We hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend! We just stuck around home and went to a couple family BBQ’s. We did some yard work and cleaning and just had a nice relaxing few days. Last year Memorial Day weekend is when we started our kitchen cabinet overhaul. Why has it taken me this long to post about my kitchen? Oh, because I kept waiting until it was ALL done. Like adding a back splash, a matching oven and microwave and replacing our broken floor (which we did do in March). But one year has now passed and I am not waiting any longer-I’m so excited to show you my kitchen! And how we completely transformed it for $150!! Do you believe me? It’s true! Keep reading.:)
Our kitchen has the cheapest cabinets money could buy…. in the 90’s. Honey yellow oak, exposed hinges, crappy wood, and small shelves. Replacing them was not an option-much too expensive. Having them painted professionally also turned out to be not an option. I actually had 3 painters come give us a bid before we even moved in 3 years ago. The least expensive was $ 800-the most expensive was $3,000. In the end we couldn’t justify either of those amounts for a totally cosmetic repair. I was too intimidated by the job to do it myself but that didn’t stop me from doing lots of dreaming, wishing and researching.
Here’s what finally gave me the guts to just do it: This Cabinet Transformations kit by Rustoleum. It had excellent reviews and comes with everything you need. We spotted it on sale at The Home Depot for $45 and went for it. We needed 2 kits for our kitchen size. That brings our price to $90 with free shipping. (I’ll explain the rest of the expense in a minute.) Can’t beat that. For real. Also, we needed some goodies.
The kit comes with a DVD which I watched, twice. This painting cabinet business is very intimidating! Once I felt comfortable with the step by step process, it was go time. So as I walk you through this process just remember it’s all as per Rustoleum’s instructions with the kit. And it’s really an excellent step by step system!
First scrub all the cabinets with a de-greaser, especially the cabinets around the stove. It was really gross how much greasy build up was on the cabinets. Toothpicks are good to have on hand while cleaning in the corners. Cleaning the hinges is a good idea too. Next, remove all the cabinet doors and hinges. As you remove them it is very important to number the doors and the corresponding cabinet or drawer. This is a life saving step when it comes to re-assembly.
We just used masking tape to mark each door, drawer, and cabinet.
Also, I feel like we’re getting really personal here with the inside of my cabinets so exposed. They look much better with their doors on. 🙂This is the time to tape the inside of the cabinets as well. As you can see, I just taped where the shelves meet the outer cabinet.
We laid all our cabinet doors on scrap wood in our garage. We taped their number to the wood under each door.32 cabinet doors in all. Big job-the only time I wish our kitchen was smaller. Ready to start with Step One of the kit process. The De-glosser. You scrub the cabinets with the de-glosser in place of sanding. It’s cool stuff. While it was still better than sanding, it took foooooreeeverrrrr. My back, knees and arms were so sore by the time we finished the de-glossing. We were also half way through the weekend and we hadn’t even started painting. I was realizing by now this might not be done by Tuesday, or ever….
Where was Steffany to help me with all this? Out of town….buuuuummer. For me. Had I known how much work and how long it was going to take I honestly would have waited until she could help me. So maybe keep that in mind if you want to paint a large kitchen all by yourself. Have people to help. (I did have my husband, who of course was a huge help. But the actual painting was my job in this project.)
You paint 2 coats of the base coat, each coat has to dry for 2-4 hours. You can imagine how long this whole process is. Two coats on each side of the doors for a total of 4 coats- each coat drying for approx. 3 hours. That’s a long time. Plus it took me about 2-3 hours just to paint one coat on all 32 doors. I ended up doing most of the painting at night after the kids were in bed, which meant I was up until 2 AM for a solid week.
Here’s the back of the doors all painted:
After the glazing step, there’s a Protective top coat that you paint over all the cabinets. There are dry times for all of these steps that I followed pretty closely, which was hard once I had finally made it to the last step! After the Protective top coat was all dry I could start re-attaching all the doors! It was like one of the best days of my life! I will not lie, it was a long process and it was a lot of work. There were a couple nights after hours of painting and hours more to go that I sat in the garage crying and painting. Yes, crying. That’s just what happens sometimes when I’m tired and it’s late and I feel like I’ll never finish. These cabinets were painted with tears and sweat and lots of Netflix on my laptop. (I watched like 100 episodes of Clean House.)
Even with all the tears, and late nights, and hours of painting….. Was it worth it? YES! I love how my cabinets turned out! I also love how inexpensive it was! And seriously, the Rustoleum cabinet transformation kit gets a huge thumbs up from me.
A few ways we saved money by doing it ourselves (beyond just the do it yourself part): we used the same hinges, we did not splurge on new appliances, we didn’t buy additional hardware like handles, we also did not add crown molding. All of those were options we considered. But they are also things we can add later when we have some extra cash to put into the house.
Now let’s check out lots of BEFORE and AFTER pics. (You’ll notice the beautiful hutch that I also re-finished. We’ll be posting that soon! Also, the floors are new in the after pics. We’ll be posting about that soon too.)
There you have it! It is possible to have a beautiful kitchen on a very small budget!
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