Coastal Collective Co.

One Room Challenge: Our Kitchen Week 2

Anneke McConnell

Welcome if you are hopping over for the One Room Challenge Our kitchen makeover is coming along well, but one thing is for sure, tackling a kitchen makeover is not for the faint of heart!  I think with all of my years of refinishing furniture, I just thought it would be “no big deal”.

If you missed the before photos and vision for the space, go HERE to check it out.


Week 1: The Vision and Before Photos

Week 2: Painting the Cabinets

Week 3: Purging, Storage and Organization Solutions in the Kitchen

Week 4: Herringbone Tile

Week 5: Evaluating Progress

Week 6: Kitchen Reveal

Post Challenge: Island Lighting Update


 Ok, so let me explain my dilemma a bit further.

As I mentioned in the first week’s post (to be fair), I tackled the painting portion this summer.  I took on the One Room Challenge to finish what I started and finally blog all about it.


FIRST MISTAKE - just because you’ve had an idea in your head for literally years does not mean you should be impulsive when actually implementing it.  All these years of using chalk paint, milk paint, latex paint, alllll the paint, I just got the instant motivation this summer, cleaned a small section of the cabinets (you know….so I could get to the transformation faster), opened my can of chalk paint and just started painting.


Ok. So I only cleaned and painted the end panel. I even documented the moment on Periscope. Lol - You know when you want to see result right away?!

But it was good! I’d done this before. White meant multiple layers, and it was going to be AWESOME.


Oh my…….#palmtotheforehead


I love my chalk paint. I even have an online furniture painting class (excitedly inviting you to join us!). Cabinets however are basically like painting 15 pieces of furniture, that you can’t move, and it is a major functioning part of the day to day life - eating and gathering, right? Especially in the summer.


Did I forget to mention I did no prep? I made no temporary kitchen?  That I did not even empty the cabinets? That I was just going to work around everything and do it one section at a time?  That’s the beauty of this kind of paint I thought - it’s super user friendly and forgiving. Need to touch up? No problem.

Oh yes - and the puppy! Not to mention we got this cute little bugger over the summer! His name is Copper - he's a maltipoo and yes, the sweetest thing ever! He pops up on instagram quite a bit. ;-) Ok.....back to the kitchen.

We were not in a position to hire this out, but I would honestly recommend if you can!  We were not going to spray the cabinets. We needed the process to be low mess/overspray.



Here’s what ended up happening when it was all said and done:


  1. I removed all the cabinet doors, drawers and hardware.
  2. I cleaned all of the surfaces.  They were not grimy, so I could just clean them with warm water and simple green, but if you have more tough spots, I’d suggest using TSP (trisodium phosphate).
  3. I hand painted (with a 3” angled brush) three coats of chalk style paint on all the cabinet boxes and both sides of the cabinet door. Paint, dry, flip. Repeat. We had this all set up in our garage on top of wood boards stretched across work horses like these.


At this point I had to have a heart to heart conversation with myself and realized I needed to change directions.  I know that chalk paint can and does work for cabinets, but I had to have an honest look at what I really wanted.  I decided at this point to switch Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint.  It has an amazing hardening agent in it and an awesome wipeable surface in the end. 

I ended up choosing Simply White in semi-gloss for a pretty shiny finish.  Honestly, the reflection of light on this paint finish has really added to the openness of our kitchen/dining/living room - much needed for our tiny little beach house!


So from here what I did and some tips:


  • Hand brush the edges of the cabinet boxes and doors and foam roll all flat surfaces. I tried a couple of rollers and ended up using a foam roller specifically made for a super fine, smooth finish.  I found ours at our local store, but if you're having trouble finding one, here is a similar version.
  • The BM Advance paint has a really great workability and “open time”, so it will level out flat quite nicely.
  • The BM Advance also needs more time to cure before touching (4-6 hours) and 16 hours minimum in between coats.
  • You need to lightly sand the previously painted surface with fine grit sand paper before applying the next coat of paint.  LISTEN >>> I’ve had major eye issues in the past with sanding because I didn’t wear my protective goggles.  This problem was an eye allergy that resulted in me not being able to wear my contacts for month!  So please don't let that happen to you - WEAR YOUR PROTECTIVE GLASSES AND FACE MASK.
  • I caulked all small gaps and seems with paintable caulk. If you don't already have a caulking gun, this is a great option for you. Caulking your edges gives that smooth and seamless finish - it makes ALL the difference!
  • I ended up applying 3 coats total of the BM Advance paint. Yes it took forever. Yes it looks beautiful.


In the end, I'm super happy with how everything looks, but a word of advice:

  1. Plan. Plan. PLAN.
  2. Have patience.
  3. Have a back up plan for someone to take your kiddos when needed while this project is in the works.
  4. Don't strangle your spouse.
  5. If you feel like strangling your spouse, refer to point #3 and either take a break to get fancied up and go out on a date OR knock out an insane amount of work together while the kids are away.
  6. Know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel - just keep going.


Just keepin' it real!


At this point, we could officially call this The $150 Kitchen Makeover since that's a rough number on what we personally spent on supplies.  The change already is AMAZING!!! See!!

And look at the beautiful brass cabinet hardware that has arrived!!! A sweet friend on Instagram led me to these and I fell in love! They are like the jewelry of the kitchen! Lol They also come in brushed nickel if you're interested. The champagne color works really well with our existing granite countertops and gray Seattle weather. 


So what do you think so far? Going in the right direction??!  This week I'm focusing on storage solutions, installing hardware, and ordering some lighting and window treatments.  It's coming all together!






Follow along on instagram at:




Follow along on Facebook

Want to learn how to refinish your own furniture? Click HERE.