I’ve been putting off writing this blog because I knew it was going to be a biggie, but then I reminded myself that nothing could have been bigger than the revamp itself so I’ve sat myself down and started writing.
Way back in July I was contacted by Industville to see if I was interested in working with them on a campaign to bring industrial urban energy into interiors. I took one look at their website and said yes straight away. Id been thinking about adding some statement lighting into the kitchen space, although we are not short of light in there already, as we have down lighting from spots and under unit lighting, I just felt the kitchen lacked a central focal point and really felt we would benefit from some kind of additional feature lighting. Once the lighting was in place I stood back expecting to be happy, but unfortunately the lighting was so urban and cool and my white gloss kitchen was not!!!!
My husband had fitted us our first proper ‘grown up kitchen’ one Christmas about 10 years ago when I was heavily pregnant with our child. It was a stressful time! We were in the middle of doing a two-story extension that had been going on for a few months and involved major room swaps to the existing layout. I had refused to move out for a while so the final push could take place and we could have a kitchen before the baby arrived. It was Christmas and I wanted to be at home so that was that.
All I can say about that Christmas was it was shit. We had no doors or windows on the back of the house, dinner was cooked on a camping stove and my husband got so drunk down the pub, he fell asleep when we came home and didn’t want to eat. However once the crap Xmas day was done I reminded him he’d had his holiday and we needed to crack on to get the kitchen in before the baby’s arrival in a few weeks.
We had chosen a white gloss kitchen from a local company. Unfortunately I didn’t listen to advice from anyone pointing out, a white gloss lacquered door was a really bad choice for a growing family, ‘Nah ill just clean them’ I said. What I didn’t take into account was that my son would love driving his wooden trains over the doors or my daughter would like banging them with any utensil she could find. So you can imagine after a few years they started to look bashed up and also very dated.
My style had changed I was desperate to replace all the doors with shaker style ones and paint them black. Id priced this up a few times and worked out it would cost about £1000. We have 15 doors and 11 drawers so quite a lot. I knew we couldn’t really afford it, so once the Industville lights were all in place, I stood back and just knew I had no choice but to paint the doors. I had just tiled the splash back area in white metro tiles and hoped it was going to be enough to brighten up the kitchen, but sadly it was not.
Anyone who followed my stories or progress at that time would remember I decided to do this on the very last week before the kids broke up for the summer. Absolute madness, but I didn’t care. I just quietly but firmly said one night, ‘I’m painting all the doors tomorrow’. I knew I had some paint in the house so I could just crack on without having to order anything in. I had worked as a painter and decorator for years pre kids, so have had lots of experience painting kitchens so I estimated 5 days would be enough to do 15 doors both sides and 11 drawers. So on a boiling hot sunny morning in July, I got a screwdriver and the sandpaper out and made a start.
To start with I removed all the handles, as I knew I was going to replace them. This then left holes where the old ones used to be so I filled all the holes with a Ronseal two pack filler. Once the filler had hardened I lightly sanded all the doors/drawers with 240g sandpaper. The idea is just to create a light key on the surface and get rid of grease etc. but make sure not to scratch up the doors. I used an electric sander and 120g sandpaper just on the filler bits were the holes were, only because I wanted them super smooth.
Next I dusted all the doors down, hoovered up and wiped all the doors with a damp cloth to get rid of any bits. As the doors now had no handles and were impossible to open, I made some tabs out of masking and stuck those onto each one so they could still be opened.
Priming the black doors
I had decided I was going to go for a two-tone kitchen. Black doors on the bottom and white on the top, as I felt black on both would be too dark and hard looking. From my previous painting experience, I know how important prep is so wanted to use a primer that would provide great adhesion. I decided on Rust-oleum Universal All-Surface Paint in Matt Black, which is a paint and primer in one and read well for using on plastic surfaces. It is a solvent based product and I must warn you, it stinks and is completely toxic and needs to dry overnight before you paint the next coat. The paint is really gloopy so I thinned it with white spirit and used a small good quality flock fibre roller to apply the paint and a small brush to cut around the hinges and get in the corners. Make sure the doors are well covered in paint, as this layer is the base to all future coats.
