in between?


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:32 am

I totally think you could get away with that! Better yet, I just noticed that there is a primer in the BM Advanced line, so you could do a primer coat, then just 1 or two coats of the lighter color and be a magician lady with the coolest cabinets ever and we would all want to be you. Not joking. I want pictures.


Angie April 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I asked my local BM store owner and she echoed what I thought in the first place, Kristen… No need to sand between coats unless any dust settled into the paint while it was drying. Do the BM Advance Primer, then the Advance paint. It’ll be so great!
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Carina April 12, 2013 at 3:33 am

Hi, I’m painting over finished cabinet doors ( about 8 years old). With the BM advanced should I sand first, then primer ? ( what primer do you suggest? Does it matter oil or water base?) then paint on the amazing BM?

Thanks for all your help!


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:27 am

carina, i hope i’m not too late! I don’t personally think that a primer is necessary when using the BM advanced paint. It is an “Alkyd” paint, which is an oil based sorta paint, that requires only a soap and water clean-up. It is think and buttery and lovely. However, If your situation leaves you feeling like you should prime, there is actually a Benjamin Moore Advanced PRIMER to go with the paints: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/product-catalog?prod=Advance_Waterborne_Interior_Alkyd_Paint#piSheen=790&tab=2 Sounds like an amazing teamate to the finish paints. I used a satin paint finish, btw.


Maria April 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Angie, I was glad to find your post. I have Oak Cabinets 24 years old, I want to paint them black, I started using the Anne Sloan Graphite paint and resulting in a Dark Grey instead of Black, then went to another Chaulk paint that assured me was black Wrought Iron, opened the can and dark grey, they said it would dry black, I have now spent over $100 and not where I want to be. I understand that the BM Advanced paint is what you used, how many coats does it take from oak to black, did you use a special brush? Did you wax afterwards? I am at such a loss, I started with the island and so frustrated at this point, someone also told me to try Milk paint -Safe paint, What do you think and advice? HELP!!


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:20 am

Maria, I’m sorry you’ve had so much trouble with that darn paint project! It SUCKS to waste so much money on expensive paint! Save it and use it on a gray project later! Here’s the thing, my cabinets were painted black a few years ago in a latex paint, so to freshen them up with the BM Advanced only took ONE COAT! But It would probably take two if you were going straight from oak. And I wouldn’t bother with priming them if you were using the BM Advanced. Just a good cleaning and light sanding. ANd for the white uppers, I would only use chalk paint if you wanted the distressed edges. Otherwise, BM Advanced all the way on my cabinets from now on!!


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:28 am

oh, and also, I just used a nice angled brush and did not wax afterward. I didn’t even do a poly coat on top. The paint is great still!


Maria April 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

One more question, if I was to paint the top cabinets white like you did , would you suggest the Anne Sloan chalk paint or go with the white BM advanced?

Thank you,


Ali April 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

I think you have sold me on the BM advance. Because our cabinets are beyond not awesome and we haven’t touched them in the 5 years we’ve lived here (mostly because Tyler thinks it is a waste of time and effort, not to mention $$–but I’m sure you have never had that problem with the husband:) ). Anyway, thanks for the rundown on your experiences–this grasshopper is pickin’ up what you’re putting down. And also, mixing quotes. Because I can. Thanks, Angie!


Angie April 18, 2013 at 7:16 am

Ali, your comments always make me smile! I’m so glad the “grasshopper is pickin’ up what I’m putting down.” LOL! Do it! Ignore Tyler! Paint! k?


Rose April 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

I know i dont want the high gloss enamel look. Just wondering…. did you use semi or satin for your BM Advance paint? Looking forward to getting started on my cabinets. :-)


Angie April 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Hi Rose! I know I emailed you over the weekend in response to your question, but I thought I’d answer it here in the comments so that others could see it too. I used a satin finish. Satin is so fabulous for cabinets, because it helps hide any errors or brush strokes that you might end up with. Semi gloss or high gloss will only accentuate those lines! Satin all the way!
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Melanie April 24, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi Angie,

I was noticing in your “between” photos (when both wall and base cabinets were black), you had white appliances. Since, you seem to have switched to stainless. They look great! I have white appliances, and no ability (read money) to replace them now. I’m planning on black base cabinets, but now I wonder how that will look with the white appliances. Did you hate it so much, you switched to the stainless? Or was there more to the decision. I’m also considering dark brown for the base cabinets, thinking maybe that well be less stark with the white appliances. What do you think? I love your taste, so your opinion would be very helpful to me! Thanks so much!


