I tend to go into DIY projects with a ton of pep, energy and positivity.
Then 5 minutes into the project, I tend to tell pep, energy and positivity that they can bite me on their way out the building.
Several DIY home bloggers that are far more patient and talented than I am, have blogged about the new Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kits. The small kit is about $80 plus tax at Home Depot or Lowes. If you Google to find information about the kit, you’ll find mixed reviews. My review is going to go into the BAD reviews in Google, and I’ll tell you why.
It sucked. Majorly.
At first, I was all pumped about the kit. I watched the nifty DVD that comes with it about 3 times- I felt confident I understood the techniques needed to get good results. Or so I thought. Step 1 is deglossing which essentially eliminates the need to whip out the sanding blocks or the electric sander. The kit comes with a HUGE bottle of deglosser and 2 scouring pads to scrub down all the cabinet frames, doors, etc. Easy enough. You scrub, wipe with a damp cloth and then dry with a lint-free cloth. Each door took me about 3-4 minutes, so it’s not super time intensive or anything. Easy. A minor annoyance is that they recommend you need gloves to do this, and yet they don’t include any. Seriously? For $80 they couldn’t include a pair of gloves? Minor, but nonetheless annoying. Make sure to scrub with the grain of the wood- super important!
Here’s how a deglossed door looks (very matte):
You let that dry for about an hour and then you can put on the first coat of paint (bond coat). The kit comes with 2 quarts of paint for the cabinet frames, drawers and doors. It doesn’t come with enough paint to paint the interior of the cabinets, but it does come with enough to do the backside of all the doors. I put on coat number 1 using the painting method they tell you which is basically like this- inner panel first, borders last, paint in the direction of the arrows:
I did coat number 1 and immediately, I hated it. Why? The brush strokes! I was using a Purdy brush, and they rock. They are fab. But, the DVD specifically say to NOT use rollers, so I kept on following their instructions using my paint brush. LUCKILY, you start with the back of the doors so you get used to the technique before you do the front. This will be my saving grace later, you’ll see why. But back to me hating it. I tweeted a bloggy friend who is familiar with the kit, and she told me to load up my brushes with more paint to avoid the brush strokes. I also tweeted at Rustoleum, who then told me this:
To which I thought, Why make the glaze OPTIONAL if the painting methods essentially assume you’re going to use the glaze?!
But did I stop painting? No! I even got on the 2nd coat on about 1/2 of the cabinet doors. Here’s what the doors look like after 1 coat and after 2 (2 coats on left, 1 on right):
And then my husband took Pee Wee to the vet, and I just about had a nervous breakdown. I called my mom and was telling her about how I was almost done with most of the cabinet doors (all on the back and 2 I had started on the front already), but I hated the brush strokes AND I hated the color. I chose frost because I wanted a crisp white color, and I was mortified when I noticed it had a slight blue tint to it. It’d be UBER helpful if Rustoleum had swatches at the paint counters (since you pick a color based on a picture on the kit and the paint department of Lowes/Home Depot mixes the paint for you) of what the colors looked like. Because frost did not equal the white I wanted. My cabinets are like the girl/guy you think looks really hot from across the room, and then you start waltzing over to them and you realize they are a HOT MESS. I am a perfectionist and wanted smooth, crisp white cabinets. So, I did what I usually do.
I went nuts.
I blame my mom for this because she was like, “Stop, don’t paint anymore if you hate it” but I heard “YOU SCREWED IT ALL UP! OHMYGOSHSTOP! Put down the brush! You’re killing all the kittens!”
I was freaking out about the money and time I had spent, oh the TIME, I spent on these cabinets only to stop and not finish. Luckily, the money wasn’t a huge issue since Rustoleum does have a money-back guarantee:
So, apparently there’s a check on its way to me to cover the entire cost of the kit. Which is cool. But, I can’t get my spring break back, obviously. I also then had to spend money on 4 packs of these:
And some money on paint stripper and lots MORE time using this:
To take all of these doors:
Back to something like this:
All so that I can do it the RIGHT way. You know, the old-fashioned way of sanding, priming, sanding, 2 coats of paint, a coat of poly, lots of curing time and then I’ll be done.
Would I use this kit again? NO. Not the light kit. I think using the light kit to take dark cabinets to lighter cabinets is a HUGE waste of money unless you plan on using the decorative glaze. If not, save your money and sanity and do it the right way. I would, however, totally use the dark kit to take oak cabinets to a dark espresso color. Furthermore, I am elated that the cabinets I am working on are in my dining room. If I would have screwed up my actual kitchen cabinets, I would have DIED. I was so upset about this mishap, that I think the stress of kitchen cabinets going wrong would have landed me in complete and utter despair. Even though it likely could be fixed.
Luckily, in our kitchen we’d be going from blonde/normal oak to a dark espresso color…essentially opposite of what I was trying to accomplish in the dining room. Rustoleum has awesome products, I just feel like this one is new and might need some tweaks to be great. If you do purchase the kit, make sure to read the box to see what other materials/supplies you will need.
I also thought about taking the easy way out and just staining the cabinets…but they ended up looking exactly the same, so that is not an option. I want white cabinets so I can make this picture come to life in my home:
This leads me to think…when do I have another week off?
Hopefully they’ll be done by Christmas.
Have any painting tips for me to get the gorgeous cabinets I am lusting over? Wanna send me some tequila?