Ashley's Green Life
Ashley's Green Life
  • Hometalker
  • Lees Summit, MO

How I Transformed My Kitchen Cabinets for Under $100

9 Materials
$100
4 Days
Medium

Find out how I transformed my kitchen cabinets from old and dated to modern and fresh with the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit all for under $100.

To tell you a little more about the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit, it's a 4 part kit that allows you "transform" your current kitchen cabinets into they style/finish of your choosing. For me that mean going from my golden oak color to a dark espresso finish. The kit isn't too daunting to understand...
Step 1: Pre-wash the cabinets to remove the finish
Step 2: Base Coat
Step 3: Glaze Coat (optional, I skipped this one)
Step 4: Final Glaze coat

Once I was ready to get started I headed to Lowe's and purchased the kit. When we purchased our kit it cost $79 for the Small Kit. They have a Large Kit for $149 as well. Just like regular cans of paint you would buy, you take it to have your Base Coat tinted to match the finish you would like. I decided on the Espresso color, but there's a variety of colors included in the "Dark Kit". On the flip side, if you would like your cabinets to be lighter, there's even a "Light Kit" too. Now let's get started with the transformation...
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
How I Transformed My Kitchen Cabinets for Under $100 with the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit!
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Here's what's included with the kit: From left to right: Decorative glaze cloths, Deglosser (Wood Cleaner), 2 cans of Bond Coat (gives it the color), 1 can of Protective Top Coat, a DVD and instruction booklet, 2 cans of Decorative Glaze, paint stir sticks, and 2 scrub pads.

how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 1: Take off the cabinets and hardware.
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 2: Next we set up a space in our garage for all the cabinets to go so they could have space to be painted and room to try, not to mention stay in order. Here's a view of the cups under a cabinet, and the number/letter that named where it would go when we put it back...very important!
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 3: Clean the cabinets. So this is not a very fun part. No real action. No changing colors. Just cleaning. This where you use your own soap and scrubbing sponge to clean any extra dirt, food, and grease off your cabinets before you start with the project. Don't spend too much time on this step, just get off hardened food or other greasy spots.
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 4: Deglosser. This step is designed to remove the shine and previous finish on the cabinets so it is prepped and ready for the painting coat which comes next. Here's the steps to complete it: apply a generous amount of the deglosser solution to one of the scrubbing pads, now scrub the cabinets, being sure to follow the "grain" of the wood, meaning up and down in the middle, and side to side on the bottom sections. I also made sure to get in all the cracks and crevices. Next I used a wet cloth napkin/towel to help remove the residue of the deglosser, apparently you don't want any left on the cabinets or it will interfere with the bond coat. So I would get the cloth wet, wipe down the cabinets, then get it wet again and wipe them again in case I missed any of the solution. Then I dried off the cabinets with a dry cloth napkin.

Then it was time to flip it over and do the other side! I repeated this for all cabinets and also for all my cabinet frames and drawers which I set up on my kitchen table. ...and for my drawers too (which took a new home on my dining room table for a few days as you can tell). 
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 5: Tape off the cabinets and walls.  With painter's tape.
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 6: Apply the bond coat. For this step we broke out or 2" synthetic brushes and got to work painting the cabinets dark. This was my favorite step because you could literally see the cabinets start to change before your eyes!

We started with the cabinet frames inside...As noted by the instructions, you want to be sure and paint in nice even coats that follow the grain of the wood. So on the cabinet frames here, we made sure to do up and down strokes, but on the bottom portion of the cabinet frames we went side to side.  As noted by the instructions, you want to be sure and paint in nice even coats that follow the grain of the wood. So on the cabinet frames here, we made sure to do up and down strokes, but on the bottom portion of the cabinet frames we went side to side. 
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Next up were the cabinets themselves outside in our garage. Now just as with the cabinet frames we painted inside, we made sure to go with the grain of the cabinets, and to be sure and get all the little grooves and indentations. Once one side dried, we applied a second coat, waited 2-3 hours, and then flipped the cabinets over and painted the other side. This was by far the most time consuming part (since the cabinets had two sides!). Once one side dried, we applied a second coat, waited 2-3 hours, and then flipped the cabinets over and painted the other side. This was by far the most time consuming part (since the cabinets had two sides!).
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 7: Apply the Final Coat. There is an additional step called "Applying the Decorative Glaze" but I skipped this step because I thought the cabinets would look nice, dark, and textured without it. Plus, I did not want to add an additional step at this point. So then it was onto the "Final Coat" this is what will help protect it from chipping and give it a slight sheen. The key is to start in one area and finish that area before moving onto the next one. I made sure to go with the grain once again, and I had to be very cautious if the glaze pooled in any locations as it would dry and harden like that.
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Next my Mom started on the final coat of the cabinets outside. She found it
worked best to use the  foam brushes. Here she is going with the grain of the wood. Once we completed the back side, we waited 12 hours and flipped them over to paint the front side. She found the grooves on the front of the cabinet were a bit tricky because you had to be careful to get enough coverage of the final coat, but not too much that would cause it to pool. 
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 8: Remove the tape. Once everything was finally dry, I couldn't bear to wait any longer, I started to pull off the painter's tape to see how it had turned out...
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Step 9: Install the hardware and cabinets. Then it was the moment we had been waiting for, it was time to install the hardware and cabinets to complete the project!
how i transformed my kitchen cabinets for under 100
Here's the finished project! Ready to give your cabinets a try?!
Want to see how they turned out white? Check out this project: http://www.hometalk.com/30418280/how-to-paint-your-kitchen-cabinets-from-dark-to-white
Watch the whole transformation step-by-step here!
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Genius Ways To Make The Most Of Your Closet Space
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
14 DIY Hacks to Stay Clean While Camping
13 Essential Repair Tricks That Everyone Needs To Know
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
15 Things To Do With Scrap Material
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
17 DIY-Inspiring Kitchen Backsplashes
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
23 Insanely Clever Ways To Eliminate Clutter
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
Ashley's Green Life

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

3 of 28 questions
  • Rose
    on Jun 30, 2019

    Can you do this on laminate cabinets

  • Marsha
    on Jun 30, 2019

    After you've completed this system, are you able to see the wood grain through it? Or is it actual paint.

    • Rita
      on Jul 1, 2019

      I did this and the grain came through nicely

  • Darlene Berube
    on Jul 1, 2019

    can you transform white cabinets with this kit??

Join the conversation

2 of 105 comments
  • Sally
    on Jul 1, 2019

    We transformed our kitchen with the rustoleum. It was amazing. I added before and after picx

  • Mary
    on Jul 5, 2019

    Hi! Your cabinets look awesome! Great job! wondering if you think you can use this product on cabinets that have been painted white? Also, what color did you choose? They look fabulous!

Your comment...