TP Home | About | Newsletter | Blogs |

After all my questions, here is my first painted kitchen with photos

First of all, Thank you to everyone who has given me so much help and advice and so enabled me to do what I think is a good job on my first kitchen painting job.
I hope it is OK to mention Tony Hiscocks of Corona Brush fame for firstly letting me have a couple of the wonderful Corona brushes to try out but also for getting a few more to me in a rush when a major decorators merchants had failed to get me some despite over 2 weeks notice (and I am still waiting to hear from them !)

I spent a long time reading and learning, but you cannot predict some problems…
The weather meant that my vehicle was snowed in for the first few days - not good when you discover that the Mythic paint that was specially ordered in for me was tinted in a close-but-not-close-enough colour. When I finally could get out the shop that mixed it were very good at sorting out the problem for me and spent almost 2 hours mixing several different colours until a perfect match had been made, but as more Mythic was going to take 4-5 days to get in I had to go with Farrow and Ball Estate Eggshell.

The kitchen had been painted in the past, but clearly the attention to detail was lacking with runs, serious brushmarks and lots of this sort of thing -

First of all, all 34 doors and the drawer fronts were removed and degreased with Krud Kutter, everything was masked up and protected with lining paper. Doors were numbered, new doors and drawers were drilled and fitted to check.
A Mirka Abranet hand held sanding pad was used and connected up to my Henry.
I did my best to get rid of as many of the brushmarks which took hours, but having not done any work where attention to detail was so important for a long time it was more enjoyable than I expected - a kettle, my ipod and some Ginger Nuts helped too !
I used some 3M blue masking tape and also some Tesa Precision yellow tape which I preferred over the blue.
I mixed Cover Stain with about 15-20% Owatrol, pulled on my facemask and primed it all up - the mask did its job really well, but made the bridge of my nose so sore and swollen - maybe I am an odd shape or maybe it was on too tight.
I used an Axus mini roller with their Lime roller covers and a variety of Corona brushes (mainly my beloved Knight, but also a Cody and a Kingston) along with a Proform Picasso and a Wooster Koter mini and pro dooz for the rest of the room.

Just to point out that these were the brushmarks I was getting rid of, not my own creation…

The whole job took me longer than I had expected and is tiring - the focus needed to keep going to as high a standard as I could made for sore and red eyes, but it has to be one of the most enjoyable in many ways - not least down to the fact that my clients have already asked me to do several other rooms, all with bookcases or elaborate cupboard doors. The worst part of the job was the commute - I live in Cornwall but stayed with my Mum in west London - the clients house was 29 stops on the tube across town, and took me just under 2 hours each way - on top of a 10-12 hour day and with the snow and ice to contend with it was a slog.
Anyway, finished results -

That looks a first class job Steve, well done! I bet your feeling proud? And they say painting is easy!!

It does look classy Steve, reflects the work and effort that went into turning the kitchen from DIY hell to a beautiful feature. (I presume it wasnt a pro who did it last time, I don’t recognise having been there before!)

Looks like you have all the good kit - 3M masker, Corona brushes, biscuits… Corona are associates of TP, delighted to hear a shout out for their brushes from a 3rd party :slight_smile:

I wish the makers of Ginger nuts were TP associates too btw.

Anything that you would do different next time?

Andy - I don’t think it was your work, unless you were wearing a blindfold and only had a 4" brush to work with…
As for doing things differently - the one thing I would do differently is , as you suggested in another thread, work on a daily rate, not a price given my lack of experience in this field.
I quoted for the work without really knowing what was involved so under-priced it, and have just put in my invoice at the quoted price - I would not be surprised if my client actually pays me more than I am asking as she seems to understand my situation. As you may remember I asked you to recommend someone who might be able to do a better job, but my clients decided to go with me in part as they know me and are happy to leave me in their house. As they know, the work took me a few more days than expected but I do not ever go back on a price, so lets see !
The other thing I would do differently is make sure I have all materials on site before I start. I had ordered my paint from a local and highly recommended shop and took in a door to be analyzed - sadly the resulting paint wasn’t close enough so I was left in a panic and ended up using a paint I had not used before as getting more Mythic in was going to take a few days - not good for one who wanted to be in control and as prepared for anything as possible.

