Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations

Meet my new best friend—Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations!

beforeafterkitchenBefore and after of my kitchen remodel…

Rather than tear out and replace all the kitchen cabinets in our recent kitchen remodel, I chose to paint over the existing cabinetry, replacing only the doors in the older cabinets. I wanted the older and newer cabinets to match closely, so I replaced the old arched doors with a profile similar to the newer cabinets, painted them all the same color, and added identical hinges and cabinet pulls.

I bought three kits on sale for $50.00 each. Three kits were more than enough for the number of cabinets I had. (I could have gotten by with two kits.) I made the decision to invest in the kit after watching the Rustoleum YouTube instructional video at  This video is extremely thorough, so I won’t go over the specific steps for using the kit. Make sure you watch it several times before you begin your project.

20170508_170846Each kit comes with an instructional DVD, green scrubbies, paint sticks, one container of deglosser, two cans of bond coat, two small cans of glaze, and cheesecloth for glazing. You get all of this with every kit. You cannot mix and match, nor can you buy these items separately from the kit. That’s just how Rustoleum packages this product.

There are two types of kits, depending on whether you want dark or light cabinets. When you purchase the kit in the paint department, you specify the color you want, and the paint technician mixes your color at the paint counter. For my cabinets, I used the light kit, with paint mixed to the color Linen.

The only thing I ran out of was cheesecloth, so I bought extra rags. Although I had ample amounts of everything else, I had to buy an extra bag of rags at the hardware store. I special ordered unfinished cabinet doors through Menard’s. For unfinished cabinetry,  Rustoleum suggests that you prime the bare wood with Zinsser, but I didn’t find this step necessary. I just painted the bond coat directly onto the wood surface.

I would like to say that anyone can update their cabinets by using this kit, but I would be lying. I think you need to possess some degree of artistry and ability to paint neatly to get this to look nice. The most difficult part of the painting is if you choose to use the glaze. This requires that you paint the glaze and immediately wipe most of it off with a clean piece of cheesecloth to get a grainy, worn effect. This takes some skill and practice. When applying the protective coat, I learned that it sets fairly quickly. Just brush it on thinly and cleanly and don’t work it. Then, in about two minutes go back over your strokes with your brush once to pop any bubbles in the clear coat which may still be there.


Preparation is key! Clean the surface well before you start. I used Zep Degreaser to clean off grease spots and fingerprints on the existing cabinets and doors. Next, I used the deglosser and a scrubby pad to rub off the glossy finish. Then, to ensure that the bond coat would stick well, I sanded with 150 grit sandpaper and an orbital sander. Finally, I wiped the entire surface clean with a damp paper towel and dried it completely. Note: with the unfinished doors, I skipped this process completely.

Use a high-end, nylon bristle brush. You will need this to apply the bond coat and protective top coat. I bought a 2” wedged Purdy brush for $12 and was glad I did. I use it for all my painting and clean it promptly and well after every use. Don’t try to cut corners here–a cheap brush will leave brush strokes and stray bristles in the paint and ruin your work!

Use a foam brush for the glaze coat. There’s no sense in using or cleaning a nice brush for the glaze coat. This stuff goes on nasty! Buy a cheap foam brush and throw it away when you’re done.

Use a clean section of cheesecloth every time to you wipe off glaze. Make sure you wear disposable gloves! Like I said, this stuff is nasty and messy. The point with wiping off the glaze is to try to leave on enough to create a “grain” look on flat surfaces and glaze in the grooves to better define the profile of the cabinet door. If you run out of cheesecloth, get more or use clean rags.

Do not leave globs of paint when painting the clear protective coat. If you forgo using the glaze, know that the protective top coat does dry with a light-yellow tinge. If you leave globs of paint on the inside corners, you will have light yellow globs when it dries. This won’t matter if you’re painting a color, but if you want a true clear coat over stark white, I would opt for using a different brand of protective coat which absolutely dries clear.

Here is another look at the finished cabinetry…

As I said in an earlier blog, I don’t get paid to advertise for any of these products or sites. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned in practice and research. Having said that, the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations is an exciting product to use when you want to update the look of your existing cabinets but don’t want to or don’t have money in your budget to replace them.

Thanks for visiting,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s