Bespoke Oak Kitchen Repaint Near LythamEmma Culshaw Bell
This bespoke in-frame kitchen was commissioned by the client over 14 years ago. It was made by a local craftsman in solid oak. The problem with oak is that after a few years light absorption turns the oak a vivid orange colour. This takes the overall look of the kitchen nearer a 70’s style… not lovely. So. Whether to paint over the oak? A lot of the time the client’s haven’t quite realised how intensely orange their kitchen has become. As part of my initial consultation I go into detail of what to expect from a hand painted over oak kitchen. Painting solid oak will not hide the grain in the wood, so the cupboards still have that solid oak, soulful feel to them. Removing the dark and dated orange from the kitchen cupboards and replacing with a pale contemporary colour completely transforms the room giving a clean, light and airy feel to the kitchen. Some of the time it is also beneficial to replace or upgrade other elements, for instance, tiling, worktops, handles, lighting, flooring and or appliances. In this case it was only the under cabinet lighting that needed upgrading. The oak panel inserts on the fridge were painted and extremely effectively integrated the appliance into the new scheme.
The Colour Consultation.
This was a particularly in depth colour consultation. Taking into account the decoration in the adjacent room and the existing elements in the kitchen, I painted up several large samples in the 20% sheen advised upon. This way the client could take her time to decide which colour would be perfect for her by propping the samples up around the kitchen and allowing the changing light to show how the various colours behave. In the end, she chose a soft, pale contemporary grey.
The Hand Painting Process
To begin with, I removed the doors and drawers and took them away to be painted in my studio. This allowed for the client to still be able to use her kitchen with the least amount of upheaval. Once the doors and drawers were completed I painted the kitchen cupboard carcasses in situ. The first process in repainting a kitchen is degreasing. This needs to occur even on the most pristine of kitchens as any grease left, even from fingerprints can create a resist, leading to poor adhesion. A full sand down is next. On previously painted kitchens this can be more of a full grind down. Then the adhesion primer is applied in 1-2 coats. I use Teknos Futura 3, an oil based specialist primer that I know works perfectly in tandem with the Teknos Futura Aqua 20 topcoats. The primer is left for 16-24 hours to cure before a light sand is given. In some areas 4 coats of the Teknos topcoat were required. On heavily grained oak kitchen cabinets, such as this one, a couple more coats than usual are needed in areas to grain fill. Once the carcasses are fully painted the reassembly can begin. This is my favourite part of the commission as the transformation is profound and impressive .
Hand repainting oak kitchen cupboards provides a cost effective and stunning makeover to a dark and dated wooden kitchen. It also gives the client the chance to update and integrate appliances and elements that would not necessarily be as successful when trying to match the old orange hue of the oak of the existing kitchen.
I will happily give advise on whether a kitchen can be successfully repainted and can give a price from photos.