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If you follow on Twitter or Facebook, you might have spotted yesterday’s sneak peek of my progress on the primary bathroom cabinet this weekend:

This was only the first coat. I was hoping to be 100% finished by this morning to reveal a full before & after today, but since I’m still waiting for the fourth bond coat to dry and the backs of the cabinet doors still need painting, you’ll have to wait for the full cleanup after shot. That’s right, I said fourth coat.

Hopefully you recall my post from last week about the weekend’s plans. In case you don’t, I was going to use a new product from Rustoleum called Cabinet Transformations to test the coverage before trying the kit out on my kitchen. Originally, the plan was simple enough:  clean & deglaze the surface, apply two “bond” (aka paint) coats, optional glazing step (which I was not planning on doing but comes with the kit), and finish with a coat of poly.

Unfortunately though, I found that the cabinet painting kit I’d mentioned & purchased last week would not provide the coverage I wanted in two coats alone. Maybe it’s because I was painting old oak cabinets, but the paint was being absorbed into the wood so deeply that two coats alone were not going to cut it. In all likelihood, I could have skipped the deglaze step had I known the paint would sink into the oak so well. And I probably would have done a fifth and sixth coat if I could have, but the directions called for a dry time of 2 – 3 hours between each coat, so I ran out of time on Sunday evening.

So, instead of giving you a full B&A today, do my best to sate your curiosity about the product itself and answer some of your questions (if I don’t cover them in the post, feel free to ask in comments section of this post):

  • The color I chose, if you can’t tell from the pic, was Winter Frost (Chelsea, you know me too well!). I chose this color to test the coverage of the Light Color Kit since I knew we’d probably go with a light color in the kitchen to balance out the dark floors. This turned out to be the right decision with the extra coats (the kit comes in two sizes depending on the square footage you want to cover; if I’m going to have to do two extra coats in the kitchen as I needed for the bathroom, I’ll save myself the time and expense by just going for the larger kit rather than two smaller kits).
  • Despite four coats, the edges of the cabinets are still streaky due to the effectiveness of a foam brush.
  • I used foam brushes and the same foam roller type as the countertop painting event (trust me, you’re going to want to use disposable foam instead of your good brushes for either the countertop paint or the cabinet paint).
  • The roller had the same bubbling effect as I observed while painting the kitchen countertop, but I found that using a very light coat and a nearly dry roller eliminated the bubbling problem (though it means more coats are needed). Allowing the paint to settle on the surface for a few minutes and going over the bubbling a second time (without putting more paint on the roller) was also effective at limiting bubbling.
  • This is in no way close to as smelly as the countertop paint. Thanks to a warm weekend, I left the bathroom window open all night and could not smell anything after just a few hours (and kept the bathroom door closed so we weren’t breathing anything in while sleeping).
  • I can confirm that no matter how many coats one may do on wood cabinets like mine, you will still be able to see the grain pattern beneath the paint. This doesn’t mean that the color of the grain bleeds through, just that the texture can still be seen. Depending on your personal preference, this may be the key factor in deciding to purchase the kit. If you’re looking for 100% wood grain coverage, you may want to skip this product. Sanding and priming seem to be the only way to really take care of the problem (if you consider it one).
  • This kit is also supposed to be effective on laminate and melamine surfaces, so I’m actually thinking of testing it out on the white bathroom cabinet to give the room a shot of color when it’s all said and done.
  • The kit’s square footage promise (100 sq. ft. for the small kit or 200 for the large) does not include the inside of the cabinets, so you will either have to go with the bigger kit or use some other method for painting the inside if you’re wanting to go that route. I am planning on using spray paint for a quick & effective change.
  • Despite how many coats I’ve needed for this test, I only use approximately a half inch worth of paint in the first quart of bond coat that comes in the kit (the small kit comes with 2 quarts of bond coat, a tiny container of glaze, and one quart of poly). Between the guest and primary bathrooms, I think I’ll have plenty to cover all of the surfaces I intend to.
  • Curing time after the final coat (whether it’s your first, third, or fifteenth) is only 24 hours. This means that you can complete this as a weekend project and be using your bathroom again in time for work on Monday morning.

Got any additional questions besides the above? Ask away! I apologize for not having more pics today, but hopefully I’ve answered most of the questions you have for now. Be back again tomorrow with the true reveal!

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  1. Thanks for posting…and being a guinea pig! Thinking of doing my bath and you've been a big help.

  2. Why foam brushes instead of regular brush? I thought the kit instructions state to use a good quality brush?? Thanks!

  3. I used foam brushes since the paint isn't latex and didn't want to have to mess with attempting cleanup or disposing of “quality” brushes. I got a great finish with foam.

  4. I think you did a great job on your counters and cabinets. You obviously are a risk taker and I applaud that because I am a scaredy cat. But I do have a probably stupid question. Why do people hate stained oak cabinets so much. Now grant my oak cabinets are in a home built in 1973. But aside from the door design, I like the oak I like to see the grain in the wood. I am not a fan of painted white cabinets. The previous owners of my home used latex paint on our master bath cabinets and it tends to get sticky when it gets hot and humid in the bathroom. I am guessing they did not seal the cabinets after painting. At any rate the paint has yellowed and each time I wipe the cabinets down the paid comes off leaving places where the oak shows through. I get that a white kitchen looks clean and crisp but I lean toward the rustic look and white just doesn’t seem to fit. there. Anyway my original question: Why do people hate oak cabinets?

    1. I think it has less to do with the grain and more of the yellowy-orange hue that most of them have now that the varnish on top has had a long time to yellow (old oil-based poly is known to do that over time). Mine in particular were just grimy as hell, and they aren’t even solid oak. White paint (or any paint rather) tends to be an easy makeover that most people feel competent enough to do as DIY, so they probably go with paint rather than re-staining when they aren’t sure they’ll like the outcome as much. Plus, there’s always the influence of what’s trendy!