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Old 08-01-2015, 05:22 AM   #1
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Kitchen Cabinet Painting Results (pics)

This is in no way an advertisement nor do I work for the manufacturer. I'm a regular Joe who's currently in the process of remodeling my house. I'm rarely impressed with a product I come across but this one has really delivered and I'm really stoked so I'd like to share my experience with you guys hopefully someone could get something out of it...

I purchased my home back in 2009 and hated the kitchen cabinets from day one. The cabinets are ikea lowest of the low cheap. On top of it, they were installed by the previous homeowner who really didn't know what he/she was doing. The plans I have for the kitchen will set me back a cool 15-20K which is money I don't have right now with a baby on the way. My wife suggested that we try to update it a bit in the mean time by painting the cabinets. I'm one who despises painting kitchen cabinets but I set out to find out what was out there for this specific task; with cost in mind.

I came across rust-oleum's cabinet transformations which is a kit that includes the tinted base coat (we went with Cabernet), a glaze, sealer, a de-glosser along with a few other tidbits like cloth and an instructional dvd. The price point is $75 which covers 100 sq/ft, I ended up having to buy two to cover all cabinets and kitchen island. The base coat is a translucent paint/stain material with very interesting properties I've never seen before. It goes on like paint but becomes darker and produces a texture similar to wood grain as you brush and layer it. It essentially creates a faux wood finish using a regular synthetic brush. You apply two base coats, an optional glaze coat and finish with the water based sealer.

With any paint job, the key is prep and more prep. I started out by removing the cabinets and hardware, then meticulously masking the cabinet face frames and a walls. The kit states that no sanding is necessary since they include a de-glosser but the mess you make the de-glosser is worse than lightly sanding with 150 grit. Lots of sanding here. I had 26 doors and a dozen drawers to sand. The masking and sanding alone took an entire 10 hour day.

The next day I began applying the base coat to the cabinets, face-frames and the doors. The cabinets were pretty easy and went fairly quickly but the doors took forever because you have to follow the grain of the rails and stiles to get a nice looking door. Each door took about 10 minutes each side per coat. It took about 2 days to do two coats on the doors alone, somewhere along the way I questioned if all this time I was putting into this project was worth it.

After the two coats of base, there's an optional dark glaze that gives the finish some depth. This again had to be applied according to grain. It states to apply it liberally then wipe it with a piece of cloth but we found that leaving it on without wiping it gave a more deeper rich tone. The glaze job was another full day and the dry time is pretty long...

Finally the satin sealer goes on. I found this to be the weakest point in the product. It's a water based sealer which goes on milky white but dries clear. The issue with this and most water based sealers is the dry time is incredibly fast so makes it difficult to always keep a wet edge and if you brush over a portion that has begun to dry, you get uneven sheen. Either way, when you apply anything to 26 doors, you eventually get the hang of it and get into a routine that for each door which works out. I thought out purchasing a spray based clear but the masking that would be required for the cabinet frames would take forever let alone the added cost.

All in all, it took me about 5 days from start to finish but I think it was definitely worth the time and effort. Cost was $150 for the two kits and $65 for the new hardware so about $215 total. Here are some pics I took along the way including the before and after. Don't mind out mess, wife took the time to clean out everything as well...

The before:

Tearing it up:

This is after the first coat of base:

Again first coat on one of the doors:

This is after two coats of base but no glaze yet. The red tone is too much at this stage:

This is after the glaze has been applied. The pic shows it purple but that's just a lighting effect:

Here's one of the doors with two coats and glaze but no sealer yet:

Check out that faux wood grain money shot. Mind you this was done using a 1.5" paint brush alone. I still can't believe my eyes:

Installing the doors, no hardware yet:

Final result:

Last edited by seephor; 08-01-2015 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:40 AM   #2
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Like you, I am not a fan of painted cabinets.

The workmanship and finished product look like a job well done.
Retired drapery and home furnishings installer.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:13 PM   #3
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Looks cherry!
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Colbyt View Post
Like you, I am not a fan of painted cabinets.

The workmanship and finished product look like a job well done.
Amen, if I have to paint one more set of beautiful oak cabinets WHITE......

Beautiful work by the way!!!
"In the heat of battle, my father wove a tapestry of obscenity........."
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:50 PM   #5
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Wow! Very nice indeed.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:48 AM   #6
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I like your new color and it looks very well done!
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