Painting Our Bathroom Cabinets: 3 Things We Learned with Fusion Mineral Paint

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We have gorgeous cabinets, but once we redid our flooring in the living spaces (from a mix of carpet/tile to a beautiful gray/beige hardwood-looking tile), we knew that we want to change them from the darker wood color to a warm white.

The Must-Have List

We had a few “must haves” with the cabinet paint we chose:

  • We DO NOT want to have to sand down the cabinets. (What a nightmare!)
  • We need the paint to be easy to apply and not see brush strokes.
  • We need the paint to be durable and stand the test of time.

Enter: Fusion

After many months and hours of research, we found Fusion Mineral Paint, which is specially engineered to adhere to a number of surfaces (I even saw a video where a girl painted her couch with the stuff!) and also have a built-in top coat.

Here are some of the other awesome benefits of the paint (which you can read more about here):

  • No VOC
  • No sanding necessary for surfaces like cabinets(!)
  • Easy to apply
  • Great coverage
  • Built-in top coat

I’ll give you the spoiler alert by saying we did end up loving the final product, but there were a few things we learned along the way, too.

1. You don’t need to sand…but you do need to prep.

As I mentioned, one of our must-haves for cabinet paint was no sanding. (What a paint that is!)

Especially if you plan on painting cabinets, there’s plenty of gunk and grease that builds up…even if you do wipe them down regularly. As with all things painting, taking the time to prep now will go a long way later.

The fix? We decided to go with the Krud Kutter Gloss-Off to both clean and remove the top coat of gloss on the cabinets. It was very easy to use and did double duty by both cleaning the cabinets and prepping the cabinets for paint (without sanding).

2. Be wary of the concealer.

In addition to the regular Fusion paint (we went with the color Casement, by the way), we decided to try the color blocking product in the line – Fusion Concealer. Our thought was: if we use the concealer, we could cut down on the number of coats of paint needed (especially as the concealer is about 1/2 the price of the paint!)

Boy, were we in for a rude awakening.

Once a coat of the concealer had dried, I went to apply the first coat of paint. I quickly noticed small chunks or balls of paint coming up from the cabinet. I soon noticed that it was the concealer: once it got wet from the new coat of paint, it was pulling up from the cabinet! Yikes.

I was able to remove the concealer simply by wiping it down with a wet rag, which was concerning of course. In fact, we instantly were nervous about even trying the paint at this point. However, I wanted to give it a chance, so we decided to apply the Fusion paint directly to the cabinet. Luckily, we didn’t have the same problem as the Concealer.

The fix? We ended up applying three coats of paint (even though you’ll often see Fusion advertise you only need two) to the cabinet to get full coverage (since we went dark to light). Again, we didn’t have a problem with the paint itself pulling up at all, and now that it’s complete it seems as though it’s adhered well. (Once we hit the 21-day mark of full cure time, we will test by wiping down with water!)

My guess is that the concealer (which Fusion states multiple times is not a primer) would be great for painting a dark wall or an “easier” surface. We also considered the Ultra Grip, which is intended to help with tougher surfaces, but it doesn’t appear we’ll need it!

3. Watch your tape.

Another way to prep is by using painter’s tape to line the edges of your project. It is typically more time consuming than painting, itself, but well worth it in the long run.

The only problem we ran into is that the Fusion paint adheres so well, that areas where I (admittedly) glopped paint on to the tape, it ended up peeling cabinet paint off when it came time to remove the painter’s tape!

The fix? Pretend as though the tape isn’t there and still be mindful and careful around the edges. Learn from my mistake: just because the tape is there, doesn’t mean you can take advantage!

The final product

In the end, we’re happy with the way the guest bathroom cabinet came out, and we’ll be moving on to the other bathroom, and eventually the kitchen.

If you’re considering painting your cabinets, I do recommend trying Fusion paint, but also suggest trying it out on cabinets that are a little less “seen” or a smaller project than your kitchen!

Have you ever tried to paint cabinets? What did you use and how did it turn out?