Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Review

UPDATE:  It’s now been over 2 years since I’ve painted my cherry cabinets white and I don’t regret my decision at all!  I’m SO glad I did it!!  I have been happy overall with how the painted cabinets have held up.

I’ve never had any problem cleaning them, they clean right up for me (which is good because I have 4 young kids).

My only complaint it that recently there has been some wear around the knobs as shown below.

Kitchen Cabinet Update

About 5 knobs out of the 29 have a little bit of wear around them (the picture above is the worst one…it’s our silverware drawer).

The good thing about it is that I still have the paint on hand and can easily touch up these spots.  My friend who spent lots of money to have her cabinets professionally painted white has seen some wear over the years but doesn’t have the paint or acquired skills to touch hers up!

So if you go the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations method (or any method for that matter)  just remember to put an extra protective coat or two (or 3) around all of the knobs.  I plan doing that after I do my touch ups!  I still recommend this product for painting cabinets white.

More on my experience with Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations below.


I mentioned in my previous post that I used  Rustoleum’s Kitchen Cabinet Transformations kit to paint my kitchen cabinets in our current home.  I would like to provide you with a review today as there are many methods for painting cabinets and this is just one option.

Before I tried it I looked up available reviews and what sold me on it was that there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  I knew from the start that if I wasn’t satisfied with any part of the process that I could most likely get my money back (not my time and effort though) so I was willing to try it.


I bought the kit at Home Depot for around $65.  You will also need to buy at least one nice brush.  I used the Zibra PB200LT Grip-n-Glide 2-Inch Angle Sash Trim Paint Brush which was recommended by the expert Rustoleum Cabinet lady at Home Depot.  I was very happy with the brush and it cost around $10.


The kit contains a degreaser/deglosser solution, stir sticks, scouring pads, a base coat, a glaze in case you want to distress or antique your cabinets,  a finishing coat, and lots of rags as well as a DVD to watch before that will give you step by step instructions on how to use the products in the kit to successfully paint your cabinets.


I watched the DVD and thought it was helpful in explaining how to paint the cabinets and highly recommend that if you use this product that you watch the DVD first.  When purchasing the product you need to decide if you are going light or dark with your cabinets as there are two different boxes depending if you are going light or dark.  This is because the bond coat is already tinted light or dark.

When purchasing the kit you must take it to the paint counter and tell them what color want your bond coat to be.  Both light and dark kits have several specific color options to choose from.  I chose Linen White.


I am very satisfied with the Linen White color.  It is the exact shade of white that I was hoping for.  I was hoping for a definite white (no cream or other obvious undertones) but also a white that didn’t look too cold or hospital like.  I basically wanted a warm, friendly true white and that is what Linen White turned out to be for me.:-)



Things I really liked about this product:


  • Other than buying brushes and perhaps a tray everything you need is in the kit
  • There is an informative DVD to watch that shows you how to do everything
  • No smelly paint—a lot of other processes include using oil-based paints which really stink
  • Paint dries in about 2-4 hours so you don’t have to wait too long to apply additional coats
  • Great protective top coat, it’s almost been 1 year and I have had absolutely no chipping or wear
  • No additional costs in renting or buying a paint sprayer and no sanding
  • 100% satisfaction or money back guarantee


Things I didn’t like about this product:


  • The DVD stated that it would only take two coats of the bond coat, it took four coats for me (but I was painting cherry cabinets)
  • Because they strongly encourage solely using a brush (no roller or sprayer) the painting part takes longer
  • Unless you are a professional the glaze does not turn out like the picture on the box


Originally, I was really worried that all white kitchen cabinets would be too cold of a contrast with my dark gray tile floors.  So I had decided that I would go two tone and try to do a glaze look like on the island in the photo below on the bottom of my cabinets and white on the top.


Weaver Custom Homes BIA home kitchen

BIA Parade of Homes

The glaze that came in my kit appeared (from the picture on the box) to be able to create this look.  First step was to put on two bond coats and then put the glaze over it and then wipe it away to create this look.  I spent a good 6 hours painting and then trying to glaze the cabinets.  The DVD glaze part was not helpful (the rest of the dvd is)  so I look on youtube to try and get some help.  I really tried to get the look but this was the best I came up with.


