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.
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.
After 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to try it out for myself, and I’m like a kid in a candy story when given the opportunity to try products that transform outdated cabinets.
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.
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.
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.
The fourth and final step is to apply your clear UV protective coat to the cabinet surface.
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.
Factor in the optional glazing step, and you can deepen your color more.
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!
For an idea of how the Transformations kit would work in your kitchen or bath, you can play around with their virtual tool.
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!