Hey guys! So I wanted to hop on here and show you a project I did recently. We decided that the kitchen needed an upgrade and painting kitchen cabinets was the first DIY project on the list. The old oak builder’s grade style was just not doing it for us anymore so it was time for a DIY cabinet transformation.
I had always wanted to try out the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit because the reviews on Amazon are always amazing. I have also found myself stalking tons of before and after pictures on Pinterest (we won’t talk about that little obsession of mine though..), so I figured it was time for me to showcase my own Rustoleum Kitchen Cabinet Transformation – Before and after pics!
Side note…I didn’t get this product for free..and no…I wasn’t paid to write this post..I’m just a huge fan of this stuff now and want to show off my hard work 🙂
I bought a kit on Amazon and it’s only $75. Yep…you can transform your whole kitchen for under $100. Ri-DONK-u-LUS, right?!
We wanted to go dark so we decided with the Espresso color. There are other color options though. Actually there are tons of colors available through Rustoleum’s website but 3 are available online: Cabernet, Espresso and PureWhite. The prices vary a little depending on what color you want.
You’ll need to find out if you need to buy the small or large kit first. Just measure the length of all the cabinets (top and bottom) to figure out how many linear feet you have. We had about 20 linear feet of cabinets so the small worked perfectly (with PLENTY left over) at the end.
Alright, so here’s the before picture..
Meet plain Jane..
First step was to find a work area in your house. You need to find somewhere that isn’t outside and is room temperature. Depending on how many cabinets you have, you’ll need a big area to lay out all the cabinets and drawers as well as a non humid area for the coats to dry properly.
What you’ll need
- A large area to work
- Climate controlled area
- Rustoleum kit of your choice
- Paint brushes since they aren’t included in the kit (I suggest buying good quality ones so you don’t lose hairs in the cabinets and have to pick them out (trust me on that one because the first brush we tried did that and it was the worst cabinet in the end)) Spend the extra few bucks on a nicer brush!
- Painters tape to tape off the base of the cabinets
- Painter’s tarp for under your work-space. I am glad we used it because we did end up dripping a few times..
- We used two saw horses and two 2×4 pieces of wood to create a workbench (see it below in the pic) because we didn’t have enough table space. This worked great!
- A free LONG weekend to get this done. It takes time mostly because of all the coats and drying time required.
You first need to take off all your cabinets and drawers. I used Post-its to stick on them to remember which one went where. This is also the time you’ll want to take off all the hardware from each cabinet and drawer as well.
And BOOM….instant open concept shelving! JK that’s not my style. I’m too messy for that …
This step took much longer than I thought it would. It was probably because our friend was borrowing our drill so we had to use a regular old screwdriver. We finished this step in about 2 1/2 hours. Note to self….never do another DIY kitchen cabinet project without a drill. 🙂
By the way, don’t forget you have to do the BASE of the cabinets as well..not just the drawers and cabinets. We didn’t do the inside of the cabinets, just the insides of the doors and the inner edges of all the base doors.
Step #1 – Deglosser
Step one is to use the deglosser. This step was my least favorite of them all. You rub on this stuff to clean & degloss your cabinets and it gets them ready to suck up some paint in the next steps. It’s the most important step though so make sure not to skimp on this part. Use a lot of elbow grease and scrub them all down according to the directions.
But hey..this is the step that eliminates the need to sand though and sanding is 30029203 times worse than deglossing so I guess in the end it’s not too bad 😉
Step #2 – Bond Coat
This step was exciting to me because I’m the type of person who likes immediate gratification. I like to see change and when you’re scrubbing them all in step one, it’s just not exciting…at all.
Use your brush to apply a thin layer of bond coat to the back of the cabinet first and then you’ll do front after. Always do the backs first. This is best for drips but you’ll also get more practice on the backs before you turn it over for the front.
You’ll do two coats of bond coat on each side (we didn’t do the backs of drawers because you don’t see them!)
Wait 2-3 hours between each bond coat.
Now you’re probably starting to see why this whole DIY Cabinet painting project takes so long!
Step #3 – Decorative Glaze (Optional)
We skipped this step since we were doing the espresso color. Since the espresso is so dark as is, I read a lot of reviews saying it didn’t really make a difference to do it or not so we opted to skip this step. You would want to do this step though if you wanted a glazed look or more of a texture.
Step #4 – Protective Top Coat
This part freaked me out the most. I read so many reviews saying that the protective top coat that came with the kit was crappy and to buy some polyurethane to use instead. Well the reviewers scared me so much that I went out and bought some regular old poly and that was a mistake. The poly was really hard to work with on our cabinets and we kept seeing streaks on the dark espresso. We ended up going back to the original protective top coat that came with the kit and it was the way we should have gone in the beginning.
The coat does dry pretty fast though and WILL leave a white/blueish/purplish haze on your cabinets if you leave drips in the corners. Just make sure to apply it on in a light coat.
Do NOT skip this part for sure. This is what will make your cabinet protected from all those greasy and dirty kitchen fingers grabbing at the cabinets for the next 10 years. It also gives it a great glossy finish. It brings your cabinets from a flat, chalky looking texture to a brand new out of the box espresso finished cabinet!
Apply to back and then front. One coat a side. These coats takes 24 hours to dry before handling.
After you wait 24 hours
Okay okay okay okay okay…it’s time for the final reveal that you’ve been waiting for. Sorry to make you read 390029393 words before seeing the reveal but here it is!!!!
Goodbye plane Jane!
Painting Kitchen Cabinets – Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations – Before and After Pictures
Overall I would 100% recommend this project to give your kitchen cabinets a makeover. It really transformed our kitchen and we look at it almost every day still and comment on how nice it looks. I am about to buy another house and the kitchen has the same type of cabinets so I’m going to be doing this again in a few weeks. Yes it was painful at times because of all the steps and coats needed, but it’s OH SO WORTH IT in the end.
Next time I’ll be trying out the pure white kit and I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
Have you ever tried painting kitchen cabinets before? Did you use this kit? I’m curious to hear what others thought of it and any tips & tricks you may have to add.
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