I know it doesn’t look too bad in the picture.  But in real life I could tell it had been faux painted and I wanted it to look like real driftwood.  So after a whole day of painting and glazing the base cabinets I cried and gave up.  I have to laugh looking back (it wasn’t funny then) because it was my birthday and for my birthday present my husband watched the kids so I could paint my cabinets.  That’s what I had wanted and it had all been a waste!

I was 6 months pregnant at the time and lets just say I cried a pathetic, ugly cry.  As I was finishing up this ugly cry I opened a birthday card I had received in the mail from my parents that said something to the affect that they admired my ability to take chances and most importantly to get up and keep going when I fell.  Wow, this is exactly what I needed to hear at the time!   How they knew I would need to hear those words I don’t know?   But parents are pretty cool that way even when you are an adult:-)  And I may or may not have started to cry the ugly cry again after I read their sweet card (this is an easy guess, just remember, I was 6 months pregnant);-)

So what happened next???  I took a two week break and scratched my idea of the two tone and went for all white.  In the meantime, I contacted rustoleum customer service and let them know I was unhappy with their glaze and that I needed 4 coats of white not 2 to cover my cabinets which meant that I was going to have to purchase another kit so I would have enough paint to finish the kitchen cabinets.  I took and sent photos to them of my receipt and cabinets and within a week I received a check to cover the cost of the second kit.

So in summary, I can whole heartedly recommend using the Rustoleum Kitchen Cabinets Transformation kit to paint your cabinets Linen White.  I can’t attest to the other colors because I have not used them.  I don’t recommend using the glaze unless you are a professional or if you don’t care it looks DIYed.  Be sure to use the top protective coat.  It doesn’t look nice until that finishing coat is on.   Only then does it have a nice, subtle sheen that makes them look like real, unpainted cabinets.  Got any questions??? 🙂  Let me know!:-)


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Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Review

75 thoughts on “Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Review

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    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Anna! It’s been over a year and a half now and they are holding up great, especially considering I have 4 young kids who like to climb on counters and get things theirselves. Everything has wiped off without any problem. There is only one very tiny spot where the paint has chipped off. It is right under the knob on the silverware drawer. I’m guessing I missed the the spot when I applied the protective coat and since the drawer gets so much use it got a tiny chip. I will eventually get around to touching it up with my left over paint. After a year and a half I’m still very satisfied and happy with my cabinets.:-)

  3. Candice

    Your kitchen looks wonderful. I am thinking of changing mine to white now. I used the kit two years ago and did espresso and it turned out great. I was worried about going to white from a dark colour but now I think I am going to give it a try.

  4. Flavia

    Tamara, what a great job!! You make me feel encouraged and empowered to do my own kitchen (with my husband’s help as I’m not as handy as you are!!). How long did it take you to finish your entire kitchen?

    1. Tamara Post author

      Flavia, I took a break in between doing the base and upper cabinets but if I would have done it all at once it probably would have taken between 1 to 2 weeks. It’s not a fun 1 to 2 weeks but it’s SO worth it!!:-)

  5. Shelly

    Did my cupboards 2 years ago, orange oak to expresso . Love it !!! They have held up well. Love the way the grain shows through. Have since done furniture pieces as well. Only complaint is the top coat, too hard to work with.

  6. Amy

    Hi Tamara! Thanks for such a great review. I am researching because I want to paint my cabinets white as well. I also have youngins and want to know what you use to clean your cabinets now that they are painted? Are you able to scrub them if needed?

  7. Sharon

    I redid my Cupboards 3 years ago and the paint has come off by the door handles on the cupboards we use most – do I need to redo the whole door or is there something I can use to touch them up, please advise, thank you

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Sharon, I have a couple spots where the paint has chipped away by the handles too. My plan is to just touch those spots up. Then I plan to put 3 coats of the finishing/top coat on around all the handles to protect that area more. It seems to be a highly sensitive spot!

