Get the Look of New Kitchen Cabinets the Easy Way


Article Posted By: Rust-Oleum

Get the Look of New Kitchen Cabinets the Easy Way -- Cabinet Transformations

In this kitchen makeover, we’ll show you how you can get the look of brand new kitchen cabinets for thousands of dollars less than it would cost to replace them. We upgraded the finish of these kitchen cabinets in just a few simple steps using Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformations.

Above, you see the results. Below, you can see how these kitchen cabinets looked before the transformation. It looks almost like a totally new kitchen. We particularly like the two-tone look of white cabinets on top and gray below. Check out the chalkboard painted onto the kitchen cabinets, too.

Here’s how we did it.

A kitchen before application of Cabinet Transformations

Inexpensive Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Materials needed for Cabinet Transformations project


Spreading a drop cloth before refinishing kitchen cabinets

Before You Start
Set up your work space in a well ventilated area such as your garage. Lay out a drop cloth to protect your surroundings from any excess paint.

Step 1 – Remove Kitchen Cabinet Doors and Hardware

Removing kitchen cabinet hardware for refinishing project

Placing kitchen cabinet hardware into numbered plastic bag

First, remove the cabinet doors and drawers from the frames, and remove the hardware.

Tip: Number each cabinet door using painter’s tape and sketch a layout of your cabinets as a guide. This will help you remember which cabinet door goes where. Label plastic bags with corresponding numbers, and as you remove the cabinet doors, place the appropriate hardware in each bag.

Step 2 – Tape Off Cabinets

Taping off kitchen cabinet frames for refinishing project
Tape off your cabinet frames so that you don’t get any paint on your walls or backsplash. Use a drop cloth on the floor and countertops for added protection.

Step 3 – Degloss Cabinets

Preparing to degloss kitchen cabinet door

Applying deglosser to a kitchen cabinet door

Wiping deglosser off a kitchen cabinet door
Now that your cabinets and workspace are fully prepped, it’s time to start applying the deglosser from your Cabinet Transformations Kit. The deglosser will eliminate the need for sanding or stripping to save you time (and a mess).

Wearing your latex gloves, apply a generous amount of deglosser onto the scrub pad provided in the kit, and thoroughly wipe each cabinet door.

Be sure to apply the deglosser to all corners and divots in the cabinet doors. Once you’re done, wipe away any excess deglosser with a damp rag, and then wipe again with a dry rag to ensure that all of the product is removed.

Repeat this step on the remaining doors and cabinet frames. Once you’re finished, the cabinets should have a matte appearance.

Step 4 – Apply Gray Bond Coat

Stirring gray bond coat from Cabinet Transformations kit

Painting gray bond coat onto a kitchen cabinet door

Now we’ll get started painting the gray cabinets.

Take out the gray bond coat from your Cabinet Transformations Kit and stir it thoroughly with a stir stick. To make painting easier, we recommend pouring a small amount of bond coat into a disposable container and working from that rather than the can.

Use a high quality synthetic paint brush to apply the bond coat in even coats, brushing in the direction of the wood grain.

Remove any built-up paint from the corners and crevices of your cabinets with the tip of the brush so you get a smooth and even finish.

Let the first coat dry for 2-3 hours, and then apply a second coat.

Follow this step to apply the gray bond coat to the fronts and backs of your cabinet doors, and the outside of your cabinet frames.

Step 5 – Apply White Bond Coat

Stirring white bond coat from a Cabinet Transformations kit

Painting white bond coat onto a kitchen cabinet door

Painting white bond coat onto kitchen cabinets

Apply the white bond coat to your remaining cabinet doors and frames using the same technique you used in Step 4 when you applied the gray bond coat. Both your gray and white cabinets will need to dry for at least eight hours before you can move on to applying the top coat.

Tip: There is not enough paint to coat the inside of your cabinet frames. If you are applying Cabinet Transformations over raw wood, a primer (Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3) will be required.

Step 6 – Apply Top Coat

Applying top coat onto a kitchen cabinet door

Now that your cabinets are dry, you can get started on applying the top coat. The protective top coat from your Cabinet Transformations Kit provides extra protection against stains and scratches.

Stir your top coat thoroughly with a stir stick. Then, using a clean synthetic paint brush, apply an even coat to the cabinet frames, brushing in the direction of the wood grain.

The top coat dries quickly, so be careful not to over brush.

Repeat this step on the kitchen cabinet doors. Then, let the doors and frames dry completely for at least 12 hours.

Step 7 – Replace Cabinet Doors

Reinstalling hardware onto kitchen cabinet door

Reinstalling a kitchen cabinet door after refinishing

After 12 hours, you can reinstall your kitchen cabinet doors.

Step 8 – Add New Drawer Pulls and Knobs

Installing new drawer pulls to kitchen cabinets

Installing new cabinet knobs to refinished kitchen cabinets

Once your doors are all back in place, add your new drawer pulls and knobs to finish the look.

Wait at least 24 hours before returning the cabinets to regular use.

Now step back and enjoy your stunningly transformed kitchen cabinets!

Get the Look of New Kitchen Cabinets the Easy Way -- Cabinet Transformations

Get the Look of New Kitchen Cabinets the Easy Way -- Cabinet Transformations

Get the Look of New Kitchen Cabinets the Easy Way -- Cabinet Transformations

For a special touch, turn one end of your kitchen cabinets into a hub for menus, messages, and reminders with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Brush-On Paint. Paint mason jars with Rust-Oleum spray paints to add a personal touch.

Get the Look of New Kitchen Cabinets the Easy Way -- Cabinet Transformations

TIP: The Cabinet Transformations Kit comes with a glaze. The glaze is a personal preference and an optional step. We did not apply the glaze for this project.

Take a look at some before and after photos of a Cabinet Transformations project by a Home Depot customer.

We have many more DIY projects here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our All About Paint board on Pinterest for more paint project ideas and tutorials.

You can find Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformations in The Home Depot’s Paint Department, along with anything you’ll need for your next painting project.