A gorgeous kitchen after using the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit

SpongeBobsMom’s kitchen cabinets after repainting


Here’s a demonstration of how much good, useful information, inspiration and moral support you’ll find on The Home Depot’s Community Forums. A fairly basic question about kitchen cabinet refinishing. The reader wanted to know the easiest way to repaint some old kitchen cabinets, and it resulted in a very active topic on the Forums, and some striking before-and-after photos of a beautiful kitchen re-do.

It started when Community member Jenhangan asked for advice on his plans to remodel a vintage kitchen:

The kitchen in the house I bought hasn’t been remodeled since the house was built in the 1900′s!!! We can’t afford to gut it and redo it right now, so I’m looking to freshen up the cabinets. There is some wear and tear on the cabinets so I would like to make them darker. I want the frames black and the cabinets doors/drawer a cherry or walnut color with a textured look.

I have no idea where to start. I am on a budget, and I am doing this on my own. Do I need to sand the old paint off? (Please, please, please say no.)

Forums associate ChristineClaret assured Jenhangan he probably doesn’t need to sand the old paint off, as long as the old paint isn’t chipping, peeling or flaking off. Then came the recommendation that might save Jenhangan a lot of time and trouble: Consider using a Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit:

This would be a great alternative to painting your cabinets and drawers. Since you are wanting to have two different colors, painting the frames black would be most ideal and then you can use this kit for the door and drawers.

The kit includes everything that you need to cover 100 square feet. There is a deglosser included, so no need to prime the cabinets or drawers if you use this kit. I have heard many positive things about this kit and the durability of it is pretty awesome. There is also a glaze included in the kit that may give the texture you are looking for.

That’s when Community member SpongeBobsMom chimed in with her experience using a Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit. And she got a big response when she posted some photos to show off the results in her kitchen after painting them Rust-Oleum’s Espresso color from the “Dark Color” kit:

It is time consuming (took me 5 weekends, but I ONLY worked on them on the weekends… if you can do some at night during the week, it will speed the process up because a lot of the time is waiting time), but the instructions are easy to follow and it doesn’t take a lot of hard physical work. …

I [did have a problem with] the glaze looking streaky. A Home Depot Forums associate here told me to use a foam brush instead of a bristle brush, and it worked wonderfully! In fact, I used a foam brush on the final top coating step too, as I had seen on here that many people had problems with bubbles…. the foam brush didn’t cause any bubbles.

Take a look at her kitchen. The final results are at the top of this page. And though the “before” kitchen is certainly attractive, there’s no denying the “after” kitchen is a showcase.


Kitchen before cabinets were repainted

SpongeBobsMom’s kitchen before the cabinets were repainted


We’re so happy SpongeBobsMom posted the before and after photos of her kitchen re-do. You can see them in our I Did This section of the Forums, where Home Depot customers show off their DIY projects.

We LOVE to see photos of your home improvement projects. If you’re about to start a project, take a few shots, and then shoot some more once you’re done. Then post them on the Forums, and share your experiences and product recommendations.

Want more advice from our experts? Join the conversation. Visit the Forums for DIY tips and tricks from our store associates. From the Forums Friday is our weekly column highlighting expert advice and the best of The Home Depot’s Community Forums. 

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Leave a Comment

  1. Trudy says:

    What Color is on the after photo of kitchen cabinets?

  2. Doug Morby says:

    I am a painting contractor in the metro phoenix area. I love Home Depot. I buy Glidden paint. I buy thousands of dollars of products each year.
    Lately we have been refinishing cabinets because of the low price compared to replacement. Honey or golden colored oak cabinets have become pretty much out of style. Our customers love the transformation of their kitchens and baths with cabinet refinishing. We have helpful tips for all fell free to call or check out our site…http://www.armadillobros.com

  3. SharonC Sugar Land says:

    Do you have to do the inside of the cabinets? I realize you would do both sides of the cabinet doors put I’m curious about the shelves?

    • Craig Allen says:

      Good question, SharonC.

