Kitchen Cabinet – Reveal!! (thanks Rustoleum!)

Here’s your much anticipated kitchen cabinet reveal – wahoo!!  Now note, I did not say “kitchen reveal” – this post is all about the cabinets.  The kitchen is still a work in progress – the counter guys come measure today and install next Friday (wahoo!!) – we ended going with Quartz/Silestone and I’m pretty excited about our choice.  The pulls/handles are on order, 3 weeks out.  And we have some big decisions to make on backsplash tile and lighting.  So when all that happens, I’ll take lots of great pictures.

But for now, the cabinets!!  First let me warn you – if you are one of those who are against painting over wood (I know there are lots of you out there) then you might just want to stop reading right now, cause that’s what I did…

(EVEN MORE updated “after” picture down below….)

 I was sent a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit – so big thanks to Rustoleum.  I would highly recommend the kit!  I used the one called “Castle” – you can see all kinds

this tagline kind of says it all – it’s all in one box, including the stuff to deglaze your cabinets (so there’s NO SANDING!), the base color, the glaze, and a top protective coat – even rags and scrubbie things – you do need your own paint brushes and drop cloths, but that’s about all.

Oh, and it came with a how-to DVD – I watched it twice to be sure I was going to get everything right!

Once again, BEFORE:

You never realize how many cabinets you have until all the doors are spread out – then I thought I might be over my head.  But it’s doable!

I had my minions helping with transporting the doors as I removed them:

Then you clean them.  Then you deglaze them with a special cleaner.  I wonder if I could have combined these two steps.  For a timeline, I spent one day removing all the doors, one day washing all the doors, and one day deglazing all the doors (with help from my sister-in-law Krista!  it goes so much faster when you have someone to yap to while you’re working).

I was on a roll.  If I would have stayed focused, I think I could have had the whole thing done in a week.  After deglazing you paint on 2 coats of base color.  So maybe a day each coat.  Then a day to do the glaze and a day to do the protective topcoat.  But I wasn’t focused, so it took me a while!  Because on Saturdays we were still going to piano recitals and pinewood derbys, etc and same thing in the evenings, and during the day there was something about paying attention to the kids – you know, just busy with life.
And I would do things like my hair instead (hey! me of the past – quit doing your hair and get busy painting those cabinets behind you!)

We added a few upgrades to our kitchen as we went.  Like the AMAZING drawer built into the dead space under your cabinet – genius idea found on pinterest from Family HandyMan. Most noticeable is the end shelf thing – we had a pretty big space at the end of our “L” so we wanted to extend out the counter.  We thought about adding another cabinet but knew we couldn’t get one to match exactly, so a shelf was the winner of the idea:

Trevor bought a wooden curtain rod and cut it and boxed it end to make the corners decorative.  With the painted cabinets and painted shelf, it ties it all together.

He also pried off the fake drawer front that’s in front of the sink, added hinges, and made a little tilt-out box for it – that’s super fun:

And where we used to have a cooktop, he pried that fake drawer front off and made it an actual drawer.  It’s my favorite drawer and has lots of built-in dividers.  He was great to involve the kids in the building:

A picture of the cooktop tear-out:
And random painting:

The glaze adds so much depth and gives the cabinets a more high-end look.  I talk all about the glaze in this Kitchen Preview Post.  That post shows a picture of cabinets glazed and not glazed, but here’s another picture for you as well – glazed on the left, unglazed on the right.

I was a little nervous about the glazing step because I haven’t really done any glazing, but it wasn’t hard at all.  You just brush on the glaze all over.  Then you use a rag and wipe off the glaze.  It will leave behind some glaze, and that’s the look – it settles into your wood grain and cabinet details.  And yep, you need to do the backs as well.  It’s not perfect, but no one but me knows.

One hint I have about glazing is to do it all within a couple of days.  Along the same lines, just have one person do the glazing – everyone will have a slightly different hold and pressure.   Because I glazed all the bases before vacation, then came back a couple of weeks later and did all the doors.  Well, I had a different hold on the rag and didn’t even know it.  So the bases in this one section are lighter (I wiped off more glaze) then the doors (when I was in the mode to leave on a little more glaze).  I fixed everywhere but here by adding another light layer of glaze, but I wanted to show you the difference:

Some side-by-side pics for ya:

oh, and with our uppers, since we added that open shelf down low, I decided to make the middle section open shelving – it still needs trim to make it look like it’s supposed to be shelving and not just a cabinet with the doors off:

So, still a work in progress, but I am LOVING my cabinets.  The Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kits run about $80.  My neighbor just got a bid to repaint her cabinets, for $3,500 – what!?!  It was for the nice spray technique, but still, seems pretty pricey.  Think of all the money you’ll save painting your own cabinets instead of hiring it out or getting new cabinets.

