Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Rust-Oleum Cabinet and Countertop Transformations are complete... You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

With a lot of elbow grease and I mean a lot, you can change the look of your kitchen for about 500 bucks.

Here's some "Before" photos:

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I painted the Americana flag on the walls in the background.

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Dark vaulted ceiling.


Here's the "After":

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I used Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations in English Cream (glazed) and Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations in Charcoal.

The rustic 1776 Americana flag peninsula was my own creative doing too.

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Since many emailed me about my Americana flag I painted on the walls, I thought I'd sneak in a photo.
(Stella had to get in on the action.)

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With all the hard work I did, we decided to install a new kitchen sink and faucet. Isn't she a beauty?
It really pays to shop around online. You can get amazing deals.

As you can see the counter top does have some slight texture to it. As I mentioned in a previous post, I would have preferred a smoother finish. In fact at my own risk, I would have taken an orbital sander to it. But hey, you live and learn. We are happy with the outcome and no longer have our outdated 1980's laminate counter top!
**doing a happy dance**

So if you have the desire to work hard, you can inexpensively change the look of your kitchen and do a happy dance too!

6 MONTH UPDATE July 2012 Review: It's been 6 months since I transformed our counter top.

How has it held up? Remarkably well. To play it safe, I did purchase a large glass prepping board to place on the counter top where I work the most. I also use trivets for hot pots or pans.

I can only find one faint, teeny scratch. Other than that, I can find no other scratches or digs.

My only complaint is that while painting my kitchen walls, I accidentally dribbled some latex paint on the counter top. When I noticed it, I wiped it up. But it left behind a slight haze where the paint drops were. I contacted the company, they suggested I wipe the area with Mineral Spirits, which I did. But it did not remove the haze. So for now, we'll live with it. But I will contact them again for any other suggestions they may have.

As far as the Cabinet Transformations product goes... I can't praise this product enough!! Everyone who sees my kitchen cabinets cannot believe I did the work myself.

ANOTHER UPDATE: November 2012:

For under 100 bucks I added a beadboard backsplash. I love the look and if I do say so myself, I didn't do too bad of a job. Especially not knowing what the heck I was doing. You see, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Weeeeeee!
You can read more about it HERE.

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UPDATE: July 2013

Check out my "new" Jenn Air Downdraft cooktop!

To read my story about my AWESOME Craigslist score, click HERE.

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You are not going to believe it!
It pays to give Craigslist a lookie-loo!

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Below are my previous posts regarding the Rustoleum Transformations products.

PHASE ONE: 1/7/12

Well, I must have snickered one too many times at my hubs being sick this past week. I woke up this morning feeling crappy. But there was no way I was putting off doing my counter top. Come h*ll or high water (or ER visit)... It was getting done this weekend!!!
All day I've been popping Zicam like Tic Tacs.

So last night hubs removed the sink and lifted the cook top insert.
(Note: the lighting and my crappy camera makes the cabinets look very yellow but they're not. "English Cream" is what I would describe as a "buttery cream" color.)


The next step was to use a two part epoxy and fill in any nicks or seams. Unfortunately for me, the backsplash and counter top are two separate pieces so I had to fill that all in. What a pain in the dupa.
(dupa = @ss in Polish)


Okay, that's done. Now the next step is to sand down the counter top with their diamond embedded sanding block. This step removes the sheen and roughs up the counter top to make the base coat paint adhere.


But be careful. You can lose some skin like I did.

Dress appropriately. Put on something you would see on "What Not To Wear." Ooooh, I bet Stacy London would like to get her scrawny lil' mitts on me.


All sanded and wiped down with a damp cloth.


Next, wrap everything up tight. Have I mentioned I have a love affair with blue painter's tape? I use it for absolutely everything. So this step was right up my alley.


Now the fun begins... But first, set up an area where you have everything at your fingertips.


The next step is to apply the base coat paint, wetting agent and chips. The problem is I have no photos of this because there is only a 20 minute window to do it all. So there was no time to frog around with a camera. But I will give you the lowdown.

