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Yesterday, I shared with you my initial thoughts on how the bathroom cabinet painting process went. Now that I’ve painted on the final step (poly), I took some final pictures of the finish and will give you a few more of my observations.

The poly went on great (though it was thinner than expected, so it was a little drippy) and changed the finish from über flat to a satin sheen. I also noticed that the base coat color went ever-so-slightly lighter during application, which made it easier to see the applied versus not applied sections as I went. I was expecting that this would expose the wood grain even more (since adding shine to anything tends to highlight flaws instead of hide them), but I found that I was happier with the results after the poly went on. Maybe it was because I was practically painting in the dark (we had a spooky storm roll through Atlanta so the sun went into hiding), but the finished result left me feeling glad that I’d decided to paint the cabinet. Sure, I could have waited for a better (and drier) day to finish the last step, but I was anxious to get my bathroom put back together and the final product requires a full 24 hours of dry time (counting the rain, it will probably be more like 48).

As you can see in the below pics, the wood grain is still quite visible when the light hits it. However, my four coats seem to have at least covered the actual color of the oak, so all that shows is a little texture. It may not be 100% what I would have liked, but I can live with it.

For the poly/top coat application, I used only a 2″ foam brush and simply slopped it on. The instructions explicitly state to go over with the poly only once in each area and not to brush back over a part that has already begun to dry, so I did my best to work as quickly as possible to catch any dripping or over-application before I messed up my previous work.

Now that the final coat has been applied, I’m starting to think that this kit isn’t as bad as my initial impressions led me to believe yesterday. Instead of being in a rush to save up the money for the full bathroom reno, I can work with what I’ve got for a little while longer. I don’t really like the finished result enough to postpone my new bathroom cabinet plans indefinitely, but it’s enough that I can re-arrange my to do list and move up a few other projects that have been hanging in the air lately.

Despite the unexpected turnaround in my opinion (what a difference a day – and a coat of poly – makes, eh?), there are a few more things that I need to do in order to put a big, fat, check mark next to this list item. For one, the bathroom hardware needs to be clean and sprayed with a new finish:

And I need to find two pulls for the door fronts. Since this is still a temporary upgrade until the full bathroom reno begins, I don’t think I want to spend too much on hardware, but since it’s only two pulls, I can probably splurge more than I would have expected. The only question that comes after is whether or not to add two purely decorative knobs to the top two drawer fronts. Thoughts?

Continuing with my comments from yesterday, the poly stretched just as far as the bond coat when it came to what was left in the can. The “small” kit (per the box says it covers 100 sq. ft. of cabinets, not including the insides) only comes with one quart of the satin top coat, but I barely made a dent in it. Now that I’ve decided I like the finished results, I can happily paint the guest bathroom cabinets to match the master with plenty of paint leftover. Heck, anyone in the Atlanta area wanting to give their own cabinets a shot with Winter Frost? I know someone with over half of a cabinet painting kit left.

And yes, this means I’m fairly sure (well, almost) that my kitchen cabinets will not be painted the same color. I’ve still got to see the finished results in the sun to make that call, which means I’ve got a week to get used to them in the dark first!

There you have it: a bathroom cabinet using the new Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit. With two bathrooms getting the “CT” treatment, that means that this little makeover was only $39.50 per bathroom. And since I’ve got the paint brush foam brush out already, why not go even further and give the countertop an upgrade, too? I chose a different color for the counter than the kitchen color, but let’s not get crazy… it’s still typical UDH. Reveal coming for that after the humidity gets back to a reasonable level.

And just to finish this post off with a clean before and after, here’s where we are in the mini makeover progress:

Before
After

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26 Comments

  1. Decorative Knobs? YES! Do all (four?) of them! After 2 years, I finally traded out my southwestern knobs in the kitchen and I am much happier. Great job on the trans!

  2. I know its not EXACTLY what you were hoping for but the progress really is amazing :0)

  3. Thanks, ladies! I'm actually coming around to it. True, the cabinets are pretty old and blah, but some hardware and other things in the works will dress this puppy up in a jif.

  4. Four knobs/pulls for sure and a new faucet. Home depot has a few cute ones for under $20 and I think it will make you a lot happier with the entire cabinet area. xo

  5. Even if you are not totally in love with the end result, it is certainly a huge improvement. At least you won't want to wash your eyes with soap after looking at the cabinets anymore, and you gained some time to save up for what you really want. So, in that respect, I really like it! Plus, since it wasn't expensive, you can always try and embellish- if it doesn't pan out, another coat of paint will fix it :D

  6. Hey, it looks 100% better than it did, and you can't beat the price of the transformation. Four coats is nothing next to sanding.

  7. Great point, Sunny – 4 coats of paint is far better than all of that sanding. I'm eating my words! Thankfully, my words come in long strands of spaghetti :)

  8. Wow, it looks really great. I would love for you to stop by and join in my Winter Blues Wednesday party. Hope to see you there.

  9. New knobs and a coat of white paint can do wonders. That's what I did in my kitchen, and I love the result!

    =)

  10. I just finished repainting the guest bath, but didn't do the cabinets. That is my next project and your post was VERY helpful!!!

  11. Thanks for the detailed instructions, sometimes we cannot get the big picture until we are completely finished. I am glad that you were patient and completed the work. I like the light cabinets. Good luck with the rest of your remodeling

  12. Go for the knobs! You can really set the tone (retro, victorian, mid-century, classic, etc.) with a few dollars.

  13. If ya'alls haven't done the countertops, try Giovani. It makes it look like granite. Try youtube for vid…..

  14. Looks great. I want to do this as a gift to my mother in law later when I find time for it. Seems like just the right product to use. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Thanks for sharing about the CT! I was thinking it might be an easy answer to getting a little more life out of my kitchen, but I am realizing there is nothing easy about it…

  16. Thanks for linking up to New Nostalgia's Anti-Procrastination Tuesday!
    Hope to see you again!!
    I love that you painted over oak! It is going to look great.
    Sure do like the clean look of your blog!!

  17. Wow, what I big change. Thanks so much for linking up to the party. Hope to see you again tonight anytime after 8pm EST.

  18. What a huge change.

    I like it without the knobs on top, it looks cleaner that way, but that's just me.

    This looks like a great product. Was it really smelly?

    Thanks for an interesting stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter “U”.

    A+

  19. Actually, that was the interesting part… it wasn't smelly at all. Maybe I thought so because I was comparing it to the Rustoleum countertop painting product I tried only two weeks prior, which was horrible, but my low expectations left me surprised that something that bonded so well without primer didn't stink like crazy.

  20. Awesome! I was attempting to do the 'paint-aisle-spackling-using-the-wrong-tools' method. Fortunately I am not that far into the job so now I will get the proper tools and, hopefully, do it right the first time!!! :) Thanks soooo much for the very easy to read and understand directions. You've made me feel like I can do this!!