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cabinet transformation espresso color streaky after top coat applied

After many days of prep and painting I had some lovely dark espresso cabinets...but after applying the protective top coat they are all now streaky and uneven. I cannot understand why this has happened as I followed the directions exactly please help!

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Posted 2011-10-31T12:11:19+0000  by tpnix tpnix

I am really not happy at all right now I have done 20 kitchen doors in expresso  and frames and now they are all streaky. I am mad , seeing as how I know have light sand and go buy another product to fix this problem . I very unhappy after doing all this work and to have to do all over again is not good when we are military family trying to prep home for sale . I want to know how to get refund .

Posted 2012-03-30T16:32:48+0000  by nava11182005

I am so upset, I had the SAME PROBLEM.  I spent the ENTIRE weekend prepping and painting my cabinets with the cabinet transformation product, I loved the way they looked with the paint applied and just applied the top coat and it is soo streaky and all my work ruined.  I paid $150 for a large kit and now I realize that it was just for the deglosser and paint as I went with black and the decorative glaze doesn't even show up!  I could have bought some 409 and black paint and saved $100iah!!  Now I have to redo my work and spend more mony on some poly.  Now that I have to redo my work I will probably run out of black paint!  I am VERY disappointed, I wish I would have read this forum prior to purchasing the cabinet transformation product!!! 

Posted 2012-04-15T22:01:42+0000  by carolinetaylor

I am glad I found this before I apply the protective top. Shall I apply the MINWAX Protective Finish more than once? I just want to make more "Protective"?

Posted 2012-05-07T21:12:38+0000  by freeever

Hello FreeEver!


According to MinWax, "Apply a thin coat with a high-quality, synthetic-bristle brush ... in the direction of the wood grain for best results."


MinWax also recommends two-hours between coats.


Buff sand with 220-grit sandpaper (just enough to break the gloss) before applying the next coat.


You may apply a third coat if desired, but two coats should be sufficient.

Posted 2012-05-15T17:11:42+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I wish I would have seen this.  It took me 11 days (5 days of vacation) to complete my kitchen and I am so disappointed.  I have 29 cabinets and 13 drawers and they look awful.  Everything looked great until I applied the top coat.  Now it is streaky and uneven looking.  I am not even really wanting to try another product until I know for sure it will be worth my time.  I was so pumped about this and now want to hide my kitchen from everyone. 

Posted 2012-06-12T23:05:25+0000  by dboyd719

Hey DBoyd!


Sorry to learn of your problem with the water-based clear coat on you cabinets.


It is not uncommon for the first coat to be uneven, but as you add layers your surface should appear more uniform.


I usually recommend two or three coats.


Polycrylic Semi-gloss.jpg MinWax says, "Apply a thin coat with a high-quality, synthetic-bristle brush ... working in the direction of the wood grain for best results."


MinWax also recommends two-hours between coats ... this timeline is very important.


After two hours, buff sand with 220-grit sandpaper (just enough to break the gloss), use a dry terry towel to wipe off the sanding dust, and apply your next coat.

Posted 2012-06-14T15:06:40+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I too had the same problem and after a little bit of a meltdown and reading some of the posts about this I tried a tactic and it worked. Unfortunately I have to redo a couple of doors but I'm not in tears anymore:) 

1. Brush a section (following the wood grain) with enough to coat it, doesn't have to milky white but enough so it won't dry up fast. 

2. Work fast (2 min max time) brushing in LONG brush strokes to even out the top coat so you don't have odd streaks. 

3. Follow up right away with a foam brush to catch the build up and drips. 

4. Go over the brushed on top coat with another foam brush to even out the surface. 

5. If any areas are missing top coat DO NOT redo until the top coat dries or else you will get a milky residue and it will be blotchy. 


I have doors with a beveled inside and when I tried to do the beveled section in long strips (long lengths at a time) I could see the streaks where I had gone over... looked like my lawn after you mow in lines... awful. Decided to change my approach and fill the entire depression with the top coat then smooth it out with long brush strokes before it dried. I now have no streaks, but wish I would have tried this before I messed up a couple of doors. 


After about 2-3 doors I washed out the foam brushes to clear out the build up of top coat and let them dry out for the next set of doors 2-3 hours later. Wrap up your brushes with plastic bags between coats to keep them from drying up. Another tip... the brushes will become caked with dried top coat so while I was cleaning them out I used a thin comb to get the gunked up top coat out. 


Hope this helps anyone using this kit. 

Posted 2012-08-09T18:25:40+0000  by dmlo_o

Thanks for the tip DMLO_O!


This sounds like a custom variation of the standard application instructions for polyurethane:

1) Keep your brush saturated and apply polyurethane using long, flowing strokes in the direction of the wood grain;

2) If you see an imperfection, resist the urge to reach-in and "fix" it ... you'll only create snags and brush marks in the surface;

3) Simply allow the product to dry and then lightly sand and touch-up the imperfections; and

4) Don't use traditional "back and forth" brush strokes ... long, flowing strokes produce a much smoother finish.


I particularly like your approach to flowing product into the bevels!



Your tip should help many learn to create a smooth, even polyurethane coating!




NOTE: Many DIYers don't realize that a wet layer of poly, applied as thick as a credit card, will dry almost paper thin. So, the best application technique is to flow-on a thick coat then leave the product alone to self-level and dry into a perfectly smooth finish.


Those who wish to learn more about creating a smooth, glass-like polyurethane finish can click the link to read additional instruction.

Posted 2012-08-14T13:26:15+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Just wondering if Rustoleum sells the bond coat (from the Rustoleum Transformations kit) on it's own.  I purchased 2 kits and chose a color and have decided on another color.

Posted 2012-10-23T23:35:50+0000  by shann745

Hello Shann745!


I am sorry!


I checked with Rust-Oleum for you and they do not sell their bond coat separately.


The Home Depot places a premium on customer service.


So, take time to discuss this problem with your Customer Service desk.

Posted 2012-10-25T14:23:41+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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