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Paint a kitchen white – and then again

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, Mark Nash, Martin Guest, Ron Taylor Posted Jan 17 2015

not white kitchen As far as the topic of handpainted work is concerned, Paint a kitchen white or paint pine furniture white is one of the most searched terms on Google! That surprises me, I would have thought it was “off-white” which in itself is noteworthy to me, knowing how many colours there are to choose from. Holman Paints have about 150,000 formulae on their database, as an example.

White does get a mention regularly when we are asked for a quote, but from what I can see overall, kitchens and furniture are being painted by professionals in anything but white. Not even the “white” kitchen above is white.

Here is a selection of hand painted kitchens to show you the variety of colours and finishes being used around the country by Traditional Painters, followed by a few observations on colour in kitchens.

It is worth remembering that colours aren’t forever. And once painted well, it is relatively straightforward to completely alter the colour and look of a kitchen. Thorough degreasing and relatively minor preparation followed by water-borne Tikkurila paints. All change and good for a few more years.

This 10 year old Clifton kitchen was re-painted in the equivalent of Wimborne White, courtesy of Mark Nash.

equivalent of Wimborne white

The advantage of painted kitchens is that a repaint can extend the life and appeal of your kitchen almost indefinitely. Some kitchens we do are over 25 years old and been re-painted in pastel colours, cream and now grey, to go with the times!

Where once was oak, this is now the equivalent of Tallow, from Martin Guest in Worcester.

painted kitchen Worcester

A similar quality replacement for this kitchen was quoted at around £25000, so the owners effected a few modifications and then had it transformed expertly by Martin for significantly less.

Talking about colours:

Keep it light? Painting a large expanse of natural timber doors will impact on the look of the kitchen. The most quoted request is “to brighten the kitchen up“. And the standard thinking is to paint the doors as light and as close to white as possible. But in my experience, only the darkest of paint colours will make the room appear darker than the original natural oak or orange pine finish. And if you have strong and lighter colours working together, all sorts of good things happen.

walton finished copy

Too light Lighting plays a big role in how colours look and change. The perfect light bright colour you chose at night under artificial light might give you a complete fright in the morning – with the sun streaming in, you will see all the guts draining out of your colour, taking it back to almost white.

Two colour effects for the price of one What tends to happen when natural lacquered cabinets are painted, is that other features in the room, such as natural timber windows or flooring suddenly “jump”. Before the units took over, the window was just there, drowned out by the sheer amount of wood in the kitchen. Not any more.

oak everywhere

wood and paint

Don’t drown me out Professional colour selection helps to iron out the potential pitfalls and faux pas. The biggest and oft repeated mistake apparently, is where clients think they should try match everything in the room in the same colour.

If you are going to the expense of creating a painted feature of your kitchen, look into framing light coloured cabinets in a stronger background wall colour, or vice versa. It takes no time to change wall colours compared to the cabinetry.

Leslie Kitchen et al 038

Minimise risks It is always advisable to have colour samples mixed up. The usual (wise) approach is to order sample pots and either paint large sheets and pin them to doors or walls, or paint the surfaces direct.

We have a new colour selection service coming which will cut out all guesswork, and significantly speed up the conventional process of colour card selection, ordering samples, painting samples, sending samples off, pinning to doors and walls.

There are all sorts of fine touches you can add using colour. For instance, picking out the back of a shelf unit in a bright contrasting colour, or painting the plinth the same as the floor to make it look like the kitchen is floating.

Judging by our feedback, these are the sort of colours from the Farrow and Ball range that feature most in the nation’s thinking – at least those around the UK having their kitchens painted by us!!

Purbeck stone
slipper satin
Elephants breath
Pavilion Grey
Cooking Apple Green
James White
Parma Gray
Verte de Terre

What favourite colours, or colour tricks do you have? Will you paint a kitchen white or pine furniture white? Or push your boundaries. Even the strongest colour paint is “only” a coating a few microns thick.

pine dresser painted

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  1. I have never had to paint a brilliant white kitchen - plenty of “Shirting” and “Pointing”… When talking to clients, they often say I want a white kitchen, but when the actual colour choice comes through it is a “posh paint white”…???

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