Angie April 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for the comment and questions, melanie! We changed our appliances because we made over the kitchen in preparation to sell the house (which we ended up not doing at the very last minute). Our appliances were actually an almond or “bisque” color and were getting quite old. So we switched over to stainless for resale value of the house. (We bought the cheap, dented ones at the Sear’s outlet, actually!) If you say you like my taste, then I’m going to recommend something that I would LOVE for you to do in your kitchen. Do gray!!! Not brown! I love these: http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=gray+kitchen+cabinets WHAT DO YOU THINK? They would go great with white cabinets, too!


Angie April 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

and because i can’t stop thinking about your question: here’s a perfect example of a beautiful white and gray kitchen that i want my new friend Melanie to copy (but keep the white appliances!): http://theinspiredroom.net/2013/01/28/kitchen-cabinet-colors-2013/


Kari April 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Your cabinets look great! I just bought some used cupboards and Im going to paint them….teal! But in another house I painted the cupboards a dark color and every time water ran Down them I got water lines. Then I’d go through and wash them to even it back out.

If water drips down your cupboards do you see lines? It was spendy paint and the woman at the paint store said its just what latex does.

So I’m dying to know if water runs down a cupboards…do you see a water line?????

And if you’ve ever used oil paint, do you think this alkyd is nearly as tough, holding up to kids banging toys into the cabinets??

Thank you so much! You’re a life saver for information. I too didnt live mine the 1st time.



Angie April 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Hi Kari! I know what you are talking about with the water lines, but no, I haven’t noticed any of those on this paint job! And I haven’t used oil-based paints much. Just an oil-based primer on my stairs. This alkyd paint is AMAZING and I know you will love it. Try it!


Kari April 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Oops sorry I meant *love mine the 1st time


Angie April 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

girl, i got it! :-)


Lily April 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Beautiful work! I didn’t see a question about repainting painted cabinetry. I have cabinets that were painted and glazed but not the color of my liking. I’d like to paint them white with a cocoa colored glaze. I don’t want the white color to be changed in the glazing process. Is there any special prep work I’d have to do for painted cabinetry, i.e., sanding, washing, etc.? Also how do I get a glazed finish that won’t drastically alter the color of my paint.


Carolyn May 15, 2013 at 1:42 am

I’m thinking of painting my oak cabinets white in the kitchen, but on the sides of my cabinets the material is not wood but a matching oak colored laminate – can you use the BM Advance on the laminate?


Dixie Redmond May 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I love your kitchen. Found you searching Pinterest for BM Advance paint. :-)


Angie May 16, 2013 at 12:12 am

thank you, dixie! i am so glad that pinterest brough you here! i don’t feel like i use pinterest very well, so i am glad that SOMEBODY at one point pinned that post and it brought you here!! thanks for saying hi :-)


Becky May 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

I love this post. ok, so I am going to paint my dark wood stained 1980’s cabinets white. I do NOT want a distressed look, do you think the BM advanced paint would do as great in white? Love you kitchen!


Ana May 23, 2013 at 3:04 am

Any advice on if it’s possible to paint the tacky 1990s kitchen cabinets that look/feel like they have a plastic covering? Unfortunately not solid wood :( Am I doomed to live with them?


Brad May 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Thank you for this post. My wife wants to paint all of our kitchen cabinets black. I just wanted to know if this BM advance paint left any wood grain lines. I know wife does not want this and nor do I. The picture really does not really give me a good answer.


Brad May 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Thank you for this post. My wife wants to paint all of our kitchen cabinets black. I just wanted to know if this BM advance paint left any wood grain lines. I know wife does not want this and nor do I. The picture really does not really give me a good answer.


Judith Yates May 30, 2013 at 5:00 am

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I am planning to soon remodel my kitchen and if I can paint it myself and save a few bucks then why not. You seem to have done a really good job of the painting, am kind of worried about the hassle that I might have to go through though.


Laura June 24, 2013 at 7:06 am

Thank you for this amazing post! I waited about four years to get my, ahem…50th birthday present, an open concept chef’s kitchen, new cabinetry, appliances, etc., etc., but our plans (and budget) took a turn when I ended up needing heart surgery, had some major complications and haven’t been able to work since. So the open concept kitchen is out the window and we’re painting our icky white washed finish maple cabinets. I’ve loved gray, but what do you think of butterscotch? Any color suggestions with BM? I’ll be sure to send you before and afters. Thanks again :).


Laura June 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

*by butterscotch I meant a rich yellow color. Thanks!


