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To think of it now, we lived for four years with builder grade cabinets. That’s no mean feat folks. A makeover was long overdue. For a while, we contemplated uprooting the whole damn thing and replacing them with a swanky new set.
But when we put some numbers on paper, that was a lot of Benjamin (Obviously). So, we narrowed down to a paint job to breathe some life, light and mood into the cryptic, cave-like kitchen.
The most obvious contenders were Rustoleum’s DIY transformation kits and the newer Giani Nuvo Cabinet Paint kits. We chose the latter and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.
If you are living with hideous-looking builder grade cabinets or if your cabinets have one scruff too many to show, then here’s a way to upgrade it in less than $80. You can thank us later.
What is Nuvo Cabinet Paint?
Nuvo Cabinet Paint is an all-inclusive cabinet makeover kit that can be used to paint wood, vinyl, metal, laminate, and melamine cabinets.
You do not need to prime the surface and the entire process can be completed in less than a day without the prep work, of course.
Sounds too good to be true?
That was precisely what we thought as well until we saw some great YouTube videos that demonstrated the procedure. We also spoke to bloggers who had achieved spectacular results with the kit.
Each kit contains enough paint to cover a standard-sized kitchen or about 100 sq. feet. Surprisingly, we still have almost one can of paint left and will be refreshing the bathroom cabinets next week.
That’s excellent value for money.
Does its work on all cabinet surfaces?
Nuvo is a combination of a paint and a primer and adheres perfectly to the surfaces that we mentioned earlier, provided you follow the instructions and do not try to cut corners with the prep work.
Trust us on this, you might have your task cut out here. Cabinets can be greasier than you ever imagine and you might find oil in places that you least expect to.
Also, if you have plywood cabinets or if your cabinets have never been sealed, then you might need to prime it before you apply Nuvo.
How to Apply Nuvo Cabinet Paint?
The Nuvo Cabinet Paint kit includes an illustrated instruction guide that is very helpful. Here’s an overview of the procedure.
- Remove the cabinet hardware. Technically, there’s no need to remove the cabinet doors. But we discovered that this is a lot easier with the doors removed. Helps you cover every nook and cranny without having to act like Spiderman.
- Patch any scratches, nicks or gaps with wood filler
- Sand or de-gloss the cabinets if applicable
- Use Windex and scrub them clean. You will be spending at least a few hours doing this.
- Painters tape off the walls if you aren’t removing the doors
- Paint away
Nuvo Cabinet Paint vs Rustoleum
If you have ever considered a kitchen cabinet makeover or researched about budget-friendly DIY cabinet paints, then you might have come across Rustoleum and Giani as your best options.
However, there is very little literature that compares the two in terms of value, quality and ease-of-use. We had to spend three weeks trying to dig up relevant information about this. But finally, it was completely worth it.
Giani Nuvo Cabinet Paint
- Value: Currently priced under $80. Incredible value considering that we still have an entire can of paint left for potential touchup needs.
- Quality: Holds up exceptionally well even in high-traffic kitchens. We are yet to see any chipping or cracking anywhere.
- Ease of use: Apart from the prep, this is a cakewalk to use.
- Potential letdown: It has a cure time of 14 days.
Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation
- Value: Rustoleum is priced slightly higher than Giani. The difference is only marginal though. Not much difference in value. We are yet to use it though. But we will be using it in our daughter’s kitchen in the weeks to come. Will post an update here.
- Quality: From what we have been told, the paint doesn’t hold up well, especially in high-traffic homes. We spoke to at least three users who confirmed this. In one home with three kids, the paint had peeled and cracked in multiple places after just one year of application.
- Ease of use: Both are equally easy to use.
- Potential letdown: Poor quality as our research indicates. (Read our updated review of Rustoleum over here)
Our Nuvo Cabinet Paint Kit Review
We used the Cocoa Couture shade and the paint is so easy to apply. Just use the foam rollers included in the pack for the flat areas and use a standard brush for edges and creases. The paint is water based and dries in a few hours.
You’d have to be careful with the newly painted cabinets until the curing process is complete. That’s about 14 days.
We did notice that it chipped near a door frame or two on the next day. But thankfully, we had ample paint left for a touch up.
That’s usually the case. One can suffices for all the cabinets in the kitchen unless you are dunking them in the paint.
Now, while Giani doesn’t recommend a top coat for the cabinets, we highly recommend that you use any top coat of your choice. Poly works best!
- Cabinet makeover on a budget
- Extremely easy to apply
- Water based acrylic paint that dries in a few hours
- Multiple attractive shades
- Great quality
- The curing process is 14 days. The cabinets need to be handled carefully during this phase because it is prone to chipping.
If you are willing to grease your elbows a little, then this is the easiest way to give your outdated kitchen a budget-priced makeover. It will easily last for a few years. Throw in some brand new hardware and you have a new kitchen altogether. Highly recommended!