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

Smallbone Kitchen Repaint Wakefield


Hand painted Smallbone Kitchen

Hand painted Smallbone Kitchen


Hand painted Smallbone kitchen cabinets

Hand painted Smallbone kitchen cabinets


This Smallbone kitchen repainting project was in a beautifully restored house on the outskirts of Wakefield, West Yorkshire. As a specialist kitchen painter I travel throughout most of Yorkshire, with a base and workrooms in Harrogate.

The clients initially contacted me by phone, after having done a lot of research, they had been waiting for some time to find the right person to undertake the work. Being a Smallbone kitchen it was bespoke and costly, so they were keen to entrust the repaint to someone who could achieve the top class finish this kitchen deserved.

From the photos that the clients emailed I had a good idea about the quality of the current finish but seeing it in person actually stunned me, rarely have I seen a poorer finish. There were a number of problems with the finish including; the primer not having been sanded back (there were bumps and lumps everywhere) and the base painting itself having very visible brush marks, drips and bits in it. The hinges were also covered in paint, and as little or nothing had been masked off, there was paint on the insides of the frame and on the expensive granite worktops too. Many areas also hadn’t been filled properly, and the specialist paint effect was uneven and poorly applied. All in all I had my work cut out!


Hand painted Smallbone Kitchen

The original, and very bad, paint finish.


Drips, bumps and cracks a plenty

Drips, bumps and cracks a plenty


Although there was a lot to put right it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be rectified, and after explaining in detail what I would do and the finish I could achieve, the clients said they would be more than happy to entrust the project to me. Great news, but my word would this kitchen be a labour of love. The end results would speak for themselves but there would be massive amounts of prep to do before then. With this kind of ‘put it right’ repaint project you know you are in for some serious graft, where patience and attention to detail is going to be paramount. It would be easy to just say ‘oh that’ll do‘ after after a solid week of prep but that’s not the way I work. If a jobs worth doing it’s worth doing really well.

The Project Itself –

After several months had passed I arrived on a lovely sunny day and was greeted to this view as I began getting my kit out of the car and setting up – lovely! After setting up and getting the lay of the land I began on the prep, starting with a thorough cleaning and degreasing of the units and the shell. I then masked off the floor, worktops, appliances, edges etc and was then ready to begin the sanding…


Smallbone kitchen painting preparation

Smallbone kitchen painting preparation


Using my dust free electric sanding system and various sanding pads I systematically worked my way round the kitchen removing any bump, lump, bit and drip. The brush marks were also sanded right back so that the base I had to work with was nice and smooth. I then set about cleaning the paint off the hinges using a combination of white spirit, meths and fine grade wire wool pads. After many many hours it was time for the primer to be applied. Phew!

The Painting –

Although the kitchen has previously been painted my next stage was to apply a coat of specialist high adhesion primer which was tinted to the same colour as the top coats. In this case the colour chosen was the equivalent of  F&B’s ‘London Stone’.

For me this priming stage is pivotal as it not only ensures high durability but also creates the perfect base for my top coats. Once primed I lightly sanded everything back, checking again and again for bumps and lumps until I had that perfectly smooth base. I then moved on to the filling and caulking stage, systematically sorting out any areas that needed attention. After this I then sanded these areas back ready for the top coats.


Hand painted kitchen cupboards

The new hand painted finish

I applied two-three coats of Tikkurila oil eggshell using a combination of mini rollers and brushes. This process ensures great depth of colour, and a lovely smooth and even finish.


Hand painted Smallbone kitchen cabinets in Wakefield

The new hand painted finish



A additional part of the project was to change the colour of the existing wooden areas, including this very large free standing cabinet, the mantel above the range, the wine rack and the frame of their chalk board.

Orange oak

Orange oak before being recoloured and sealed


Over the years the oak had taken on a distinctly orangey hue which really wasn’t that nice at all. The client really wanted this changed so I set about making it a warmer reddy/brown colour. After the usual preparation – cleaning and sanding – I started experimenting with colours. The end result was achieved my mixing 2 colours of Osmo Polyx Hardwax Oil, ‘Light Oak’ and ‘Walnut’. I then sealed everything with 2 coats of Transparent Polyx Oil with a light satin sheen.


Stained Oak

The updated warmer wood colour


As you can see from this picture the colour was a lot richer and more pleasing to the eye. As I had hand tinted the oils to get the best colour I ensured it also complimented the new kitchen colour.

And there you have it, job done! With so much prep work completed on this project the end result was extremely rewarding.

The clients were really really happy with the finish and the way I worked and have since been back in touch to book me in to re-paint their bedroom furniture. 

Thanks for reading, until next time…


Lee works as a specialist kitchen painter throughout Yorkshire and is within easy reach for projects in Harrogate, Leeds, Ripon, Thirsk, Ilkley, Skipton, Wakefield, York, Wetherby, Halifax, and the surrounding areas.