Upon entering a kitchen for the first time, one’s attention is likely drawn to the color and finish of the cupboards and furniture, making the choice of paint crucial. The selected color not only establishes the ambiance but also reflects a person’s taste and personality. Given the significant and versatile role kitchens play in a home, it becomes imperative for the finish to withstand the test of time.

Opting for hand-painted kitchens introduces vibrant character and artistic flair to the space. The craftsmanship involved in hand painting ensures a naturally beautiful appearance, a tactile feel, and the ability to swiftly address scuff marks, ensuring imperfections are promptly rectified.

Piant vs spray

When it comes to a spray-painted kitchen, cabinets and doors undergo a finishing process involving multiple layers of paint applied in a factory using a spray gun. This method is typically favored for achieving a contemporary aesthetic, characterized by smooth and uncomplicated surfaces.

Sprayed kitchens appear more man-made (which works fabulously for flat door kitchens aiming for a perfect, factory finish). This is due to the machine application alongside the lacquer can make the finish look unnatural. 

 Black kitchen cupboards

In comparison, hand painted kitchens tend to complement natural materials – especially shaker, wooden kitchens which lean more towards a traditional appearance. ‘With beautiful materials such as oak, why would you want to make that look like plastic?”

By contrast, the application of paint by hand can enhance a kitchen’s appearance. Hand-painted kitchens use brushes which follow the natural grain of the wood. Using a paintbrush allows craftsmen to access smaller, hard-to-reach nooks in the surfaces. Martin explains, ‘With wooden fitted kitchens you can get small gaps in the grain – paint helps fill them to make it look complete.’

In recent years, the popularity of hand-painted kitchens has skyrocketed. G&E believes this is because ‘with hand painting it looks real, alive, you get that unique, bespoke finish which you can’t get with spray painting.’ ‘in my experience you can hand paint something too good – people ask me for brush strokes because they love the bespoke look!’

Spray painting offers the advantage of speed, making it a quicker option. However, in the long term, it can pose challenges as surfaces become difficult to repair in the event of knocks, scratches, or chips. Unlike hand-painted finishes, where damaged areas can be easily touched up with a tin of paint and a brush, spray finishes, being a factory application, cannot be sanded down and reapplied. Remedying such issues typically involves returning the item to the workshop for a complete remake.

The Art of Hand Painting Kitchens

I’ve established a systematic approach. The preparation phase is extensive. I employ industrial wipes to thoroughly degrease the cabinets. After allowing them to dry, I utilize a robust extractor hoover to eliminate any lingering dust particles. Subsequently, I place them on a rack to settle before employing a tack cloth to remove any remaining dust,”

Following that, I apply primer and paint to the doors on a horizontal surface to ensure a smooth finish. Using a roller, I evenly distribute the paint. Subsequently, employing a bronson champagne brush, I delicately stroke it across the surface – a delicate process where excessive pressure may result in additional brush strokes. There’s an art to it.

Despite his extensive experience in the industry, G&E continues to exhibit passion and pride in our work. “You need to love it because it’s time-consuming. I have the drive to paint each kitchen better than the last. If it’s not perfect, I’ll redo it. I would never release a door from the workshop that I’m not satisfied with. I’ve been doing this since gor over 15 years and have never received a complaint in that time.”

Color & Character

As specialists in bespoke kitchens, we consistently advocate for going the extra mile to personalize our clients’ kitchens. Hand-painted finishes contribute depth to a space, as no two kitchens will have precisely the same appearance.

While a skilled painter can achieve a beautiful smooth finish, the surface’s inherent variation adds character to the entire kitchen, bringing the room to life.

I typically recommend hand-painted finishes for shaker kitchens or more traditional designs. From my perspective, a hand-painted kitchen seamlessly integrates into the fabric of the house, becoming an intrinsic part of the home’s furnishings, much like the windows, doors, or staircase. This imparts a sense of permanence, making it an integral element of the entire structure.

 Hand Painted Kitchen Cupboards

Additionally, hand-painted kitchens offer a broader spectrum of finish options. In comparison to spray painting, the manual process provides more flexibility in adjusting the level of gloss, matt texture, and tactile feel, along with fine-tuning the specific shade of the chosen color.

“I blend my finishes, ensuring that each kitchen is unique to the individual client. For instance, if a client desires stiffkey blue – a color many may choose – I customize the finish to make it truly bespoke for them.”

Tthe varying levels of finish, such as matt, gloss, or eggshell, in hand painting. Achieving the desired outcome involves skillfully managing these levels, allowing for adjustments like adding more sheen for a shinier appearance.

In terms of color choices, hand painting opens up almost limitless possibilities. In contrast to catalog kitchens that often present a restricted range, bespoke kitchens offer unparalleled versatility, allowing clients to unleash their personalities in their design choices.

I consistently advocate for clients to embrace bold colors, as the choice of color can significantly enhance or detract from the overall impact of a kitchen – the bolder, the better!

The importance of considering the amount of natural light in a kitchen, suggesting that darker spaces benefit from lighter shades to create a brighter ambiance. He also recommended the use of contrasting shades, such as pairing dark cabinets with lighter worktops or flooring to achieve a well-rounded aesthetic.

Bespoke hand-painted kitchens

Bespoke hand-painted kitchens bring a sense of individuality and timelessness to your kitchen space. According to Martin, “In today’s world, everything is geared towards speed and cost-cutting. If you truly want something done properly, with lasting quality for years to come, opt for bespoke hand painting!”

A notable advantage of hand-painted kitchens lies in their design flexibility. If one wishes to refresh the space in the future, it’s a straightforward process to repaint the kitchen in a different color.

In terms of maintenance and design flexibility, hand-painted kitchens prove to be highly convenient. The ability to easily touch up scuffs, coupled with the beautifully smooth, usually matte finish, allows for effortless cleaning and wiping. In comparison to spray paint, which is more prone to chipping, hand-painted surfaces offer a robust and hard-wearing finish that can endure as long as the cabinets themselves.

Hand-painted kitchens offer more than just a splash of uniqueness; they embody a timeless charm that transcends fleeting trends. Martin passionately emphasizes the value of craftsmanship in a world often driven by quick and economical solutions.

He further expounds, “In the rush for efficiency, there’s a compromise on the artistry and durability that come with bespoke hand-painting. When you invest in this meticulous process, you’re not just acquiring a kitchen; you’re securing a lasting piece of functional art tailored to withstand the test of time.”

Choosing bespoke hand-painted finishes is a deliberate departure from the mass-produced and temporary. It’s an investment in enduring quality, where each stroke of the brush carries the weight of expertise and dedication. As Martin aptly puts it, “It’s about more than just a kitchen; it’s about creating a legacy within your home.”

 two tone painted kitchen cupboards

Dominican College, Portstewart

Dominican College Portstewart, located in Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is a distinguished grammar school. Perched on a cliff with a commanding view of the Atlantic Ocean, it offers panoramic vistas of Portstewart’s promenade, the northern coastline of Northern Ireland, and the County Donegal hills in the Republic of Ireland.

The historical background reveals that Rock Castle, initially constructed by Henry O’Hara in 1834, underwent expansion in 1844. It subsequently changed ownership to the Crombie family before being acquired by the Dominican Sisters in 1917. The ethos of Dominican College goes beyond the mere transmission of knowledge and skills, emphasizing the pivotal role of nurturing students to think critically, evaluate situations, and make informed decisions.

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