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Hot coat a pine kitchen in Caernarfon

Listed under abranet, Blog, erecta rack, festool, hand-painted kitchen, Little Greene, mark-roberts, Mirka Posted Jan 21 2018

Mark Roberts, Traditional Painter covering N Wales, used his high tech paint kettle to hot coat a pine kitchen in Caernarfon with Symphony paint. This was really smart use of Mark’s product knowledge to achieve a perfect brushed finish.

hand painted kitchen Caernarfon

Whilst working on a kitchen project in Caernarfon I received an enquiry less than 2 miles away. I met with Eleri later that week. She wanted a modern upgrade on her well presented 17 year old pine kitchen. My initial suggestion on viewing the kitchen was a low lustre Matt finish in an ‘on trend’ colour.

Eleri agreed.

Quotation and start date were confirmed within a week!


How I carried out the work (on-site and off-site)

On site

As usual, protecting all surfaces that are not being painted is vitally important. I use stout lining paper, card and frog tape to cover floors and worktops.

All surfaces to be painted were first of all fully degreased. This was carried out using a citrus degreaser and Mirka Mirlon pads which gently and quickly lift off the grease. Once rinsed off with water, the surfaces are clean and ready for the next stage.

All removable items, doors, drawer fronts and plinths were labelled, removed and taken away to my unit for sanding and painting.

Items left in situ were sanded using 180 grade Abranet on a festool RTS400 unit attached to a dust free extraction system. Once fully prepared I applied 1 coat of Isofix adhesion primer which had been mixed to the equivalent of a Little Greene colour, (no 160) Rolling Fog Dark. After being lightly machine sanded, a second coat was applied.


All doors, draw fronts and plinths were sanded using the same technique as all the items left in situ. 2 coats of Isofix adhesion primer were sprayed on using a Wagner XVLP unit, sanded lightly in between coats. Everything was left to dry on my erecta rack.

The final “hot coat” finish

With all the doors and carcasses ready for topcoats, I took everything back to the house and hung all the doors. I then applied 2 top coats of Beckers Symphony in a 10% sheen mixed to the finish colour. This is where the hot coat term comes in to play!

I have used the term “hot coat” because in this case, the paint is applied at just the right temperature, thanks to a heated paint kettle. (I explain below the true meaning of “hot coat”.)

This neat “gadget” from Dutch innovators Go!Paint, ensures the paint reaches and stays at the right temperature for perfect flow out, leaving a flawless, totally brush-free, silky smooth finish in Symphony paint.

All the masking and protection was removed and all surfaces were cleaned.

Finished – pine kitchen in Caernarfon

hand painted kitchen Caernarfon

hand painted kitchen Caernarfon

Another really happy customer, as their testimonial confirms!!

“I was disappointed initially that Mark could not commence the work on my 17 year old kitchen for 6 months but can now see why he is in such demand.

He arrived at the agreed time every day (8.15 am despite a 75 mile journey) and whilst polite, pleasant, friendly and helpful he did not waste a minute during the entire project. His careful preparation ensured protection of surrounding walls, structures and floor and contributed to a superb finish. His meticulous attention to detail was admirable and the products and equipment used were obviously of a very high quality. He was happy to share his expert knowledge and to answer any queries with prompt responses to any Emails before and after the project.

I had no hesitation in giving him a door key and leaving him alone in the house as he is completely honest and trustworthy. I am a self confessed perfectionist and could find absolutely no fault with Mark’s work and the finished product far exceeds my expectations. If I ever need specialist painting in the future I would welcome him back and would recommend his work and person to anyone”. Eleri Hugheston-Roberts

You can find out more about Mark on his “profile page with links to other projects, customer reviews and more. If you go on his website, you can check out other examples of his kitchen painting work in N Wales, Chester and the Wirral and his credentials.

Trade tip – hot coating

I used the term hot coat here, to convey the idea of heated paint. (See the true definition further down.)

Warmed paint, what’s that all about?

Warmed paint will flow better than cold, and heat is a safer way of paint thinning than the addition of thinners. In other words, heat makes neat paint flow well. Many high end spray units will have a heater element included for this very reason.

There are plenty of opinions on alternatives to Mark’s relatively expensive heated “Flow Control” kettle from Go!Paint, seen in use on another kitchen.

Mark Roberts using Flow Control

From sticking a tin of paint on a radiator, to sitting the tin in a bain marie. These options will heat the paint with the desired effect, but unless you leave the paint on the radiator or drag a bain marie around with you, it will lose its heat and viscosity and it will need to be re-warmed.

This kettle on the other hand will quickly heat the paint and keep it at that temperature for hours if necessary, and is always there in your hand ready to use, like any regular paint kettle.

And with the accurate temperature dial, you can simply work out the ideal temperature for each type of paint you use and keep a reference for future use, to apply paint consistently.

Hildering Flow Control

The regular definition of hot coating

Applying coats “wet on wet”. It is relevant to polyurethane varnishing for instance – you can safely apply 2 or 3 coats of polyurethane varnish one after the other by brush, if starting from a bare surface and diluting the varnish a few percent off of neat.

The thinned varnish will aid flow and penetration of the bare timber. Thinning will also speed up the setting-off time. Once it has gone past tacky and feels dry to the touch, set to, again, with a speedy brush action and a light touch, and you won’t disturb the previous coat.

Two coats is definitely feasible, the third coat, you have to be sure of yourself, to avoid alligatoring.

This guy, Jay Greer, is a boat painting expert of 50 years’ standing. His view from this thread in the Wooden Boat forum:

I rely on “hot coating” more often than not when building coats on a job. However my rule of thumb is, no more than two hot coats over the first without sanding.

I can often lay on three coats in one day by this method. The trick is done by instinct for when the time is right. No pun intended. If I can just feel a very slight tac to the surface, I go for it.

Wearing polorized glasses to see the wet edge and holidays is another varnishers trick.

The idea of not allowing the under coat to fully cure before recoating is an old wives tale. If I waited that long, I would be out of business. However, over build can cause alligatoring of the surface. The more you work with the tricks of the trade, the better your varnishing skills will become.

This leads on nicely to the last tip about sanding clear coats too hard.

Don’t rub through clear lacquer on oak kitchen doors

Oak (and pine knots) contain tannin, which reacts with the pigment in most paints, and causes a stained effect. Check out the frames on doors in new homes, or balustres painted from new, you will likely see the effect of tannin leaching from an untreated knot or two.

Clear laquered oak and pine kitchen doors are invariably coated with a very effective stain blocker: either a clear shellac-based sanding sealer or some sort of 2-pack coating that won’t react to tannin. Coated with one of these products, the surface is pretty much inert and a solid base if you are thinking of painting over it. So the smart thing to do when preparing the clear lacquer for painting, is to scuff sand or wet sand without breaking through the solid clear coating.

That way there is no need to worry about holding back stains with your first primer base coats, because they are already held back. Therefore you can select a high adhesion primer best suited to creating a solid colour for your topcoats.

Of course not all clear coats will be in great condition after say 15-20 years of use and cleaning, in which case, you would be wise to exercise the option of a shellac-based belt-and-braces stain inhibitor like Isofix or Zinsser BIN.

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