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Hand painted veneered MDF kitchen, Clitheroe

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, Holman Specialist Paints Posted Jun 10 2014

Not every kitchen we paint is a “million dollar bespoke kitchen” but even a small hand painted veneered MDF kitchen can look a million dollars, assuming it has been prepared and painted properly.

If you inherit a kitchen when you move into a new home, it is understandable that you might want to make it your own; or if you have had the same kitchen 10 or 20 years, it may well feel like time for a change. But if the cost of new is prohibitive, that is where we come in!

A change of colour and new handles can be as good as a brand new replacement kitchen, assuming your kitchen layout works for you, and the doors and drawers are opening fine.

The brief before any painting is started

If you are going to change the worktops & handles, they can be sourced from any number of outlets, from Homebase to the most exclusive designer warehouses or online only stores with vast selections. Our standard advice is to please have all alterations bought and installed before the kitchen painter comes in.

Clean, prime and paint

Degreasing is the first step when painting a kitchen. This is not meant as a slight against the house proud, but for painting purposes, it is not worth risking even traces of grease on cupboard doors and drawers. And no matter how well kept, I suspect there will be a few unsavoury areas behind a fridge door or integrated dishwasher front.

We prefer to degrease with Pro Clean from Mypaintbrush, followed by a further sand.

Otex oil primer is a high adhesion primer that will dry flat and smooth. Some painters will say that it is a like-for-like substitute for Zinsser Coverstain. Both are super products, but Otex has a couple of advantages that make it the go-to primer for us.

Once dry, Otex only needs the lightest sand.

We are fanatical about keeping down the dust and a vacuum extractor is on hand at all times. With a final wipe with the ever dependable tack cloth (we prefer the Axus blue extra large cloths) the kitchen is prepared and ready for finishing.


We offer an eggshell and a satin-matt finish, (gloss is available but the choice gathers dust, so to speak!) and we find our clients prefer the water-borne eggshell paints.

We like the whole water based range from Tikkurila for many reasons. First and foremost we need performance, and no amount of positives like healthy, quick drying and user-friendly will take precedence over “durable and high adhesion”. Tikkurila furniture paints tick all those boxes with flying colours. And regardless of which colour range you prefer, we can have our high specification paint mixed and matched exactly, offering the best of both worlds.

For peace of mind about oil or acrylic, which is best…

On balance, the oil paints we use are tough, and have a slightly stronger finish than the water based paints, but for practical purposes there is only a few degrees of difference in performance, and only a chemist or lab technician will notice a difference. When you see the sample door, minds will be made up quickly.

New handles?

You need to make a decision on new handles or knobs early on, as old holes may not line up with the new fixings. Any filling needs to be done and dusted early on, not at the topcoat stage!

Finishing touch

When the paint brushes are put away, out comes the microfibre cloth to ensure the kitchen is nice and tidy for handing over. Also we carry a neat glass cleaner from Trollull which seems like a metal scourer, but it is so fine and will remove paint painlessly and scratch free from glass or brushed metal handles and hinges.

And that is an insight into how your Traditional painter for the Clitheroe and Lancashire area works and thinks. We understand that buying a new kitchen is not always an option, but this is a very viable solution, especially if you have a decent kitchen to start with.

Upgrade your kitchen before putting your house up for sale

House sellers who are at a loss to know what to do about their deal-breaker kitchen may find this article of interest.

If you are looking for inspiration for transforming a modest MDF veneered kitchen or laminate kitchen and you are in the Lancashire area, please contact us and we can help clarify your options.

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