Painting Kitchens

The kitchen is really the heart of most homes.

Painting kitchens is a very easy, high impact way to decorate or change the look and feel of your kitchen for a very reasonable price.

Kitchens in particular can be very costly to renovate. Cabinets, flooring, appliances…all of these will drive renovation costs through the roof.

Painting kitchens presents a low-cost solution to what is otherwise a very costly problem.

Chances are likely that you and your family spend as many of your waking hours in the kitchen as in any other room. Families and guests congregate there during meal times.

Kitchens are also said to be the number one room prospective buyers look at when purchasing a new home. No one wants a dark, dingy, outdated kitchen.

Thankfully, painting kitchens presents a very simple remedy.

I’ve attempted to lay out some helpful advice for painting kitchens as well as some ideas for decorating and creating great kitchen themes with paint.

One last tip…walls are not the only thing in a kitchen that can be painted. Don’t replace those old cabinets. Repaint them.

Click here for step by step instructions for painting cabinets.

TIP #1

Prepare Your Surfaces

When you decide to repaint your kitchen, preparing surfaces to be painted is especially important.

With all the cooking that goes on in a kitchen, oils, greases and dirt can build up on walls and other surfaces.

Be sure to clean the walls very well with a mild solution of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) and water. TSP is a good cleaner but a very bad base for paint, so make sure you wipe the surfaces down with water afterward to remove any TSP.

For any very bad stains/oily spots that the TSP solution will not clean, you may have to wipe using a rag soaked in mineral spirits. Mineral spirits helps to break down an accumulated greases or oils.

Lastly, prime all surfaces with a shellac/oil-based primer. This gives the paint a great base to adhere to and will keep paint from peeling and blistering.

TIP #2

Select the Right Sheen

Paint is sold in several different “sheen” or “surface lusters”. Each of these sheens has different pluses and minuses.

Gloss and semi-gloss paints have a high sheen, which means they will reflect light and show surface imperfections much easier. On the other hand, they are very resilient to moisture and staining. They can be wiped down easily with water.

Flat paints have no surface luster, which aids in hiding even small surface imperfections. Flat paint, however, is not nearly as durable as its glossier counterparts and hence is not advisable for painting kitchens.

My suggestion when painting kitchens is to tread the middle ground and use a satin sheen paint, which has a fairly low surface luster and yet is still washable.

This helps to hide surface imperfections and still provides a durable, wipe-able surface, a necessity for very moisture and mess prone areas like kitchens.

TIP #3

Select a Theme

A great idea when decorating any room is to choose a theme you like. This gives you a “jumping off” point to begin your decorating process. When painting kitchens, there are any number of popular themes you can choose from, or you can create your own theme.



Food Themes

The kitchen is one of the few rooms in which using food as a decorative theme is possible. Apples, grapes…you name it.

Borders and stencils are available for any number of food themes, and these decorative items create an interesting base from which to choose a paint color.

For example, red apples work wonderfully in connection with an Americana inspired decorating theme of red, white, and blue.


The Tuscan Theme

One of the most popular themes is the Tuscan style kitchen. Tuscany is well known for its sunny golden colors and textured plaster appearances.

One great way to achieve this look is to create a white or light yellow base coat and color wash a golden metallic glaze over top. Click here for more detailed instructions on color washing.

For added fun details, consider stenciling grapes or using a wine inspired border.


The French Country Theme

French country is another very popular decorating theme for painting kitchens. It is similar in some ways with the Tuscan theme, but has a few major differences.

Black, often a distressed black, is used often in French Country decorating. This is a great option for painting cabinets if you are using a French Country decorating scheme.

Sunny yellows and golds are very popular wall colors for this technique as well, though aged umbers and pale greens are also great color choices.

A common French Country decorating theme includes antique, country-inspired kitchen utensils and the use of roosters and chickens in artwork and hangings.


Browse Decorating Magazines

It would be literally impossible for me to cover all the possible decorating schemes/themes available.

Painting kitchens is a popular subject for magazines, however, and they can offer you some great, detailed ideas and pictures to help you make your decorating decisions, no matter what your style.

I hope this page has given you some ideas (or at least a starting point) for decorating and painting kitchens.

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