And to update this, my clients emailed me last night to say that they have paid a fair bit more into my account than I invoiced them for - how wonderful is that !

your first kitchen steve…ru sure…it looks fantastic…well done


[quote]Quote from stevewestern on January 30, 2013, 09:00
And to update this, my clients emailed me last night to say that they have paid a fair bit more into my account than I invoiced them for - how wonderful is that ![/quote]

Excellent result. Who says doing it right and being conscientious doesn’t pay! Do you think they would have baulked at the quote had you quoted the final amount at the start?

Thanks Mick !

Andy - I think they would have been quite happy to pay if I had quoted the final amount in the first place - they know what a new kitchen would cost, and also had some idea of what a spray job was going to cost. My problem (well, one of them…!) is that I have little confidence in my abilities so tend to undervalue myself, and in this case I also went in without knowing what was involved. I think the big lesson here is that while I may not have the training and skills that people like you have, I was willing to put in the time to learn a little and also willing to do the job no matter if it took longer than charged for - another time I will go in better prepared, hopefully do a better job and with a more accurate quote. I doubt I’ll be competing with you in terms of quality of the work for some time mind…

I do need to say that without the help given to me on this forum I wouldn’t have done anything like as good a job, so a huge thanks to you and all the others who have given so much advice and guidance !

I think it is very commendable and refreshing for you to take on a job like that with the attitude you will do whatever it takes to get it as right as you can.

I know we get undercut massively on some jobs and you just shudder at what the decorator is going to do in the time they have allowed themselves. Missed coats and not a lot of prep are easy ways to make a low ball price “pay” but It isn’t common to have your attitude or application on a super tight price and go through the whole process correctly.

I am not saying we drop clangers on price very often, but you dont get it all your own way sometimes, and when we are faced with an issue and the prospect that we are going to lose money, just have to take it on the chin. If you look through some of the reviews, “nothing was too much trouble” is usually code for “took longer than they thought, but didn’t try cut corners!”

In the long run, you have to do the right thing. cheers.

evening andy
i agree with your sentiments. i have been decorating for over 30 years.and i will be the first to admitt.i have priced up jobs that have lost me money…but as u say you hv to take it on the chin…in my eyes keeping your self respect and professionalism is paramount also leaving a job " done right" and keeping the client happy brings its own rewards.


I used to work as the ‘handyman’ in an office which was full of arty types who were meant to be keeping art galleries and museums organized. Government funding meant they seemed to do little apart from discuss which piece of art should go where while drinking expensive coffee.
During major building works the whole place got repainted by the main contractors. There was a door that all the staff went through at least once a day, though only from one side. In the 8 years I worked there not one person noticed that it hadn’t even been primed on the back side. I came close to loosing any pride in my work as it seemed that most people just do not notice.
One day I found myself running late so didn’t bother with a second coat on a wall, planning to do it the following weekend. However, it was signed off by the office manager and I got paid. I left it and to this day it still bugs me that I didn’t make the effort - never again will I do that sort of thing, for my sake rather than anyone else’s !
This and a general lack of self confidence is why I need to be sure I am happy with the result. I have clients who I have worked for for over 20 years and who are now family friends - this is what matters far more than taking a hit on a job once in a while.

a phrase I learned in the John Lewis mamagement team ‘quality will always be remembered long after the price is forgotten’ -
and if we look after our clients with integrity, they will look after us by referrals and repeat business
dave d9 decor bristol

It is interesting to take ideas and approaches from other sectors and see if it applies to decorating. John Lewis arent a bad role model are they :slight_smile: Pile it high sell it cheap sadly is what a lot of the trade seems to focus on

Excellent work Steve.

You should be proud of yourself and your excellent attitude to your chosen trade. Having an attitude like that is what makes you a quality tradesman, it’s not just about putting paint on. This is why your customers paid you for what you are worth, and that is your testimony.

Good luck with future projects