A New Solution for Transforming Your Cabinets

February 17, 2011

It’s no secret I’ve been using Rust-Oleum paint products for years.  I remember back in 2009 when I was spray painting everything that stood still ‘Heirloom White’.  I went through my ‘Gloss White’ phase, then I dabbled in so many of their colorful and specialty spray paints.  I truly believe they have the best quality spray paints and I appreciate the variety of their more modern colors.  And as you know, I’ve always adored Zinsser primers. 

rustoleum brands 3Did you know both Zinsser and Varathane are part of the Rust-Oleum family?  Yes indeedy! 

Rust-Oleum’s motto is ‘a solution for every surface’ and they are serious!  I thought I knew about most every product they had to offer, but I was delighted to discover at the two day event I attended last week that there are so many other specialty products they manufacture, and now am anxious to try several of them.

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk shop with the people at the helm of Rust-Oleum, plus I also got to try out their brand new Cabinet Transformations product, which is a completely new approach to refinishing your old kitchen and bathroom cabinets. 

I’ve refinished kitchen, bath, and laundry room cabinets all the old school way which can often require stripping and sanding, but always requires a good coat of primer, plus two coats of paint and a protectant. 

rustoleum cabinet transformationsAfter much research and development, Rust-Oleum has recently introduced on the market a Cabinet Transformations kit for kitchen and bath.  This refinishing kit eliminates the need to strip, sand, or prime.  Shocking I know, and I admit I was skeptical.  No primer at all?  Seriously?  It sounded too good to be true, and I was very concerned about durability. 

I learned (and asked a lot of questions) about the formula for this new product, and based on the extensive testing in the lab and Rust-Oleum’s reputation for durability, I’m feeling pretty good about this new alternative.  In fact, I plan to use it in my hall bathroom later this year. 

I was able to try it out for myself, and I’m like a kid in a candy story when given the opportunity to try products that transform outdated cabinets.   

kate rustoleum event


The kits come in two sizes for smaller (100 square feet) and larger kitchens (up to 200 square feet).  Rust-Oleum provides an online tool for measuring your kitchen for this DIY project.  This Cabinet Transformations kit approaches refinishing differently than the traditional method of strip + sand + prime + paint + protect.  It also works on surfaces beyond just wood, which includes laminates and melamine surfaces. 

In the shop, we worked with a standard oak cabinet door and all the supplies that come in the kit.


cabinet transformation supplies

large kit


First comes the deglossing step.  For anyone who’s used deglossers or strippers before, you’ll be happy to find this goes on more like a cleanser, and has no harsh chemical smell.  The second step is to cover the cabinets with two coats of the tinted bond coat (akin to a primer+paint combo in one), a water based low odor formula that cleans up with soap and water. 

degloss and bond

Third (and completely optional) is the decorative glaze.  Skip the glaze and you’ll have a single color surface (which I prefer), but for those who want to add detail to the ridges or deepen their color, the glaze allows for that.  It’s a wipe on, wipe off method.

glazing step

The fourth and final step is to apply your clear UV protective coat to the cabinet surface. 

prot coat


The Pros:  The Cabinet Transformations is the quickest and easiest way to give your cabinets a fresh new look in a weekend.  1) The big plus is the kit avoids the traditional stripping, sanding, and priming involved in the ordinary refinishing method. 2) The kit is extremely user friendly, and comes with everything you need.  The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow, and the step-by-step is one geared for any level of DIYer from novice to experienced.   3) The formula is water based, so clean up is a cinch.  It is also low odor.  4) The kits are very affordable: $79 for the small kitchen or bath kit, $149 for the large kit.  5)  The product has been heavily tested in the lab, and is manufactured by a company with a reputation for long lasting finishes and durability.  6)  Rust-Oleum backs their product with a money back guarantee, and 7)  There are over 30 base colors to choose from, from neutrals to cool blues and greens to warmer tones.

light color kit

Factor in the optional glazing step, and you can deepen your color more. 

dark color kit


The Cons:  1) As of yet, no paint swatches are available to take home to look at in your home, you have to choose a color on the box.  After a roundtable discussion, several voices including me encouraged Rust-Oleum to provide the consumer some sort fan deck or swatch card to take home and examine in the light of their home before buying the kit. **  2) The bond coat dries quickly (like most latex paints) so there is not a lot of ‘open’ time to work with the paint compared to oil based paints that I’m traditionally inclined to use in a kitchen.  3) The final finish result seems a bit thin compared to traditional primer + 2 coats of paint methods I’ve used in the past.  Expect even after two bonding coats that grainier woods like oak on the underlying cabinet surface will still be felt to the touch.         

