‘New’ kitchen out of the box
DIY paint kits boasting revolutionary coating systems mean that bathroom and kitchen renovators need look no further than the paint store for affordable and easy makeovers
All that may soon change with new products promising complete facelifts with nothing more than a good paint job. These revolutionary coating systems are touted to refresh old kitchen countertops, modernize existing cabinetry to a factory-like finish, and transform bathroom wall tiles or kitchen splashbacks to look like new.
No more laborious stripping process, noisy drilling and dust-filled work environments. Pro-level tasks can all be replaced by hassle-free, DIY-friendly kits. And the best part, they are priced at a fraction of what it would typically cost to achieve similar results while dramatically cutting down on renovation time – that’s right, most jobs require no more than a weekend to complete.
Remodel kitchens for less
Remodelling a kitchen has never been easier. Rust-Oleum’s dictum on the user-friendliness of its revolutionary coating products – Cabinet Transformations® and Countertop Transformations® – goes like this: “If you can hold a paint brush, you can “remodel” your kitchen”.
The aptly named Transformations kits come with an instructional pamphlet and DVD, a deglosser, bond coat, decorative glaze, protective top coat, decorative glazing cloths, scrub pads, and stir sticks. For less than $300 each, they contain nearly everything that is required – except the rollers and masking tape – to completely change the look of an outdated or worn out kitchen.
“The only thing you need is a bit of hard work and desire to transform your kitchen,” says Erwin Brouwer, sales director, Rust-Oleum Australia.
“These products prove that great products do not need to cost the earth – there are affordable solutions to overcome obstacles.”
Eliminating the need for cabinet demolition and countertop removal, the kits skip over the messiest parts of the process without compromising on professional results. Both products are tested to hold up against tough conditions – including red wine and mustard stain tests and overexposure to dampness. The final finishes – providing stain and scratch resistance with tack-free durability – would have house guests thinking it’s a new kitchen that costs thousands of dollars to rebuild.
While they blur the line on what is achievable between the trade and DIY communities, Erwin believes both groups would welcome these easy-application products.
“There are many consumers who fall within the DIFM (Do It For Me) category and therefore would hire a tradesperson to help with their renovation. Tradespeople are very familiar with our products and more than often recommend it as an affordable option to renovate to their customers.”
Cabinet Transformations works on all wood, laminate and melamine surfaces. Simply apply the Deglosser, Bond Coat, Decorative Glaze (Optional) and Protective Top Coat in successive layers and the cabinets are ready for use within 24-hours but cures fully in 7-10 days. Besides kitchen cabinets and bath vanities, the product is also recommended for bar tops, end tables, dressers, chairs, armoires and more.
Countertop Transformations can be used on laminate and wood countertops as well as on wood and metal trim. It is not recommended for use on surfaces such as butcher block wood, brick, plastic, aluminium, steel, concrete or tile.
Benchtop surfaces must be cleaned then sanded using the provided diamond-embedded sanding tool, prior to the application of the Adhesive Base Coat and Wetting Agent. Decorative Colour Chips are added with the included Chip Dispenser, and allowed to dry overnight, before excess chips are removed with a Chip Scraper (included) and smoothened with the sanding tool. Lastly, the 2-part protective top coat is applied and allowed to dry. Countertops are ready for light use in 48 hours and fully cured in 7 days.
These step-by-step instructions may already be simple enough to follow but the use of video tutorials proliferated across social media sites, make the process look almost effortless. The virality of social media is not lost on the marketing folks at Rust-Oleum, although Erwin testifies that print marketing is far from being superseded.
“We are finding that social media is becoming an increasingly popular tool where consumers can ask questions, post photos and get a response pretty much instantly,” he enthuses.
“Through social media we too are able to post videos, project ideas and handy tips on our products. We can’t forget the traditional means of print advertising as there are still a large number of our consumers who like to read magazines.”
Exploiting every online opportunity, Rust-Oleum’s Australian website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter pages provide different avenues for consumers to share about their user experiences and post before-and-after photos of their inspiring transformations.
Cabinet Transformations and Countertop Transformations complement Rust-Oleum’s innovative range – Universal, Zinsser, Stops Rust and Epoxyshied are among the company’s most acclaimed brands for both professional trade and DIY – while also catering to their target 60/40 retail-trade split.
The kits are sold through all paint specialist stores and Bunnings – special orders are also made via retailers that do not stock the range. Due to inconsistencies in tinting between the US and Australia, the Countertop kit is available here in five colours (Charcoal, Ivory, Onyx, Desert and Java Stone) and the Cabinet kit in three (Pure White, Espresso and Cabernet).
