Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kitchen Cabinets Reno DIY

This is not a post about food but it's about KITCHEN! So I thought it would fit here in my blog. My main purpose actually is not just to show off a project I'm proud of but it's also to warn people when taking up on a big project like that if you choose the Rust-Oleum Transformation Kit.

We had cream/peach looking kitchen cabinets that just didn't have any contrast with the sand/tan wall color we chose and backsplash that came with the house. I just needed my cabinets to look nice and clean, without chipped paint and with nice hardware.

At first, everything was going great! A lot of work, but moving. We bought the kits, watched the DVD, prepared the entire kitchen, cleaned , bought great quality brushes (= $$$)  and started working as planned and as directed.
The first step, deglossing, was hard work. A lot of elbow grease but we were up to it! I felt like I was working out but I knew that step was really important since my cabinets weren't solid wood and I needed a bare, rough surface for any paint to stick. All done, and wiped (we used A LOT of towels!) with damp cloths then dried. As the pamphlet explained, we gave it a bit more than an hour for it to dry before painting.
Then we got on with the first coat of paint. We chose linen, a beautiful, simple and clean off-white. We had light cabinets and just needed a fresh coat of paint so 2 coats looked enough. We gave 3 hours between layers of paint and before we applied the clear coat. It turns out 3 coats looked better!

We then moved on to applying the top coat, a very tricky step as it is a very liquid product that needs to be applied thin and evaporates quickly. No biggie, it was going good, color looked great and exactly what I wanted. I was so happy! Suddenly, some pieces were turning yellow as I was applying the top coat! My cabinets were going from great to gross in just a few seconds! 

We stopped everything! It was already almost 10 o'clock at night and we had been working on it for 11 hours straight. My husband and I did some research to see if some people ran into the same issue and to try and figure out a solution. I was not going to put old & dirty-looking cabinets back up! As it turns out, the clear coat that comes in the kit is not the greatest. The best option we found to solve our problem was to lightly sand the top coat (220 grit) and give it another couple layers of paint on those pieces. The parts that we hadn't applied the top coat to, we decided to just give it a third coat of paint. The next step was mixing good acrylic poliurethane 3:1 with the paint and applying 3 coats of that to the cabinets. That was enough to cover for the yellow and my cabinets do look really good! But I'm so mad because I wasted a whole day of my 4-day holiday for nothing! I'm going to ask Rust-Oleum for my money back but they will never replace my time... Oh, well! What matters is that my kitchen looks just like I wanted: clean and nice! 

Hopefully this look lasts for a good while as I'm done with kitchen reno for a while!

Lessons learned (some I learned the hard way! :/)

- Preparation is the foundation for a good transformation. Don's spare product nor elbow grease!
- A good cleaning and rinsing with damp cloth the day before is not a bad idea but the deglosser will take care of it if you don't have anything thick on
- Have lots of rags in hand and be prepared to throw some away depending on the state of your cabinets previously. Use damp towels to wipe and rinse every corner of your cabinets.
- Use good quality soft tape and make sure your lines are as perfect as you can make them. Protect dishwasher, microwave, stove, etc... 
- Tarp or old shower curtains are a must to protect floors, countertops and appliances.
- Use plastic or towels to protect things inside your cabinet but no need to get every single thing out unless they're really close to the edges.
- Buy good quality brushes! There's no sense in going cheap if you want smooth long lasting surfaces. Cheap brushes will leave brush stroke marks and you don't want that!
- Mix the acrylic top coat with the paint for the top coat. 3 parts clear 1 part paint. That will make the top coat easier to apply as it won't be as runny and it won't evaporate as quickly.
- Have a couple different sizes of brushes for the different surfaces: large smooth surfaces require a 2.5 or 3' brush.
- Smooth strokes and small amounts of paint are the way to go!
- One set of tools per person working:  pail with a magnet for the brush (so handy!), a couple different sizes of brushes
- If you have a chance, keep your hinges! Spray painting them could make the chip with use and getting new ones, unless they're a match with your previous ones, can be a pain and expensive. Pick hardware with the same finish if you like what you have. You can do that and still make your kitchen look updated and fresh.
- Focus on the end goal: your beautiful looking kitchen! That will make the hard journey a little more fun!
- Use a cordless drill to tighten the screws. Manual screwdrivers will make putting everything back together too slow.
- Linen = off white. Frost looked to have some blue undertones. Iffy!

Main PROS:
The kit has most of the things you need. 
For a large project like transforming kitchen cabinets, this is the easiest choice as it does not require sanding.
Not expensive but gives a million-dollar feel to your kitchen!

Main CONS:
Top coat can make your cabinets bleed through or look streaky depending on what you had when you started.
Time consuming.

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