** 3/1/11 update:  I’ve heard from my local paint department that you’re not restricted to Rust-Oleum’s colors.  Because the product is tinted like other paints, you can choose whichever color you like from a different swatch.  Rust-Oleum recommends you choose a color among their selections for a color guarantee, but note you do have that option.

I plan to use this product in my hall bathroom cabinet makeover, so I’ll have more details then after I use it in my own home.  The full instructional video is here, in case you want to learn more.  Currently, I’m liking the ‘Linen’ ‘Winter Fog’ and ‘Seaside’ colors!

linen winter fog seaside

For an idea of how the Transformations kit would work in your kitchen or bath, you can play around with their virtual tool

I also got my hands dirty with their Countertop Transformations kit (charcoal finish shown below), my opinion on that product later, but you can read all about it here

countertops and cabinets


I’d like to thank the kind folks at Rust-Oleum for sponsoring the event in New Orleans last week, and giving me the opportunity to ask the million questions I had about this and some of the other products they make.  Browse the Rust-Oleum site to see all the solutions they have to offer! 

**Disclosure:  This post and review is not sponsored or paid for by Rust-Oleum.  It is my honest opinion and evaluation of their Cabinet Transformations kit based on my experience refinishing cabinetry, and with the product thus far.  Rust-Oleum did pay for my flight and hotel to attend the event. 

Are you inclined to buy this Cabinet Transformations kit to makeover your kitchen or bathroom? 

*** Your questions answered in the comments below! 





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166 Responses to “A New Solution for Transforming Your Cabinets”

  1. Gina says:

    I have white melamine cabinets in my bathroom and would love to try to paint them with an espresso finish. Did you you get to test refinishing any other finishes other than the oak cabinet? And if so, how different were the results? Thanks!

  2. Suzanne says:

    My husband and I have been looking at this product for a while now. We wanted to use on our white melamine cabinets in our kitchen. Our main obstacle has been the lack of color samples. I’ve been concerned about making a decisoin on color and hating the final results. The “seaside” color was one we were considering but I wasn’t sure if leaned more to the blue side or green side. It’s very hard to tell based on the box and our computer moniter exactly what colors would go best with our countertops. Our countertops are a green stone-look laminate that we wnt to keep for now. Thanks for your input on this product. It’s always great to hear real people opinions.

  3. Condo Blues says:

    I want to paint my kitchen cabinets. I have the horrible oak cabinet doors like they gave you to refinish. Does the paint coat streak/leave brush marks?

  4. Karla B. says:

    I have wanted to paint our cabinets for the past few years. When we built this house, we were on a tight budget. I got 19 maple cabinets off of Craigslist (for dirt cheap) which were taken from someone’s kitchen redo. But there weren’t enough to complete the look we wanted. So we had to find similar cabinets. In order to get the same door design, we had to go with a different wood…cherry. Well, over time, cherry darkens. We knew this, so we got ones that were lighter than the maple. Fast forward 5 yrs, and the color of the cherry cabs has darkened more than we expected. I just hate going into my kitchen because I can tell the difference in a heartbeat. And I had an appraiser say “Oh…your cabinets are made from 2 different woods. Interesting.” “Interesting” is apparently appraiser code for “WTH?!!” So I want to paint them so badly, but have been afraid to attempt it. This product would be perfect. The only problem I foresee is the fact that the paint coats look thin, as you mentioned. I don’t want a look that is transparent in any way. So…I am wondering how you think one could get around that. Any ideas?

  5. ann says:

    I’m wondering why the need for the top coat, assume it is some sort of polyurethane. I have painted many cabinets and never would put a clear protectant coat on as they tend to yellow over time. Any feedback from the manufacture on what is in this coat and if it will yellow?

  6. Tiffany says:

    It’s expensive for what it is and how much space it covers! You can do the same thing just more cost effective!

  7. CentsationalGirl says:

    HI Ann, the top coat is not a polyurethane, which if it’s oil based tends to yellow over time. It’s a water based UV protectant to prevent the color from fading.

    Karla, the base coat is not thin as in transparent. It’s the same consistency as most latex paints. It will coat your cherry wood, and lucky you, cherry is smooth, so you should be AOK !