  8. Jami

    I am so happy I came across your review!! I am also painting my kitchen linen white. My research of this kit was limited to reviews by people using the dark kit. Not knowing, I realized if I wanted just white (other than the deglosser) I realized that I should have looked into other painting options. My major issue is the top coat turned my cabinet frames a dingy yellow and in several different shades of it too. I can compare the dingy yellow to the color of old glue. My other issue is the coverage of the white. I have done 3 coats on 4 cabinet doors so far and i feel i still need another coat. I am so fed up I thought about using just ordinary semi-gloss white paint on them instead. I did not know it was satisfaction guarantee I will contact them today!

  9. Shannon

    That looks really great! I’m really wanting to do this, especially after reading your review, but my question is this: my cabinets are a whitewash grainy oak…I’m done with the grainy look…Id like to go darker with a smoother finish, is this possible to achieve a smoother finish with this product? And do you think it would work well on an oak bannister or would I likely end up in tears halfway through the spindles, lol?

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Shannon! My cabinets were smooth cherry cabinets so unfortunately I’m not sure how it covers over grainy surfaces. You could always try it and see because they offer a money back guarantee. For the bannister (and possibly the cabinets too) I would try using Behr’s Aklyd Enamel. I wrote about the enamel in this post, Excited for you to get the new look you are desiring!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Missy, great question! I was worried about that too because I had read the same reviews about it yellowing. It’s been 2+ years and I haven’t noticed any yellowing. I only applied 1 thin coat of the top coat so maybe that’s what helped mine not to yellow. If you are still concerned about the yellowing here is a different product to consider that I found after painting my kitchen cabinet called Behr alkyd Enamel. I write about in my kids bathroom makeover. Best wishes!!

    1. Tamara Post author

      I did need 2 kits. One because I was going over dark cherry cabinets and two because I tried to do a glaze on the bottom cabinets that turned out no Bueno so I had to use more paint to paint over it. I called and showed them that I wasn’t able to cover my cabinets in two like they said and so they refunded the second kit I bought.

  10. Monica

    When you used the glaze, how did you apply it? Did it sit or did you wipe it with a rag soon after? I would love to redo my oak cabinets with a glazed cream color so I am looking for tips and kits.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Monica! When I used the glaze I wiped it with a rag right after I applied it. The rustoleum kit came with a CD that showed how to glaze it but I found it really helpful to look for and watch additional glazing techniques on YouTube. Go for it, Monica! I’ve never for a second regretted painting my cabinets white!:-)

  11. Virginia

    Thanks for this detailed review! I’d love to know, since I have cherry cabinets I may want to paint someday too—do you notice a big difference in how annoying it is to keep your cabinets clean now? (Especially the ones above your range where it can get greasier.) And have you tried serious scrubbing/cleaning now that you’ve painted them?

    This sounds so much more manageable than all the expensive spray options I had previously considered; I might actually get the guts up to change the stained cherry cabinets we inherited after all!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Virginia, thanks for your question! Nope, keeping the white cabinets clean hasn’t been an issue for me and I have young kids too!:-) It seems to make sense that white cabinets would show more messes but I really haven’t noticed that much difference than having cherry cabinets. The cabinets hold up to scrubbing. The only wear there has been is around where the knobs are on a few cabinets. I need to touch up a few spots. I would just be sure to add more finishing protective coat around where the knobs and pulls are!:-)

      1. Virginia

        Thank you so much for the update—I had no idea this product line even existed, but now you’ve inspired me to paint our dated stained cherry cabinets and quit fretting about covering up “natural wood” (which isn’t actually all that natural anyway since the stain is totally not a real cherry wood color). I really appreciate it—so excited to get on this Rustoleum train and finally have a more modern-feeling kitchen! Woohoo! 🙂

  12. kohlline

    Your kitchen looks amazing. We are moving this month to a new/OLD home and I need to paint the kitchen cabinets and wall panels in the dinning area connected to the kitchen. I am also 6 month pregnant now and this is my greatest concern. Is it safe to use this product. My husband is not into these things so I will have to do most of the work which I enjoy very much but still concerned about the safety of my unborn children. Thanks again and please advice 🙂

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hello! Thanks for your question. I used it when I was about 6 months pregnant and my baby came out healthy and continues to be a healthy, smart toddler. It didn’t have any bad smells and worked well for me. Best of luck!!:-)

