Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review – Before and After

By Todd Fratzel on Painting and Finishing, Product Reviews

Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations

Last year I attended a really cool Media Event with the folks from Rust-Oleum down in New Orleans. The event introduced several new products including the new Cabinet Transformations. If you’re not familiar with this new product you can quickly learn about it by reading over my article from the event. In a nutshell Cabinet Transformations is a product designed to make painting your kitchen cabinets easier and more professional looking.

Instead of bogging readers down with all kinds of crazy specifications I thought we’d tackle a kitchen cabinet renovation project to show all of you how effective this new product is. Below is a picture of my dad’s kitchen prior to the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations project. The cabinets are probably 25 years old, rustic pine in good condition.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation Before Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

The next photo is the dramatic change that this kitchen went through with the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations product. I think the pictures in this article will speak for themselves as far as how dramatically you can change an older kitchen by painting the cabinets.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation After Photo Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

Preparation Is The Key

Like most every DIY project preparation is the key to success. That’s where Rust-Oleum has really shined with this product line. They have taken all the guess work out and provided all the basic materials you’ll need to successfully transform your old kitchen cabinets into a fresh new look.

Rustoleum Kitchen Cabinet Transformations Kit Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

As you can see above the kit we used included all kinds of products including:

  • Bond Coat – This is the base coat and also the main color coat that gets applied to the cabinets. The color is mixed at the point of sale (hardware store, big box store, etc.).
  • Protective Top Coat – The secret to the professional finish is Rust-Oleum’s protective top coat. The top coat creates an extremely durable finish that allows you to wash the cabinets and keep them looking great through all the rigors of a kitchen.
  • Decorative Glaze – We decided not to use a glaze on this project. However, the kit does come with a glaze so you can add a glazed finish if you like that decorative option.
  • Deglosser – Properly cleaning cabinets prior to painting them is extremely important. Rust-Oleum includes a special deglosser that helps dull the old finish and remove grease and other materials that otherwise might jeopardize the finish.
  • Misc Finishing Items – The kit also includes paint stirring sticks, scouring pads to use with the deglosser and cheese cloth for applying the glaze.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation Hardware Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

Preparing to paint your cabinets is really easy when you follow the directions that come with your kit. Before you start get organized and plan on spending ten to twelve hours for an average size kitchen. The first step is removing the doors and cabinet hardware. I suggest you number each door and put the hardware from each door in a marked bag similar to what we did shown in the picture above. You can take off drawer hardware and simply put it in the drawer so it doesn’t get lost.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation Deglossing Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

Next you’ll need to clean all the cabinet surfaces with soap and water. Following that will be the application of the deglosser. As you can see above the deglosser is applied with the green scouring pads that come with the kit. You simply rub all the surfaces with the pad and continue to put deglosser on the pad as you go.Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation Prep Work Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

Once the cabinets are cleaned and deglossed I recommend you take the time to do any minor repairs such as filling nail holes, repairing small dents, dings and things of that nature. We used wood filler and latex caulking to “tune” up all the joints and moldings before painting.

Before you paint be sure to go back and lightly sand any repairs so that the finished surface is smooth and ready for painting. If you do sand repairs you’ll need to clean those surfaces again to be sure there’s no dust or debris left on the surface.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation Plastic Covering Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

One last tip and you’ll be ready to paint. It’s really important to protect the appliances and other finishes as you paint. I recommend you cover areas that are not being painted to protect them. Lastly, you should paint the upper cabinets first just as we did in the photo above. This way any drips that might happen won’t be on top of newly painted cabinets, any bumps from ladders won’t be on new cabinets, etc.

The Results

I’m  not going to show you how to paint as most people have that down pretty good. I’m just going to talk about the results. I’ve been painting for the better part of 25 years. I’ve painted countless cabinets, houses, furniture and everything in between. The key for any project is preparation and exceptional products. Rust-Oleum has packaged their Cabinet Tranformations Kits with everything you need to be successful.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation After Up Close Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

The cabinets in this 25 year old kitchen now look new all over again. Buying new cabinets for a kitchen of this size would cost well over $20,000 with installation. For just a few hundred dollars this kitchen is now ready for another 25 years. Not only does it look great but the quality of the paint surface is excellent. The protective top coat gives it a factory finish appearance and it very durable.

Rustoleum Kitchen Transformation After Photo Entire Kitchen Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Review   Before and After

With 70 different color/glaze options available you too can transform your kitchen in just one weekend. Whether you have wood, laminate or melamine cabinets this product will work. I’m 100% satisfied with the results that Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations gave us. I think the pictures speak for themselves and this is a product I’d recommend to everyone. For additional information please check out http://www.rustoleumtransformations.com/.

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12 Comments

  1. shel says:

    What an amazing difference! I was just looking at this product online Friday and thinking about giving it a try for my own kitchen cabinets and I read you can also refinish laminate furniture with it.

    • Todd says:

      Shel – It is an amazing product. I’m a huge fan!!!

      • If you like Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformations, you are going to LOVE Stainable Primer. This is a new product that makes any surface (cabinets, MDF, PVC, thermofoil, metal, fiberglass and more) stainable.

        Unlike Rust-Oleum, Stainable Primer is a single step one-coat process with no special mixing or measuring. No sanding, stripping, deglazing or other special preparation. In addition, you can use ANY oil, water or gel stain (or paint) product on top of the primer.

        Stainable Primer contains actual wood, so when you brush or spray it on you are applying a thin layer of wood that can then be treated just like wood. That’s the magic.

        Beyond cabinets, Stainable Primer can be used for other great DIY projects, including outdoor PVC furniture, picture frames, planters, and more. You can see a gallery of before/after and project ideas at http://www.stainableprimer.com.

  2. Hello Todd -
    I recently came across your HCI site. Very comprehensive, indeed. Nice job. I took notice of that Rust-O-Leum product for kitchen cabinets. It looks convenient enough.

    I’m quite certain that if I show your article to my wife, it will get added to my ‘honey-do’ list. The ‘before’ picture looks a lot like our cabinets. It’s nice, but could use some brightening up.

    Thanks for the insight. I intend to check back from time to time to see what HCI is up to. :)

    Dave C from Homeandgarden911.com

  3. Larry Ryan says:

    Hi Todd,

    Can you use Rustoleumtransformation on pressed wood cabinets.
    Thanks Larry

  4. Mick says:

    Great Job Todd! What color did you go with? Also, did you brush the coats on? Thanks.

  5. Theresa says:

    Love this! We’ve been contemplating these kits for awhile now. Just out of curiosity, how many kits did you need to finish a kitchen of that size?

  6. Linda Demastes says:

    Hi Todd, sorry to bother you, i have been anxiously waiting to here back from you about the cabinet transformations.You said you used biscotti with no glaze. Is the color creamy looking? my cabinets are maple, with a frost. My cabinets have a pinkish hue to them, never liked. They are in great shape though, so replacing them is not an option.Do you see brush strokes? waiting to hear from you before i purchase this product. Thanks for your time.

    • Todd says:

      Linda,

      It’s a nice color although the color really depends on the lighting. I’d say it’s a creamy color with a VERY slight hint of green in it…but that may just be the room and lighting. The only way to get a smooth finish would be spraying the cabinets. However, the brush strokes are very faint.

      Good luck.
      Todd

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