    Condo Blues: Using a high quality brush like Purdy helps, you won’t experience ‘drag’ for about 20 minutes which is usually enough time to get the full coverage on every drawer or door.

  8. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Gina, I did not get to test on melamine or laminate, I wish I had! The company stands behind their guarantee that it will adhere to laminates.

  9. CentsationalGirl says:

    Emily: the choice is yours! Personally, I like a ‘finished’ look and feel so I always paint the inside too, but if it doesn’t matter to you, then the outside frames, drawer fronts and cabinet doors are really all you need to coat. Note, everytime you do open a drawer or door, the contrast will be evident.

    Kristi, so great to hear!!! Please do send the B&A shots, would love to see!

    Sarah, so great to hear you love the Countertop Transformations product!

    Carmie, it works on laminates too! :)

    Brooke, gunny you should mention that, the cabinet I show down at the bottom (white with dark countertop) had the same situation! ‘Veneer’ like sides, and the product worked just fine for those glossy paper like surfaces.

  10. Armelle says:

    I painted my laminate cabinets about 7 years ago, the traditional way with Zinser primer and Melamime paint. I was a little impatient, and only used 1 coat of primer and I coat of paint, so now it is chipping off on corners. Will this kit work on previously painted cabinets with Melamime paint, or would it be better to just redo it correctly, with 2 coats of primer and several coats of paint. It looks interesting and I think I would try it. Since I’m using a creamy white similar to what I have, I’m not concerned about not having a color sample. The counter top transformation kit looks like an awful lot of work and for a small kitchen like I have, I think I would just get a new counter top. It seems like a good idea, but just too many steps. Thanks for the info and video though, it was very informative.

  11. CentsationalGirl says:

    April, according to R&D lab tech dudes, yes you can go right over existing paint. Fancy!

  12. Pat says:

    Thanks for this very informative, excellent post. I just saw this product at my Lowe’s store today and was wondering if it would work. You answered many of my questions!

  13. Marla says:

    CG, you & Rustoleum have been reading my mind!

    We can’t remodel for another year or two so I have been pondering the R countertop & cabinet products the last 3 months every time I enter the hardware stores (about 3x per week).

    The ‘inherited’ dark galley kitchen with dark-walnut-stained alder cabinets (loverly top & bottom Cathedral curve detailing), with laminate countertops AND backsplashes, avocado green with a ‘bamboo crackle’ effect in the laminate, are screaming at me for updating N-O-W.

    Needless to say, I am thinking light cheery celery green walls, beadboard backsplashes, off-white cabinetry, and perhaps ‘fake’ soapstone countertops.

    The paint-department-Big-Box-Store-employee told me the R countertop product can be made any color as the ‘color’ is added to the base product the same way as any paint base. However, I am concerned about countertop chipping, heat causing bubbling, etc., i.e. Durability over time.

    And with the cabinet product I am wondering about doing the insides of the cabinetry too. Especially since all of my shelves are immovable, and the deep lower shelves in the base cabinets look like black holes in outerspace.

    Hey, thank you CG for speaking up at the event and sharing with Rustoleum. The things you mentioned are exactly what my concerns have been and why I have yet to invest in these very products. As always, you are the greatest!

    Did I mention the same cabinetry is in the bathrooms too? Except those countertops are white laminate with gold veining – yee-haw-gross! LOL!

  14. Catie says:

    I am SO GLAD you posted this. I’ve been trying to think of a way (an easy way) to refinish the cabinets and countertop in my new kitchen, and these look like they will be perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  15. Suki says:

    I will DEFINITELY be using some of this stuff. It might be in a year, but it will be used! My husband loves the color of our kitchen cabinets (cherry wood) but all our bathrooms have the standard oak stuff and it pains me to look at if especially with our dark wood floors and dark wood doors and dark wood banisters and dark wood windows…. well, you get the picture!

  16. anna see says:

    Wow! I am intrigued. My cabinets are very expensive dark stained birch, but I really want to lighten up. I wonder if I should take the plunge!

  17. GinaE says:

    Thanks so much for this great post! I’ve been painting my kitchen/dining furniture lately and the cabinets are next on the list. I also have 30 year old counter tops, so I will be waiting for your post and opinion on the painting kits for counters.

