Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations - In Progress!

The honeymoon bungalow's main drawback was its depressing kitchen -- we knew that going in when we bought it.  That was even the lead-in when darlingest husband (then fiance) found it -- "Hey, I found this cool house but it has an awful kitchen..."  It had such a bizarre layout that I wanted to live in it awhile to see how it all worked.  When they talk about the "work triangle" in kitchen design -- I would call ours the "Bermuda Triangle" since the sink/dishwasher, oven, and fridge were all on separate walls...

Anyway, I wanted to keep this renovation as low-budget as possible and reuse whatever we possibly could.  Partly to save $$$, but also because the kitchen has solid oak custom-made cabinets (OK, maybe custom-made in 1950) and I knew I would feel guilty ripping them out.  They had never been painted, closed perfectly, and went all the way up to the 9' ceilings.  They did their job well and didn't deserve to be tossed out.  I knew if I could paint them they might look OK...  I wasn't thrilled about what the process might entail, but then I read about Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations (this is not a paid blog post!) and I was curious.  They offer a ton of colors, and darlingest hubby and I decided on the unglazed version "Federal Gray."  I had to order it from my fave local hardware store, Dressel's, and it cost about $82 for the small kit.  It comes with a DVD and instructions, and I dove in...  I wanted to write this post because there don't seem to be a lot of reviews online about the product, and after painting 32 cabinet doors, I definitely learned some tricks.

The kit comes with deglosser, bond boat (the color), decorative glaze, a protective top coat, scrub pads for the deglosser, stir sticks, and glazing cloths.  My review does not include the decorative glaze portion.  I think Rustoleum should make the glaze an option and let you buy it separately, because it seems like a waste to be charged for it if you're not going to use it.  Definitely watch the video and read the instructions yourself, but here are my "insider" tips:


Definitely set up a good workstation -- I used an 8' picnic table in my basement and arranged two pieces of wood with screws sticking up to raise each cabinet off the table surface.  They tell you to fill any old hardware holes with putty before deglossing, but I would also tell you to make the holes for the new hardware at the same time because when I did it after my doors were painted, I got some chipping from the drill bit.  Do not leave out the deglossing step -- whatever is in it really works!  It also gets rid of any stray wood putty from filling in the old hardware holes.  It comes in a squeeze bottle but I think a pump bottle would work better.  The book tells you to clean it off with a sponge, but it's kind of messy and I had better results just rinsing the doors off in my utility sink and drying them off immediately.

Cabinet door backs with old hardware holes filled, new hardware holes drilled, deglossed, and ready for bond coat.

Detail of old hardware holes filled.

Bond coat -- 1st of 2 coats

I had best results with a foam brush and pouring the paint into plastic storage containers with lids

Painted cabinet doors ready to be rehung


Anonymous said...

HI Amy... I've tried to leave you a few posts but it always says "error" after I typed up a whole thing. This one is a TEST. -Lynne

Lynne said...

I think maybe it's working now? Thanks for the Rustoleum cabinet redo!! We also have a really depressing (and bad layout) kitchen. And I've been wanting to paint the cabinets but don't want it to look like crap!

Michele G. said...

Show us the whole kitchen! Don't make me come over there... Or maybe I will with a bottle of wine.

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