      I posted your question on our How-To Community Forums to get an answer from our experts. Click —> here <— to see it. (You might have to scroll down the page a little.)

      Thanks for the question!

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  4. Linda bartkoski says:

    I loved these cabinets! I am faced with a similar situation – old cabinets and small budget. I also need to replace the counter tops. I love the wood grain look…..I think i read that this is all in one kit? if that is the case, I am heading for my home depot this week end! thanks.

    • Craig Allen says:

      Hi, Linda.

      Yes, those results all came from a single kit that has the paint, deglosser, top coat, scrub pad, and DVD instructions. The customer reviews are pretty much all raves, too.

      We’d love to hear about how your cabinet re-do turns out. Post some photos on our I Did This section of the Forums so we all can see!

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  5. [...] We’ve even seen some before and after photos a reader posted on the Forums showing off her spectacular kitchen re-do using the Cabinet Transformation [...]

  6. Teaerica says:

    what colors are the cabinets and walls

    • Craig Allen says:

      Teaerica, I asked about the colors on the How-To Community Forums, where “SpongeBobsMom” posted her kitchen re-do photos. We’ll see if she can answer. And we’ll get one of our paint experts to eyeball it and make a good guess if SpongeBobsMom doesn’t chime in.

      Craig, from The Home Depot

    • Craig Allen says:

      Hi again, Teaerica.

      PatinPaint, one of our Home Depot associates, has a pretty good guess at what color “SpongeBobsMom” used to repaint her cabinets. Here’s part of what he posted on our online Community Forums:

      “…her cabinets appear to be either Chocolate or Espresso, which would have been achieved using the Cabinet Transformations ‘Dark Color Kit’.

      “When referencing their Cabinet Transformations Kit, Rust-Oleum says, ‘The Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations 9-Piece Dark Color Kit is a 4-step application that will give your outdated cabinets a beautiful makeover. No stripping, sanding or priming is necessary. The dark tint base provides 24 color choices for a custom look…

      “A similar number of colors exists in their ‘Light Color Kit.’

      “Colors are displayed on the top of the product box.”

      Let us know if you have more questions. And I encourage you to take a gander at our How-To Community Forums, where you can browse the hundreds of questions on DIY projects, gardening, lawn care and more.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  7. jz says:

    i have been so curious about this product and wanted to see some actual work done. and this is so inspiring. i was blown away. i definitely will make the attempt. i have simiiar cabinets as seen in the before pictures. im anxious to see if my cabinets will have the same dramatic results

    • Craig Allen says:

      We’re so glad you found this post inspiring, jz. Good luck with your cabinet makeover. Send us some before and after photos!

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Joanna Corkran says:

        I am trying to decide between the chocolate and expresso and I am really interested in what color she used. Is there any way of finding this out?

        • Craig Allen says:

          Hi, Joanna.

          There’s been discussion here about exactly what shade that is in SpongeBobsMom’s beautiful kitchen re-do. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been active on our Forums in a while, so hasn’t been available to tell us exactly what color her cabinets are.

          Home Depot associate Pat Sandor (PatinPaint) is pretty sure it’s either… Chocolate or Espresso– exactly the two shades you’re choosing from. So, that doesn’t help much in nailing down which you should choose.

          However, the good news is that both those shades are achievable from the same kit: Rust-Oleum Transformations 9-Piece Dark Color Cabinet Kit. It promises 24 different color options, so you can get exactly the look you want. Check out the product page for the kit (linked in the previous sentence) to read customer comments about it. Most comments say it does take some work, but the results are well worth it.

          Good luck with the project. We’d love to see photos in our I Did This! section of the Forums, where customers show off their DIY projects.

          -Craig, from The Home Depot

          • SpongeBob's Mom says:

            I’m just now seeing all of this! So glad my work has inspired others. I used the Espresso color.

          • Craig Allen says:

            Hey, SpongeBob’s Mom! We’re so happy to hear from you!

            –Craig, from The Home Depot