First, their description for applying the paint is "like frosting a cake." I found this not to be an accurate statement. I'm a baker and it is not like frosting a cake. Nope. Not even close. I can equate it to old paint that's been sitting in a can for awhile. Not as smooth as fresh paint but a little thicker.
Truth be told, I expected it to be much thicker. When I started to apply it, it streaked showing the cream counter top through. I went into full panic mode! I'm thinking (no actually I was yelling) "OMG, this small can won't cover everything!" Hubs grabbed the roller and tried his hand at it. His attempt was worse so I grabbed the roller back. Then it kind of turned into a Laurel and Hardy skit. But after all the running around and bumping into each other, I did have enough to do the counter top with a little (but not much) left over. Best of all, we didn't want to kill each other during the process! Imagine that? Dare I say... we had fun!

The color I used is "Charcoal." Chips are light, medium, dark gray and black. The kit states it covers 50 square feet. I covered 39 square feet. With very little left.
Here is how it looked after all the chips were applied. (Very rough)


We then took a bright Halogen light and carefully inspected the counter top for any areas that didn't have proper coverage. I did find a few spots along the edge. I used a piece of dampened sponge, dipped into the paint then lightly reapplied, tossing chips at the area by hand.

Here's a close up... (It was really hard for me to get a good pic of the color)


After 12 hours but no more than 24 hours, I will start the sanded process. This is where I'll be sweating bullets worrying the paint didn't cover correctly.

Overall, I am pleased with how it looks so far and how easy it was to apply once I got the hang of it. I'll give it a (dirty) thumbs up for now.


The DVD that comes with the kit explains everything to a tee. I watched it quite a few times just to be sure. Bottom line is this project is time consuming and you can't be in a hurry.

There is a low to medium odor and when applying the chips, I suggest wearing a mask. (Dust flies when applying the chips) Also, the chips go all over the place. So if you're a Type A personality, take a deep breath, relax and let the chips fall where they may. **giggle** Nothing a broom and dust pan or Shop-Vac can't fix.

Tomorrow is Phase Two. Sanding, sanding and more sanding. Then applying the top coat. Yippee!

I'll keep you posted...

Well I sanded for seven hours straight yesterday, then applied the top coat to my counter top last night. But I will wait to take photos since I want to lightly sand and add another top coat.
A few months ago I contacted Rustoleum regarding the textured look I saw on everyone's counter top (submitted photos to their site). They graciously sent me additional top coat to use, stating this should make for a smoother finish. Their customer service is top notch!

Here's a few comments I have about the whole process.
Doing the counter top is very labor intensive. You need some arm strength to sand everything down. For a chick, I've got some "guns" and it was a little hard for me. Especially sanding in tight areas and the backsplash. I literally laid across my counter top to get good leverage to sand the backsplash and it wasn't as smooth as I wanted. If I had an orbital sander I would have tried it (they don't recommend it). But after sanding by hand for seven hours I would have tried just about anything.

I had read some comments on forums where people were complaining about the difficulty in removing the blue tape around the counter top. This is absolutely true. I have a few areas where the tape actually removed my wall paint. (Base paint soaked into the blue tape)
Also, I would recommend removing your sink and cook top insert if you have one. Sure it's a pain in the butt but I would think it to be more of a pain in the butt to try to paint then sand around them.
Besides, do what I did. With all the money you've saved by doing the work, treat yourself to a new kitchen sink! Yippee!!

After applying the top coat, my counter top is darker than I expected. I can't imagine what the "onyx" looks like if "charcoal" is this dark. Don't get me wrong, it looks really nice. It's just darker than I expected. Also the top coat is a gloss. So if you prefer a matte finish, this may not be your cup of tea. Truthfully, I wish it was offered in a matte finish. I'm not one for shiny. But in a kitchen, it's hip and cool. Unlike me, who is lame and boring.

Bottom line is it's hard work and it's messy. BUT if you're looking for an inexpensive way to update your old and dated counter tops, it is definitely worth it and best of all, you'll be proud of your accomplishment!

Are you interested to see how my Rustoleum countertop looks 3 and a half years after being "transformed?"
Click here.

