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Hand painted oak kitchen in Ballygar Co. Galway

Listed under Adam Bermingham, Axus Decor, Blog, blogging painters, erecta rack, hand-painted kitchen, Holman Specialist Paints, tikkurila Posted Mar 14 2014

This post is from Traditional Painter Adam Bermingham about a hand painted oak kitchen in Ballygar, Co. Galway.

We are not ones to stand still, and Tikkurila Furniture Feelings was used as the top-coat. This Scandinavian kitchen paint is proven over many years as first choice on many high end custom painted kitchens around the world and the formula has not changed in a long long time.

There was some new equipment to Ireland as well. The Fox brush & Erecta Rack from My Paint Brush.co.uk.

This is it

This Hand Painted Kitchen in Galway was a real pleasure, and in true My Hand Painted Furniture style, it was a paint & woodstain combination. Let’s take a look…

hand painted kitchen in Galway

The Process

Last year I was contacted by a potential client in Ballygar, Co. Galway with a view to having her oak kitchen hand painted. The consultation went very well. I went through the process, listed all the options & gave my quotation. She told me that she would have to discuss things with her husband & that she would get back to me.

Early this year, she did. The couple had spent some time in between, looking at other options, including having the kitchen refitted. They decided in the end to call My Hand Painted Furniture & get the kitchen hand painted, having worked out it that my option would save them thousands, compared to a new kitchen.

So on the 3rd of February a Hand Painted Kitchen in Galway began. This is what it looked like on the day I started…

hand painted kitchen in Galway


Looking at the style of the kitchen gave me a few ideas. I talked them through with the client before I began work. This style lends itself to my trademark look; a mixture of hand painted eggshell finish & stained natural timber. The client liked this idea, so we agreed to stain the cornice (the molding spanning the top), and the handles. I would be painting the remainder of the frame & the 22 doors & drawer fronts.

Preparation Work

The first thing to do is to dismantle all the doors & drawers. I place the hinges in the back of each cupboard in an organized way. It is vital with this type of hinge that each one goes back where it came from. I also label the doors & drawers, & the frame if necessary. It saves a mountain of time on the last day refitting.

The doors then go back to my workshop, I work on these as the contract proceeds.

This process is the same for almost every kitchen… a full clean & degrease with * Krud Kutter Original. On this occasion something unexpected happened. As I scrubbed the doors, the previous coats of varnish began to literally fall away! Once you start, you just can’t stop.

hand painted kitchen in Galway

It was out with scrapers, wire wool & a variety of shave hooks to remove all of this old coating. It was poorly applied & of inferior quality anyway, so best gone.

The upside of this setback was that it made the sanding process that bit easier & quicker. A run over all the surfaces with 240 grit paper followed by sanding pads & it was ready for priming.

hand painted kitchen in Galway

Extra attention was paid to the cornice at this point. I used meths, wire wool & small abrasive brushes to remove all previous coatings ready for staining at a later stage. I then masked off the entire kitchen, including this molding, before moving on to primer…


A new product here. I would usually go with Zinsser B-I-N for an oak kitchen in this condition. But a recommendation from a couple of colleagues led me to Pegaprim Isofix. Similar in many ways, a shellac based primer/sealer. Coming from Holmans, it was tinted to match the top-coats. Unfortunately it is not available in Ireland and the shipping cost makes it un-viable. Until the Irish market catches up, it will be back to Zinsser B-I-N on future contracts.

To apply this paint I used another new bit of kit, * The Fox from My Paint Brush.co.uk.

hand painted kitchen in Galway

Developed over 12 months, with the help of Traditional Painter colleague Martin Guest, this new British made Fox brush is a triumph. Lightweight, fantastic finish, easy to clean & at under €15 for a pack of 3, unbelievable value.

I also used my trusty * Axus Decor Wood Finishing Roller Sleeves, also from My Paint Brush.co.uk. I have not experienced any of the shedding that some decorators have reported, so I can only speak as I find, and my client is definitely blown away with the finish achieved with them.


Once the primer coats were completed I moved back to the molding. I removed the masking, the clear finishes & the top coats would be cut in by hand. First I applied a coat of Sadolin Extra Durable Wood Stain, designed for exterior projects but perfect for a durable interior application. The shade was Teak and after 1 coat I was more than happy with the colour, no need for a second.

hand painted kitchen in Galway

Sadolin is a stain and finish combined, but for me the sheen level was too high for a kitchen of this style. To soften this, I sanded the molding back & applied 2 coats of Ronseal Ultra Tough Mattcoat.

The stain was applied using * Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle & the Mattcoat using * Wooster Alpha. Both available at My Paint Brush.

Tikkurila Furniture Feelings

hand painted kitchen in Galway

You may have read about this Finnish paint manufacturer on Traditional Painter.com. Feelings the water-borne and Empire the oil based are now the predominant matt-satin / satin-matt finish coats for Traditional Painters all over the UK.

I opted to use Feelings Furniture Paint for this kitchen, a highly durable water based satin-matt. I am very glad that I did. I can say with confidence that this is the best finish I have ever produced with any paint in my career to date. To my knowledge My Hand Painted Furniture is the only company offering Tikkurila finishes in Ireland.

* Erecta Rack

Before the start of this contract I also ordered a new piece of equipment from My Paint Brush.co.uk. The Erecta Rack drying system is a must for any kitchen painter, as you can see from the linked articles, it is a firm favourite with my colleagues and delivers exactly as explained by our American painter friends on Blogging Painter and Topcoat Review.

* hand painted kitchen in galway


As outlined above, the topcoat chosen for this kitchen was Tikkurila Furniture Feelings. Holmans Specialists Paints will tint Tikkurila Paints to accurately match equivalent colours from any of the major brands, RAL etc.

To read a blog post detailing how I use a combination of roller & brush to produce ultra smooth, flawless finishes click here…

Hand Painted Kitchen in Galway

As I always recommend to prospective clients, I painted the remainder of the room, including doors, woodwork & even a sky light.

With everything complete, the handles stained to match the molding & the doors replaced, both the client & myself were very pleased with the results. A hand painted kitchen that really does encapsulate everything I do. A mixture of satin-matt finish paint & natural stained timber, all by hand… and minimal disruption compared to installing a new kitchen.

hand painted kitchen in galway

hand painted kitchen in galway

hand painted kitchen in galway

Happy Painting

Joseph & Sons kitchen painting furniture painting West IrelandSpecialist painter and decorator, Adam Bermingham, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for hand painted furniture and kitchens Ireland.

My Hand Painted Furniture is a father & son team with diverse backgrounds covering specialist painting and decorating, antiques and interior design.


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