So, to recap:
–I LOVED the kit  because it did all the thinking for me – I didn’t have to figure out what gloss or what sealer or what color – it just all came in one box.  So perfect.
–I used 1 large kit – I thought I would need 2 because of the open shelving spots but the 1 kit really went a long way.  To give you an idea on size, it came with 1 gallon of gray paint.
–Great instructional video, so even a beginner can give this a try.

It does take work, but it’s not hard.  Just involved.  You Can Do It!!

UPDATE:  the work in progress is finally complete – in addition to painted cabinets, we changed out the backsplash and countertops – you can read all about the whole Kitchen Makeover Here.  And here’s a more complete before/after picture:

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  1. says

    Wow! I love the extra storage you added. And Hubby and I were just talking about re-doing the bathroom cabinets…now I have to go check out this product.

  2. says

    This is really amazing! You did a fantastic job and I love the color you chose! I have a couple of questions if you dont mind! 1. Did 1 kit do ALL of these cabinets? (You have so many! I am super jealous) 2. I have inherited some cabinets that are not real wood but still in good condition I would love to repaint them until I could afford something different…

  3. says

    I love it! We have our Rustoleum kit sitting in our basement just waiting to be used. I love reading about other’s experiences with the product- everyone seems to really like it! Can’t wait to see your full kitchen reveal!

  4. says

    Your kitchen looks fabulous! I’m in love with the castle color that you chose. It makes it look so sleek and modern. The added shelving to extend the countertop, as well as the hinges on the “dead” drawer in front of the sink are brilliant! I’m pinning that drawer. I might have to do that myself. :)

  5. says

    Great job! I have been trying to decide between painting them with a collection of products (like YHL) or using the Rustoleum product. I take it you liked the Rustoleum? Did you get the see the color in person somehow before buying the kit?
    They look wonderful.

  6. says

    Gorgeous! I really like the gray. It goes perfect with your green walls. I am excited to see your kitchen when it is done! I love your open shelf too. The green dishes are fun.

  7. says

    Wow what a transformation! Lots of work, for sure, but it must be so satisfying to know that you did them yourself, and so inexpensively. Are you keeping the green wall color? It’s a gorgeous color…do you happen to remember the brand/shade you used?

  8. says

    Wow….it doesn’t even look like the same kitchen! You can totally see the arches in the doors more because the wood grain isn’t getting in the way visually…and everything just looks so fresh! great job!

  9. says

    Have you considered painting the wood trim around the window? Just a thought, but I know once you start, it would wind up being ALL THE TRIM. And that would suck. Still, the cabinets ROCK!

  10. says

    Yea! I’m so glad you did we have been looking for options and its nice to have someone else try it first ya know? Thanks for being that person.

  11. says

    they look amazing! I love them. I’ve been wanting to redo our cabinets and try the Rust-oleum transformation kit, but we haven’t saved up for it yet. I will keep it on my list of things to save for though!

  12. says

    Dear Mandy @Sugar Bee Crafts,

    How are your cabinets holding up today? It’s not been a year yet, but I’m wondering how well the “no sanding” deglazer worked. Are the cabinets holding up well to dings and scrapes? I’d love to try it, but I’ve been burned by degalzers in the (very distant) past. Thank you so much, and it does look wonderful!

    • says

      It’s holding up great – – there are a few scratches on the cabinet front thing that’s right in front of the sink, but it’s because Trevor was leaning over the sink with a toolbelt on, so it’s not normal wear-and-tear – – anyways, with the normal wear and tear it’s holding up great so far – and I still love it!!

  13. says

    Hi! I have started the process with the same Castle Gray and so far I love it (even after all the hard work and long days). I am about to start glazing, hopefully today. Did you just use the glazing technique in the video, brush on and wipe some off? It looks like there are many ways to glaze, but I want a clean look, and really like how yours turned out.


    • says

      Yes, I brushed it on and wiped it off – I watched the video several times to make sure I was doing it right because I’d never glazed before. Just be sure you do them all at once – – I glazed about half, and then went on vacation for a week, and then glazed the other half, but they were a little different, like I had a heavier hand the second time – I was just out of my groove compared to the first time. Anyways, good luck – I’m sure they’ll turn out great!

  14. Carrie says

    Love the look! Just used the exact product in a dark color at my daughters. I would totally recommend this product to anyone!

  15. Linda says

    I love how your cabinets turned out but I would totally NOT RECOMMEND this product. We only have 17 doors/drawers but it is REALLY labour intensive, my poor husband has been doing everything he can has watched the video over and over but we’re really disappointed by the results (we went from dark to darker). The brush strokes are really noticeable. We are seriously considering having them defaced. Hubby is pretty handy – we kept hoping that it might improve the look wit each step but… really disappointed.

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