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Maria June 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Hi Angie,
I am in the process of distressing my cabinets. Here is what I have done so far. They are oak cabinets, I deglossed with liquid sander and sanded them as well. Primed them, and now they have the first coat of paint on them. (burning bush red) I am waiting to put the second coat of paint on until I came across some sites that said I should put a dark coat under the top coat,(the color I want the cabinets to be, in this case burning bush red) so that when I distress them I will see the dark color rather then the white primer. I also plan to put an antiquing glaze on them after the distressing. My question to you is , do you think think I should put a dark layer of paint (brown) before the next coat of red so that when I distress I will see the brown rather then the white? Thanks! _Maria


Mindy July 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Hi Angie,

I’m wondering if you had to do anything about the chipping paint of your old paint job before using the Benjamin Moore black paint? Did it just cover up the old “chip spots”?

I have that problem right now.


Angie in the Thick of It July 5, 2013 at 8:23 am

Hi Mindy. The old paint job wasn’t necessarily “chipping” away. It was a more plastic-y effect than that. As in, I could scratch off a line of it with my fingernail. I honestly don’t remember us doing any sanding of the cabinets before painting them. For the uppers, it wouldn’t have been necessary because of how you apply, then sand off the ASCP. Those layers would naturally fill in the chipped off areas and finish up fine. With the lower cabinets in the Advance paint, I think I would take a fine sanding block to the chipped parts and try to smooth them out a bit before painting. You’ll love that Advance paint, Mindy. Do it!


Mary July 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hey, Angie. Question about the chalk paint/Benjamin Moore combo. I’ve started an old dresser using chalkpaint (left over from an old project for which I also decided to chuck it). The dresser is partly painted, but old stains and marks are seeping back to the top. Do you know if I can go straight over ascp with the Benjamin Moore stuff with sanding back down to the wood? There’s no finish or seal over the chalk paint yet.


Helen Dehner July 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I cannot believe I stumbled onto your blog … you are amazing! Every question I had about painting my kitchen cabinets was answered in this post. I’ll be back.


Angie September 5, 2013 at 11:34 am

Helen, I love you right now. Even though you left this comment in JULY!!! I was still grateful to receive it. SOrry it took me so long to respond with my love :-) I hope your kitchen painting plans are going well??


Posey August 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Hello Angie,
Thank you for sharing your “from romantic to practical” cabinet painting journey.
I am just about to paint a coffee table with BM`s oh-so tough Advance paint and found your blog while looking online for exactly your painting technique tips.
And at this point, since I am sick of wasting money painting my walls with Farrow & Ball`s gorgeous but definitely delicate paint, I wondered if you would ever consider the Advance in a matte/flat or eggshell for walls?
Why is it only recommended for trim and cabinetry I wonder?


deb jenner August 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I am so glad I stumbled upon your site. I had so many questions answered here. Thanks! After reading all of your posts I have changed my mind about using chalk paint on my cabinets. I will go with white in the BM paint. I will clean the cabinets and degrease them but do NOT want to sand. My cabinets are light birch. My husband may kill me but at least I’ll die having my cabinets white :)


Maria August 5, 2013 at 7:23 am

Thanks Angie,

I read your site and was inspired to paint my kitchen cabinets BLACK!! I used The BM Advance paint and they came out GREAT!! I have had lots of compliments on how wonderful they look.

Thank you again for your blog.


Angie September 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

LOVE THIS COMMMENT! did you do it yet??


Amy August 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Thank you Angie for this post! I have been going back and forth about painting my cabinets. We live in a brand new home but I hate the brown/cherry cabinets. But the thought of painting brand new cabinets??? Just not sure. I’m afraid I’ll ruin them. They are wood but not wood if you know what I mean. They are the cabinets that are in most new homes now days so I don’t think there would be any sanding involved. B/c they are new I don’t want them to have a painted/cottage look – no brush strokes. Do you think the BM Advance will do the trick?


Maria August 16, 2013 at 7:34 am

Good Morning Angie,

I finally finished painting my old ugly oak cabinets black with BM Advance paint, they look great!! My only problem is that I am having some areas where the paint is coming off , why do you think this is happening? I sanded primed etc.


Angie September 5, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hi Maria! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! I don’t know why that is happening! especially since you primed and sanded!! I say, go over to BM and ask them? Is there an oil stain on the cabinet under that spot? Your guess is better than mine. SOrry that is happening, dear!


