Before and After: Kitchen Cabinets (and more)

One of the biggest transformations in our new home definitely took place in the kitchen.  The kitchen cabinets were (I assume original) 1971 DARK brown wood and left quite a bit to be desired appearance wise.  The hardware was incomplete, and the kitchen itself was just white.  When we were house hunting I wanted three things to be top priorities- lots of natural light, an open floor plan, and a large backyard with space to play.  This house has TONS of natural light, and the dark cabinets were such a contrast, I just had to make the kitchen light and bright.

I purchased Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformations kit from Home Depot for $65.  They have two different kits, a dark kit and a light kit.  (They also have kits for smaller kitchens and larger kitchens- the larger kitchen kit costs a little over $100, fyi)  Each color family kit can transform to a variety of colors- but don't leave the store without having the paint counter person tint your kit to the color you want (options shown on the box).  I went with "linen". 

What's in the kit?
-Deglosser (removes old clear coat, preps surface for bond coat)
-Bond coat (this is what you get tinted at the paint counter- it's essentially the paint, but specially formulated to adhere to wood/melamine)
-Decorative glaze (optional, changes the appearance, I skipped this step)
-Protective clear coat
-Various tools like stir sticks and glazing cloth, etc.

How'd it work, really?
 Pretty good.  The deglosser didn't take away quite as much as I expected, but it did the job, as I didn't have to sand at all, which was AWESOME!  The bond coat worked well, but, my dark cabinets required three coats of white, and I ran out of bond coat after two.  I ended up using some Behr Swiss Coffee for the third coat, which seemed to work fine.  The clear coat worked well, is very protective, though you have to be careful to watch for drippage- it will gather and dry (not so clear) in corners if you're not careful.  All in all, I think the kit is a GREAT idea, and a LOT cheaper than getting new cabinets installed.  It definitely requires time and effort to complete, but that's a given, right?

What else did we do in the kitchen?
-New drawer pulls ($14.99 for 4 at Target)
-Painted the kitchen walls a buttery yellow (Gold Buttercup from Behr)
-Replaced the breakfast nook ceiling fan
-Acquired a very nice round table as a gift from a friend who no longer was using it
-Purchased a new refrigerator (NOT planned- MEASURE YOUR SPACE AHEAD OF TIME!  PLEASE! Don't be like me and assume things will just fit! Argh. Thankfully, I was able to sell the old fridge on Craigslist to make up for some of the cost.  Oy.)
-Purchased a microwave from Craigslist ($129 model for only $40- score!)
-Put up a couple of wall hangings and a cute little basket for mail I found at Home Goods.
-Spray painted kitchen accessories aqua to match my new yellow-white-aqua theme
-Madeover and filled the hutch

What are we still planning to do?
-More wall hangings (I have prints, but need frames!)
-Finish installing the new light fixture (we need some special hardware)
-Locate a cart of some sort to move the microwave to to free up counterspace
-Get a kitchen sink rug
-Paint the table (what colors?)

So, now, on to what you're probably REALLY here for... the pictures!

BEFORE shots:

And the current AFTER shots:

For the record-I purchased the Rustoleum kit on my own accord- this blog is not affiliated with Rustoleum- I just thought readers might be interested in the kit, as I was, and would like info about my experience using it.


  1. It looks so cheery! :) Looks Great Nat!

  2. Oh wow! Such a transformation! It really makes your kitchen look so much more open and airy! I love the white cabinets in contrast with the aqua hutch. Gorgeous!!

  3. LOVE the white cabinets!! It makes the other colors stand out so much!! Amazing transformation!!

  4. Love it! The yellow is such a great color for a kitchen!

  5. it looks great, you did a fantastic job. i think you should paint the table and chairs white and aqua. white on the bottom of the table, aqua on top. and the chairs could be white with aqua on the legs and the ladderback parts.

  6. or maybe the other way around for the table... too bad you couldn't get an aqua fridge! that would have looked really boss.

  7. I've been meaning to comment on these makeover posts! I absolutely LOVE how the kitchen turned out! The hutch... amazing. The color is perfect! And all the cute little Natali touches just make the whole room look like it was meant for you. I'm so glad you have your space!

  8. Well done. I love how you fixed and polished the kitchen cabinets. They look great.

  9. Great job in organizing and fixing the kitchen cabinets. They look very compelling and clean. I will have a home renovation next month and I am looking for some good idea. I will include this idea on my list.

  10. I like the knobs. They all look great. The transparency of the knobs adds beauty to your doors.


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