  18. Brook says:

    Oh, Kate … I’m so excited. Thanks…I have a project, I have a project :-)

  19. Just sent my mom an email with a link to this post, trying to convince her to use this to redo her bathroom cabinets. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Erin says:

    We used this product and totally agree with you that they need a color swatch to take home, as matching from the box is not a good way to do it. The color chosen off of the box was much darker on the cabinets. However, after speaking with Rustoleum’s representatives on the phone they reimbursed us for one kit so that we could use a lighter color to achieve the look we were wanting. Great customer service – they just need to get their kinks worked out on this new product!!

  21. Andrea says:

    Could this product be used for “golden oak” wood trim and doors throughout a house?

  22. So helpful I tweeted about it. Thanks!

  23. Elle says:

    Can this product be used with already primed wood cabinets?

    Thanks so much for this well written post!

  24. I saw this for the first time a few days ago (of course after we just finished up painting our cabinets and looking at glazing the regular old way in the next week). I definitely would have given it a shot if it had been available a few months ago. Thanks for sharing the before/after – great product!

  25. Heidi says:

    Wow, this is definitely good to know. As someone who is currently looking to buy a house and some prospects with some not-so-fantastic kitchens, this is surely good to know.

  26. Jessica says:

    Hi Kate. My husband and I are going to use this product on our kitchen cabinets — do you know what color they used in the demo you did?? It looks like maybe Linen or Quilter’s White (the two colors we are considering, minus the glaze). Thanks for your help!

  27. Jessica W. says:

    Just an FYI on the colors…we had an extra drawer left over from the builder so I picked up a small dark color kit to test it out. I’m always a bit skeptical with this sort of thing. From the brochure we liked Cocoa and Chocolate, but thought the Chocolate would be too dark. When I went to HD they were out of brochures (I had picked one up at Lowes the day previously) and I forgot to bring mine, but decided to go with Cocoa. I did notice on the box, the colors looked a bit different from what I remembered on the brochure, but I went with it anyway. Trust me when I say the colors on the box are exactly as they come out and NOT what you see in the brochure. There is a clear difference in what is on our drawer than what the brochure shows, but it does look just like the color on the box. So, when picking your color out stick to the color samples on the box for a more true color. I’m not sure this would be such an issue with the light colors, but we have countertops that would match better with the chocolate…should have gone with my first instinct. We’ll likely use the cocoa in our guest bathroom so we don’t waste it.

  28. Trudy says:

    I tried the Countertop Transformation this weekend. Being a DIYer for 25 years, let me tell you this is a TON of work! I started with textured laminate countertops and even with sanding, sanding, sanding and more sanding, the decorative chips did not adhere! I applied the base coat exactly per instruction,used the wetting agent and redid one are 3 times and still the chips would not adhere! For the cost and the work, I should have just replaced the counters, which I will now have to do!

  29. julianna says:

    I’ve been eyeing this product for a few weeks — I’m so excited to see an actual review.
    What kind of sheen is it — matte, satin, semi-gloss, gloss?

  30. Mrs. Taylor says:

    I may have to give this product a try. I’m dying to paint our kitchen cabinets white for a more classic look but my hubby is kind of against it. However, he kinda lost a bet so I get to paint them… :)

  31. Debbie says:

    I just used the product and loved it! Blogged about it! It only took one box to do my cabinets. I’m still trying to decide if I’ll use the same color (Expresso-Glazed) or if I’ll go with a lighter color. So easier than the “old” method of sanding, priming, etc and so much less expensive than having them refaced or replaced!

  32. Melissa Miles says:

    I’ve been interested in doing this for quite sometime. My only hold up is the top coat on the countertops… Have you heard anything in regards to the safety of the top coat? Does it cause any type of “de-gassing” when exposed to heat (i.e. when the stove or oven are operating)? I worry about that when preparing food, you know?

  33. Christie says:

    I’m also wondering if this can be used on “golden” oak doors and trim. We are in the process of purchasing a house built in the 80s with ridiculous amounts of golden oak (like floor to ceiling built ins in multiple rooms, doors, trim, crown molding, paneling, banister, cabinets, windows, etc). To my husbands horror, I’m looking at painting ALL of it, yes all of it!

