Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Steps and Tips



I have always loved white cabinets, but I didn’t have the budget to purchase all new cabinets and counter tops. I started researching options on how to refinish the existing cabinets in my kitchen. I found that the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit is the best option for a beginner. Rust-Oleum is a well known brand, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a popular brand with so many great products.

At the time I didn’t have a ton of experience with painting,but I decided to try it anyway. I chose to paint my cabinets in the color purewhite. I chose pure white because the existing cabinets and tile were a lighttan color. I thought the pure white would really pop off the light tan andbrighten up the space, which it definitely did.

The Rustoleum Cabinet Kit Includes:

  • How to DVD
  • Instruction pamphlet
  • Deglosser
  • Bond Coat (Tintable paint)
  • Rags
  • Scrub pads
  • Stir sticks
  • Protective Top Coat
  • Decorative Glazing cloths
  • Decorative Glaze

Shopping Checklist

Note: Be sure to watch the instructional DVD included, so you do not miss any important steps. Also, make sure you don’t make any of the common mistakes listed below!

Tips- Do Not Make These Common Mistakes!

Mistake 1

The first coat has been applied you begin to panic, and instantly regret your decision. Don’t be alarmed if the first couple of coats look terrible (as seen below)! I almost cried when I finished the first coat of paint because I thought I made a huge mistake by painting my cabinets. After a few more coats of paint, the cabinets will start to look much better.

Mistake 2

You only purchased a brush to paint the cabinets. I made this mistake and it took me a lot longer to apply the paint. If, I had used a high density foam paint roller and a Wooster angled brush I could have saved myself from buying an extra cabinet kit to finish the project. Using a high density foam paint roller for cabinets allows for a much smoother and even finish. I could have got away with only purchasing 2 instead of 3 kits to paint my cabinets and save a ton of time, if I used this roller.

A friend of mine took my advice to use a high density roller and painter pyramids. She saved a ton of time using the pyramids and roller, and only needed a max of 3 coats of paint.

Mistake 3

You purchased a roller and an angled brush, but you purchased a roller used to paint walls. Make sure to purchase a roller made for smooth surfaces or your cabinets will have a weird texture from using the incorrect roller. Purchase a high density foam roller that is meant for smooth surfaces. Since I only used a paint brush for the entire project, it took me a total of 8 coats of paint!

Mistake 4

To save time you decided it would be easier to leave the cabinet doors on instead of removing them. I highly recommend removing the cabinet doors. I choose to leave the cabinets on and paint around the hardware inside of the cabinet with a small paint brush. I thought this would save time, but this took a lot of time and I ended up getting some paint on the hardware.

Mistake 5

Cover your counter tops and floors with drop cloths! I decided to skip covering the counter tops and floors because I figured the paint would easily come off and I wanted to replace the counter tops anyway. Well, I didn’t end up replacing the counter tops because of the expense and it took me forever to clean up the little paint splatters. Next time I would use cardboard, newspaper, or a drop cloth under cabinets and for the floors for an easier clean up.

How to Apply the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit

Step 1 – Rust-Oleum Deglosser

First begin by wiping down all surfaces of the cabinets with a damp soapy sponge. Then apply the deglosser with the white rag that is included in the kit to all surfaces that are to be painted. Then wipe down the cabinets with damp soapy water again.

Step 2 – Labels

Label all cabinets with a post it note and label a plastic cup or bag to place the hardware from each set of cabinets. Then remove the cabinets and place all hardware in the necessary cup or bag.

Step 3 – White Paint

Once the cabinets have dried, you can begin applying the first coat of paint. First apply the paint with an angled brush into all areas that the roller cannot cover then cover the entire surface with a roller and smooth out any brush strokes.

Step 4 – Second Coat

I would wait at least a couple hours in between each coat. I applied all paint to the front surface of the cabinets before flipping the cabinets and working on the back. The cabinets might feel dry to the touch, but they are not fully cured. So, I would wait 12-24 hours before flipping the cabinets over to paint the other side. If you would rather not wait this long because you want to get this project done, I recommend painter’s pyramids. Painter pyramids prop up cabinet doors, so you can paint both sides of the cabinet even if it is not dry.

It took me about 8 coats to completely paint my cabinets because I used a brush to paint the entire cabinet instead of a high density foam roller. The roller would have applied to paint much more evenly and took less paint to cover the cabinets.

Here is a look inside of my cabinet to see where I painted.

Step 5 – Rust-Oleum Top Coat

After you are completely satisfied with the color of your cabinets and they have fully dried you can begin applying the protective top coat. I used a new angled brush and light brush strokes to apply the top coat to the cabinets. I only brushed on one coat over all areas that were painted.

If you decided that painting your cabinets sounds like way too much work right now, there are other ways to give your kitchen a quick and easy update. For instance you can change out knobs to pulls, place a peel and stick back splash, update the lighting, install a new faucet, and much more.

Overall, I highly recommend this Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit for beginners, like I was when I did this. You can see from the pictures that it turned out great. You really can’t tell that it was painted, and I get compliments all the time.

Cabinet Bumpers

After everything completely dried, I placed bumpers on the back of the cabinet doors and the doors. I placed the bumpers on the corners of the cabinet doors and in the center of the back of the cabinet drawers.

After! Update: It has been 3 years, since I painted my cabinets, and they are still holding up great. Even with a toddler that “fixes” the cabinets with a toy drill and drive cars along the cabinets.

Painter’s Pyramids – Save a Ton of Time!

I can’t say enough good things about these painter pyramids! Painter pyramids save so much time and prevent paint smudges because you do not have to wait for your projects to completely dry before tackling the other side. After you paint the front side of you cabinet door, flip the cabinet door over and place the cabinet door down on the pyramids.

Alternative to Rust-oleum Cabinet Kit

After reading about several different types of paint and their best usage, I came across a really great product. This paint is perfect for any cabinet project. Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet kit is definitely a great product, but there are other options that can get you just as good of results.

My Favorite Paint Products

I’m a paint fanatic and I literally painted my house top to bottom, which includes the ceiling. I also painted my vanity, kitchen cabinets, and furniture. It’s safe to say I am also particular with my products (after a lot of trial and error) so I listed my favorite ones here.

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