How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets

When we purchased this house it was a “fixer upper” and it needed so much TLC.  Most of what we had in savings went to fixing what was mandatory at the time to get the house move in ready. One of the things I really wanted to do was tear out the kitchen and start from scratch or at the very least refinish the kitchen cabinets.  In my mind I envisioned the perfect countertops, cabinets and appliances. Then reality  hit that it was thousands of dollars to do so and was not an option at that time.

Fast forward 4 years later  – I did get my dream kitchen without spending $$$thousands$$$ of dollars. It was only $200 dollars!!! YES, you read it correct $200! I refinished my own kitchen cabinets and let me just say that I’m not a DIY kind of person when it comes to home improvements. I went into Lowe’s one day and I was determined to figure something out and low and behold the sales person in the paint department shows me this small box of Rust-0leum Cabinet Transformations.  I said to him, “I’ve never done anything like this” and he replied, “Just watch the DVD inside the box and do each step as instructed and do not skip any steps.”  I was a bit nervous but was ready for the challenge and it was so worth it!  Check out the pictures below!

How to refinish your kitchen cabinets.

How to refinish your kitchen cabinets



How to refinish your kitchen cabinets.

1. Use painters tape and place it around all areas that might get painted on.

2. Remove the doors that you are working on.  I worked only a small section at a time so I could keep track of all the screws and hinges.

3. Clean cabinets well with soapy water to remove dirt, grease and grime.

4. Use the de-glosser  to scrub the cabinets and/ or doors.

5. Once the cabinets and/or doors are dry, start to paint cabinets with bond coat.  Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat.

6. OPTIONAL: This step is optional but I decided to use decorative glaze on my cabinets and it came out amazing.

7. Lastly, apply the top coat.

How to refinish your kitchen cabinets.

Refinishing the kitchen cabinets was not as hard of a project as I thought. I took the sales person’s advice and did not skip any steps. I highly recommend that you watch the DVD that is included. I was getting so giddy as I saw the transformation and I couldn’t believe how fantastic it was looking.  You can see in the picture above the close up of the before and after of the kitchen cabinets.  Lightening the color of the kitchen walls to an off white color instead of the orange makes the kitchen look so much bigger.

How refinish your kitchen cabinets



This is the magic little box of Rust-oleum Cabinet Transformations.  There are two different kits – a dark color kit and a light color kit. I chose the dark color kit (Chocolate) and everything you need is in the box except the paint brushes.  This is not a sponsored post, I was amazed on how awesome this Rust-Oleum kit is.

How to refinish your kitchen cabinets.

I added the hanging Talavera lamp and the patterned curtains to add more color. I am still not done with upgrading my kitchen as I’m on the hunt for some Talavera backsplash.  I feel pretty confident that I can handle the next DIY project. If I can do this-you can too!



Latina Mama Rama


  1. Looks awesome!! And such an inexpensive transformation that makes a huge difference!

  2. WOW!!! Your kitchen looks amazing!!!!! I love the transformation, and for only $200!?! Beautiful work, Ophelia.
    I wish I could do something here, it’s hard going from owner to renter :-/

    • Ophelia says:

      Yes, I LOVE the results. Only $200 is right! Each box is $79 and I even did my bathrooms with 2 kits. It was so worth it! I get the rental thing but now you know when you guys get your own place what you could do.

  3. Phenomenal Mama says:

    Amazing! It looks phenomenal! You’ve got skills, girl! 😉 Seriously, I love it you’ve inspired me. I’m definitely showing this to my hubby.

    • Ophelia says:

      Thanks Girl! Let me tell you that I’m not a professional painter at all and this stuff made me look like one. It really works.

  4. It’s gorgeous! And just looking at the photo of your kitchen has given me some wonderful ideas for my own. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  5. This looks amazing! We are going to do our kitchen and I can’t wait to show my husband your results…great job!

  6. I did the same 2 years ago, and they still look amazing, I used the same product and the same color, it is amazing how we can make a change in so little time and money!

  7. Looks awesome! I’d love to do that! But I was wondering, you didn’t sand down the cabinets first? I didn’t see that in the steps. Thanks!

  8. Hello Maggie, I didn’t sand my cabinets. I used the bottle of deglosser and a scrubber that came in the kit. I did buy extra green scubbers but that is what I loved about this product. I did have to put in a bit of elbow grease but nothing that was too difficult. Visit the Cabinet Transformations website and watch the video about the process. I also did all my bathroom cabinets. Thanks for visiting!

