Going thru old blog posts on ::cottage instincts:: has been super interesting as well as super weird.




Like reading an old diary.  Part “hey, I’m a pretty good writer/decorator/photographer” and part “oh hell no.”

Anyway, I’m kickin’ it back Old School and rehashing a few posts I thought would be fun to revisit over here.  Like the time I was contacted by Better Homes and Gardens.


And I thought it was spam and almost deleted it.

They wanted to come do a shoot of my son’s kitchen. I’d helped as a design sounding board and did all the painting, then did a post about it and linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick‘s monthly before and after party…that’s how they found me.

The shoot took place in September of 2013, and the issue hit magazine stands in September of 2014.


See it HERE on their site.  The hardcopy was a four page spread.

Here’s a before, a few of my own pics from the day of the shoot, and a brief tutorial on what I used and how to git ‘r done.



Betsy was the stylist and wrote the copy.  She was so so great!

She brought a ton of fun stuff for staging.

I got to fill the potato and onion bins.

Oh, and that dish detergent decanter at the sink.

I’m just that talented, yo.



This is Justin, who was just thrilled that I was taking this pic.

 Besides offering his talent for taping the blind cords out of sight, he was the photoshop magician 🙂



This here is Warner, the main photographer who also offered me some tips with my own Canon.

Not that I remember what he told me.



Justin doing his thing….offering suggestions on lighting and so forth as each shot appeared on his monitor.

Betsy froofs in the background.



They got the pendants from West Elm. And BHG purchased the stainless island the the kids got to keep!

Now for the what I used and the how I did its:

I can tell you right now, that I will forever use this paint on cabinets, and probably on trim and furniture as well if I’m going for a supah, doopah smooth and hard finish with a bit of shine (it comes in satin as well).  I was honestly in awe of how smoothly it went on, how it self-leveled (like I could literally watch brush and roller marks fade away) and how well it covered.



This stuff is da bomb.  It’s actually oil based, but water borne…..a fancy way of saying it washes off with water like latex, doesn’t stink, but stays wet a bit longer and dries rock hard like oil.  I’m tellin’ ya, it’s fab.

I had the primer for the bottom cabs tinted as they were going to be deep grey.  Only took 2 coats of the paint for excellent coverage.  The white took 3 coats, though.

I was told to use Wooster Silver Tip brushes as they are very soft, and indeed, the paint flowed off them like melted butter.  They are actually quite a bit cheaper than my beloved Purdy, but again, with this paint, for this job, Wooster rocked it.

I also used Wooster Microplush rollers….again, LOVED these.  They didn’t suck up so much paint that they left trails like other rollers, made for a very smooth application, and they cleaned up really well.  I had to find the right type of roller handle for them, and Purdy came to the rescue.

Paint colors are Ben Moore’s ‘Deep Space’ on the bottom and their premixed White for the top.



My process:

Remove all the doors and hardware. I didn’t paint the backside of the doors or the inside of the cabs.

Wipe everything down with a non-terrycloth towel dipped in a liquid deglosser using gloves. Let dry.

Tape off areas you think you’ll get paint slopped on.

Prime every surface. Let dry.

Paint every surface.  Let dry at least 24 hours.

Do a light sanding of the surface with 220 grit and use tack cloth to remove dust.  I also blow out corners just to be sure there’s no dust left.

Paint a second coat on every surface.

Depending on the paint used, it may take another light coat for full coverage.  You also may want to sand any areas again that may show up…for instance, I found a few drips here and there where I’d laid the paint on too thickly on a vertical surface.  I sanded these gently and wiped them clean.

The beautiful thing about the Ben Moore Advance paint, is that it sands so nicely….not rolling off like semi gloss latex can do.  It’s just a fabulous paint to work with.

Also, for those interested in time commitment for such a job:  Each coat took me approximately 4 hours (top and bottom, doors and frames).  That’s just actually painting, not including taking doors off, cleaning, sanding/wiping etc.  Just painting: 4 hours per coat.  It’s not a quick job.

I need to show you the finish on these babies up close.  Here’s the gray on the bottom….

See how smooth?



Here’s the white up close and personal:

Not a brush or roller mark any ding dang where.


I know right?


I know lots of bloggers get magazine features, but I’m so tickled that I got to participate in this one!  My kids’ style is very different than mine, but I was honored to help with a bit of the design and work that went into this space….and was happy that sharing it on the blog brought us this opportunity.

I recently used this paint again on my new kitchen at the cottage.  I tweaked the method a bit, and if you’re interested, I’m happy to share in another post. Just leave me a comment!
Have you used Benjamin Moore’s Advance Paint?


16 thoughts on “::How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets & BHG Photo Shoot Revisited::

  1. Jennifer

    Love it! I’m thinking about painting my cabinets and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else recommend this paint. Would love to see a post on how you did your current kitchen!


  2. Renee

    I painted my kitchen island with AS chalk paint and hate that its not as durable as I was hoping. Would love to hear what you switched up when painting your cottage cabinets.


    1. cottagegirl Post author

      I used Ben Moore’s Advance paint in satin finish. The first coat I make into a DIY chalk paint to work as a primer. The next coat and any following coats I just use the Advance paint straight. VERY durable finish. The satin finish looks very similar to chalk paint and wax finish. Just love that paint!


  3. Susan Borden

    Thank you so much for sharing this information Cindy, it was very helpful and your son’s cabinets look Fantastic. xo


  4. Louise

    Been searching for something that was relative to the way I wanted my kitchen to look. Found it with you Cindy. Thanks for the inspiration and details. More would be great.


    1. cottagegirl Post author

      I’m so glad! I keep trying to get back to blogging, but not finding the motivation…I am very active on Instagram tho! Seems a better fit for me for now at least. I hope you can join me over there if you don’t already!


  5. Morgan

    How exciting! I’m so glad you got to have this great little adventure! What fun! It looks splendid- I’m sure your kids were so grateful!


  6. Jonna

    Thank you! I have both painted my cabinets and had them painted and they have NOT held up well. I’m moving soon and plan to try again so your blog post is perfect!!


  7. Brennan

    Hi Cindy…I paint cabinets for clients as a side business and use General Finishes Milk Paint. I do use a top coat. I have used BM Advance in my own home and i LOVE it. I am interested in learning more about how you tweaked your second cabinet job at your cottage. Thanks for all the tips. Oh, did you seal the cabinets?


    1. cottagegirl Post author

      Hi! I tweaked by making my own chalk paint for the first coat…works like a primer. I just take out some paint from the Advance can, and add 2 TBLS calcium carbonate (I get mine on amazon). Mix in a TBLS warm water til it’s like a rue, then mix into 1 cup Advance paint. I use this instead of the Gripper primer now. The second (and third if needed) are just straight Advance paint. No sealer needed. It cures beautifully.


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