Although refinishing the bathroom tile proved tricky, modernizing the oak cabinetry was a cinch. Again I turned to the folks at Rustoleum, eager to try their Cabinet Transformations System. The colour choices were a smidge limiting (I chose Castle, unglazed) but I was eager for an all-in-one, guaranteed-to-last product.
The kit was straightforward and easy to use (with no sanding or priming!). After removing the doors fronts I cleaned the cabinet doors and bases thoroughly with the included Deglosser. This took a few hours because the Deglosser also needs to be wiped clean with a damp cloth and I tried to make sure I did a thorough job.
After the cabinets dried (1 hour), I applied three coats of the included paint (called a "Bond Coat") with a 2" angled brush. I applied the coats really thinly, starting with the backs of the cabinet doors, making sure I wasn't dripping on to the other side. Each coat took 2-3 hours to dry so this project took a few days to complete, even though actually applying the Bond Coat was straight forward.
For the cabinet frames, I found that using a small artist's brush (really love that thing for home DIYs) helped me skip the taping step and just get straight to painting. I just wiped any mistakes off with a damp cloth right away, but after practicing on these cabinets I now have quite the steady hand!
The instructions say two coats should do it but after two there were a couple of spots that needed a touch up. I had plenty
of paint left so I just went ahead with a third coat. Because my
doors are so ornate, it took some extra patience wiggling the paint in
there but it was worth the time. I think a door with a smoother profile might not need the third coat.
After that, I skipped the optional Decorative Glaze (which is created to give the cabinets an antiqued look) and applied the included Protective Top Coat, formulated to work with the Bond Coat to provide maximum scratch and stain resistance. After it dried, while the doors were still on the floor waiting to be installed, my Mom noticed a few spots less shiny than others so, again, with tons pf product to spare, I applied a second coat but then there were new areas that were less shiny. We re-installed the doors anyway and once they were in place I couldn't see any difference in sheen. Sweet relief.
Definitely an improvement!
Coverage on Solid Wood vs. Melamine
This system covered wood beautifully, but was a touch less cooperative with the melamine cabinet frames. For lack of a better word, it was "slippery" on melamine, sometimes refusing to adhere neatly so the first coat was really sheer and had poor coverage. Happily, it adhered to itself well and by the third coat it looked perfect. To double check, I painted the cabinet doors that are behind our firewood cubby (you can load the wood from the storage room behind the fireplace to avoid tracking gunk through the house). They are melamine and the white really popped after the fireplace was painted dark grey. I applied some leftover Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Bond Coat and although, again, the first coat was more sheer than when I applied it to wood, it adhered perfectly. And the doors only needed two coats, because they are so smooth and plain. Photos soon!
I partnered with Rustoleum to update the bathroom cabinets but was not prompted or asked to provide a positive review of the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation System. If you try this system, there's even a video DVD included (see a video tutorial online here) and extensive instructions with a helpful FAQ section. I would 100%
purchase this product myself because of the ease of application and the
uniqueness of this paint product - this is more like a mix between a stain and a paint, and it really seems to sink in to the grain to create a super smooth, professional-looking finish.