Posted by on Oct 29, 2019 in Blog, Hand Painted Kitchens Blog

Hand Painted Kitchen Harrogate 

It’s been a while since I posted a Blog, busy times here at Imaginative Interiors! This Blog shows how I went about preparing a hand painted kitchen in Harrogate, and how it was transformed from tired ‘orangey’ oak in to a much more modern and contemporary grey.

As a specialist kitchen cabinet painter I travel throughout Yorkshire transforming wood and laminate kitchens with showroom quality hand painted finishes. With this particular project the family had inherited this beautiful hand made ‘Charles Yorke kitchen when they bought the house. After 10+ years the kitchen they now felt the kitchen had become ‘orange’ in colour and now felt dated.

The cabinetry work for this oak kitchen was very good, with the layout suiting the space perfectly. To replace a bespoke kitchen like this would have cost tens of thousands of pounds, so hand painting the kitchen was the perfect solution. The quality of cabinetry work remains the same but the kitchen is transformed into something lighter, brighter and more contemporary, all at a fraction of the cost of replacing it.


Painted kitchen cabinets in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Kitchen cabinets painted by Lee Simone

The finished kitchen cabinets


Oak kitchen in Harrogate, before the cabinets were hand painted

The original oak kitchen kitchen looking a bit dark and dated


This kitchen in Harrogate was hand painted to make it look more modern

The new look kitchen – lighter, brighter and more contemporary


The clients contacted me by phone and then sent some photos of the kitchen for me to look at. I then send them an estimate by return and a couple of weeks later they asked if I would visit them to discuss things further, naturally I was happy to do so. During the consultation they raised various questions regarding the process, durability, time frames and colour options. I explained that, with a hand painted kitchen, in depth preparation is not only the key to a quality finish but high durability too. T

Timings – 

With regards to time frames, the project would take around 3 weeks to complete, with half the time spend working on the doors and drawers in my workroom, and half the time required on-site to paint the shell. Having the means to take doors away is a real bonus as it dramatically reduces the time required on-site and therefore minimises any inconvenience caused.

Kitchen Colours –

When it comes to colour, I can get any colour accurately tinted in my specialist paint but tend to stick to the Farrow & Ball and Little Greene colour charts as these have a beautiful range of colours and a manageable number to look at. Getting the right colour for your kitchen is really important and having an artistic background and over 20 years experience I am always happy to help. We looked at warm grey’s, with the eventual decision being Little Greenes ‘French Grey Dark’ for the cabinets and ‘French Grey Mid’ for the walls, skirting’s and architraves. To ensure the colour was going to be perfect, I painted a few samples and posted them out so the clients could see the colours in different lights and make an informed decision over time.


Close up picture of kitchen cabinets painted in French Grey

Close up of the ‘brush mark free’ paint finish in the equivalent to LG’s ‘French Grey Dark’


Though the clients had visits from other painters and had received other estimates, they decided I was the man for the job. My estimate may have been one of the higher ones, but hand painting kitchens to the highest level is a specialist thing. It’s not like painting a skirting board or normal entrance door, it’s a different skill set. There doesn’t have to brush marks, bits and bobbles. Attention to detail is key, without it, not only will the finish be poor but it will also have a lot less longevity and end up being a false economy.


The Kitchen Painting Process – To achieve a show room quality finish there are quite a few stages involved, each as important as the last. 

Stage 1 – Breaking Down the Kitchen

To begin with I spent around half a day removing all the handles, cabinetry hardware (magnetic clasps etc), removing the doors and drawers, numbering them and carefully wrapping them ready for transport back to my workroom.

Stage 2 – Cleaning & Sanding

With all the doors and drawers set up in the workroom, I removed all the handles and gave every inch of the doors and drawers a thorough clean and degrease with * Krudcutter Original, before twice sanding them with 180 wet and dry sanding pads. I then wiped them down with clean, warm water to remove any residue. It’s really important to do this stage thoroughly and ensure every bit of grease and dirt is removed as paint won’t adhere otherwise. Particular attention must also be spent on the sanding, making sure every square milliliter is properly sanded and the surface properly keyed.