Angie September 5, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hi Amy. I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you! Here’s what I would do– are the same cabinets in the bathrooms? Start there. I really don’t know how it will all come together on non-real wood cabinets. So go test it out on one of your bathrooms. THe BM advanced paint is incredible for the no brush stroke look, in my opinion. But you say you want your brand new cherry cabinets to be white, but not with a painted look– you might not get what you want with that one unless you actually bought white cabinets (or at least cabinet doors and drawer fronts). That’s a tough fix, I think :-)


Denise August 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I have stained cabinets from 1986 and I despise them! I think I could be happy with chalk paint or the BM advanced. I love the distressed look. Which do you think would be the easiest? I know they will need to be seriously cleaned but I want to try whichever is the easiest. Thanks for all the tips!


Angie September 5, 2013 at 11:25 am

That’s a tough questions, Denise! Distressing is so easy with the chalk paint, but to have to wax and buff them afterwards is some extra work! You asked what is easiest– so I HAVE to say the BM advanced. But I haven’t tried a distressed look with that paint, so I am not sure how that will go for you! Good luck.


Tammy September 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Hi Angie,
Loved reading your blog. I also love that you called in your mom to help you with your painting project! That’s me. A mom who gets called in to help. My youngest daughter’s latest call for help is with her kitchen cabinets. Oak, like yours. She wants them white. I had thought the ASCP might be the simple approach, but, since she doesn’t want the distressed look, we are not going that route. (thank you for saving us hours of sanding! ha!)
My question is, after you used the BMA paint, could you see the oak grain of the cabinets? Did the paint make it more emphatic? My hubby is a cabinet man, and he says the grain of oak tends to raise up after it gets painted, so we’ve been afraid of trying to paint them.


Angie September 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hi Tammy! hmmmmmm….. I just walked over to my cabinets to check them out for ya. All I see is wood cabinets painted black. I can’t say that the wood grain has “raised up”, but I can still tell that under the paint I have real wood cabinets. It’d different than commercially manufactured painted cabinets… but in a good way? IDK! I just love how they turned out and can’t complain about them! My suggestion is always to try it on a bathroom cabinet first to see how you like it. Maybe?


Camille July 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Tammy have your daughter go talk with your local Benjamin paint store. There are primers out there that seal the wood so that it doesn’t do that. They could give a better idea as to which primer would be best. I had to use a bonding primer because my cabinet doors had bead board. Also make sure you cure the paint enough in between coats so it hardens properly.


Laura Fitzgerald June 15, 2016 at 4:39 am

You have a wonderful kitchen! I love the white color. I think that this is the best color for kitchen. It looks clean and fresh. Thanks a lot for these great ideas!


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Julie July 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm

Can you tell how Benjamin Moore paint has held up on your cabinets?


Maria July 26, 2016 at 10:15 am

I used the Benjamin Moore paint on my cabinets, I did everything that needs to be done, painted mine jet black, beautiful , about 2 years ago, I am having some chipping , not happy, .


Debbie August 11, 2016 at 1:38 am

Did you have to sand your cabinets prior to using the BM Advance? Thank you.


Maria August 11, 2016 at 7:28 am

Good Morning Angie, I have used the BM advance paint on my kitchen cabinets and it came out great, I do have some chipping in places and I did all the prep work, any comments.
I have a daughter that just moved to a house and her cabinets have been painted with who knows what kind of paint and they look horrible , I am going to repaint with the BMA paint, any suggestions on prep before painting?/ Thank you so very much, I enjoy your posts!! Maria


Delia September 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm

I’m way late to this game, but maybe you’re still taking questions. You didn’t say – did you sand before you did the Benjamin Moore black paint?


Gail Hahn January 28, 2017 at 9:40 am

Can I tell you how THRILLED I am to find you and this conversation? True I’m four years late to the party, but I’ve had the same experience trying to paint cabinets white with ASCP–fell for the don’t-have-to-sand part–and wanted to put an ice pick in my temple. Finally did good ol’ Rustoleum and it turned out fine. Next project is the re-dec of a death-by-oak kitchen. Will go directly to BM’s ADVANCE, thank you very much. Think I’ll do white with a navy blue island–very 2017, I think.
Question for you: do you think I can paint highly-polished shiny end tables (Art Deco style, currently burl wood, fairly light colored) with first coat of ASCP (going dark, so GRAPHITE color to start), and then move to BM Advance (BLACK) in order to save the sanding? Or shall I just start with BM Advance? Would love your opinion.


Oliver Painter March 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Hey Angie,

Just loving the results. Such a great post Angie! You’ve shared an awesome ideas. Thanks!

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