Drab to Fab

A New Solution for Transforming Your Cabinets

Thursday, February 17th, 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to try it out for myself, and I’m like a kid in a candy story when given the opportunity to try products that transform outdated cabinets.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.

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Style + Storage: A Bare Wall Transformed

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Ever wondered what to do with those bare walls in your home?  That unused square footage along empty hallways or entryways ?  Do you add storage, or do you use that space as display for your art and photographs?  Well why not have both!

This wall space presented that very design dilemma:  how to take this busy family’s unused square footage in their upstairs loft and make it work for their lifestyle.  They wanted to display family photographs, but like most families, also needed extra storage. 

I tackled their dilemma in three simple steps:  first, by adding architectural interest that complemented the style of their home with the addition of a board and batten wall treatment.  Next, I introduced hooks and a storage bench below for added utility.  Finally, I allowed for space above the wall treatment for a mini gallery of family photographs.  Take a peek at the transformation!

Before:

wall before

 

After:

cg loft bench after

 

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Better Brighter Blog Photos

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Greetings!  I hope you all had a good weekend.  We had a great party despite the huge storm that is pounding California, and a splendid time was had by all.  Today I thought I’d address a question I keep getting via email and in comments:  “How do I take better, brighter photos for my blog?”  I do not consider myself an expert in photography by any means so I wonder sometimes why that question is even directed at me.  However, I have taught myself a few tricks for achieving higher quality images in the past year, and every now and then I take a pretty good shot.

The most important thing I have learned to make for a better brighter photo has everything to do with light.  And a good camera.  When taking photographs, either for your personal use or for your blog, good natural light and a kick booty camera are your two very best friends. 

Most photographs taken outside on a sunny day with a point-and-shoot turn out pretty well, all because of the natural light present.  Yet with interior shots, it’s tough to be as blessed with natural light unless you’re shooting a room with walls of windows on a sunny day.   When shooting pictures indoors in less than ideal conditions, here are a five tips I shoot by.   

My Five Tips for Better Brighter Blog Photos

1) Use a Good Camera

I think it’s essential to invest in a good SLR digital camera with variable settings (F-stop, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.) if you want to have high quality interior photos.  I know there are a lot of comparatively inexpensive point and shoot digital cameras out there, and they are perfectly fine for so many everyday uses, but for high quality blog photography, invest in a good camera.  I use my Nikon D60 that allows for changeable lenses, and I use two kinds of lenses that I mention in my FAQ page

2)  Know Your Manual 

When my hub bought me my Nikon D60 three years ago, I always used the auto setting just because it was so darn easy and I was, at first, intimidated by the manual settings.  80% of the time, the ‘Auto’ setting worked fine and produced adequate images. 

However, the ability to manipulate your camera’s light settings makes all the difference in the world in less than perfect light conditions, and when shooting interiors or detail shots.  Here is just one half of one page in my Nikon’s manual but look how much information can be gathered from this quick camera tour.   

nikon image settings

 

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