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Hand painted kitchen Exning Suffolk

Listed under Blog, Fluxaf, hand-painted kitchen, Richard Willott Posted Jun 02 2020

Traditional Painter, Richard Willott, penned an alternative title to Hand painted kitchen Exning Suffolk. This account will otherwise be known as “Queens and thoroughbreds.”

Richard Willott kitchen painter hand painted kitchen Exning

Before the kitchen painting, a brief history of Exning Suffolk.

Queens and thoroughbreds is a very apt title. Exning lies just outside Newmarket, the home of racing. Saint Ethelreda, he of the cathedral at Ely, was born there.

According to local folklore, Exning in Suffolk was once the capital of the Iceni tribe. As we all know, therefore, it was the home of Queen Boadicea.

To complete the cycle, a spring at Exning was named St Wendreda’s Well. Local legend has it that in the seventh-century, Saint Wendreda used its water for healing. In the modern era, Newmarket jockeys used to take horses there to drink before a race.

Lying in the shadows of Exning Hall, Richard took a cup of healing water to help in this latest kitchen renovation.

The brief for this Hand painted kitchen in Exning

the kitchen in Exning before painting
The kitchen before it was hand painted

This latest project in Suffolk started life as a very well built solid maple kitchen with solid granite worktops.

My brief was to transform the kitchen into a modern day contemporary cuisine area. The idea was to hand paint all the kitchen furniture in the equivalent of Molesbreath, using a matt paint finish.

When it comes to choosing a colour, I normally advise that any colour can be matched in the paint we use. In other words, the world’s your oyster, there is not a limit to colours from a particular paint company. I always suggest purchasing a tester pot in order to paint a sample board or two. They can be as simple as a large piece of lining paper or a primed MDF board. The idea is to move the real world paint chip around the kitchen to get an idea of what the colour looks like in different lights throughout the day. In this instance the clients had had the same colour in a previous home, so my advice on the effect of changing light and shade wasn’t lost on them.

Down to work with a thoroughbred cleaning and sanding system

I remove all the door and drawer fronts and load them up ready to take back to my workshop. This approach reduces the disruption for the client. Also, working in a controlled environment, I know I can achieve a perfect and very durable finish on all the doors and drawers. In Covid-19 times, clients greatly appreciate this option, as do I. At the end of the day we all have to be safe while maintaining the highest standards of workmanship.

Preparing the kitchen units for hand painting

The process continues with Fluxaf power clean and a green scourer. I degrease all the cabinetry and fixtures that I am going to paint, before sanding everything down with the Festool dust free extraction system. Most of my Traditional Painter colleagues have this super set up, or the Mirka equivalent. Other brands may apply. I use the sander in combination with 120 and 240 grit Abranet. These are both readily available from Mypaintbrush.com.

Painting the kitchen

I follow a tried and proven process for painting. To achieve a smooth and durable finish, the aim is to ensure a “keyed” surface for each subsequent coat of paint. In other words, I lightly sand down between each coat of paint: 2 coats of primer, 1 coat of undercoat and then 2 top coats in the chosen colour. It is painstaking work, but it is worth it.

Once I had rehung and aligned all the doors, drawers and kickboards, I fitted the new hammered pewter knobs. 

Molesbreath equivalent Hand painted kitchen in Exning
Painted in equivalent of Molesbreath
the completed painted maple kitchen

When I handed over the finished kitchen, the reaction from the client was very positive. Kitchen painting isn’t just a job for me, I felt a million dollars too. On that day there was no racing at Newmarket, so I went straight home. And because of the health emergency, I couldn’t even go back via an establishment that sells pints of my favourite “spring water”.

What next?

If I may paraphrase paint company, Graphenstone, who cleverly wrote during the height of the coronavirus quarantine, instead of climbing the walls, paint them. Instead of replacing a perfectly good kitchen, paint it to a showroom finish for 10-15% of the cost of new.

Thanks for reading my account of this Hand painted kitchen Exning Suffolk. If you have a similar project in Suffolk or Norfolk, I will be happy to advise you. I can be contacted via the Traditional Painter website, or direct at FX Decor.

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