  34. Mallory says:

    Hey – I just wanted to let you know I just tried this in my bathroom this weekend. I will hopefully be done with it tonight *fingers crossed*! I’m liking it so far. Thanks for posting about it! http://mallicious.blogspot.com/2011/02/master-bathroom-cabinets.html

  35. Holley Anderson says:

    I’m very interested in this treatment, especially eliminating the sanding mess. I just redid my old Formica counter tops with Ralph Lauren River Rock paint in my kitchen. I primed – used 3 coats of River Rock ( could have used 2 if I’d gotten my ‘technique’ down sooner) and 4 coats of UV sealant. I’m thrilled with the results and so far, red wine and red cabbage ‘ stains ‘have wiped right off with water.

  36. amykdee says:

    I would love to try this on one of my bathroom vanities and if I love it would love to redo my whole kitchen!!!

  37. julie says:

    We tried the light kit and were less than thrilled with the results on our laminate cabinets. Had to do at least 3 coats of the base and could still see some of the 1980’s showing up underneath. We are now trying an epoxy product.

  38. I have grainy oak cabinets in my bathroom that I would like to change to white. Will this product cover the grainy-ness of the wood? Is it low VOC? If I want to sand before using it, will it still work? Will a regular brush leave brush marks or should I use a foam brush? Thanks!

  39. Nic says:

    Can you me tell what color was used in the last photo, the one at the Rustoleum event?

  40. Donna says:

    I am using the Harvest right now on my melamine cabinets and it is covering everything beautifully. If you feel you need a third coat you can certainly put it on. The trick for me has been getting the glaze to look right. I just don’t have enough experience with this treatment but I’m determined to get it right. Once you put the top coat on while it is thin and you have to work quickly but you will find that it gives a soft sheen to the paint. The biggest issue is taking your time, prepping properly and being ok with the time it takes to complete. You have to wipe down your cabinets and let them dry, then tape off what you don’t want paint to get on, then degloss both sides of your cabinet fronts and let them dry again and then apply 2 coats of base and allow 2-3 hours in between coats. Then if you chose to glaze you need to wait another 8 hours before applying the top coat and then you need to give 24 hours before you can put drawers back in and fronts back on. As long as you are realistic in the timeline you’ll be fine and it’s well worth it. I’m not even done yet and the difference already is simply amazing. Good luck everyone!

  41. Ellen says:

    With the housing market in a slump, selling right now is out of the question. I am doing an inexpensive kitchen makeover instead. I have been eyeing this product for a while now. The biggest problem I have had is choosing colors. I’ve decided to mix things up a bit so will be painting the lower cabinets with “Toasted Almond” and the upper cabinets with “Winter Fog”. I am going to have new laminate counters done and after that will re-tile the backsplash all the way up to the bottom of the upper cabinets. I wanted to try the Countertop Transformation, but the color selection is very limited with nothing available that suited me. Thanks to all for sharing their experiences…it helps to take away some of my anxiety over tackling this project.

  42. Katelyn says:

    I am planning to paint my oak kitchen white so of course I came back to your blog for all the tips and advice. After scouring all I could find on here I’m still not sure what I should do. I love the idea of the Cabinet Transformation but then I notice that you didn’t use it when redoing your kitchen island. Truly, do you still think oil based primer and latex paint is the best way to go?

  43. Karen says:

    Has anyone tried going from “honey oak” golden cabinets to a darker color? I want to go to Expressor darker, but with an antique-type of finish. I don’t want a flat black look when I’m done.

    I have experimented on an old pie safe using Cabernet (the pie safe was a walnut stain). I still have the UV protecant coat to put on, but so far I’m liking the change on the pie safe. I have a lot of cabinets in my kitchen so I want to be VERY SURE before I begin such a huge project. I’ve not seen any comments or pictures from someone who has gone to a darker finish from the golden/honey oak of the ’90s!

  44. carol says:

    Is there any way to fill oak grain before painting to get a flatter look. I have really nice golden oak cabinets that are currently very grainy due to the poly but some. Would not consider painting if couldn’t do some filling in of the grain. Anyone know of a way this has been done with or without this kit. I know sanding after filler would be needed.

  45. katee says:

    I am wanting to paint my banister and restain–I woner how this would work on that? I may just have to give it a try….then work towards the cabinets.

  46. Serena says:

    Has anyone done it on the laminate cupboard boxes? I’m not worried about the wood cupboards I’m concerned about the laminate side of my cupboards. The builders ones have faded and it has left me with a mismatched kitchen.

