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Kitchen Transformations and kitchen re-paints

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, Lee Simone, posterous Posted Apr 15 2013

Lee Simone shares with us how he approaches kitchen transformations and kitchen re-paints. Lee is a Traditional Painter – hand painted kitchens in Yorkshire – and is an “oil man” with an interesting twist or two.

Lee Simone decorative artist

Hi everyone! As this is my first blog I’d thought I’d introduce myself and my work with a bit of a past kitchen medley.

I’ve been hand painting kitchens for over 13 years now, and over that period there seem to be some staple finishes that people just love.

Block colour on a painted kitchen in Harrogate

For this first blog I thought I’d talk about the most popular finish, namely block colour. Most of the kitchens I paint are transformed from plain wood to what I call a block colour finish – namely painting everything in a solid colour.

One example of this transformation is a kitchen I hand painted for a client in Harrogate. The unique layout of the flat meant the kitchen led directly into the lounge. As a result the dark wooden cupboards were dominating the whole area and the client wanted a space that felt lighter and brighter.

before painting

kitchen before painting

After a brief consultation, the plan was made to completely revamp the kitchen by painting the units a light ‘off white’ colour. This would not only update the look and feel of the kitchen but also make the space, as a whole, feel a lot bigger and brighter.

The finished kitchen

The finished kitchen

Cleaning surfaces
I began this project like I do most of my kitchen jobs – by cleaning the units with sugar soap and then masking off/protecting key areas. After that it’s the really important third stage – the sanding.

Sanding kitchen cabinets
For this particular kitchen I used a 120 grit sand paper, as there was a lot of varnish to remove and some serious elbow grease required. Once everything is sanded and all the dust has been removed it’s onto the more fun bit – painting!

Priming kitchen cabinets
Painting starts with a good layer of Zinsser primer, which sticks to just about anything and shows up any areas that need to be filled/caulked.

Painting technique
After that it’s onto the first of four coats of Dulux oil eggshell paint. Four coats were required as the units were really dark wood, each layer was applied with a mini roller and then feathered out using a soft Purdy brush. This technique allows for a beautiful finish with no visible brush marks.

Extra clear coat
Once the block colour finish had been achieved, I then varnished the cabinets with satin Clearcoat – an acrylic varnish from Dulux. This not only gives additional durability but also creates a beautiful even finish. Et Voila!

Close up of the new look units

Close up of the new look units

The kitchen transformation was complete and the client was over the moon with her new, lighter and brighter rooms.

Re-Painting kitchen cabinets in Ripon

The other type of block colour kitchen painting I often get asked to do is to re-paint an existing painted kitchen.

These kitchens have often come from a bespoke kitchen maker and have just become a bit tired looking or chipped in places. For these kitchens much of the prep work has already been done, so after the sugar soap and masking off, only a light sand with 240 grit is required.

Top Tip –  where possible mask off areas using 1200 lining paper and low tack tape (the best I’ve found is blue 3M). Lining paper works brilliantly, as when painting a kitchen, dust is your biggest enemy, and lining paper makes hoovering up a synch and allows you to easily stay on top of things. So after easily hoovering up all the dust it’s painting time!

My approach to re-paints
A re-paint typically only takes two coats of paint unless the new colour is significantly different. For these type of jobs I always offer the client a choice of having a matt varnish applied at the end as it will subtly change the look of the kitchen and give them something you can’t buy in the shops. Below is an example of a kitchen re-paint project I undertook in a beautiful house near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

Re-painted kitchen

Re-painted kitchen

Re-painted kitchen cabinet

Re-painted kitchen cabinet

Close up of the beautiful matt finish

Close up of the beautiful matt finish

Well, I hope this first blog attempt was interesting and insightful, I’m signing off now, but be sure to look out for my future blogs covering ‘antiqued’ and distressed kitchen finishes.

Lee Simone hand painted kitchens yorkshireBased nr. Harrogate, North Yorkshire, Lee Simone began Imaginative Interiors in 1999 and now travels throughout Yorkshire transforming and rejuvenating furniture and kitchens to the highest level.

Alongside beautifully hand painted kitchens and furniture, Lee can also offer you outstanding specialist paint effects, faux finishes, murals and trompe l’oeil.


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3 comments to “Kitchen Transformations and kitchen re-paints”

  1. Charles Budd

    Very nice finish Lee. It’s really interesting the variety of techniques, tools and materials Traditional Painters use to get their top quality finishes. Just one question – Dulux Oil-based Eggshell – have you ever had problems with it yellowing, as the Dulux oil-based glosses and satins have had?

  2. Imaginative Interiors Imaginative Interiors

    Thanks Charles. I’ve never had a problem with the oil based eggshell yellowing at all and all seems good as I’ve never had any call backs from clients. I have heard that brilliant white has had a few issues from time to time with discolouration but I personally have never painted a kitchen in brilliant white. There’s always a lovely ‘off white’ colour that’s more suitable and won’t look as stark.

  3. Charles Budd

    Thanks for that Lee – I assumed the yellowing potentially applied to all oil-based colours, particularly whites. It’s good that you’ve never had issues.

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