  13. denise

    Hey tamara, i loved your review and your whole house tour! Beautiful home! I have dark umber cabinets too and I’m worried about the in between part of the cabinets, do you tape off the sides so the paint doesn’t get everywhere inside the cabinets? That and the panels that are on the end of the cabinet wall, do they look professional? I’m so worried about them looking sloppy bc of the trim price too. Agh

  14. Stephanie

    Hi! I am using this product now and had a hard time with the top coat. It was very thick and glue like and didn’t dry so nice in some areas. It says not to go over it again or it will ruin it once it starts to dry which is almost inmediately. Do you have any tips for this? Thanks!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Stephanie, I didn’t have any problems like that when I applied the top coat. I’m surprised it says not to go over it once it’s dry because I specifically remember the paint lady at my local Home Depot said that she applied 3 coats of it. I only applied one coat. But I would definitely call Rustoleum directly and see if they have any advice. When I called them about the glaze they were helpful. If it was glue-like I almost wonder if you got a bad batch or if it needed to be stirred really well. I hate when things like this happen–it can be so stressful. Wishing you all the best!!!!

  15. Maria Newman

    My husband just completed the kitchen and 3 bathrooms going from light Oak to Pure White. I would highly recommend it. The transformation is incredible! Our stainless appliances and counters now “Pop”. Not difficult to do, just time consuming and definitely worth it!

  16. Heather

    I have had ours for 3 years now and am having to re do the kitchen because so much has worn off – around all the drawer knobs and especially on the two doors under the kitchen sink (which we open and close a lot). As I used the glaze to make it look antiqued, I can’t just touch up, also I did not have enough glaze initially in the packet to cover what they said it would and they said tough luck. . YIKES.

    I have since found that Dutch Boy carries a very nice cabinet and trim paint and if you spray on a nice clear lacquer afterwards they are far hardier than the rustoleum kit.

  17. Tiffany

    Did you have brush marks? I’m doing white right now myself and have tried several brushes but still have brush strokes. Did the strokes diminish after the top coat? Thank you!

  18. Rhonda Schwartz

    I am starting my cabinet makeover using this product. My cabinets are a honey oak color now changing them to the Linen color. I started with the deglosser and am wondering what they should look/feel like before you put the bond coat on. My question is that I have deglossed 2 cabinet doors going over them twice with the deglosser because the doors still feel shiny. Is that how they should be? They definitely look different than the non deglossed ones but not sure how much of the stain needs to come off before I start the bond coat.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Rhonda! I wondered the same question when I doing mine and have learned that even though it doesn’t look like you are making a big difference with the deglosser you are doing what it needs. I didn’t get much stain off either and mine turned out great so sounds like you are ready for the the next step!!:-)

  19. Linda

    I was wondering how many coats of linen you put on your cabinets. I’m going on 3 so far as it was showing streak marks. I’m going from oak to linen.

    Any info you have would help

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Linda, I did 4 coats because I was going from a darker color (cherry). I would try another coat. Also did you use the same paint brush I did? It’s the Zibra brand from Home Depot. If not maybe try doing the last coat with that brush. Let me know how it works out!

      1. Linda

        I am putting 4 coats on as it looks better. I used Wooster Pro brushes. It came in a three pack 2 inch, 1 1/2 and 1 inch brush as it went on great. Can’t wait to finish this project this week. Thanks for your input.

  20. Brigitte

    Tamara, Thanks for your encouragement because like you I am having the worst experience with this project…what next? Do I start over or go with another product? I wanted my bathroom done in the colour expresso…I absolutely hate it! Everything that could possibly could go wrong did…my husband is very encouraging and says am too hard on myself but let’s face it there ugly! Help me Tamara!


    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Brigitte, I’m sorry your in this not fun situation! If you think it is the product that made it look bad then I would get your money back and try something else. Take a look at the tutorial I did for my kids bathroom vanity, The Behr enamel alkyd paint is awesome! I love how it turned out and it is still in perfect condition. I would just go to the Home Depot paint desk and ask them to help you find a paint color that resembles expresso and get it made in that color. If you have already put on the last finishing coat you will need to use a deglosser or lightly sand first. I truly hope this helps, Brigette! Let me know if you have any questions.

