Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Hand Painted Kitchens Blog

Hand Painted Oak Kitchen, Acomb, York – Blog by Lee Simone

Hand Painted Oak kitchen

Hand Painted Oak Kitchen
















This particular hand painted kitchen project was undertaken in a house in Acomb, just outside York.

As you can see from the picture below, the kitchen itself was made of oak and good quality, it was however looking rather orange and a bit dated. With the units being so dark it made the room feel a little dark and a gloomy – the perfect candidate for a painty transformation!


The original kitchen

The original kitchen

To have a new kitchen installed would have cost thousands of pounds and that’s before you add in the cost of replacing the floor and wall tiles.

With this in mind, the clients had done some research and decided that having their kitchen hand painted would be a much better and cheaper option.



During an initial phone call I explained about the general logistics involved when having your kitchen painted and also about the processes and materials I use to ensure a finish that not only looks a million dollars but is highly durable to boot.

After some initial emails, and having received my estimate based on the photo’s they sent, I headed over to Acomb for the consultation.


The transformation is complete

The transformation is complete

During the consultation I explained the process and the materials I would use in more detail and also about how I would use a shellac based primer first so as to prevent any potential ‘tannin’ issues that might arise from the oak.

I also explained how I mask everything off with lining paper rather than dust sheets so that I can easily hoover up any dust residue, fluff etc. and  ensure the paint only goes on the units, not the worktops or floor.








Using dust sheets when hand painting a kitchen is a definite no no and anyone that tells you different hasn’t used the lining paper method!

Everything thoroughly masked off

Everything thoroughly masked off

Using dust sheets is quicker but moving them releases dust and bits into the air which then stick to the wet paint and spoil the finish. You can also guarantee that the 2″ space that isn’t quite covered by a sheet is where some paint will end up – we’ve all been there!

Glass masked off to get the best finishI even masked off the glass on the doors so as to  get a lovely crisp edge with no bleeding and keep the glass spatter free – it doesn’t take long and makes things easier and quicker overall 🙂




Colour Choice –


During the consultation we took time to look at colours, deciding that a warm off white would work wonderfully and compliment both the floor and wall tiles well. My current paint chart of choice  is The Little Greene Comany’s. They have a lovely range of colours and organise many of them into light, medium and dark tones, making colour selection and co-ordination much easier.

The colour chosen was The Little Greene Company’s China Clay, which I would have made up in a equivalent shade in my specialist paints. I sent a sample through the post, as I always do, to ensure the colour was really accurate and that it worked in all lights. The clients were really happy with the choice so some months later I returned to do start the job and transform their kitchen.


The doors removed, painted and stcked on my racking system

The doors removed, painted and stacked on my racking system

The Process –

I’ve outlined the process for properly hand painting a kitchen in other Blogs, and to do it right takes time and patience. Getting a finish that is perfectly smooth and brush mark free finish takes many a stage –


2 coats of primer applied and coming on nicely!

2 coats of primer applied and coming on nicely!

(1) Remove handles, clean and degrease all units thoroughly.

(2) Mask off all areas (see picture above).

(3) Remove doors and drawer fronts.

(4) Thoroughly sand all areas and create a good ‘key’ for painting.

(5) Apply 1 coat of shellac based primer and sand smooth.

Silky smooth and brush mark free

Silky smooth and brush mark free

(6) Apply 1 coat of another high adhesion primer (tinted to top coat colour) and  sand smooth.


(7) Apply 2-3 coats of top coat paint from Tikkurila (tinted to China Clay equivalent), sanding between coats.

(8) Re-attach the doors and handles, tickety boo and tidy up.

(9) Smile at a job well done 🙂


The clients were so happy with their new look kitchen and were a pleasure to work for. they really appreciated the work that goes getting this kind of finish and kindly sent me this lovely testimonial –

I have such joy each time I walk into my ‘new’ kitchen. What a difference!. The quality of your work is amazing. Your work ethic and attention to detail is immense. I have no hesitation in recommending you to my friends and acquaintances. Indeed I have done so already. Thank you Lee. Mrs M, Acomb, York