EASY DIY Cabinet Resurface Project

Hi All.

Regular readers know that Hubs and I love our home. The location is desirable, the price was affordable, and it was newly built eleven years ago, when we moved in. There’s nothing drastically wrong with the house, it’s just very “builder-basic”. Being seasoned homeowners, we were aware that things would need to be replaced or updated around the decade point, i.e. NOW.

For example, the windows. They are vinyl, which is GOOD, but they’re sliders and will need to be replaced eventually. Some of the seals are going bad. That can be done gradually, so not a problem. New flooring was also on our “Reality List”, as was changing out the style and color of woodwork, but again, those could wait or be done room-by-room, a bit at a time. No big financial hit all at once.

House about three months after purchase

House about three months after purchase

Above is a picture of our little house early in the first year. At this point we had put in the asphalt driveway pad and rocked the rest of the driveway area to our entrance road. Also added a bit of shrubery, painted the wooden pillars white and the white shutters and front door were painted gold. Hubs also removed some strange metal pickets between the porch pillars.

So see, though realistic, we love our home . . . . . . . . . EXCEPT . . . . . .

The cabinets are that orange oak finish, with no nice trim. The only detail on the flat surface doors and drawer fronts is a routed line around the border of each. Kind of reminds me of my first “home away from home”, a 1960’s trailer house … and those aren’t all wonderful memories.

Cabinets and door B4

Cabinets and door B4

Original routed design

Original routed design

As experienced homeowners, that seasoning includes several cabinet “resurfacing” projects, the majority for which we hired professionals. You may be wondering about that, asking why we didn’t do all of them ourselves.

Hey, that’s EASY to answer . . . WE WANTED TO STAY MARRIED !

Now I’m continually bragging about Hubs … and it’s true, he can build just about anything I can draw. He’s very talented and patient. I, on the other hand – not so much (a few talents, yes, but patience – that’s a BIG NO). However, refinishing projects are not mastered areas for either of us.

Then there’s the big mess. Smelly, drippy chemicals and all those rags! Stripping, sanding and … more sanding. ICK. If you do finally get the thing cleaned up and painted, most times you either don’t like the finish or it doesn’t hold up and wear well over time.

The MAJOR PROBLEM was we just never found the right products or materials to help us. Many of you know my pain here. C’mon, admit it … you’ll feel better. At least, we’re not alone, right!

Today, I truly and confidently say to one and all – PROBLEM SOLVED. We found the right products!

1. EASY . . . it’s a kit.
2. SUPPLIES INCLUDED . . . has all you need but protective gloves & rags
4. WEARS WELL . . . we did our bathroom almost three months ago and it is fine. Not only with daily wear and use, but we often put our dogs in there when we’re gone, which means additional wear and tear.
5. Lots of colors, combinations and techniques you can choose from.




All you need to purchase besides the kit, are work gloves and rags. NOTE: We wanted to add to the door’s design so bought trim pieces for that, on our project.

You'll need to purchase protective gloves and a bag of lint free white rags.

You’ll need to purchase protective gloves and a bag of lint free white rags.

I have always trusted, used and recommended Rustoleum paint products. I just wasn’t aware of this one. We were at our local hardware store, Marv’s True Value in Princeton, Minnesota. Their paint experts, Sue, and her assistant, Brandon, told us all about the kits. That’s plural because also available, is a Countertop Transformation Kit. There is a video for each that you can watch at the store, but it is also included in your kit, for referral at home during the project. (Didn’t I say EVERYTHING was included)

The cabinet results have been so wonderful, that we’re considering doing the countertops next. Here again, we’ve never had luck previously with a countertop DIY project so, I’m still a bit of a doubting Thomas. If any of you have used the countertop kit, I’m sure the rest of us would love to hear and see your results.

Time-wise our bathroom project was completed over a three-day weekend. Part of that time-frame included Hubs cutting and adding the new trim pieces.

Following are the step-by-steps for our bathroom cabinets re-do.

Remove doors from hinges

Remove doors from hinges

Hinge stays in place.  Only door is removed.

Hinge stays in place. Only door is removed.

1st Door removed

1st Door removed

We researched and found an appropriate size trim that Hubs used to cover the routed borders.

New trim pieces cut and being added

New trim pieces cut and being added

Here’s the first fully trimmed door.

Door with new trim added

Door with new trim added

NOTE: Normally, using the KIT, you don’t have to sand anything. You go right to the step below … putting on gloves and then applying the degreaser to the pad (both provided) and scrub the surface. The instructions are very clear and understandable.

No need to sand UNLESS you have bulky residue on surface.  We had excess filler from added trim corners, so we DID lightly sand those areas.

No need to sand UNLESS you have bulky residue on surface. We had excess filler from added trim corners, so we DID lightly sand those areas.

After thoroughly cleaned, wipe down well with rags.


REMEMBER: You’ll also have to degrease and clean your cabinet frames in the room. We also did all of the woodwork in the bathroom, and the bathroom side of the entrance door. You’ll see that Hubs added a decorative strip to that flat door as well.