Why retile when you can repaint
Unlike wall painting, choosing bathroom tile colours and design is like making a once a lifetime decision as any regrets after the fact is usually considered irreversible – unless of course, you enjoy pulling off old tiles, plastering and re-cladding walls. Thankfully, there are other options.
Designed for the fickle-minded or simply those who are inheriting less than desirable bathroom colours perhaps as new home owners, the Flood Tile & Laminate Paint from The Flood Company is an interior high performance coating product that gives a hard-wearing, high gloss finish when painting tiles and laminates.
“Don’t replace it, repaint!” That’s the marketing mantra behind the scuff and water-resistant paint that can be used on shower wall tiles, white goods, fridges and washing machines. It is an easy to use formulation combining anti-mould inhibitors with the latest polymers which assist the paint to adhere to smooth gloss slick surfaces. No primer or undercoat is needed, just paint directly onto clean, dry
tiles or laminates. Although it is touch dry in four hours, all surfaces should be left to harden for at least three to four days before re-using the shower.
The three-step process begins with using Flood Tile & Laminate Cleaner to rid the existing surface of any dirt, grime or contaminates before application of the Flood Tile & Laminate Paint. There’s also a kit version that combines the paint and cleaner with a roller kit and sanding block.
“We have put these kits together because this is one of those DIY products for weekend projects where consumers want to renovate the bathroom or kitchen, so in the kit, we give them everything that they would need,” says John Willis, general manager at The Flood Company.
Niche paint products are what The Flood Company thrives on, John says, filling a gap in this category that he believes major paint companies tend to overlook. With products like the Tile & Laminate Paint, Hammerite metal protection paint series as well as the flagship Spa N Deck, the company devotes precious R&D dollars to technology that simplifies the smaller paint jobs.
The Hammerite range allows painting directly to metal surfaces, eschewing the need for primers and undercoats. The Hammerite Direct to Rust metal paint, for example, can be applied directly onto rusty metal, giving a choice of a metallic sheen glossy finish with a subtle hammer effect.
John adds: “Painting steel is a terrible job and many people don’t like doing it. We think we’ve solved that problem that makes this painting task much easier, with Hammerite. With just one can and two coats, you can complete most jobs in one day.
“Paint companies in the past have tended not to feature heavily direct to steel or rust paint products, which probably has to do with the fact that they only account for about six to eight per cent of the market.”
The Flood Company has applied the same philosophy to bathroom and kitchen tiles – removing the pain and effort for tradies and DIYers alike.
“It’s early days for (Flood Tile & Laminate range) but initial sales are positive. Consumers are warming to the really good colour guide and colour range; as well as the ease of doing the job with the kit.”
Flood Tile & Laminate Paint offers a colour card with 55 hues to choose from and allows mixing with most other brands of tint formulations for further customisation. Stockists need only carry three basic SKUs – White, Light and Deep Base in one litre and 2 litres – from which all the tints are derived.
Unlike most home improvement kits that bundle inferior quality disposable wares that break easily, The Flood Company partnered with established suppliers of paint accessories, Oldfields and Rockset, to deliver uncompromising quality. Included in the kit are Mohair roller sleeves, John illustrates, which although more expensive than foam rollers, give the best finish.
Quality is as much present in the paint formulation. The tile and laminate paints contain VC175, a very strong mould inhibitor which those familiar with The Flood Company range would know. This prevents mould and mildew growth on your tiles and laminates.
The Tile & Laminate kit is recommended for retail at $69.95 and the one litre paint at $35. As well as for web savvy buyers that find inspiration from Youtube and renovation apps, John says the product is ideal for consumers who traditionally would call in a tradesperson to achieve the same results. In addition to providing web info and a 1800 number (that goes live all weekend), the company is about to embark on four new TV commercials, one of which will introduce the T&L paint product and another on the Hammerite range. John says that in the past, TV commercials for such paint categories are unheard of.
“I’ve been in this industry for 40 years, and those categories to my knowledge, have never been advertised in such a strong way. Consumers are mystified as to how they can paint tiles and laminates as well as white-goods.”
Taking an approach they have always taken, The Flood Company believes in growing the niche market, leaving the major brands to concentrate on the high volumes for interior and exterior broad wall paints.
“We certainly see an opportunity for the age group from 30-60 – it’s a big market for us – and perhaps even younger too.
“A lot of the younger people are doing (home improvement) jobs themselves. They want to be inspired. With quick and easy products like Flood Tile & Laminate Paint and Hammerite direct to rust, that’s all the motivation they need.”