Monday, February 28, 2011

Final Photos and Review

I sure love a good Before and After, don't you? Be it Trading Spaces, Extreme Home Makeover, What Not to Wear, pretty much any Before and After is enough to make my day.

But I have to say, this is one of my favorites EVER. Perhaps because it's my very own home?

So without further ado, I give you:


The kitchen is finally done! Well, the cabinets are at least. =) We also removed that ugly, scalloped wooden bracket that went between the top of those two cupboards. It really opened up the kitchen when we did that!

As you can see in the photo above, something has to happen with that light fixture soon too. The garish metal stands out even more against the nice, crisp cabinets!

I love the new hardware we found at Home Depot. It was a relatively inexpensive way to really update the kitchen.

Next on the list of things to replace are the countertop and the flooring. Woohoo!

Here's one final view of the lower cabinets too, because they were feeling so left out.

We used Rustoleum's "Cabinet Transformations" kit to create this new look for our kitchen. Since this product is still new, I figured it might be helpful if I gave an overview of the process and how it went for us!

First off, here is the process:

After giving your cabinets a thorough wash, you start off by scrubbing the cabinets (drawers, doors, and frames) down with green brillo-type pads and a "De-glosser" that is included in the kit. This removes any leftover grease and grime and also removes almost completely the layer of gloss protectant on the cabinets.

Then, after the cabinets are dry you apply 2 coats of the bond/colored paint. The color we chose is called "Linen." It's a slightly off-white color, but still very bright and crisp.

We ended up doing 3 coats of the bond paint, we just weren't happy with how much the wood grain showed through with only 2 coats.

The final step in the process is applying the protectant. This is a little runnier than the paint, and goes on clear, but provides the long-lasting protection for the cabinets. It takes a full 7 days to cure completely, but dries quickly enough for minor use.

So here's my thoughts, in a Pro/Con format.

1. The process is quick. Much more time-friendly than the original sand/scrub/paint 7 layers/etc. process. If we had had enough space for all the cabinet doors, we probably could have finished in 1 day.

2. The De-Glosser does a really good job of removing all the traces of finish on the cabinets. Yay!

3. The bond paint is easy to apply, and goes on quickly and smoothly. We did end up doing 3 layers, but I think if you lay the 1st layer on thicker you might only need 2. We were a little stingy with the first coat of paint.

4. The color choices are great. We chose "Linen" and I'm really happy with the result. There are lots of other great colors to choose from as well!

5. There is a good amount of the product. We only used about 3/4 of the de-glosser, and we were pretty liberal with it! Also, we were able to apply 3 coats of paint to each surface. We used every last drop of the paint, but it was the smaller-sized kit and we did 1 extra coat than recommended. Not too bad!

5. Price-wise, I think it's a great deal! For $79 we got the whole kit, which includes the instruction brochure and a DVD, 2 cans of bond paint (which are taken out and tinted at the paint counter), 1 large bottle of De-Glosser, 1 can of Protectant Finish, scrub pads, Decorative Glaze (we didn't use this option), and even applicators for the Decorative Glaze. I didn't really price it out individually, but from what I can tell we got a great deal and the convenience of it is definitely worth it!


1. It's still a LOT of work. This isn't an issue I have with the product itself, but I just have to give you this warning! We spent 13 hours slaving away last Sunday, and then probably another 5 hours throughout the rest of the week . It's a huge undertaking, but completely worth it in my opinion! I have never refinished cabinets the "old-fashioned" way, but from what I hear it takes MUCH longer.

2. The paint/bond coat is a little hard to work with. It dries quickly, so you have to be careful when applying it. Plus, they recommend you use a brush to apply versus a roller (to mimic the wood grains for the Decorative Glaze), which makes it somewhat challenging to get an even result.

3. The brochure says you only need 2 coats of the paint, but we weren't happy with how that looked. I wish there had been a leeeetle bit more paint to help us finish up the job (instead of having to purchase a larger sized kit, which is way more expensive at $150).

4. The final glaze is a lot runnier than the paint, and VERY drippy. Plus, when it drips and then dries, it adheres to the paint coat so if you try to remove the drip it pulls off all the paint too! I think this can definitely be avoided easily, you just have to be careful (especially with the doors, since you don't know if there are drips until you turn them over). It's just something to be aware of!

5. Depending on the humidity, it can take a LONG time for the paint to dry. This, again, is not really an issue with the product, but with the space we had to work with. We have a small townhome, so the only place we could put the cabinet doors while we worked on them was the garage. It ended up taking about 3 times as long for the cabinet doors to dry because of the moisture in the garage. Inside, the frames of the cabinet took about 45 minutes to dry enough to move on to the next step. If I were to do this project again, I would definitely have a nice, dry, bright space set aside to work on the cabinet doors. It would have save a lot of misery!

