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Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Issues

Help - I applied the bond coat too heavily and I can't see the wood texture anymore. On one panel I've already glazed it and applied the top coat. On another panel I've only applied 2 layers of the bond coat, the base coat. I've tried sanding as recommended by someone at home depot when I called, but I don't know.


I've deglazed the other panel using the Rustoleum Transformation deglazer.... ack! It hasn't done the trick either... Help!


These are the panels people will see. What do I do?

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Posted 2011-12-04T02:22:01+0000  by wanderlustig wanderlustig

Hi Wanderlust. 


 I am sorry about the experience you are having with your cabinets – let’s see if we can tackle this one together.


   Heavier wood grains like oak usually retain their textures when applying a base coat over the top, but softer woods like pine will not. Because the product is so thick and dries very hard – it is nearly impossible to change the dynamics once you’ve gotten to this stage.  Even if you were to sand the entire base coat down to the raw wood you would have also sanded any natural wood grain during the process.  I know that this is frustrating to say the least, but let me make a few suggestions that might help change the situation for you.


   The power to influence a simulated wood grain is in the glazing technique.  After you have applied the amount of glaze and wiped it off with the same consistency of the other finished cabinets…  Take a brush with trace amounts of glazing on it and brush over the cabinet door in the direction of the grain (or at least where it should be).  This is called a “dry brush” technique and is used by many professional faux painters to add the appearance of wood grain texture.   *practice on the backside to gain experience.


  In similar situations – I have switched out certain highly visible cabinet doors with others of the same size from another location.  If the doors are from the same collection, then the hinges should perfectly line up.  Make sure that the handles are located in the same position as well.


I hope this helps.



Posted 2011-12-04T14:56:25+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

I actually ended up using the deglosser to scrub off the paint on the panel that didn't have a top coat. On the one that did have the top coat, I used a sander/deglosser product from Home Depot. That took the paint off down to the original panel and color - almost. Some paint was still left in the grain. Then I started over.

Posted 2011-12-11T18:39:21+0000  by wanderlustig

Excellent Wanderlustig!!!


This is what I love about The Community ... members seek help, then develop their own "best practice," then share their "How To" knowledge with everyone else.


You've added information to the thread that will certainly be useful when others encounter this problem.




And, Thank You!!!

Posted 2011-12-15T14:33:30+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I know this has thread been inactive for awhile but i really need help. We are done with half the kitchen for a  while now. I still feel it need another coat of clear coat. Could we do that on top of what we have? or will it show up glossier in some spots? if yes, should we use the minmax one that everybody recommended ?

The second issue is the second half that my DH is working on. After he put the top coat lighter spots came up and it looks like it actually needed an extra coat of the bondo one... what do you recommend to do? Thank you!

Posted 2012-10-28T00:48:56+0000  by anckutza

Hello Anckutza!


Welcome to The Community!


Water-based satin clear coat comes in the kit ... so plan to match this product with water-based clear polyurethane.


Polycrylic is sold in satin and is a true clear that has a very exact timeline ... two-hours between coats.


If you do one coat and wait 24-hours before doing the next that is perfectly OK according to the manufacturer.


The manufacturer recommends buff sanding with 220-grit sandpaper but not steel wool between coats ... slivers of steel wool left behind on the surface can turn into rust spots when applying water-based protective coatings.


Varathane has a water-based "Amber" satin, but the product does not dry clear ... rather it dries yellow-gold. If you choose this product, expect the amber clear coat to change the appearance of your base color.


HOW TO: Layering clear coats is very common. As the first coat dries, it absorbs to fill and seal the surface. On most surfaces, the first coat will look a bit irregular (shiny in some areas and dull in others). Each additional coat will sit on top of the sealed surface and become more uniform in appearance. Many surfaces require three coats to produce a uniform protective coating.

Posted 2012-10-30T14:09:13+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Hubby spilled the top coat can and we lost all but an inch of product. Is the Polycrylic product from Minwax in satin an exact match? Or at least as close as possible? Will it act like the Rustoleum top coat?
Posted 2012-11-17T04:11:42+0000  by Sherdroh

Hello Sherdroh!


The original clear coat is a water-based product and Polycrylic would be a suitable substitute.


I would probably discard the small amount you have remaining and switch to the replacement product for the entire project.

Posted 2012-11-20T14:53:39+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

We have had our handyman re-do our bathroom cabinets and our stair railing, and everything looked great until the "protective" Top Coat (step 4).  The only mistake that I think might have been made is that he went over some places that had previously been gone over, that weren't completely dry.  about 94% of this job looks good, but the areas that don't are noticeably dull next to the nice smooth, sheeny areas that came out okay.  From what I read on some of the other posts, the idea of having to sand over our ENTIRE stair railing, with all of the little grooves and reapply a water-based polyurethane coating makes me want to cry!  I waited years to do this job, after having parially sanded the railing, and realizing what an enormous amount of work it was.

Posted 2013-01-16T17:02:39+0000  by beebo




If your complaint is merely that the shine is uneven, there is no need to drastically sand and start over. To even out the sheen, merely give the clear coat a light scuff sanding and then proceed with one more coat. Don't forget to stir the clear coat gently before commencing. If you are running low on the clear coat, you can convert to Minwax PolyCrylic, a very similar product. Do follow the recoat instructions on the can!


Hope this will help.

Posted 2013-01-17T04:54:45+0000  by ordjen

Hello Beebo!


Your project sounds like a great renovation ... improving the appearance of your cabinets and stair railing.


What you experienced is among the most common problems DIYers face when executing projects.


Most of us develop a nitch of time inside our hectic schedules and often work a bit too fast ... trying to complete the project and move back to our daily responsibilities.


While planning future projects, try splitting your timeline into two or three smaller timelines ... allowing full dry time for each coat.


In the case of Polycrylic, you need to wait about two-hours between coats.


Each product has different specifications, so read the label first and then plan your timeline.


NOTE: Buff sanding clear coat is commonly required between coats. The abraded surface promotes adhesion of the next coat ... called a mechanical bond. Most polys suggest using 220-grit sandpaper or 000 steel wool. Make certain to remove the sanding dust completely before applying your next coat. A dry terry towel is simple and will not damage the first coat (like solvent-coated rags sometimes do). Three coats is most common. Allow small portions of several days to complete your protective clear coats.

Posted 2013-01-17T15:16:15+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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