  9. Hi! You did an amazing job on this!! It looks gorgeous! I am wondering how the paint is holding up after time? Is it scratching or chipping? I hope it’s not and is still as gorgeous for you! I am planning to do this in my kitchen too 🙂

  10. I had no idea that kitchen cabinets could make such a difference! It almost looks like an entirely new kitchen after you painted the cabinets a different color. Maybe I should get some new cabinetry to spruce up my own kitchen.

  11. Great job! After reading this I’m tempted and inspired to do-it-myself. Can you tell me if your cabinets were real wood?

    • Ophelia says:

      Yes, they were. It has been a year now and they are looking great!

      • Ashley Ball says:

        I love the color! I have white cabinets and I hate it, I wondering will it work over white cabinet?

        • Ophelia says:

          Thanks! The Rustoleum box said that it will work. I think it will too! I would go into your local hardware store and see the box for yourself. Good Luck!

  12. Kathleen Y. Worth says:

    Wow! Your cabinets look fabulous! The company makes something similar for the deck. We did that. It promised us about 10 more years before having to replace or resand. It cost us very little. I looked at all the colors available and they have sooo many choices! I guess the hard part is..that one was just the deck – the other the kitchen that shows every mistake out there. You are so brave to do that. I have a few questions… 1). Just use basic soap and water? Or something like Dawn? 2). What exactly did the gloss do? 3.). I have looked everywhere for a Talavera pendant. Where did you get it?
    6rThanks for your help! Your kitchen is truly amazing!

    • Ophelia says:


      The kit comes with a cleaner(deglosser) but I also just used basic soap water to really clean off the grease on my cabinets. The gloss just makes it look finished but it doesn’t make it shine. I would check it out at your local hardware store to see it for yourself. The lamp I found on a whim at Homegoods and I turned into a hanging lamp. I LOVE it too! Thanks for visiting the blog!

  13. Very impressive! The changes you made to the cabinets and wall color had the effect of making everything stand out and look new and refreshed. Even the floor look brighter and more alive — great job!

    • Ophelia says:

      Thank you for checking my blog! It has been over a year since I painted the kitchen and it still looks great!

  14. This is an absolutely great way to update your kitchen on a very small budget. I do like this product and your kitchen looks amazing. As with any wood finish project, I feel that all your prep work is the key to having your new finish last longer. Great job!

  15. Ophelia, I have a question. How many boxes did it take just to do your kitchen cabinets?

  16. Found this link through pinterest and I have a question first they look AMAZING! Ok so my questions did you paint the under side of the upper cabinets? Also do you have a suggestion for what kind of paint brush you used?
    My kitchen is pretty much identical to your set up and I HATE the yucky light brown

    • Thanks! I did not paint the underside of the cabinets. I painted everything else. When I bought the box at Lowe’s I asked what brush would be best. It has been over a year now that I painted these and they still look great!

  17. Anastasia says:

    Your new kitchen looks more welcoming than the old kitchen. Thanks for the post. Would you recommend sanding the cabinets first? Then clean and wipe them down real good?

  18. Your kitchen looks fabulous! I’m planning on tackling this project in November which means most of it will have to be done indoors to get optimal drying temps, do you remember if any of the steps were particularly stinky? I’m really sensitive to smells and don’t want any lingering odor in the house so that’s my largest concern.

    Thank you so much!

  19. i agree, this product is amazing and really works
    Great! I did the same color to my friends kitchen
    And added hardware in brushed nickel.

  20. So I am loving this!! Do you remember how much the rust oleum kit was? I have some refacing material between my cabinets so I’m not sure it will work but I really want to check this out

  21. Your kitchen looks awesome! We are going to do this to our kitchen next week. How long did the process take you?

  22. i have laminate along the sides of my cupboards and the little spaces in between them. How do you deal with that?

  23. Looks Great! How long did it take you to complete the whole kitchen? A week, two weeks?

  24. It looks great!! I love the talavera lamp and the window treatment! Where did you get it!?

  25. You said the kit came in two colors..chocolate and what else?

  26. Hello there,
    You did awesome. Did you have to sand then cabinets prior to everything? My cabinets are SUPER Glazed and feel smooth to the touch~ Let me know your thoughts


    • Hi, I did not sand my cabinet down. I just used the deglosser that came in the kit. Check out their website and watch the video that gives you detailed step by step on how to do it. I watched it several times before I started.

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