Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations review

By now I think everyone has heard of this product. It's advertised as an easy way refinish cabinets and it's honey oak's worst nightmare. Everything you need to successfully paint your cabinets is included in a kit that you can purchase at any home improvement store. I used this product recently to update the cabinets in my laundry room and thought I'd share my experience here. The picture below is what my cabinets looked like before.

I taped the edges of the cabinets so I wouldn't get white paint all over my newly painted yellow walls, then I taped off the corners of the shelving since I wouldn't be painting those (the kit doesn't include enough paint to cover the interior of the cabinet so that also explains why I didn't bother taking stuff out of my cabinets).

I didn't take a picture of the first step in the process which was deglossing (oops!). The deglosser worked great though. It took off all the sheen to prep the surface without requiring any sanding. I love that. The pamphlet calls the next step the "bond coat" which would make it sound like it's primer, but it's really just your first coat of color. I chose Pure White for our color. This is what the cabinets looked like after one coat: Pretty streaky, so I did another coat as instructed. This is the most time consuming part. You have to paint the cabinet frame and the back of the cabinet door, then wait 3 hours, then paint the front of the cabinet door, wait 3 hours, then repeat the process for the second coat. Only a second coat didn't work for me. As you can see it was still streaky.
I was aware that some wood grain was supposed to show through when I bought this product, but the original wood color was also still showing through as well, so I went back for round three. The picture below is the result of three coats. Definitely better than two, but still not the coverage I wanted. I think I decided halfway through this project that in this particular room I just wanted cabinets that had that factory-finished white look since our beadboard was that way.

So I broke down and used regular ol' white paint. I didn't plan on using the optional glaze anyway so I figured it wouldn't hurt anything. This got me the look I wanted and I was still able to use the clear top coat from the Rustoleum kit. The clearcoat is a necessity as it helps protect the cabinet from dings and anything else that would ruin the finish, but it can also be a pain in the butt. The best advice I can give for this step is get less clearcoat on your brush than you think you need. It can be hard to smooth it around the cabinet edges without it glopping up. Here is the end result after all my hours of hard work:I love how it turned out even though I had to invest in some regular paint and stray from the instructions a little to achieve the results I got. I don't want this to discourage anyone from trying Cabinet Transformations though. It's a great all-in-one kit, and I think when I do my kitchen cabinets and actually want more wood look showing through it will work just fine without needing any outside paint formula. To prove my point check out the picture below. A friend of mine also used Pure White but with the glaze on top, and her cabinets turned out beautiful! It created a nice, natural, textured look which is exactly what I want when we renovate our kitchen. I plan on refinishing all the cabinets in our house including in our upstairs bathrooms and they'll all be different colors, so I'll be showing off all the before and afters here for your educational benefit :)

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