Hand Painted ‘Shabby Chic’ Kitchen – Blog by Lee Simone

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Blog, Hand Painted Kitchens Blog, Paint Effects Blog

Hand Painted ‘Shabby Chic’ Kitchen – Blog by Lee Simone

 

First published on Traditional Painter

The finished kitchen

The finished kitchen

This ‘Shabby Chic’ kitchen enquiry came from a lovely couple in Stainton, near Barnard Castle. They had been considering having their pine kitchen painted for some time and having found Traditional Painter on the web, got in touch with me. After a few email exchanges and having received my guesstimate from the pictures provided, I headed up to Barnard Castle to meet the couple at their home

The plan had initially been to paint the units in a block colour ‘off white’, but after showing them a few of my ‘distressed’ samples they really liked my ‘distressed & antiqued’ finish and chose to go down this route instead. In this particular instance a subtly aged finish would be more in keeping with the kitchen and the style of the home, whareas plain ‘off white’ units may have a looked stark against the stone feature and other rustic elements of the kitchen.

Once colours were decided I booked the work in and it was agreed that I would take the doors and drawers away with me to paint in my workshop in Whixley, returning a couple of weeks later to paint the shell and re-hang the doors.

Kit and Caboodle

Kit and Caboodle

Before I began the project I thought it would be interesting to set out all the kit I was going to use on this project and take a pic. The essential kit remains roughly the same for any kitchen project although paints, primers and brushes may change. The most noticeable differences to my normal kit for this distressed or ‘Shabby Chic’ kitchen are the tea lights, (which I would use for the wax barrier stage), the Zinsser Bin 123 primer, the emulsion, the butter muslin, the tubed oil paint and the oil glaze. If you’d like to see a full list of all the kit and caboodle then check out my Kitchen Painting Kit Blog.

The kitchen before it was painted

The kitchen before it was painted

The utility room before it was painted

The utility room before it was painted

Preparation –

The kitchen itself had been hand crafted by a local joiner many moons ago and was made from 150+ year old pine which has originally been the pews of local church. As with all kitchen painting projects the first thing to do was to thoroughly clean all the units. I used my favourite eco-friendly cleaner, Krudcutter Original, for this stage and then gave everything a good rinse with water.

Once cleaned I then sanded every inch of the doors, though in most places little varnish was left which made my work easier 🙂 This gave a great key for painting, but before any paint could be applied I used my standard  ‘wax barrier’ technique and rubbed wax over certain areas of the cupboard that would naturally have received more wear and tear – the base, the edges and around the handles being the most ‘waxed’ areas. This wax is used to create a barrier so that the paint doesn’t adhere to these areas so when it comes to the sanding stage the paint ‘chips off’ to create a nice authentic aged ‘Shabby Chic’ look.

Priming –

The next stage is the all important priming. With distressed finishes I use emulsion as my top coat so a water based primer is required – in this case Zinsser Bin 123. After the first coat of primer the seriously rustic nature of the units really showed up! There were hundreds of woodworm holes, many a gap and many an imperfection that had to be filled.  As you can see from the pic below the units looked pretty bad a this stage, as they often do, but I feared not as many a stage was still to come!

Cleaned, sanded, wax barrier and 1 coat of primer

Cleaned, sanded, wax barrier and 1 coat of primer

After filling/caulking all the holes and gaps I applied a second coat of Zinsser 123 and the transformation was well underway 🙂

Cleaned, sanded, wax barrier, filled, 2 x primer

Cleaned, sanded, wax barrier, filled, 2 x primer

Top Coats –

For my ‘distressed finishes’ I usually apply 3-4 coats of a Dulux ‘off white’ emulsion. The colour I used had a warm hue but as everything was going to be ‘antiqued’ the colour would change slightly so it was really more of a base than a finished colour. To apply the emulsion I used high density mini rollers from Dulux (actually designed to be used for oil based paints), 2 x 1.5” Purdy Monarch Elite, 1 x 2” Purdy Monarch Elite, a 0.75” Nylon artist brush, a 0.25? Nylon artist brush and a Picasso 2” Angled Oval  (available from mypaintbrush.co.uk)

 

Creating the Distressed Effect –

Once the emulsion had been applied – very lightly sanding between coats using well used 120 grit sanding pads and making sure not to sand so hard as to remove the wax barrier) – it was time for the really fun bit, the distressing.

Using 120 grit sandpaper and 180 grit Abranet abrasive sheets I gently sanded back the areas where I had previously applied the wax. As planned, it ‘chipped off’ beautifully and created an effect that didn’t look just sanded and fake but natural natural, like wear and tear that would have happened from years of use.

 

The ‘Antiquing’ –

To add a bit more depth of colour and to make the kitchen look even more authentically aged, I mixed raw umber pigment with a transparent oil glaze and applied this to various areas using a stipple brush, a hog hair brush, butter muslin and white spirit.

 

Sealing –

Once the antiquing had been done and I was happy with the way it all looked I had to make everything really durable and wipeable and for this I turned to Tikkurila and their semi matt Kiva Lacquer (available from Holmans Paints). I applied two coats of the Kiva using a mini roller, my Purdy Monarch’s and finally a Wooster Flawless Tipping Brush.

 

So, after many a stage and many a coat of primer, paint, glaze and lacquer the kitchen and it’s transformation was complete 🙂 This was a really fun project to do and I really enjoyed seeing all my hard work and patience turn into something that the clients loved and that looked really authentic in it’s surroundings.

Many thanks for reading, keep tuned for more Blogs and case studies.

 

If you would like to visit this kitchen projects Main Project Page, please click here.

The finished kitchen

The finished kitchen

 

The utility room without the doors and drawers which i painted in my workshop

The utility room without the doors and drawers which i painted in my workshop

 

The finished effect in the utility room

The finished effect in the utility room

 

Close up of the 'Shabby Chic' distressed and antiqued finish

Close up of the ‘Shabby Chic’ distressed and antiqued finish

 

Close up of the 'Shabby Chic' distressed and antiqued finish

Close up of the ‘Shabby Chic’ distressed and antiqued finish