Sunday, September 9, 2012

Project Kitchen: Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation

When we first bought our house I immediately knew I wanted to paint our kitchen cabinets white. I am pretty HUGELY fond of white cabinets in kitchens. And definitely NOT a fan of dark wood cabinets. This is what we had when we first moved in...

Dark. Out dated. Dirty. Gloomy.
But the question was... how would we go about transforming these dark gloomy cabinets into the bright cheery white cabinets I've always wanted? We basically had two options - sand them all down, choose our own white paint and make sure we Kilz the dickens out of these things before painting OR use the highly acclaimed Rustoleum method. The whole thing with Rustoleum is that everything you need is sold in one kit and you use a "de-glosser" solution to strip the old stain off of the wood instead of having to sand down the wood. It is supposed to be less work and less mess. I did a little research and it seemed like it would be the best choice. Lucky for us a lady from our church had just used the Rustoleum to do her and her mother's kitchen cabinets and loved the way they turned out, so that helped persuade us to use the kit. The only thing I was worried about was that they didn't exactly have a WHITE white color if we followed all of the steps. You see there is this second to last step called the "decorative glaze" that gives the cabinets a wood grain look. Its not that I don't like that look, its just that I wanted a white washed look and if I applied the glaze, then by the examples on the companies website, my white would turn into a cream sort of color. Not what I wanted. But I was assured that we could just skip that step and keep the white washed look so we decided that would be our plan.

So Step 1: We made a diagram sketch of our cabinets and numbered the doors, laying them out on our little paint station in order so we would be able to put them back in the right spot. We ended up buying new hinges for all of the cabinets so we just tossed the old ones. We kept all of the door handles.
Step 2: We got our de-glosser solution and used the scrubbing pads that the kit provided to scrub down all of the doors and the cabinet frames. This was actually a lot more work than I anticipated. It's supposed to be easier than sanding, but I found it just as labor intensive. The ONLY thing that made this better than sanding was that there was less mess. We did have to dry/wipe down everything, but it wasn't as bad as trying to vacuum up dust.
Step 3: Apply the "Bond Coat". This is the color part. We chose to go with Pure White. I mean, you can't get any more white than Pure White right? They say this part is only supposed to take 2 coats. We definitely had to put at least 3 coats, even 4 coats on some of the doors, but luckily we had plenty of paint in the can from the kit.
These are our cabinet frames after the first coat. I was starting to get excited!!!
The kit doesn't come with enough paint to pain the INSIDE of the cabinets but we ended up using some white paint that we had had for our trim to put a couple of coats on the inside for a cleaner look when you open the cabinets.
After we felt that our cabinets were white enough, no streaking or dark wood peaking through in places, we came to Step 4. This was the decorative glaze part that we decided to skip. So on to...
Step 5: Applying the Protective Top Coat. This was probably the hardest part of all! The top coat started drying pretty quickly so you couldn't keep brushing back and forth to make sure it was evenly spread out otherwise it would get all clumped up. (You know like when you try to put a second coat of nail polish on before the first coat is dry??? Yea, like that.) And if the top coat was clumped up at all in any spot it turned a slight yellowish color. I mean, it wasn't terribly noticeable, especially not once they were hung up, but when we were carefully inspecting our work we got a little frustrated that this kept happening. Also... One thing I noticed after we hung the cabinets was that since the top coat was a clear glaze it was hard to make sure you got every inch of cabinet when we applied it and so there were a few spots that look "flat" in the light of the kitchen instead of a shiny finish. 
Our cabinets drying in the garage after the protective top coat had been applied.
We used saw horses and 2x4's, plus a few cardboard boxes to create our paint station.

After the top coat dried it was time to hang up our newly restored kitchen cabinets!!!

Bright. Updated. Clean. Cheery.

Ta Da!!!

Over all we were really pleased with how the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation worked for our cabinets! Yes, the de-glosser was harder than we thought. Yes, we had to apply more coats than they said. Yes, the protective top coat did leave a few tiny yellowish spots (like I said, these ended up being very un-noticeable once we hung up the cabinets) and a few "flat" spots. (Really, we wish we could've just covered everything but the cabinets and used a big spray paint gun to spray it all white but that just wasn't realistic.) Despite all of the negatives, the kit was very user friendly. We watched the instructional DVD that it came with and the steps were really clear and easy to follow. The supplies in the kit were more than enough to complete the project and even had enough left over to use the same method with a chair in our kitchen. We were really happy with the white color and we were able to finish everything in one weekend. (Friday morning -Sunday night).

I absolutely LOVE walking in to my kitchen now and seeing white cabinets. You just have no idea how happy this makes me. And since we actually did this a while ago, we have since then painted our walls and the rest of the kitchen trim! Our kitchen is pretty complete and it just happens to be one of my favorite rooms as far as the color/decorations that we've picked for our house so far!

I'll post pictures of our kitchen family painting day sometime later this week!

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