Friday, July 25, 2014

Cabinet Transformation Progress Update

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen progress pictures of our kitchen cabinet update. 
This is one pic I didn't share--- one side of my galley kitchen with no doors or drawer faces. 

People keep asking me: How do you like it? Is it hard work? Would you recommend it? 

We left for vacation at the half-finished point, but so far, I am very happy with the result. I hope to find some nice stainless hardware to add a modern touch. I think that will be the icing on the cake!

Yes, it is a lot of work! The most difficult step in my opinion is the "deglossing," (which is the first step of the process after you remove all hardware, doors and faces and clean them thoroughly). The deglossing takes the place of the stripping and/or sanding that you would do in a traditional cabinet refinishing. The deglossing solution is included in the kit (2 bottles in the 150 sq ft kit) along with several scrubby sponge things which you use to apply the deglosser. Just like sanding, you must degloss every area of every door, drawer face (front and back), and cabinet unit thoroughly. The most frustrating thing about this step is not knowing if the stuff is doing what it's supposed to. The directions state several times how critical the deglossing process is because the bond coat (step 2) will not adhere without proper deglossing. So I scrubbed and scrubbed! My wrists and arms and fingers were very sore after the first night (I am doing most of the work after the kids are in bed). It took four sessions of deglossing to finish all of my doors and drawer faces. The only difference I could see after applying (scrubbing the heck out of them!) the deglosser, rinsing well with a wet rag, then drying was a slightly dull appearance to my cabinets. This may be due to the nature of my cabinets: they are light in color and not high sheen or "glossy". Maybe if your cabinets are darker or more glossy you will be able to see the deglosser working better than I could. 

The work got easier physically from this point, but was still tedious. The bond coat applies simarly to any water based paint. Two coats are required on both the fronts and backs of each door and drawer face and cabinet unit. {Side note: The insides of the cabinets do not need to be done, and Rustoleum does not guarantee that there is enough product to do the insides.} The hardest part for me during this step was preventing running of the paint onto the backside of whichever side I was working on. The directions recommend elevating each door and drawer face with drywall screws in a 2x4, which was a strange idea in my opinion, so I didn't bother with elevating. Maybe it would have helped with the "running"... maybe not. Two coats looked great on my cabinets. Some reviews that I read said that two coats were not enough, but those were cases in which the cabinets were going from dark to light colors. 

The great part about step 3, the decorative glaze, is that you don't need to put it on the door backs or drawer face backs. I did one small drawer face back first, just for practice, then proceeded with the application process of brushing it on, then wiping with the provided gauze cloths. It was actually kind of fun! I was glad that I used the glaze after seeing it dry. It definitely allowed the wood grain to show through more. 

The top coat (step 4) was a little harder to figure out than the bond coat or decorative glaze. Thankfully, I did the backs first, so any major mistakes were learned from and will be hidden most of the time. I quickly realized that using too much top coat would cause little air bubbles. So I started using less and spreading it quickly, but firmly for a better result. My only goof-up with the top coat was that I forgot that you cannot brush back over it when tacky like you can with paint. I saw an imperfection on a door that I had finished about 30 minutes before; I took my brush and started swiping over the "imperfect" area, and ended up wiping of the top coat all together in that spot. I had to wait 24 hours, then totally re-do the top coat on that one. 

I am still only about half finished. I have to do the decorative glaze and top coat on all the wall units, and I still have to do steps 1-4 on all doors and drawers for the sink side. 

This is what my kitchen looks like right now:

I am SO ready to be finished, and it can't wait to share before and after pictures. 

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