Prior to us buying our home it had been rented out for a number of years while the previous owner lived in Australia, I know this from our lovely new neighbours but also from the cheap as chips ‘renters’ kitchen that had been fitted by said previous owner (probably with help from his Dad.)
The cupboards are cheap beech laminate, the worktop is laminate with a granite effect, the tiles are (wonky) mosaic style in blue and there’s a small breakfast bar with stainless steel legs. The term ‘Shitchen’ suits it down to the ground.
Apart from painting the tiles white using V3 tile paint I have lived with this kitchen for 2.5 years whilst we cracked on doing up the rest of the house but the time has finally come to turn my attention to this unloved area of our home. As we are not planning on staying in this house long term, another 3 or 4 years maybe, the cost of completely replacing the kitchen is not really an option so I’ve really got to use my interior design imagination here!
One idea I considered was to paint the cupboards, I was thinking dark blue on the base units and white on the wall cupboards, so I decided to use my Instagram stories to ask for hints and tips with painting laminate kitchen units. The response was massive with people sharing their experiences and sending before and after pictures and also those asking me to share any information that I found – I bloody love the Instagram interiors community for this very reason!
So having read and replied to all the messages here is a breakdown of what I learnt.
- Scrub then scrub again using sugar soap. Make sure your units are squeaky clean before you even pick up a roller.
- You can paint the cupboards in situ so that you can paint both sides at the same time and don’t have to worry about re-hanging them after but if you do want to remove them then make sure you label them so you can put the kitchen back together with ease when done!
- To sand or not to sand? This divided a lot of people but for my type of units it seems you don’t need to sand as long as you use a good all in one primer such as Zinsser Bulls eye 1-2-3. I actually used this when I created a chalkboard on the side of my tall fridge freezer unit and it hasn’t chipped yet *touch wood!*
- Use a small foam roller for a smooth finish. I made the mistake of using a brush when creating my chalkboard and I’m left with a bumpy surface which isn’t ideal when trying to write your shopping list!
- Use a good quality top coat such as Farrow and Ball Estate Eggshell and apply at least 2-3 coats allowing enough drying time in between. No need for a varnish with paint like this but if you’re using a chalk type paint you might want to add a clear topcoat for protection.
- Plan for the long haul. If you want a decent looking finish then this is a job that can’t be rushed, it’s going to take several days if not weeks to complete and your house is likely to be turned upside down in the process
The best piece of advice I was given is that a painted kitchen will always look like a painted kitchen even if the job is carried out by a professional decorator, it might be a vast improvement on what you currently have but it’s not going to look like a brand new show kitchen when being updated DIY style.
Having said that, below are some examples of very talented people who have pulled off the painted kitchen to perfection!
I hope this has been of some help if you are thinking of taking on such a project however, for now, I have decided to embrace the beech (after all that!) I figure if I hang on to it for long enough it’s got to come back in fashion right?!
My plans are to re-tile (bye bye mosaics) but this time take the tiling right up to the ceiling removing the stainless steel back splash and the trim / built in lights above the cooker, replace the worktops, sink and tap, update the cupboard door handles as well as ditching the ‘breakfast bar’ and glass fronted unit above it in favor of open shelving as well as painting the walls of course and fitting a new ceiling light (if my electrician brother can squeeze me in at some point!) Best of all I’m planning on doing it all for under £750…..wish me luck!
Thank you for taking the time to read my very first blog post, if you have any questions at all why not get in touch?