How to Repaint your Kitchen

How to Repaint your Kitchen

Kitchen Makeover Project

 How to Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinetry 

Completed by Lee Simone of Imaginative Interiors
As featured in Reloved Magazine 

A brand-new kitchen can transform a home, and even increase its value if you're looking to sell- but it doesn't come cheap. Follow our steps to revive worn-out and tired-looking cabinets with a professional hand-painted finish. 

You Will Need


- Cleaner/Degreaser Solution 

Wood Filler

- Tikkurila Otex Adhesion Primer

Tikkurila Helmi Furniture Paint


High Quality Masking Tape

Cleaning Cloths

- Lining Paper/Dust Cloths

Sandpaper/Sanding Pads

- Good Quality Brushes and Rollers

How to Give your Kitchen a Complete MakeoverRepainting your Kitchen Cabinetry

Ask any professional decorator, furniture restorer, or kitchen painter and they will always tell you that the key to a good finish is in the preparation. So before you even go near your paint brush ensure you take the time to remove the doors, degrease surfaces that will be painted, protect non-painting areas, fix any imperfections and sand thoroughly. 

As a professional kitchen painter, this project took Lee Simone three weeks to complete. So if you're doing it yourself, it's important to either set aside a good block of time, or if you're tackling it on evenings and weekends ensure you work methodically in stages to minimise disruption and ensure the best job possible. 

Step 1)

Remove the doors and handles from their hinges and fittings. This first step is important to follow, as although it may seem a fus, it means you will get a better result overall. And, if you are doing to do a job, do it right first time! 

Top Tip: 

The Key to achieving a professional finish is preparation, preparation, preparation!

Step 2)

Thoroughly clean and degrease every surface that you intend to put paint on. Over the years, kitchens can build up all sorts of dust, dirt, grease and general yuck. If not removed, this can cause adhesion problems with your paint, and it could end up peeling or flaking off. 

To prevent this from happening, apply a good quality cleaner and degreaser with a rag or cleaning cloth and then wash off with water. You don't need to completely soak the surface with either cleaner or water, but just enough to wash the surfaces down. 

Step 3)

Protect all of your non-painting areas. Even those of us with the best intentions can't guarantee that the odd splash of paint wont' get on other surfaces. Mask off the floor, worktops and appliances with good quality lining, protective coverings and a good quality masking tape. 

Step 4)

Fix any imperfections, such as dents, scratches or marks to the woodwork. There is a a range of different wood fillers available, depending on the size of the mark you need to fill. Allow time for drying and to sand the surface level afterwards. 

Step 5)

Thoroughly and evenly sand every area that is going to be painted. You don't have to go back to bare wood, but you are looking to create a key. A key is a roughened surface that your paint can adhere to. You can use a variety of sanding pads, or for those of you with access to an electric sander this may be quicker.

Once complete, wipe down the surfaces to remove any dust. And breathe, this is the preparation mostly done! Now onto the fun bit...

Step 6)

Priming is another key part of achieving not only a good finish, but a finish that will be long-lasting and durable. This is especially important in such a busy area as a household kitchen. 

The Otex Adhesion Primer can be applied by brush, roller or spray and can be tinted to any colour. We recommend tinting the primer to match your topcoat, as this will create a better depth of colour on your finished surface. Allow to dry for 24 hours. 

Top Tip: Priming Cabinetry

If you're changing from a very dark wood kitchen to a much lighter colour, it may be necessary to apply two coats of primer

Sand between coats and always allow the primer to dry for 24 hours. 

Step 7)

Not everyone will need to do this step, but if you do find that after applying the primer you have a slightly uneven finish or have obvious brush strokes, you can always give the surface a light sand with a fine-grade sandpaper or pad. 

Step 8)

Apply the first coat of Tikkurila Furniture Paint using the 'laying on' and 'laying off' techniques. When you're happy with each cupboard front and surface, allow the first coat of paint to dry for 16 hours. Be wary of any bumps, scratches, fingers or paws during this drying time.

Top Tips: How to Lay on/Lay off Paint

For a professional finish, you should apply the first coat of paint with a roller and then proceed to level out the paint using a brush, known as 'laying on' and 'laying off'

With a foam roller, apply an even coat to the surface.

You will notice that the painted surface is not completely smooth, as you will be left with an orange-peel effect and sometimes small bubbles. 

Take a brush and make long, sweeping strokes lengthways, softly along the surface. 

As you do this, you will see the paint begin to level. 

With each pass, soften your stroke and brush marks will lessen each time. 

Step 9)

Once again, if you're finding an uneven surface or brush marks in your paint you can give the surface a light sand with a fine-grade sandpaper to create a smooth finish. Gently wipe off the dust after sanding.

When satisfied with the surface apply the final coat of Tikkurila Furniture Paint using the same laying on and laying off technique. Leave to dry for 16 hours. 

For application, we recommend the Kana Synthetic Brushes and the Superflock 4" rollers.

Step 10)

Once dry, reattach the doors, tidy down the area and surfaces and reattach the handles. Although dry, the paint will take a week to fully cure, so be a bit gentle during this time and avoid any bumps or knocks to the painted surface. Also, although the surfaces are wipeable, avoid giving cupboards a good scrub for at least a month after you've painted. 

About this Project:

This project was completed by Lee Simone of Imaginative Interiors and featured in an article in Reloved magazine

Lee is a professional mural artist and decorative painter who is part of the Traditional Painter group who specialise in hand-painted kitchens. 

For details, visit Lee's website at: 

Or for the Traditional Painter website see

Alternatively, if you would like to do your own kitchen makeover, or are interested in re-painting your kitchen,

Please feel welcome to get in touch with our friendly sales team here at Holman Specialist Paints.

For further advice, tips, product information and orders:

Call us on 01793 511537 or email 

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