Cabinet Transformation 7/7/2011

I decided to jump in head first and tackle a few large kitchen projects.

As much as I loved my colonial red cupboards, I thought it was time to lighten 'em up!

I picked up Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformations kit and hit the floor running!


I decided on the color "English Cream." Here's a sample of it...


I also have "samples" of it on my knees, arms, hands and face.

Since I haven't won the lottery or pulled 9 grand in change out of our couch cushions for granite counter tops, I'm going to use Rustoleum Countertop Transformations.

So I'll be scarce for awhile. But I promise when I'm done, I'll share before and after pics with you.

Well, I did it! I finally finished painting the cabinets! Woo hoo!! Sure I worked on it 15 hours a day for 6 days and I've gotten hardly any sleep because I've been drinking coffee for those six 15 hour days; but I'm happier than a tick on a hound dog with the outcome!!

Ummm... Please try not to look at my counter tops. They look really bad now, but hopefully not for long.


I never thought I would get excited over new cabinet hardware, but I did! Just look at that knob! Feel free to "Ooooh and Ahhhh" just like when you see fireworks.


"Well hello there, handsome."

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I love to paint, so I found painting/glazing/sealing the cabinets an easy process. It's just time consuming.
Everything went on smoothly. I didn't go extremely heavy on the glazing though. Some like it heavier. Some don't like it all. It all depends on your taste.

NOTE: Since I was going from dark to light cabinets, I took the extra steps and primed (two coats) everything first. I strongly suggest it. I used Bulls Eye 1-2-3 by Zinsser.

Here's a few doors prior to glazing.


And for my next trick, I will attempt the Countertop Transformations! I wonder if I can take my coffee intravenously?
I'll keep you posted.


((giggle)) Did that get your attention??

Well, you may not believe this, but I did yet another kitchen transformation! Guess you could say a re-transformation. This time I didn't use the Rustoleum kit. I did it on my own.
If you want to see what I've done... (heck if you've read this this mile long post you may as well click on the link and hop over to see what I've done!!)
Go ahead and click on the "Click here" link below and get an eyeful.

Click here.

:> )


Penny said...

It looks FABULOUS!!

Tammy ~ A Primitive Place said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS!!
You did such a wonderful job.
Now come over and do mine!!! :)


Robin said...

I couldn't wait to see the end results..WOW ! it looks better than AWESOME !! You must feel so good, all that work paid off...

Angela said...

The day you did your first post on the countertops, the mister and I had just visited our home improvement center looking at new countertops. I was so anxious to see the finished results and I have to admit they look amazing. May be the route we choose to go. Your kitchen looks wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to share the process with us. Enjoy your beautiful work.

Wendy @ Ravenwood Whimzies said...

WOW - love the new look - it turned out wonderful!

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Thanks, gals! I truly appreciate your comments! ♥
Angela, I too priced new counter tops and was shocked at how expensive basic counter tops were. In this crappy, unsure economy I couldn't see spending that kind of money right now.
I searched the internet for months but couldn't find anything about the product besides the basic "I love my counter top" comment.
I really wanted to do a step by step tutorial and truthfully tell it like it is and help out those who are unsure, like I was. Time will tell how durable it is. But after seeing how difficult is was to remove the painters tape, I think it will be very durable!
It's a lot of hard work (sanding), makes a big, dusty mess but looks pretty darn good for a do-it-yourself product. But for me what's even more rewarding is I did it myself. That's not too shabby for an old broad like me. **giggle** Thanks again! :> )

Cookie said...

wow... it's gorgeous, Goob! I have been dying with curiousity over it. I dont know that I would like the rough surface and wonder what sanding would do in the process?
We just went to dinner at a friends house and they have a sink like yours... I feel in love with it ON THE SPOT. You are never going to want to leave your kitchen now (and i wouldnt either)

love it all - you did a fabulous job!

Susan said...

