Kitchen Makeover Blog
I’ve never written a blog before - so bear with me!!!!
I just want to document the process of painting your own kitchen - it seems a daunting task but if you break the process down and do the all-important prep - it’s very achievable. Drag a friend into help you like I did - Sarah from Home Revival was my paint buddy on this one - how lucky was I !
Choosing a Colour
First you have to decide on a colour - there was a few heated discussions with Tony on this! This old oak kitchen had a really great Corian worktop, with a grey stripe around it - so it made total sense to work with this colour and so it had to be a grey. Fortunately Tony suggested Ash - I was so pleased as I know this colour virtually covers in one coat and I wouldn’t have to worry about bleed through - win win!
I’d suggest painting some pieces of paper with your colour ideas and tape them to the doors and see how the colour works in different lights and positions - both natural and artificial light - top and bottom of the cabinets.
Whites are always popular for kitchens - you can’t go wrong and if you have white appliances - can achieve a seam less look. But whites usually take more coverage - so factor this in whilst considering colours.
Once you’ve decided on your colour you need to consider the next step!
The Dreaded Prep!
Clean and clean again! I cannot emphasize this enough - I’m guessing that it’s an old kitchen you are painting? Mine was the original to the house and had to be at least 30 years old - that’s a lot of greasy cooking that’s gone on!
So first, degrease the cupboards, I knew mine were bad but I had no idea how bad! I used a heavy duty spray degreaser, I let it sit and then used a scraper to literally scrape off the grease, along with sticks to get in all the nooks and crannies - totally gross.
Then I used our Fusion TSP. I mixed it up (2 caps to a litre) and put in a spray bottle. I liberally sprayed the doors and used white cloths to remove - this way you can see if the dirt is being removed- repeat until the cloths come up pretty clean.
It’s the cleaning that will make the paint stick - not the sanding - nothing will stick to grease - sanded or not. My doors didn’t need sanding - they were so matt after the cleaning and pretty dry - I could tell the paint was going to soak in.
The end panels and all the framing was a different story - they were made of a laminate type product - sort of shiny. So these I did sand (after the marathon clean!) remember that sanding a surface that isn’t clean can actually reactivate the grease - the friction and heat from the process of sanding can do this - you will then be pushing that grease back into the surface - a massive no no. Clean then sand is gospel!
When cleaning this is a great time to inspect your kitchen for any cracks, scratches or minor repairs that you may need to do. This is your time for this.
If you are adding new hardware - you may need to fill the holes where the old hardware was if you are going for a different shape. Sand these areas after the filler is dry.
So after a quick scuff sand with a 220 sanding block you are ready for some Ultragrip.
Ultragrip is a unique product “makes painting the impossible possible!” It’s a water based resin that bonds to almost any surface including glass.
NB Ultragrip holds texture so be careful how you apply - this can be tricky as it’s clear so go carefully, use a good quality fiber roller (not sponge - they leave too much texture and bubbles), and for smaller areas a good flat brush. Preferably leave overnight before your first coat of paint.
Doors On or Off?
So I would always recommend you take the doors off, this way you can paint on the horizontal and get a really nice professional finish. You don’t have the awkwardness of painting around the hinges, and if you are doing this for a client, you can take the doors to your workshop and work in peace. It also means that the paint gets to dry without being touched - again the chances of a good finish are much higher this way.
Make a plan! Take photos or do a diagram of the kitchen and label your doors and drawers - they never go back right if you get them muddled. If you aren’t painting the inside of the doors you could label them here using masking tape, I would also suggest bagging up and labelling the hinges and screws for each door this way too.
I actually left our doors on - this was because the hinges were so old we were in real danger of them breaking if we removed them, therefore creating a whole new set of problems. Plus the doors were unusual in that I can move them to any angle and they stayed in position making it easier to paint them.
This is the question! OK so many cabinets will bleed, cherry, mahogany and oak are popular materials for kitchens and all are bleeders. Now if you are painting a dark or muted colour like Ash, Homestead Blue etc this may not be an issue as the bleed won’t show, but for whites and pale colours it’s just not worth the risk to not stain block.
The only stain block Fusion recommend is the red Zinsser Bin, it’s shellac based, shellac is the only product that can block tannins and bleed through. You may get away with a water based product - but it’s not guaranteed. So use the Zinsser Bin - which is a pain to work with I know as it’s pretty thick. TOP TIP dip your brush in meths, then into your decanted red Zinsser Bin, this will thin the product and help it to move around more easily.
If you are painting a light colour the stain block will save you a coat of paint anyway - especially if you are transiting from a dark wood to a light colour - so it’s a step not worth skipping for more than one reason.
Now to Paint!
So using a combination of a good roller, a flat brush and a good quality artist brush you are ready to start painting your kitchen!
Don’t forget to mask up any edges where the panelling meets the walls etc, and protect your floors - I couldn’t believe Tony put a new LVT floor down the day before we started painting! I was terrified we would ruin it, so we covered in cardboard - of course we did get some on the floor but even drops that I didn’t notice scraped right off phew!.
Having a paint buddy for this part was a real boon! Radio on, someone to chat with and compare notes with was amazing! Plus Sarah is such a quick and professional painter it really helped break the back of it. We were able to get a coat of paint on both the outside and inside of the doors in a few hours. Painting the inside of the doors is a personal preferences and isn’t necessary, our cupboards were so old it really help make the kitchen look new, but yes it’s a lot of extra work. As we used Ash we actually only painted one coat on the inside of the doors, the outsides got two coats, which we completed the following day. We were lucky that we were able to keep the doors open overnight - this helped with the drying process. Even when paint is dry - paint will stick to paint until more cured - so this is another reason why removing them is a good idea.
To Top Coat or Not?
Kitchens take a lot of knocks, so a protective layer is probably a good idea – but not absolutely essential.
If you are using a light colour our Fusion Tough Coat is brilliant. Just wipe on in a thin layer, with a sponge or damp cloth. TOP TIP roll the bottle (to mix up the mattifying agents from the bottom) do not shake as you will create bubbles. If you are using dark colours the Tough Coat can sometimes go cloudy. If you don’t want to risk this happening apply a coat between your first and second coat – this is what we call a “Tough Coat Sandwich” – if the top layer of paint does get chipped its less likely to show through.
You are nearly there!
So using your plan re-hang the doors and put back on your cleaned or new knobs and handles. Keep an artist brush to hand as this is when you will notice any knocks, scratches or missed spots.
Be gentle with your kitchen for about 21 days. It maybe dry, but paint cures by the evaporation of the water in it. It won’t be truly hard until this occurs.
Now stand back and take a look.
WOW doesn’t it look AMAZING! You have added thousands to the value of your kitchen with a nominal and fair amount of elbow grease.
Take some pictures – show it off and treat yourself to a glass of wine – you have earned it!
Good luck! Happy to answer any questions just email me or find me on facebook/instagram/twitter - Colour Me KT
Spray 9 / heavy duty degreaser
Fusions no rinse TSP
220 sanding blocks
Bags for hardware
Wood fillers / adhesives if needed
Good quality fibre roller and tray
Red Zinzer Bin
Assorted brushes - a good flat / laying off brush