Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Blog, Hand Painted Kitchens Blog

Hand Painted Pine Kitchen, York – Blog by Lee Simone

This kitchen had originally been tailor made and installed by a local kitchen company. The quality of the kitchen was very high, with lovely dove tail joints and hand crafted flower detailing on the drawer fronts.

The clients wanted a change, to bring the style of the room more up to date and create a lighter, brighter feel. To rip out and replace the existing kitchen with something of comparable quality would have cost many many thousands of pounds, and as the layout was perfect, getting a top quality painted finish was the natural choice. Aside from repairs to the woodwork that had been damaged by the dog in a few places it was a text book kitchen transformation in the making.


The finished hand painted pine kitchen York

The finished hand painted pine kitchen

The Consultation Process –


The clients had originally contacted me by phone and as I was working in the nearby village of Whixley, I bobbed across one evening to meet them and discuss the project. Having described my process, the specialist materials I would use, my level of service and various other parts of the job, we moved onto colours.

They had become quite taken with a piece of furniture they had seen in a local showroom and wanted their new kitchen to have the same look of Little Greene Paint Company’s ‘Mushroom’.

As well as hand painting the units, the clients also wanted the main work top and the chopping block brought back to their former glory, so I would be re-staining and sealing those features too.


The finished kitchen

The finished kitchen

Though I was booked up for the next 5 months or so, they were very happy with everything I proposed and said they would wait for the right man to do them an excellent job :-).


Why wait 5 months?


It is unlikely that any client would wait 5 months to have their kitchen walls painted, but it is a different ball game when the cabinetry is at stake! Many kitchens have been ruined by poor preparation, incorrect materials and a ‘that’ll do‘ mindset but the clients recognised that waiting a couple of extra months to have their ‘new’ kitchen painted by a ‘Traditional Painter‘ would be well worth it. After all, you spend a lot of time in a kitchen, seeing it up close and using it everyday, so durability and the perfect finish are really really important.



The original kitchen

The original kitchen

Colour Sample in the Post –


Though they were 90% sure they wanted ‘Mushroom’ as the colour I suggested I create a sample for them so they could live with it and see the colour in situe. I always do this for any new kitchen project, as I think it’s really important to be able see what the colour will look like on a bigger scale, in different lights and around various parts of the kitchen.

I do my samples on lining paper approximately the same size as the door so the client can get a really good feel for how it will look, and they can feel completely happy with the colour before the project gets under way. Peace of mind for both parties, simple as that 🙂


 The Start –


When I arrived to begin the work the client told me that there were a couple of extra things she would like painting, and that she wanted the hanging utility rack to remain wood to compliment the work top. No problem I said, and set about getting all my ducks in a row and beginning the pivotal prep stage.

Without the right preparation, the adhesion, durability and quality of the finish just won’t be there so on any kitchen job around 60-70% of the work is in the prep. If this is done well with a high attention to detail, then not only will the finish be silky smooth, but it will be super durable and last for many many years.


Preparation - everything masked off

Preparation – everything masked off

Preparation –


As with all my kitchen projects, the first thing I do is to remove all the handles and then thoroughly clean and degrease all the doors and units with * Krudcutter Original. This really is a fantastic product and has dealt with every aspect of furniture and kitchen cleaning I’ve ever thrown at it.

Once cleaned and wiped down with a damp cloth, I then masked off the floors, worktops, walls and various and other areas with 1200 lining paper and various tapes. Different masking tapes have different properties like stickiness, removal time etc, so I typically use 3-4 different tapes to mask off the walls, floors and units. Some masking tapes can bleach wood over time so it pays to know which one to use and where 🙂



Spot primed with Zinsser B-I-N

‘spot’ the difference

Using lining paper instead of dust sheets is a must for hand painting a kitchen, where any dust or bits can ruin the flawless finish. Lining paper also allows me to easily keep on top of hoovering up any dust and ensures there’s absolutely no danger of any paint getting where it shouldn’t.