All in all, I think this is a great product. They are not paying me to say this (although you can definitely send a check my way, Rustoleum, if you want to! Hehe.), but I was very happy with the product. The benefits greatly outweigh the cons, and so far it seems like the finish is holding up really well to the minor wear it has seen since we completed the project!

Please feel free to ask away in the comments if you have more questions that I haven't answered, I am more than happy to help out! Remember to subscribe by email or check back if you ask a specific question.



  1. Gorgeous! You did an amazing job. So bright and pretty. Come do mine?

  2. It looks great! Let me correct that - IT LOOKS GREAT! Are you going to paint the walls?


    2. Where is the spoon rack above the sink from? im in love!


    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  4. Holly- Thanks! And, just give me a few months on that. I am still recovering. =)

    Jane- We're not sure yet. I kind of want to, but whatever color we choose has to coordinate with the dining room too. I will probably wait until the new countertops and floors are in to decide!

    Jenn- I think the spoon rack is from good ol' Tarjay! We got it as a wedding gift.

    Anna- Thanks a bunch! We are enjoying it tremendously.

  5. Looks great Mikalah! I always love white cabinets!

  6. Congrats to you for tackling such a big DIY job. It looks great!

  7. Really nice. It is definitivly a product to keep in mind if I ever get to redo my mils bathrooms. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Looks so good. I recently painted my kitchen and bathroom is so much work! You can check it out on my blog if you'd like.
    Love your new hardware really adds a lot! You have such a bright and beautiful kitchen.

  9. So beautiful!! Huge project but oh so worth it. I hope it makes you smile every time you walk into the kitchen.

  10. Great job! The new painted cabinets and new hardware look fabulous!!

    I'm here from BNOTP and am your newest follower. I'd love it if you stopped by my new blog too. :)

    Have a great day.

  11. Your new kitchen looks great! Much better than the before photos. Well done.

  12. Thanks everyone for the nice comments! It's fun to be able to share this stuff with others too, hopefully it will inspire someone else to brighten up their space too!

  13. It looks great!! I can't wait until my kitchen transformation! My cabinets are going white too. It's going to be amazing (amazing amounts of work too...we have LOADS of cabinets)

  14. Thanks Ashley! I really can't wait to see your kitchen transformation! It's going to look amazing, and be worth every second of the effort it takes. =)

  15. I'm SO glad I saw this on Polish the Stars! We are doing our kitchen cabinets in about a month and I've been wondering what the best way to do it would be. Thank you for sharing your review! Your kitchen looks awesome, makes me super excited to do mine now!!!


    P.S. I'm adding your tutorial to my Tutorials To Do page. :)

  16. Anna, SO glad it could help you out! I hope yours turns out well. Let me know when it's finished, I would LOVE to see it! Thanks for linking to my tutorial, it's my hope that lots of people can benefit from it!

  17. wow... what a difference. Great review also. It's nice to read an un-sponsored review once in awhile. Hmm, maybe my landlord will allow me to do a leetle updating (:

  18. Erin- I'm so glad you found the review helpful! I agree, it's nice to know that the opinions are in no way affected by $. I know most reviewers will state that up front, but I still think it's a lot easier to talk about a product truthfully when you aren't being compensated! Ooh, you should totally do it! It's so much easier/faster than the traditional way and looks great, your landlord would be so lucky.

  19. Wow, looks beautiful! Congrats on a great project.

    I am so tired of my oak cabinets, mostly the grain bothers me. This product looks tempting. I am wondering, after painting on the extra coat, how much graining of the oak is visible now?

  20. Thanks C! We are really happy with the results! As far as the wood grain goes, there is a fair amount of the grain showing through. The paint definitely smoothed some of them out, but they definitely don't have that glossy, perfect finish that you would find on laminate furniture. However, none of the color of the wood is coming through. Hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have further questions!

  21. Hi, just stumbled upon your post while searching for reviews on Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation kit. Neat write-up! Your cabinets look beautiful afterwards! I'm really interested in this product, but am wondering how well it holds up. Have you experienced any chipping or scraping that shows the wood underneath? Just wondering long-term if cabinets painted with this kit keep looking amazing. :) If you could find time to reply to me, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks! :)

  22. Hi Rebekah! Thanks for the comment! I have noticed some slight chipping in only one area- around one of the handles that gets the most use, there's a few small chips from fingernails and such. However, I suspect that it's because we didn't get the topcoat over that area. Everything else is holding up really well! The only other thing I would caution you of, it the topcoat is some kind of polyurethane which can give a yellowish tint to white paint. It's ok with any of the other colors, but it does show up faintly when you look at our white cabinets up close. I wish I had known that at first! Otherwise, we are still really happy with how the paint is holding up. =) Let me know if you have any more questions! You can also email me at if you want.

  23. Thanks for the review. I will be undertaking this same project in the next month or so and was looking for an honest opinion.

    1. Thanks, I'm glad it was helpful for you!

  24. What an amazing transformation, so bright and cheery.The online Bed Shop



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