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How to successfully repaint a kitchen

By July 19, 2022Home
repaint a kitchen

Until recently, the options for refreshing a kitchen with paint were limited to repainting walls, possibly the floor and the cabinets, only if they were made from solid wood. Now, however, every surface in the kitchen, regardless of the material, can be painted. I chatted with paint expert, Kate Gaynor from The Paint Hub to find out how to successfully repaint a kitchen.

Seek advice from your local paint shop

‘You can transform any room in your home quickly and cost-effectively with paint.’ says Gaynor. You just need to make sure that you have the right equipment. she explains. Visit your local paint shop for advice on how to repaint a kitchen, explain what you plan to do and get their recommendations about which products to purchase. You’ll typically need a primer, topcoat, brush, roller, and sandpaper. If you’re looking at painting a standard-sized kitchen, you should expect to spend in the region of about €200.

paint a kitchen Paint a kitchen

Choose the proper primer.

Paint technology has evolved a considerable amount in recent years. The number of surfaces that can now be painted to achieve a durable finish has grown massively. 

In the past, you could only paint a solid timber kitchen. Now, even a laminate or high gloss kitchen can be successfully repainted. ‘You can paint any type of kitchen’, says Gaynor. ‘It all comes down to buying the correct primer’, she explains. Historically, primers were limited in the surfaces where you could use them. 

Painting a laminate or glossy surface requires a strong adhesion primer. The primers job is to turn the smooth surface into a rough surface that the paint can grip onto. If you are painting a pine kitchen, Kate recommends choosing an isolating primer to mask the yellow tone of the wood and any knots. When selecting your primer, look for a recommended product for the surface you intend to paint. 

‘There is a primer for practically everything now.’ explains Gaynor. If you are unsure, seek advice from your local paint store. However, one of the only surfaces you can’t paint is lino flooring. Lino is a soft and flexible material, so it moves underfoot. A durable paint which is by nature hard will crack when you walk on it.

Update something you don’t like

Paint is also the ideal way to mask a feature in a kitchen that you don’t like. ‘If you have something expensive like a solid kitchen or black granite countertop that you don’t like, paint it.’ says Gaynor. 

When painting a countertop, always apply a final coat of sealer to ensure the surface is durable. The finished countertop, if painted correctly, should withstand heat, scrubbing and washing. But do bear in mind that paint won’t cope with hot pots coming straight out of the oven or chopping directly onto the painted surface. And remember that the best thing about painting something is if you decide you don’t like it after painting it, you can always sand it back to how it was before.

repaint a kitchen

Make sure the surface is spotless.

One of the most important tips for how to repaint a kitchen is to make sure all surfaces are spotlessly clean before you start painting. This is true for any painting project. If the surface is spotless, the paint can penetrate and will last. Kate advises cleaning down surfaces at least twice and finishing with a final wipe of very hot water with a white cloth to check for any residue. ‘Dust is one of the most serious contaminants when it comes to paint’ warns Gaynor. Dust forms a web which prevents the paint from gripping onto the surface. Avoid doing anything that raises dust before painting.

How to deal with old painted surfaces

If you’re working on a surface that has already been painted, you only need to remove the areas of old paint that are not well bonded. You can leave the rest. An electric sander or medium-coarse sandpaper should remove what you need. Kate recommends always choosing the right sandpaper for the job you are doing. If you choose something too coarse, you risk scratching the surface you are working on. Once you’ve removed the old paint and you’re happy with the surface, you should apply a water-based primer and paint. The reason for choosing a water-based product is to avoid any chemical reaction between the old and new paints. 

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Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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