It makes the kitchen look like it’s got measles, but if a job’s worth doing…


 Primers and Top Coats –


Once all the initial preparation stages were complete I then moved onto the painting itself, the really fun bit! I first applied a coat of Otex by Tikkurilla which is a specialist high adhesion primer that can be tinted to the same colour as the top coat. I had this mixed to an equivalent colour by Holmans Specialist Paints and sent out to me.

I applied the Otex with a Fox Flock Roller Sleeve and ‘layed it off’ using a Teklon bristled brush. Your top coat is only as good as the base, so the idea of slapping on primer any old how is not good painting practice! The reverse – getting a nice smooth and even primer coat is really important.

Once primed I very lightly sanded everything and then began filling and caulking the gaps and holes, paying particular attention to the areas around the beading and the damaged areas that the dog had nibbled at.

Once filled I then applied another coat of Otex and, when that coating had dried, I started the top coats.


Close up of the brush mark free finish

Close up of the brush mark free finish

For the top coats I used Empire by Tikkurila. Tikkurila paint is used by many of the top kitchen companies and is the ideal product for these projects, creating a highly durable finish with a lovely soft sheen.

I applied 2-3 coats of the Empire using the same roller, brush and ‘laying off’ process as I used with the primer. As a result of some serious prep, oodles of patience and years of experience the finish was not only lovely to look at but completely even and highly durable 🙂


Ta da!










Painted in the equivalent colour to LG's 'Mushroom'The Plate Rack –


As I mentioned when I first began the project, the client had changed her mind and wanted the hanging utensil rack to be left natural wood to match the work top. As the project progressed I came up with the idea of re-staining and lacquering the plate rack rather than painting it. As it was central in location and quite a lovely feature I thought it would bring better balance to the room treated this way. I suggested this to the client and she really liked the idea. I’m sure you’ll agree the kitchen wouldn’t have been quite the same if this had been painted. Thinking of little touches like that can make all the difference.

Making the plate rack a feature

Making the plate rack a feature










Left side before, right side sanded

The Chopping Block –


The chopping block had naturally seen a lot of action over the years and was looking discoloured and scored. To not have reconditioned this would have been a crying shame when the rest of the kitchen was looking so new. After the painting was complete I set about making it look as good as new.

I first thoroughly cleaned it using * Krudcutter Original and then gave it a really really good electric sand, taking the first mm or 2 off so that there were no more scratches and revealing a lovely smooth block of wood.

I then applied three coats of the fabulous Ronseal Contractor ‘Quick Cure. A product that was recommended to me by Paul at Holmans Paints and is definitely a winner. It’s easy to apply, levels well, dries quickly and comes in matt, satin or gloss, ideal!


Re-painted bracketsPainting the Barckets –


For another little touch I also repainted the existing brackets, which were a bit rusty and scratched. I cleaned and wire wooled the brackets, then mixed up two different acrylic gold and antique brass paints and blended them together to create a slightly patinated effect. I then sealed them with 3 coats of lacquer to ensure they stood up to the many years of hardy use to come.



The newly stained and sealed worktopThe Work Top –


The main work top was also looking a little tired so I re-stained and sealed this as well. I used roughly the same prep process as I did with the chopping board (above) but didn’t sand it as heavily. I then applied 2 coats of Osmo’s Wood Wax Finish in ‘Cognac’ and three coats of the Ronseal Contractor ‘Quick Cure Topcoat.







The finished dresserThe Dresser –


Another aspect to the kitchen was a lovely dresser that was in the corner and isn’t visible in the other ‘main kitchen’ photo’s I took.

This was a really nice piece unto itself with some great detailing and a built in wine rack. The same processes I undertook for the main kitchen were applied here and I think it came up a treat.


All in all a thoroughly enjoyable project and a very rewarding transformation. The clients were over the moon, as was I. Onto the next project 🙂


If you’d like to see the Main Project Page for this Hand Painted Kitchen, please click here



Thanks for reading!