You did a great job, Gal. Love it. You are a real go-getter! Proud of ya.
(how funny, my word verification is nocat) Hugs.

tattered 'n torn prims said...

all i can say is......WOW!! Wow-ee!! Wow-zers!! and another WOW!!! You did an amazing job Peanut!! Hope you don't mind......I put up ads all over town advertising you for hire....hope I remembered to put for countertops!!! tee hee hee!!

happy almost friday!!

bayrayschild said...

I am very impressed with the outcome Peanut and your talents! To think you did all of that while you were ill(hope you're feeling better)is also impressive.

You rock and so does your kitchen!

~*~Birdy~*~ said...

I LOVE it Peanut~ You did a Wonderful Job on it! It LOOKS like the Real Thing!! All your hard work paid off! Your kitchen is just Wonderful!! Now, when you can put that Heavy Mixer back, make some cookies and I will be over for Cookies and Coffee~**~ Smiles and Hugs ~Birdy

Never So Simple said...

Looks amazing. Love the flag on the front of your counter!


Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Thanks again for all your kind words! ♥

Carmen and the Primcats said...

Your kitchen turned out absolutely beautiful. Hubby and I are about to embark on the countertop redo ourselves so I appreciate you sharing this.

You said you would have used an orbital sander on this if you were to go back to make it smoother. Would that have been ok? Did they say not to?

Carmen and the Primcats

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

You're going for it too, Carmen?! Yippee!! If you use an orbital sander you will have to have an extremely light touch otherwise you could take too much off. It's a fine line. My only concern with using a sander is it might "smear" (for the lack of a better word) the chips. I know that sounds strange, maybe "blend" would be a better word.
As far as the company goes, my guess is they don't want to be responsible for personal injury if they were to suggest using an orbital sander. Heck, everyone is so dang sue happy these days I can't say that I would blame them. When you're done, please share with me what you thought about the whole process. Pics would be nice too!! So what color did you go with? How exciting!!

Ali said...

Absolutely gorgeous! And its so satisfying to see how much it transforms a room.

Ali x

Robbie Marinero said...

For others, it may seem impossible to renovate a kitchen for less than a thousand dollars. But you made smart choices on the materials and only spent 500 bucks. What's more, the 1776 flag is truly an eye candy.

Robbie Marinero

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Thanks again. All it takes is hard work and determination and one can accomplish anything. :> )
Thank you kindly for the compliment on my flag, Robbie. I hold Old Glory near and dear to my heart. ♥ I've painted her just about everywhere.

Tina said...

Although you were rocking the kitchen you had before, I have to say that this is incredible. I was checking it out and using you as my ginny pig to see how your experience was with this before I try it in our new house. Love what you did here. You shoud get on Rustoleum Transformations website and post before and afters. I've been on there all morning looking at those. Yours is awesome. Have a great day, T

Pendleton Primitives said...

This is this neatest kitchen I have ever seen! Ever! Your side bar is cracking me up too. Funny stuff.

jen said...

Karin: your kitchen is beautiful. I am just starting to think about a kitchen makeover but I don't think that I have the intestinal fortitude for so much labour intensive work! Jen

jen said...

Karin: your kitchen is beautiful. I am just starting to think about a kitchen makeover but I don't think that I have the intestinal fortitude for so much labour intensive work! Jen

Carla said...

We used the same Countertop Transformation about a year and a half ago. I love mine. It has held up well. Your kitchen looks great!

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Isn't it a great product, Carla? Especially for the price!! :> )
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Divena Lachana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jess Phillips said...

Your kitchen looks beautiful! Love your rustic Americana. I've been transforming rooms in my house again and was about to start on the kitchen. I finally got the go ahead to paint the oak cabinets. I say this stuff at Home Depot today, but wasn't sure. Both the counter top stuff and cabinets.

Was it a a full week that you had to wait to put things back on the counter top? I was leaning towards the Charcoal color as well.

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Thanks so much, Jesse! Definitely go for it! You will be pleased with the outcome. Just remember to take your time and follow their instructions.
We only waited three days to put the sink and cooktop back in.
But I held off the whole week before I put my small appliances back. It was a pain, but I didn't want to take any chances especially after all that hard work.
Good luck and stop back and let me know how it went.
Charcoal was the only color for me. :> )

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