      1. Brigitte

        Dear Tamara,

        I like your two options but usually I am really good at this so I don’t want to give up because this is my favourite hobby. Yes I encountered a lot of difficulties and had some unfortunate misapts ie: the air vent fell on one of my nicest cabinet doors and someone in my family (husband) forgot to close the door where I was working so my adorable cat put her signature everywhere. Nevertheless this is in the past right? I was wondering if I was to re-degloss the cabinets and redo the steps would that work and this time apply an extra base coat because I find the two aren’t enough what do you think? I know Christmas is just around the corner and at this moment I’m looking after my 7 month old grandson for a week…grandparents to the rescue…again love your work and need your expertise!!! Thank you!

  21. Karen

    Just wondering about the color. Yours looks very bright white but if my walls are a light gray, do you think the linen is good or should I go with the pure white? I wish they had paint chip type samples to bring home.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Karen! I think you would be happy with either one. The linen is a nice bright white and would look good with a light gray wall paint but so would pure white. I just don’t think you can go wrong with this decision. Is the trim in your house bright white or more of a slight off white? If the trim is pure white I would go with the pure white. If it is slightly warmer in tone I would go with the linen. I hope this helps some!!

  22. Vivian

    Is there a huge difference from white and linen with no glaze it is too hard to be able to tell at the store as the sample shows after the glaze, to me that is brown?

  23. Carrie Backer

    I absolutely hate the rustoleum kit, i had to buy 2 kits as they only have the bigger ones where I live. 109.99 Home Depot and because they don’t stalk their shelves, had to purchase another one from another location at 139.99 to finish my cupboards. Everything going good second coat looked good, ESPRESSO then came the protective coat, well that is another story. I did everything the video said, applied even coats, everything to the t then when they were dry the cabinets looked terrible, streaked everywhere, 27 cupboards plus all the drawers, are you kidding me. Worst contacted Home depot complaint department, nothing back from them yet. So go with the Glidden paint works wonders, thought I would give rustoleum cabinet transformation a try, sorry I did. Now what am |I suppose to do with all my cabinets??

    1. Tamara Post author

      Carrie, how discouraging!! I would call Rustoleum directly and explain to them what happened and ask them what you (or they) can do to fix it. They may ask you to email them some pictures of it. They should be able to help you! Very stressful though I know!:-(

  24. Shayna Cutter

    This article has been super helpful in helping us decide on colors and (not) to glaze! I was trying to find if I could use the deglosser a day or two before we paint. I cant find anything on rustoleums site or in the directions. Thoughts?

    1. Tamara Post author

      I’m so glad the post was helpful to you, Shayna! I feel like I read somewhere that it’s best to paint the cabinets within 24 hours of using the deglosser. My guess is that this is because the longer you wait the more likely the cabinets will get dirty from use. So if you aren’t going to use them at all after you degloss I guess you could wait a few days. Hope this helps! Excited for you to get “new” cabinets!

  25. Jacquie

    First the kitchen looks amazing and as I read your posts all the helpful hints! I am applying the base coat right now. I bought pure white. I’m not sure if I want to use the decorative glaze. Could you tell what would be the difference between using and not using it?

    1. Tamara Post author

      I personally wouldn’t use the decorative glaze unless you have received some kind of training in it or if you’ve worked with glaze before. I found it difficult to get a professional look with it. It also gives your cabinets more of a pine or tan look. I think you will be happy with your pure white after you and the finishing protective coat. Best wishes!

  26. Kendra

    Thanks for your great blog, and for continuing to answer the questions. I am ready to start painting my cabinets this week, and of course am second guessing everything. I have scoured the internet for tips and realize that I just have to dive in now, but one thing that I have noticed is that none of the videos and blogs show anyone painting the back of their cabinets. Did you paint the back of yours? Did you have to worry about the cups, or lifters making marks on the fresh paint? Or, is letting it dry enough to prevent the marking on the fresh paint? Thank you.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Kendra! I painted the back of the cabinet door but I did not paint the back of the actual cabinet. I would definitely make sure to let the cabinets dry completely (at least a couple of days) before using or handling the cabinets so that that you prevent markings. I hope that this answers you’re question (if not feel free to clarify)!!

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