Stage 3 – Priming

The primer I used was a specialist high adhesion primer from Finish company Tikkurila. This primer has a stain blocking agent and is an amazing product that I’ve been using for many years. It’s oil based, can be tinted to match the colour of the top coat and adheres to virtually all surfaces amazingly well. This first coat of primer is pivotal in creating high durability for a kitchen. If the first coat isn’t good then it doesn’t matter how many or how good the other coats are, the durability won’t be there.

Stage 4 – Filling and Caulking

After lightly sanding the first coat of primer and removing any dust (sanding between coats ensures the best possible adhesion for the next coat of paint), I then filled any dints, scratches and holes and caulked the gap between the frame and the inner panel. 

Stage 5 – Priming (2nd Coat)

I then applied a second coat of the same primer, which I applied this using a roller and ‘layed it off’ (smoothed it out) using a soft brush. This ensures there are no visible brush marks which would be seen through the top coats and mar the final finish down the line. 

Stage 6 – Topcoats

Once the second coat of primer had dried (I always leave it at least 18hrs) I very lightly sanded things back again and applied the first top coat. The top coat paint I used was Tikkurila’s Helmi 30, a next generation water based paint that is used by most of the top kitchen and furniture companies. I then lightly sanded this coat with 400 grit sanding pads and applied the final top coat using the same combination of roller and brush I used to apply the primer.

These stages of the project took me 8 days.

Stage 7 – On-site Work

With the doors and drawers curing happily on my racking system at home I heading on-site to begin the shell. Exactly the same process was used on the shell, from the thorough cleaning and sanding, to the filling, caulking and application of 4 coats of paint (2 coats of primer and 2 coats top coats). 

The most noticeable difference with the work on site is the masking off required. To ensure that no paint gets where it shouldn’t, I thoroughly mask off the floor, work tops and appliances with a combination of lining paper, plastic sheeting and a variety of tapes, each designed with a specific use in mind.  It’s all in the detail and these are tried and tested processes and materials. 


The kitchen shell being prepared and painted

All areas thoroughly masked off, taped and primed


The kitchen shell being prepared and painted

All appliances masked off with plastic sheeting to protect them prior to sanding/cleaning and painting


Stage 8 – Tidying up and Re-Hanging the Doors

Once the painting of the shell had been completed, I removed all the tape and lining paper, cleaned the insides of the drawers and cabinets, re-attached all the cabinetry hardware, rehung all the doors and drawers and fitted the new handles. The time required on-site was 8 days.

With the painty transformation complete, the clients now had a quality bespoke kitchen with a top quality hand painted finish. The room felt lighter, brighter and more contemporary and the clients were over the moon; emailing me to say that they would be happy for me to use them as a reference and that ‘the kitchen looks amazing, we love the new calm feeling it creates. A beautiful job, thank you. We are happy to be a reference if anyone wants to speak to a customer.’ Mrs Robinson ‘

Another happy customer and another great kitchen painting transformation, I love my job! 🙂


Charles Yorke oak kitchen in Harrogate, before the cabinets were hand painted

A section of the original oak kitchen


Painted kitchen cabinets in Harrogate, hand painted by specialist kitchen painter, Lee Simone

The same section, now painted in the equivalent of LG’s ‘French Grey Dark’


Oak kitchen, fridge/freezer area before the cabinets were painted

The original fridge/freezer housing


Kitchen cabinets, hand painted in a warm grey colour

The new look fridge/freezer section, now hand painted in a warm grey colour


Hand painted cabinets with a smooth painted finish

Close up picture of hand painted kitchen cabinets


Kitchen cabinets in Harrogate painted by Lee Simone of Imaginative Interiors, Yorkshire

The finished kitchen, quite the transformation!


Lee works throughout Yorkshire and is within easy reach for projects in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Beckwithshaw, Killinghall, Scotton, Pannal, Spofforth, Birstwith, Ripley, Ripon, Pateley Bridge, Fewston, Darley, Dacre, Summerbridge, Boroughbridge, Kirk Deighton, Kirkby Overblow, Sicklinghall, Stainburn and all the surrounding areas.