Every year for the last 17 years, I look at my fugly oak kitchen cabinets (pictured above) and fantasize about calling the cabinet guy to have a new fancy smancy kitchen installed. And every year, I get sidetracked (as does my budget).
To redo a kitchen here in NYC, I was looking at $35,000 to $45,000…that’s not chump change! So after searching the web for instructions on how to redo my kitchen cabinets, I came across Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations. I played around with their Virtual Tool to see what would look best in my kitchen. The kit claims there is NO STRIPPING, NO SANDING, and NO PRIMING! Sounded too good to be true.
I tried to do my research about this product earlier this year, but all I could find were reviews from bloggers who were given a trip to New Orleans by Rustoleum to try out both the Cabinet and Countertop Transformation kits. Here are their reviews:
It’s a four step process. First you “degloss” your cabinets. Then you paint two coats of the primer/base color. After that you can glaze it (basically brush it on and then wipe it off) to give it a more detailed look. Finally, you paint on a sealer. But the best thing about it is it’s a WATER-BASED product! No fumes, easy clean-up! So if I totally screwed it up, at least I would be able to clean it up easily.
I headed over to my local Home Depot where the staff knew absolutely nothing about this product. Great. So I through caution to the wind and picked up two Light colored kits. I probably could get away with just one kit, but was not taking any chances of not having enough for finish my kitchen. A small kit will cost you $80. They have a large kit, but it wasn’t available at the store. Had my kits mixed for the Pure White base color (the first color on the chart below).
There are two types of Cabinet Transformation Kits. You choose either Light or Dark depending on what color you’d like. Then the nice paint guy at the store mixes your base color.
It’s times like this I wish Mr. Diva was handy. But no such luck. However, he has no problem with me hiring help. So, I paid my housekeeper an extra $20 to scrub the cabinets down first with the Deglosser. You wouldn’t want me ruining my manicure, right?
I then gave my daughter’s boyfriend $40 to remove the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, tape the walls, and empty most of the contents.
Of course, the Knucklehead broke one of the 20-year-old discontinued European hinges. But not to worry…I found USA Cabinet Hardware on the web! I just sent them photos of the hinge and hope they find me a replacement. Fingers crossed.
Then I gave Marielle’s boyfriend another $40 to put the first coat of Base paint on. And I soon realized he was no painter. So I took over.
When painting the cabinet doors, get yourself a few 2” x 4”s. Put a few nails in them to rest the doors on. I placed the 2” x 4”s on a large table spacing them to accommodate the doors. This raises them off the table so you can paint the sides easily.
Be prepared to live in chaos for a while. But the good thing is you have an excuse not to cook. Be sure to have lots of food delivery menus on hand…LOL!
2 coats of Base paint/primer? Nope…I know paint and it definitely was not enough coverage. Glad I bought that extra kit (even though the online calculator said I wouldn’t need it).
My cabinet frames needed 3 coats and my cabinet doors needed 4 coats of base paint.
Next up was the Glazing process. This was the easiest for me. But then again, I’ve glazed so many surfaces over the years that is was second nature to me.
My suggestion is to work in small sections at a time and use as little glaze as possible. You can always add more glaze if you want it darker. When Glazing, you need to work quickly as the longer you keep it on, the harder it is to wipe off.
After the Glaze has dried a day or two, you can paint on the Sealer. I used two coats of Sealer to ensure I got good coverage.
My cabinet knobs and drawer pulls were as ancient as my cabinets. They were an antique gold cover and worn from use over the last 17 years. However, I still liked the style of them. After pricing replacement hardware, it seemed silly not to just paint them!
I love the rusted iron look, so I went with my tried and true method: Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer and Satin Chestnut Brown (#7774).
First, I got a big piece of Styrofoam, covered it with plastic sheeting and stuck the hardware in it (using the screws on the back of the hardware). I then spray painted them with the Rusty Metal Primer.
Once that dried, I lightly sprayed a little of the Brown Chestnut Satin. Finally, I sealed them with some clear gloss sealer spray paint. And there you have it—new kitchen cabinet hardware for under $10! Genius.
Lastly, I ripped off the old mint green vinyl wall base (aka kick plate, cove base) that no longer matched my decor. I bought new Chocolate Brown Vinyl Wall Base for a mere $1.67 a piece. I only needed 6 to redo the base of my cabinets. To do the job properly, I also purchased the appropriate adhesive and spreader tool. Total cost for new vinyl wall base…$21.00! This should be pretty easy. All you need is a utility knife and a blow dryer (to heat the vinyl so it easily bends). Still haven’t gotten to this job, but hopefully before the big BBQ.
THE BIG REVEAL
I absolutely love it!!! (Don’t mind the cabinet door on the bottom left…need to have someone figure out how to attach the tricky replacement hinge.)
Yes, it’s a lot of work for someone lazy like me. But the results are well worth it.
Mr. Diva loves it—he thinks I’m amazing. He certainly had his doubts throughout the process…often making snide remarks on how I was destroying “his” kitchen cabinets.
Even my professional painter friends were impressed with my results.
But I think the best compliment came from the kitchen remodeling guy who came to measure for the new countertops and backsplash. He asked me where I purchased my “custom” kitchen cabinets…adding that they probably cost me some big bucks.
When I told him about the Cabinet Transformations product, he was amazed! He said that in order to get this type of custom finish, he has to send out the factory “custom” cabinets and his customers can easily spend upwards of $40,000 for a full kitchen.
And then he asked me if I wanted a job doing this for him. Um, NO. LOL!