The Secret to Perfectly Painted Cabinets + Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Attempt this Popular Home DIY!

Hi Friends! Happy Thursday! Can you believe that this week is already over? I feel like I blinked and it’s Thursday, but also looking back the days seemed to go by so slowly. Quarantine is weird.

While we thought we might be able to get out of our homes next week, governor extended Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order at her press conference this afternoon, until May. That means we’re all going to have a little more time on our hands.

But that’s okay with me. Because time at home = getting projects done! Anyone else looking at their list of Home Projects and trying to check off as many as possible?

One project that I’m sure is on a lot of your lists is painting your cabinets. Our kitchen cabinets were the very first thing on our DIY list when we moved into this home, and the dark cabinets in our bathroom made the list too. Why? Because a fresh coat of paint on dated cabinets can actually transform a space.

See what I mean?

However, this is a time consuming project, with A LOT of Gone-Wrong Horror Stories lurking behind it. Everyone knows someone who had a bad experience painting their cabinets. Which is why, even though it was the first thing we wanted to do, I was super hesitant to do it.

Then, I met my Holy Grail product at The Home Depot.

Turns out, perfectly painting cabinets are packaged up in a tiny little box in the aisle near the stains.

That’s right. You don’t have to click through hundreds of blog posts on Pinterests telling you how to sand, prime, paint, and protect like I did. You simply need to order yourself a Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations Kit!

Now, this kit doesn’t speed up the process of painting your cabinets, but it makes the process a whole lot easier! I did my entire kitchen with one kit, and didn’t even use it all… so transforming our kitchen only cost me my (and by my I mean my mom’s) time and $76.00!!!

I’ve got your attention now, don’t I?! Before we talk about HOW we painted our cabinets, let’s talk a little bit more about this kit!

The Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations Kit has everything you need to give your cabinets new life. It includes a deglosser (you do this first instead of having to sand the cabinets), a bond coat (this is the actual color the cabinets will be), a protective top coat, and an optional glaze (I didn’t use this). The kit comes with step by step instructions, making it super straightforward and user friendly!

The kit comes in two versions. The Dark Colors Cabinet Transformations has 24 different color choices, while the Light Colors Cabinet Transformations has 11. Don’t let the Light/Dark names fool you. My color choice came from the Dark Colors Cabinet Transformations kit! (I chose the color Tate Green.)

My calendar is from Shutterfly 🙂 I made it using photos from our trip to
Nantucket last summer!

You choose your color, and get it tinted at the store, even if you order online.

If you have a lot of cabinet space you are painting, I recommend buying two. In fact, we bought two kits just in case. We did this so that we could mix the base coats together so there was no varying tints. We ended up only needing one kits worth, but we were happy to have the extra! I figured I can use it for another project in the future! (Lookin’ at you, guest bedroom.) However, if you’re choosing a pure white for your cabinets, you could probably purchase Behr paint in Ultra Pure White to get you through with one kit, and it would be more cost effective!

Besides the kits, you’ll need a few other things to get a perfect finish on your cabinets.

  • Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations Kit in color of choice (I chose Tate Green)
  • Paint Brushes in Multiple Sizes
  • Mini paint rollers and extra roller heads (we liked these roller heads)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Plastic tarps
  • Plastic Cups
  • A few rags

Once you’ve gathered all your materials, it’s time to start painting! First, you need to set up your work station. Find a room with good lighting, that can be closed off from the daily chaos of your home. We chose our “white room” (find out more about what room that is here!) because we don’t use it, and it has amazing natural lighting. Which is KEY. This is not a project you can finish in one day, so you’ll need a space where your cabinet doors can sit. And to make sure they are streak free and completely covered, it has to be a space with natural light.

Next, it’s time to take off the doors and hinges. It’s important to number them/mark them in one way or another. There are a lot of different ways people do this, but we chose to just use a permanent marker to number them! For us, it was the simplest way. (We put the hinges in plastic baggies with the matching number on them too.)

Then, we brought up the doors and laid them out on cups (this really helps!) so we could start transforming our cabinets! It’s important to take your time! First, you de-gloss them, then you wait for it to dry. THEN you can start painting. Watch for drips, and wait until everything is completely dry before starting a second coat. We ended up doing about 4 coats. It ended up taking us a few days, just because of the dry time in between each coat. Finally you add the the protective top coat.

Here is how I set up the cabinets from the bathroom!

The best advice we can give you? Have patience. And take your time. My suggestion is to find a podcast you’ve never listened to and start it from the beginning. It will keep you occupied while you literally watch paint dry! Seriously. You have to be extra careful with the top coat, because it’s runny and drips easy! And the drips will ruin the final finish of your cabinets.

Once they are completely dry, we let them sit for an extra 24 hours to be sure, you can hang them back up and you’ll be good to go!

Like I said, it really is so easy! And I love how it transformed our Kitchen and Bathroom!

Have you painted your cabinets before?? If you have, leave any tips in the comments down below!

Alright my loves. I’m signing off for the weekend. I’ll be back next week! (Not on Sunday… because there is no point in doing a weekend round up of us just sitting on the couch at home! haha)

Have a great weekend everyone! Stay home, and stay safe.


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