  47. Heather De says:

    @ Karen I have done two bathroom vanities with the Espresso color. They turned out nice, much better that the “orange oaky” color they started. This product takes a lot of time so plan for it. 3 base coats are needed. I did use the glaze, to add depth, but the color is so dark you can hardly tell. The hardest part for me was getting the top coat on just right. It tends to get white and bubbly as you brush it on. Daping the corners with a rag helped get rid of most of the extra, but even after wiping the bottom edges of the cabinet doors still had a bit of dripping, lucky it is in the inside of the door. Not sure about how durable it with be, but should know soon… in the pre-teen boys bath!

  48. Lonnie says:

    I just tried the linen cabinet kit as an experiment on my laundry room cabinets. I have been mulling over the work of painting my kitchen cabinets and have been too chicken until I found this kit, and it looked so easy!

    Now that I’ve finished I’m thrilled with the results compared to the pickled oak I started with, but I’ve decided I’m probably not going to use it for the kitchen. Instead, it just made me brave enough to go get some sandpaper and cabinet coat paint and do it the other way.

    The rustoleum kit sounds appealing with no sanding, but believe me, the scrubbing with the deglosser is no less work, and there is little visually to let you know you’ve done a thorough job. I would have actually preferred sanding. While it also does not require sanding between coats, that kind of sanding is super easy anyway.

    As mentioned in other reviews, the bond coat is thin. I used 3 coats and I can almost swear I still see a hint of the pinkish oak through it where the grain is the strongest. Somehow this did not detract from the overall look. Kinda pretty. You will definitely see the grain of oak through this, so if you want not to, don’t try this. ( I do not know of a product anywhere that will hide the grain of oak–you’d have to use filler and sandpaper, and it’s generally not recommended as it rarely looks uniform). On the up side, this thin paint goes on super easy and smoothly, never sticky like some of the thicker paints. I enjoyed every coat I had to do because it was so quick and easy. The paint levels nicely and brush strokes are minimal once dry. Do pay close attention to drips though.

    I found the glaze to be too difficult to master. I did not want the overall glazed look, just some color in the grooves. I found it nearly impossible to completely wipe color off the places I didn’t want it (even immediately), and while using a damp cloth as they suggest did the trick, it also removed the bondcoat! The glaze does get sticky and the gauze wiping cloth catches on the corners and the stickiness. I gave up and painted over my two failures. The allover glazing is probably a lot simpler to manage, so if you planned on that, don’t let me scare you off.

    The biggest complaint I have is that the dried topcoat appears yellow in the grooves and in some corners where it accumulated a tiny bit. Makes the white cabinets look kind of dingy in those areas. Frankly, it’s the big dealbreaker for me. I do not know how to prevent it from happening, as I cannot see it until it’s dried. I’m so frustrated by this that I just want to avoid topcoating altogether by using a nice hard cabinet paint instead. I figure if sanding isn’t any worse than deglossing, and cabinet paint doesn’t require topcoat, what makes this kit easier at all?

    Overall, I think this is a handy kit, and I love my new (even slightly yellow cornered) white laundry cabinets. I finished in a day and a half (no glaze) and did not find application to be very difficult excepting the glaze. If it weren’t for the topcoat problem, I’d be painting my kitchen cabinets with it right now!

  49. Lew says:

    I wish I could post a fairy tale comment, but it’s not the same thing to do one or two doors in a paid for, controlled environment and to do an entire kitchen. I’ve repainted many items in the past without sanding by using liquid sandpaper, a primer and a satin finish. The only new thing was the staining. But, following the directions on the DVD, we used screws to hold up our product and (1) the doors slid on the screws, messing up the top surface and (2) the screws scratched the bottom surface. We had to redo the doors. But, here’s the big issue: Rustoleum will not sell bond coat. Every other part of the kit is available under other names but when you run out of bond coat, the only solution, according to Home Depot and Rustoleum “customer service,” is to buy another kit. $80 was a lot to pay for one kit, but $80 to buy just the paint. It’s not a good product, not a good deal and Rustoleum does not support it.

