Erin Says Goodbye to Her Funky Cabinets

July 31, 2012 | by Jocie (email) |

For years my sister, Erin has hated her cabinets. They are old, ugly, and really nasty – covered in years of funk but also had some extra vanishes and waxes to give them extra shine. In all, it wasn’t a pretty picture. The only thing her cabinets had going was that they are solid wood. She’s lived in the house for now 14 years but updating the cabinets is an expensive and time-consuming venture. With four kids, three dogs, one husband, and a partridge in  pear tree, the cabinets have not been a top priority.

About a month ago, Rust-Oleum contacted us and asked if we would be interested in trying out their new Cabinet Transformations. While my cabinets are not in style with the white trend, they are a beautiful dark wood, in great condition, so I’m not ready to paint them. But I did immediately think of my sister who desperately needed a cabinet transformation.

Ethan, Izzie, Lucy, and I spent this past weekend at Erin’s working on the cabinets. It was a TON of work! Erin and her hubby, Chris had done most of the cabinet prep before hand. As I mentioned, there were lots of layers of junk and added wax for shine that they had to scrub off. Erin used Simple Green first, which worked best to remove the yuck, and then used the Rust-Oleum De-glosser to remove anything left and the film that Simple Green left.

First we taped off all the countertops and walls so we wouldn’t get paint where we shouldn’t. Here I am, all bright and chipper, early Saturday morning. Check out my new OPC The Better Half shirt!

We then followed the steps on the Rust-Oleum video, including painting 2 -3 coats of paint then one thin layer of protective top coat. What a dramatic difference! Check out Ethan’s post over at OPC, our main site, for the step-by-step process of transforming the cabinets.

Here’s my pretty sister starting off the day with the first strokes of paint!

Ethan, hard at work!

Another great aspect of painting these cabinets, over refinishing, was that Erin was able to repair the cabinets with wood putty before painting. After 14 years of hard use (plus lots of years before that with previous home owners), there were lots of dings and dents that were easily covered.

I really liked the kit. I think what really makes the Rust-Oleum kit unique, over regular furniture paint, is that they offer glazes to go over the paint to make the cabinets appear more like wood and the protective top coat. We did not use the glaze because Erin liked the antique white look.

The next day, after the cabinets were painted and dry, we went to put the new hinges on and realized that they didn’t fit! Oops! We were left with putting the old hinges back on, but when a previous home owner had applied a varnish and then wax, they didn’t bother to take off the old hinges or cabinet pulls.

Suffice to say, the hinges and pulls were in very bad condition. Erin came up with the great idea of cleaning them with acetone. It was a stinky, long job but the hinges and pulls cleaned up very well!

At the end of the weekend, we left Erin to enjoy her “new” kitchen…and finish cleaning up the mess we left! haha! We’ll be heading back there in a few weeks to transform her countertops too. Stay tuned!

How do you like Erin’s new kitchen? Have you used Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations?

As Always, thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and Pinterest!

30 Responses
  1. wow! what a wonderful transformation.

  2. Jeff says:

    Wow, turned out great, nice job!

  3. paintergal says:

    Like I said in the “guy side” of OPC (would that be the poorer half?) 🙂
    I have painted cabinets in four different kitchens. Erin’s cab’s turned out great. But after reading about the process with the Rustoleum, I think I will stick with my method of painting. I blogged about it here,

    • Jocie says:

      we like to call them the lesser half….macho half…those wierdos we married. 🙂
      Great post! I love your glazing technique. How have they held up in the last 3 years???

      • paintergal says:

        They have held up really well. Occasionally I will need to do a touch up, usually on the door under the sink. But other than that, they still look like new.

  4. Naomi says:

    Woohoo!!!! I love it! You guys are amazing 🙂

  5. Lisa says:

    Love the transformation! Just finished redoing our cabinets, it’s amazing what a difference paint makes!! Can’t wait to see what you do to the countertops. That’s a project we still have to tackle.

  6. Reuben says:

    Looks fantastic. Looks like a lot of work, too! You guys did a great job.

  7. trebor says:

    It sure makes the place seem a lot lighter…I like it!

    Also…I wish people would contact me about trying their products haha 🙁

    • Jocie says:

      Hey Trebor, The room looks so much brighter. Erin plans to paint some so the room isn’t all white, but it should be plenty bright still.
      yeah….we love that people send us stuff! 🙂

  8. poiboybf says:

    It’s hard to believe how much a refinish can change the look of a room. Great work!

  9. Fargin says:

    The finished cabinets look great. I really like the way the hardware came out. I have some hinges that I have been struggling to find replacements for so I am going to give this a shot. Nice work!

  10. They look great, very impressive! I wish it wasn’t so hard to find new hardware that fits – why can’t it just be universal??

  11. blynn says:

    Looks great. I keep debating on wanting to keep my wood stained cabinets or painting them. They are solid wood too, but I am not sure I am ready to commit to white cabinets.

  12. frazzled5 says:

    WOW! What a difference! Live close to Atlanta? I desperately need a cabinet makeover!

  13. Michellelhb says:

    Looks great!which color did you choose and did you use the smaller or larger kit?

  14. Frances says:

    I love your look, I am getting ready to do this to my kitchen after much research. Love how yours turned out.

  15. Melissa Haber says:

    I really want to talk to you about this when you get a chance. I’ve been DYING to do this to my kitchen, but have been hesitant to bite the bullet. Would love to discuss the details with you!

  16. Wow, you did a really good job doing it yourself. I bet you saved a lot of money too.

  17. Stephanie says:

    Which color did you use? Thank you

Leave a Reply