After all is degreased and cleaned, you apply the first coat of color. Let that dry completely, and then do a 2nd coat.

After both coats of color are on and very dry, you have a choice. You can apply the sealer (per directions), or if you like the look, apply the stain technique and then the final sealer coat. We didn’t choose to use the stain because we preferred the painted look. The wood grain is still seen and we just liked it this way. IF YOU DO use the stain, that will have to dry before you can seal the finished product.

NOW … I MUST APOLOGIZE. I have to be a bit anti-climactic. I can’t show you the finished result photos today. Seriously, NO JOKE. My computer’s USB port is not playing nice with my camera’s plug (Hhmm that sounds strange). Anyway, I can’t load the final pictures.

I have a HELP call in to our computer GURU and hopefully it won’t take long to fix the troubles.

So for this time, as always, don’t stress (you won’t have to with the kit) and just start your project.

Later – Cheryl

This original article “EASY DIY Cabinet Resurface Project” appeared first on Artzzle.com. No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission from said originators.

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18 thoughts on “EASY DIY Cabinet Resurface Project

  1. Wow that’s a really good tutorial. I can’t wait to see what they look like done. The trim is way better than the routing. Did you have to buy new handles?

    • Thanks Gloria. We were going to put just single knobs on instead of the 2-hole handles, but Doug liked the handles better so we just put nicer ones on. It was easier too, because we didn’t have to fill the previous holes, just use the same ones. I REALLY hope to get computer fixed so everyone can see results soon.

  2. I trust the rustoleum products but what if you don’t want the look of stain on paint? Really, really curious about the countertop transformation. I have really outdated laminate countertops. It would be a major undertaking to replace these long pieces. The kits sound like something I could handle. Does rustoleum provide tech support with the kit?

    • Robin, we didn’t want the stain look either, so for this we just used the paint and sealed it. You can do a couple of different things with the stain too, but Doug especially liked the look of just the paint. I did find someone on Hometalk that used the countertop kit. She liked it initially but didn’t get back to me yet, on how it wears and holds up over time. I’ll let everyone know.

      Oh, yes, the kit has a DVD that takes you through every step. It is wonderful.

  3. My job would be a snap if it were not for the computer… thought they were supposed to make things easier but it doesn’t seem to work out that way. You’re so right about the challenge of finding the right products. I’m anxious to hear about you doing the floors – my bathroom one needs a redo (again) because what I put down 4 years ago (press tiles) isn’t lasting well.

    • Oh No. We were thinking of using those. Saw some on the Lumber Liquidator site that looked like wood and seemed so easy to install. Do you remember what brand or where you purchased them? What is happening with them in your bathroom? Hope the new job is working better than these computers :)!

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  5. Hi! I’m visiting from SITS comment love. I have cabinets that are the same color yours were… I’ve been wanting to change them. I can’t wait to give this a try. I pinned it to my DIY Home board on Pinterest.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I’m still trying to figure out the SITS thing. Re: cab’s I can’t say enough good things about it. Glad you pinned it. You seem so familiar, I’ve probably pinned some of your stuff . . . thinking it was the Colored Snow Paint one. Like your site too.

  6. I am glad that the SITS comment love event brought me over here. My family is planning on moving very soon so I have a feeling I may be needing to do a bit of updating myself in the new home. Much like you, any home remodeling projects we have done in the past have been hired out since I would also like to remain married. But since this kit seems to be rather simple maybe I can manage to do this one myself. 🙂

  7. Hello from SITS,too! So, I love DIY and my husband loves that I love DIY because he likes to call me “free labor!” haha. He wants our kitchen cabinets redone and he wants guess who to do it!? Moi! So, now that I know they make an entire kit for it, this should be easy peasy!

    You said they come in a lot of different colors…I’ll have to google it to see if they do a creamy white color. We are getting new Pergo floors put in tomorrow, so we thought lighter cabinets would give the kitchen some brightness. Right now it’s the cave kitchen because it is so dark!

    Thank you for the detailed tutorial. I just am curious…how did your hubs put the trim on the doors…wood glue?

    • Yes, he used wood glue but also tacked it down here and there with a nailer (very small tacks). Do you have these same type cabinets? The trim really makes a difference and you can buy it primed at your local lumberyard. Very inexpensive, I think it was something like $2.89 for a six foot piece. Let me know how it goes. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping. I’ll return the favor. OH, there is a creamy white color. We bought our “kit” at our local True Value store for $80 +/- (the smaller kit). I think the larger one was something like $120.

      • Yes, our cabinets have that very same groove in them and I love your trim. Oh the creamy white is what I want! Sounds pricey, but I guess if I were to buy everything seperately it would add up, too. OH! I know what I wanted to say before…I did not know they made “bags of rags!” That cracked me up! My hubs just said, ” we need to find some rags.” I cut up an old bath towel, but it leaves behind stuff, but I see your are lint free. I better get back to Lowe’s! Our local Ace doesn’t have anything! Thanks for visiting my blog!! so much fun 🙂

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