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The new house had bland oak cabinets that dated the look of the kitchen and bathrooms.

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So, after researching different options for refinishing cabinets, I decided to go with Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations kit. They’ve got a huge range of colors, and I went back and forth about whether to go lighter with the kitchen cabinets because it’s a relatively small space (although it’s gargantuan compared to the kitchen in our apartment), or darker because that’s the look I really prefer. In the end, I decided that, since the countertops are white quartz, I’d be okay going darker. Home Depot was the only place I found locally that carried the kit, so I recommend checking there first, though I’m sure you can order it online, too. I just wasn’t patient enough to wait that long. You’ll need to have them tint the paint while you’re still in the store to whatever color you’ve chosen – I went with the Espresso.

The first thing you’ll need to do is take all the doors off of the cabinets.

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Since I knew we were going to ditch the carpet, I didn’t worry about putting down drop cloths – the only down side to this is that there are a few little fuzzles that stuck to the edges while the paint was still tacky (if you buy enough painter’s pyramids, this won’t be an issue). Technically, you could do all of this with the doors still on, but it is a little bit drippy, and you don’t want drips of paint running down the front and drying that way.

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Starting with the backs of the doors, you’ll coat them with the deglosser and scrub off all the built-up gunk you didn’t realize was there. Wipe them down with a damp dust-free rag, and then again with a dry rag. The beauty of this product is that it doesn’t require that you sand or strip the doors, just get all the grease off. Do the front of the doors and the built-in parts of the cabinet next. Let it all dry, then prop the doors up on painter’s pyramids (these are not included in the kit) like this:

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Put your bond coat (this is essentially just a paint and primer in one dealio) on the backs of the doors first. While that’s drying, move on to the cabinet frames themselves. By the time that’s done, you should be able to flip the doors and do the fronts. I let everything dry overnight, then did a second coat on it all. Make sure you’re going in the same direction as the grain of the wood, and watch for drips over the edges. There are little drips here and there that I didn’t catch, which may drive me crazy over time.

Let that dry overnight, and you’re ready to put on the glaze. After reading several reviews that said the glaze and the top coat were a royal pains-in-the-ass, I opted to go with a non-yellowing Polyurethane instead. That ended up being super easy, and the added cost was minimal. Again, you want to apply it in the direction of the wood grain, doing the back of the doors first, then the cabinets, then the front of the doors. Don’t over work this phase. Lay it on and make sure you’re covering completely, but don’t keep brushing back and forth on top repeatedly because it’ll cause little bubbles and streakiness to form. And be extra vigilant about the drips over the edge on this phase, too. Let it all dry overnight, and then rehang the doors.

Voila! This is not the final reveal with the before or after, but I wanted to get the basic tutorial on here for you. One kit was plenty enough paint to do my kitchen, two bathroom vanities, and the railings up our stairwell. It was definitely time consuming, but it was almost no odor, and none of it was particularly difficult, and for only $75, a real deal. I’ll post the before and after once the new appliances are in, the new hardware is on, and the walls have been painted.

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