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Hand painted oak kitchen in Whitchurch

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, mark-roberts Posted Jun 19 2016

Traditional Painter Mark Roberts, specialist kitchen painter based near Chester, reported back on a hand painted oak kitchen in Whitchurch that started out extremely dark and waxy, but has now had the life breathed back into it.

painted oak kitchen shropshire

When my clients in Whitchurch contacted me about their large dark oak kitchen, I could see a stunning transformation. To the untrained eye, however, it probably looked more like a problem than an opportunity! It was over 20 years old, large and dark, and for good measure at some stage it had been treated with Bri-wax.

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Refurbishing kitchens is a challenge, even with plenty of experience, but I am confident in my craft. Having identified the issues and explained my proposed approach to the clients, they gave the green light to my quote and on the agreed date, I returned.


To maximise the adhesion properties of our primers, all wax has to be removed. Back in the 1980’s the preferred way to remove wax was with steel wool and white spirit – soften the wax and remove it. It works, but we have moved on, and the industry is increasingly well-served with a sizable choice of modern age eco-friendly and user-friendly degreasers.

Gloves on, because anything that softens wax will soften even my hands, I set to work with Grax-it, my product of choice on this occasion.


Once thoroughly cleaned down and made good, (easier said than done!) I had a good key for paint.

I applied stain block and adhesion primer mixed to the top colour. The stain block will prevent potential paint discolouration issues later on, holding back any oak tannin that might leach through the topcoat. And adhesion is obviously a key requirement in a paint system.

With a refurbishment like this where waterborne topcoats are specified, from the outset I allow for 2 coats of tinted primer to achieve a solid opaque ground colour. That way, we have peace of mind all round at the finishing stage.

If I do ever face a coverage issue, some of the colours in our preferred waterborne kitchen enamels are a royal pain, it is my problem not my customer’s. I just get on with it and deliver my best work as promised at the agreed price.

Will it look like a new kitchen?

I do this work all the time, and can “see” what’s coming, but it is hard for my clients to visualize what their dark oak kitchen of 20 years is going to look like when I have finished. It is quite a leap from this:

dark oak kitchen Shropshire

to this:

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After days of hard work and preparation, that is the result of the final 2 coats of waterborne Alcro Servalac aqua matt paint mixed in the equivalent of Drizzle from Little Greene. It was a complete transformation of what started out a very dark kitchen.

From the client’s point of view

We know that some readers are curious as to whether what they read here is a rose-tinted version of a less happy tale! This is Mark’s client taking the time to review the work completed in March 2016.

We were very worried when we first asked Mark about painting our good quality  bespoke oak  kitchen.

Mark immediately came to visit and put any of our fears to rest.

He discussed at length the paint colours, finishes etc we could have, showed us many photographs  and we were able to go and view work he had done on behalf of a well  known Cheshire furniture company.

Mark’s work is exemplary, he takes great  time, care and pride in his work, nothing is too much trouble for him, there was hardly any disruption caused. On top of his excellent work, Mark is also a lovely and most trustworthy person.

Our finished kitchen is wonderful, we can’t believe how much it has changed the whole room, our friends think we have had a new kitchen.

We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Mark to others.

Alan and Yvonne J.

Mark is our invited specialist kitchen painter covering the Chester side of Cheshire, into the Wirral and across to N Wales. You can find out more about him here or see him in action in duo lights here!

festool duo lights

And if you are across the way in the Manchester / Chester East area, Traditional Painter Scot will provide you with an equally high level of service and finish.

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