  50. Paula Barlowe says:

    Yeah, their inflexibility to sell you anymore bond coat is beyond belief. I would advise anyone that busy this that you MUST be sure about your color choice. Rustoleum will not sell you more of ANY parts of the kit. I bought the large kit in “Porcelain”. I painted the inside of one of my cabinet doors and it just wasn’t right with the rest of the kitchen (tile, wall color, etc.). I called Rustoleum and BEGGED them to sell me (SELL me, mind you, not give me for free) another can of the base and they WOULD NOT do it. They said I would have to buy an entire whole kit which costs $150.00. Further, the representative would not let me speak to anyone else or transfer me to anyone else in the company!!?? Sorry, but that is really poor customer service. The kit is very expensive in the first place, but their inflexibility to help you out is absurd. Even if I could afford another $150.00 kit (which I can’t) I would never buy anything from them again. “Satisfaction Guaranteed” my foot…..

  51. Pat says:

    Wish I had found this site. earlier.. two major comments on this product. BTW, I am using tudor (very pretty) on solid oak honey colored cabinets.

    1) Use a heavy hand on the deglosser. If you don’t, the bond paint will not adhere to the wood. I mean, rub it good…like sanding with a scrub pad.

    2) Secondly, if you use the glaze, be super super gentle when removing it because it will remove the bond paint and you will see your original cabinet color (mine are oak) come shining through…not too pretty.

  52. Teri says:

    I have also tried the Cabinet Transformtions kit on both bathroom vanities. I’m thrilled with the results and can’t wait to start my kitchen. The hardest part was waiting long enough between coats to see the results! Oh, and picking out the new hardware. I made sure to do a thorough job of deglossing and had no problems with the glaze coming off.
    Love it, love it, love it.

  53. carol says:


    I am interested in trying the Rustoleum Kitchen Cabinet Transformation Kit. I am tossed between tudor and kona. I am looking for a deep brown/black look. Is tudor like that? Thx!

  54. Kourtney says:

    Have you found that one method is more durable than the other? I am trying to decide between the Rustoleum kit and the good old fashioned priming and painting. I know Rustoleum is known for durability, but in your opinion is this product super durable? Thanks!

  55. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Courtney, I actually used the RustOleum product on my guest studio kitchen:
    It was a quick and easy fix and has held up to date, but that kitchen isn’t used nearly as often a our home’s main kitchen…. but so far, so great!

  56. Bryan says:

    I used this product in our guest bath and it turned out great, but I was wondering can you use a conditioner with the topcoat. I was very frustrated with the drying time and felt like it could have finished smoother.

  57. Lori says:

    I have cabinets almost exactly the same color as what you started with. I would like to go dark… like an espresso color. Would this work?

  58. rochelle says:

    Great idea, great price. I bought the small dark kit for our previously painted cabinets. Everything went smoothly until I got to the protective top coat. I followed the directions by applying a long even coat using a brand new, good quality (Purdy) synthetic brush. Since the product is varathane it is important to not overbrush. The directions say to then touch up weak or missed areas. It’s easy to have missed or weak areas when doing long cabinet doors. The doors now look streaked and the touched up areas look awful. They look even worse under direct light or sunlight. My only choice now is to apply another layer of top coat and see how it dries. Otherwise, I’m going to have to start all over again. This product has a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

  59. CentsationalGirl says:

    Yes, I think so Lori!

  60. Katie says:

    Kate, I just found you blog, love it! We are about to start our kitchen cabinets in the morning with this Rustolium kit. After reading through your posts I am wondering if we should use this kit or prime and paint with oil based. My kitchen gets used a lot and I just really want it to last. Would you use this product in your big kitchen?

  61. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Katie, if I was painting my own kitchen I’d go old school, with Zinsser primer + paint. I love the RustOleum kit but I have no idea of its durability over time. It is the RustOleum company, and they’re known for their products being incredibly durable, but if it was me, I’d still prime a heavily used kitchen with a bonding primer then use water based Ben Moore Advance enamel paint on top. On a positive note, the kitchen where we did use the RustOleum kit is still holding up niceley. A few minor scratches around the main cabinet where the garbage can is, but other than that, the cabinets still look beautiful, but again, that kitchen is not heavily used and the Kit is a great quick fix. Hope this helps!

  62. burgandy says:

    I was wondering if the surface of the countertops are rough or smooth after you complete the countertop restoration? It looks like it is a rough or plastic type feel in the pictures but I was wondering the texture after the project is complete?

  63. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Burgandy, if you sand them down correctly with the tool, they will be smooth.

  64. Tisha says:

    Can this product be applied to previously painted cabinets?

  65. CentsationalGirl says:

    Yes Tisha, it can!

  66. Kim says:


    Again, I am so loving your website. Thank you for all of the information!!!!!! You are my new BFF….

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