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Cringleford Coppers Kitchen case study

Listed under Blog, festool, hand-painted kitchen, Richard Willott Posted Sep 20 2020

Traditional Painter for E Anglia, Richard Willott, takes us on a trip through Cringleford Coppers Kitchen. Or where Cringleford meets copper meets kitchen painter.

Cringleford Coppers Kitchen

About Cringleford, the home of the kitchen

Cringleford is located 3 miles south west of Norwich and is a popular place to live. The village, thought to mean ‘the ford by the round hill’, has existed here since Saxon times. 

In 1519 AD the wooden bridge that was built across the River Yare was swept away by heavy floods and was rebuilt in brick and stone. That story is captured in the village sign.

Cringleford near Norwich home of Taylors joinery

Sadly, the narrow bridge has been the scene of many accidents, such as when the Norwich to Newmarket mail coach overturned in 1845, luckily nobody died.

Industry in Cringleford

Taylor’s of Cringleford was founded in 1890 by Edward Taylor. A well-known firm in the area, at one point they employed over 200 people, initially building carts, wagons and tumbrils. They went on to become a flourishing coach-building business and later still went on to specialise in high-class joinery. They worked in many churches and in Norwich and Ely Cathedral.

And with the mention of high class joinery, this is were FX Décor’s latest project dovetails in.

Can you save our kitchen?

My client from Cringleford had contacted me with a leading question, “Do you think you’ll be able to save our kitchen?”

A local firm (not Taylors!) had supplied them with a bespoke kitchen for their new home. Unfortunately the finish was not quite what they had in mind.

kitchen painting at its worst in Cringleford
If you look up “orange peel” in a paint dictionary, this is the picture you will find.

On first inspection it was obvious that the kitchen could be saved, but would need some serious preparation. Thorough preparation is a matter of course when you employ a specialist kitchen painter, at least at Traditional Painter.

Saving the Cringleford kitchen

As with all FX Décor projects, I removed doors and drawers and any other removable pieces and stacked them in my van ready for transporting back to my workshop. The carcasses were washed, before I sanded them down to remove the heavy roller marks. Boy, were they heavy. When I had all the surfaces nice and smooth and dust-free, I applied a coat of adhesion primer.

Back to the workshop

The first job was to give the doors, drawers etc a wash down with a degreasing solution. My Traditional Painter colleague Lee Simone up in Yorkshire has penned a comprehensive explanation of the different surface cleaning options since Sugar Soap was relegated off the cleaning scene.

Once dried and clean, I set to work sanding with my Festool RTS 400 EQ, a nimble mechanical dust-free sander.

Festool ETS EC (top) and Festool RTS 400 EQ sanding kitchen doors
Festool ETS EC (top) and Festool RTS 400 EQ

Festool sanding geek alert

As with all aspects of decorating, every tool has its time and place. As soon as I started with the RTS400 it became very apparent that the big guns would be needed to remove the numerous layers of paint. It was time for the Festool ETS EC.

It’s a light, powerful sander and has the finest sanding pattern (2mm). A random orbital sander (ROS) has the sandpaper going around and around and back and forth at the same time and this is what makes it a ROS. With a sliding weight inside, the base shifts around and arbitrarily moves the offset back and forth. The scratch pattern of the sander thereby varies, giving you a smooth finish.

A newer version of the  ETS series, the ETS EC sanders, are brushless and have a very low, more ergonomic profile. They are also about a 1/3 more powerful.  Progress is as endless as the sanding to be done.               

How to sand from rough to smooth

Due to the amount of paint the previous painter had applied badly, I had to start with a course 60 grit disc to break through the surfaces. I then then followed with 100, 180 and 240 grit discs. Eventually the surfaces were ready for the adhesion primer.

paint sanded back ready for high adhesion primer

Once the primer had dried, I de-nibbed (lightly scuff sanded) the surfaces before applying an undercoat primer and top coats.

Back on site I finished the primed carcasses and then rehung the doors and drawers.

Cringleford Coppers Kitchen finished

The copper reference for this case study was the stunning handles. They were purchased from Propercopperdesign.com who are based in Brighton, just down the road from my colleague Mark West, who covers Sussex and Surrey for Traditional Painter.

A finished Cringleford Coppers Kitchen
larder unit painted by Traditional Painter Richard Willott with Proper Copper Design handles
Beautiful copper handles from Proper Copper Design

Properties of copper in the kitchen

In this age of Covid, hygiene has become a matter of some urgency, and it looks like the time for copper to come into its own. Taking the anti-microbial properties of copper pipes and applying it to handles seems very logical. Proper Copper Design state the following.

What next

Thanks for reading this case study on Cringleford Coppers Kitchen. If you are in Suffolk or Norfolk in a similar position to the Cringleford clients, feel free to contact Richard at FX Decor.

Or if you are elsewhere in the country with a beautiful kitchen and a bad paint job, locate your local specialist on the map. Traditional Painters will give you a no obligation price to restore the heart of your home to its full glory.

And please reference our Covid-19 working policy, to be assured of the measures we take to keep all parties safe when working on site.



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