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Oak kitchen painted in Gorleston on Sea, Norfolk

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, Richard Willott Posted Nov 17 2015

Traditional Painter, Richard Willott shares his experience on an oak kitchen painted in Gorleston on Sea. His work was part of a very effective upgrade that delivered all change minus the hassle of a new kitchen.

“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside”

gorleston on Sea Norfolk

Here we are in sunny Gorleston on Sea.

When Mr & Mrs B moved into their new home, they inherited this dated solid oak kitchen with its ceramic floral knobs…

painted kitchen Norfolk

…but they had big plans for a “beautifully hand-painted oak kitchen” transformation.

Obstacles to overcome

When I first met them they ran through their plans for removing walls, moving doors and windows.

Too good to throw out

They explained to me that whilst they didn’t like the look of it, they thought their existing kitchen was of extremely good quality and wouldn’t dream of ripping it out and replacing it with something which would probably be of a lesser quality.

(We often find that bespoke kitchens from yesteryear still have many years of useful life in them, and if you want a genuine like-for-like new installation, you could definitely end up paying a huge sum of money to end up with practically the same kitchen layout that you have now, but in a different colour.)


They also mentioned replacing the worktops and on the large dresser type unit, they wanted to keep the oak worktop but remove three of the doors to create a Welsh dresser effect.

oak kitchen Norfolk

I agreed with them, explaining that this modification wouldn’t be too much of an issue, as I could carefully fill any exposed hinge holes on the carcasses and then once painted, there would be no trace of the original set-up.

Check the end of the article for the after shot, to see what can be done. (Spoiler alert – we achieved the desired effect!)

The painting process

We take a lot of time explaining the way we work, but even so, invariably clients are surprised by the number of stages that don’t involve actual painting.

Once I arrived, I dismantled all the doors, drawers and removable items, loaded them safely into my van to be returned back to my workshop for a five-coat paint process.

The preparation in situ included washing down, degreasing and sanding down the frames and end panels and cornices. I use the latest dust-free extraction sanding system.

After ensuring a perfectly clean and smooth surface, I then applied the adhesion primers and undercoats.

Once back at my workshop I repeated the same process as above on all the doors, drawers and kick-boards, at which point they were all painted, apart from the last topcoat. (In this case I would apply the topcoat on site, once everything had been re-hung and positioned correctly.)

On my return to the family home all carcass edges, internal shelves and end panels were completely de-nibbed and wiped down before the top coats were applied. When they had dried I was able to rehang all the doors and drawers etc.

I also prepared and painted some new MDF matchboard to apply to the end panel of the island unit. (This had been left blank and didn’t match the design on the other end. Now it all ties in together!)

The colour for the kitchen was a RAL 9018 and this was mixed into my finish paint of choice: Alcro’s Servalac Aqua 10.

As you can see from the following photos, the transformation was truly stunning and Mr & Mrs B were totally thrilled with their new looking kitchen. The re-formated “dresser” is certainly very effective.

painted kitchen Norfolk

painted kitchen Norfolk

If you are in East Anglia, and this is the sort of idea you have been mulling over for your kitchen, Richard would be happy to advise. With every kitchen there is some aspect that is different or troubling, and he can give you the benefit of his experience, and point you to a lot of examples of before and afters and colours and solutions that really do cost 5-10% of the cost of new installations.

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