NB. As I was painting both sides, I painted the doors/drawers hung in situ, but when the paint was dry for each coat, I took them off and painted the hidden hinged edge then put them back on again.
Priming the white doors
I used a different primer for the black and the white doors, which might seem strange, but the reason for this was, I knew from previous experience that black eggshell takes a lot of coats to build up to the correct depth of colour and I didn’t see in any point in using a white primer followed by a grey undercoat, with 3 coats of eggshell ontop, especially when I only had 5 days to crack the whole thing! So therefore I went for the Rust-oleum Universal Matt Black for the bottom cupboards but for the white top cupboards I decided to use Zinsser B-I-N, which is shellac based white primer. Its great for high gloss plastic and pretty much adheres to anything. It’s really thin and is a metholated spirit based paint that needs a really good stir before use. Again I used a really good quality flock fibre roller and a small brush to apply this. Be warned, its very drippy!
NB. Once both the primers were properly dry (overnight is best really), I used a piece of 240gritt sandpaper to very lightly wipe over the doors and get off any bits dried in the paint or any bits of fluff stuck to them. I do this in between each coat. Don’t press too hard or you’ll take the paint off.
Priming the carcasses and filler panels
I just painted all the leading edges that you could see of the carcasses, where the doors and drawers close, as I didn’t see any point in painting inside them. I followed the same process as above for painting with black paint and white paint. To do this you will need to remove all the doors and drawers so you can do it easily and neatly. I did it free hand rather than taping up as I find that the paint often bleeds under the masking tape. Also do the same for any end panels or filler panels round corners.
Eggshelling the black doors and carcasses
I then went through the process over the next few days of painting all the bottom doors and drawers in Farrow and Ball Off Back Exterior Eggshell. I did 3 coats in total just to be on the safe side with coverage and depth of colour. I probably could have gotten away with 2 coats but decided as I’ve got kids and messy ones at that, 3 was probably best. I used the Exterior Eggshell as its harder wearing. Again I used a flock fibre roller and a small brush and was really careful not to get any lines when rolling, also sanding lightly with 240g in between coats. Any build up of paint between coats needs to be really lightly sanded down. For the final coat, its really important that each roll of paint needs to finish in the same direction, otherwise it will show up when its dry and look patchy. I always roll the paint on and then go over the whole door finishing on the downward stroke.
Eggshelling the white doors and carcasses
I used Farrow and Ball All White Exterior Eggshell and did exactly the same process as I did for the black doors except I only painted 2 coats.
To paint the kick boards I took them off and did them outside with a roller while they were lying flat. I followed the process as before for priming with the Rust-oleum Universal Matt Black paint and then painted 3 coats of Farrow and Ball Off Black Exterior Eggshell ontop. I waited until they were properly dry and them put them back on.
I wanted a vintage style cup handle in a copper finish. I looked at loads online that were absolutely gorgeous but as we needed 26 I knew we couldn’t afford to spend a months mortgage on them, so was chuffed to bits when I eventually found some on Esty from a company called Something Different (@something_different_showroom) that were really well priced. They arrived reasonably quickly and I’m pleased with the overall quality, although they weren’t supplied with screws, which was slightly annoying as I didn’t previously know this, but luckily I managed to get some that are an ok match from my local hardware store.
So that’s pretty much it. Its sounds like a lot of work and to be honest it was, but like childbirth I’ve forgotten all about the pain of it now and of course it was totally worth it, and I’m loving the results!! So I would urge any of you thinking about doing it to give it a go, but just leave yourself a week clear when you can just crack on without being interrupted and make sure you tag me in any makeovers and I’ll share on my Instagram stories. Two months on in a busy household family kitchen, it’s holding up well. I’ve cleaned and wiped down the doors when they have needed it and everything is fine. So far no chips in the paint!!!!!
*This blog post was not sponsored in any way. All thoughts and words are my own.