Choosing the right colours for your fitted kitchen is important. But once you’ve made the choice, the real work begins. When you go from theory to practice, it becomes complicated: How do you find the right paint for your particular kitchen? How do you apply it so it’s effective and lasts for a long time? And finally, how do you keep it looking as good as it did on day one?
Finding the right paint for your kitchen
A fitted kitchen is a room like no other. The paint you use needs to be of a particular type to cope with all the trials and tribulations of the kitchen: splashes of water, spatters of oil, aggressive cleaning products, a high risk of staining, etc. These days, what choices are there when it comes to kitchen paint?
Glycero (phthalic) paint.
This is an oil-based (solvent-borne) paint which is known for its strong and persistent smell and the fact you need to use white spirit to clean your brushes. It was the most popular kitchen paint for a long time as it offers good coverage and is highly resistant to damp. This type of paint is now on its way out due to the impact it has on health and the environment.
While glycerol paint has fallen out of favour, water-based paint has become increasingly popular. It’s also water-resistant, although it’s sometimes criticised for being harder to apply and maintain. However, its success has led to a new-generation acrylic paint that’s every bit as good as glycerol and perfect when you’re looking to decorate your kitchen.
Kitchen and bathroom paint.
Designed especially for humid rooms, kitchen and bathroom paint is particularly resistant to mould and stains. You can’t go wrong!
If you don’t know how to distinguish an acrylic from a glycerol paint, then check the instructions for cleaning tools on the side of the tin. If it says you can clean your brushes using water, then it must be acrylic paint.
What kind of finish should you choose for your kitchen?
It’s usually a matter of choosing either a matt or satin finish. For a while, satin was the most popular choice for kitchens. Satin paint is usually more hard-wearing and can be wiped down without damaging the finish. It’s also really good in a small kitchen as it reflects light and gives the impression of more space. However, a matt finish is often chosen because it hides flaws and imperfections, plus it’s really fashionable right now when it comes to interior décor. If you decide to go for a matt finish in your fitted kitchen, then you must choose a suitable paint that’s hard-wearing and water-resistant. Finally, depending on the layout of your kitchen, you could incorporate different finishes, perhaps having just one matt wall and the rest satin.
Are you torn between the two? Then go for a velvet finish that’s halfway between matt and satin.
How should you apply and maintain paint?
Before you start painting in the kitchen or elsewhere, make sure the surfaces you intend to paint are clean. The walls must be clean, smooth and dry before you start to apply paint.
Applying an undercoat
You don’t always have to apply an undercoat, but it’s highly recommended if your walls have already been decorated many times over. With an undercoat, you’re starting from a neutral base in terms of colour, and it will also hold the new paint much better.
How many layers should you apply in the kitchen? There are one-coat paints available, but your eye is always the best judge. After your paint has been drying for the correct amount of time, check your walls in sufficient, direct light. If you’re using a good quality product, then two layers are usually enough. However, it’s always best to do too many rather than too few.
How do you maintain painted walls? It’s easy to maintain painted walls in a fitted kitchen. Drying time is essential when it comes to wall paint. In other words, you should paint the walls several days before your kitchen is fitted so they’re less fragile. Once the kitchen has been fitted and is ready to use, you should clean up stains as soon as they appear using soapy water. In the areas that see the most action (around the cooker and sink, for example), make sure you clean the walls regularly to get rid of grease and keep the paint-work looking impeccable.