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Specialist kitchen painters v good general painters

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, Marketing Posted Dec 10 2011

I just completed a refurbishment of a big 15 year old dark oak Poggenpohl kitchen.

The brief was to bring it up to date, and breathe new life into it by hand-painting the solid oak cabinets.

I also had to replace the existing wooden handles with something more uplifting; to fill & repaint the walls which had cracked like a pear following water damage a couple of years earlier, plus beautify a couple of doors and Georgian pane windows; and last but not least, to come up with a colour scheme that took the clients a long way away from their default choice of “cream”. Judging by the feedback, the brief appears to have been fulfilled, and then some.

I know he won’t mind me saying this, but when I was contacted, the client was very skeptical about the difference between my “specialist” work and the other good painter guys out there. It prompted me to write up a few observations to highlight the differences between the workmanship of specialist painters and the rest.

I was awarded the job, so I could demonstrate that my theory actually works in practice.

The end result, a client who was blown away by what amounts to a fully functioning “brand new” wow factor £25,000 kitchen that cost them a fraction of a brand new wow factor kitchen!

Normal painters are not specialist painters.

If I were asked to hand-paint a car, I would be really struggling to match the service and quality offered by a professional coach painter. I have the same technical ability as them, but I don’t have the experience to just take a look, spot ALL the potential issues, specify the materials, work out an accurate schedule, and take everything that came along during the course of the job, in my stride. It would take me a lot of research and head scratching, and would I catch every small issue before it became a problem with the end result!

Likewise, any painter can bang out kitchen doors, but most don’t have the experience and the eye for detail that is required to paint a whole kitchen to the same standard as myself and these UK kitchen painting specialists.

How hard can it be to hand paint a kitchen?

From a painting point of view, this was a toughy. The amount of prep and painting required to transform this huge 15 year old kitchen was immense by normal standards, and I must admit I had to really push myself to keep on top and keep up with the schedule, especially with a few extras that I was asked to do along the way.

It didn’t help having to strip some of the last painter’s work, either. I do wonder how he would have got on with the whole kitchen, seeing what an ordinary job he made of a few brand new units.

How hard can it be to pick a few colours?

Judging by the millions of square metres of magnolia walls in the world, and the number of exasperated homeowners I have encountered, trapped in a world of cream and ivory, colour-picking is tough. The vast vast majority of customers put no value in the services offered by a professional colour consultant, seeing a fee as a waste of money. Not sure that is true, seeing the cost of sample pots being bought, used and discarded these days


If you want real value for money, consider specialists, or demand that your local painters up their game and stop trotting out ordinary work for not much less than the specialists would charge. The client even commented how the standard of prep on the walls and painting of the windows was way beyond the standards of any paintwork in the rest of the house. I probably charged £100 more than their regular painter would charge, but for that you get lots of kit, lots of tricks, a lot of input, lots of value…

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