For a long, long time now, let’s not say exactly how many years, painting my kitchen units has been on my ridiculously long list of things to do. As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a savvy shopper and when Mr Chandelier & I first saw the Fired Earth French Oak Kitchen in their showroom I plotted and planned, (a very favourite pastime) a way to be able to afford it.
My plotting and planning paid off and we pretty much have a complete kitchen now, only 9 years later! However, yes there is always a however in this household, this has meant that we have purchased the kitchen bit by bit. The main units were bought by repeatedly going to their factory sales and purchasing either ex-display pieces or cancelled customer orders which generally tended to be roughly half price. Also because we weren’t buying everything all at once, we could semi-recover financially before the next piece came up – I’m not sure Mr Chandelier would not agree with the semi-recover financial bit at all, but you know what I mean… hmmm….!
We have also purchased one wall unit and an island unit from Ebay and my very clever builder / carpenter Mr Chandelier, has adapted a base unit into a wall unit. We still have quite a bit of adapting to do, particularly on the Island unit, and it has been more than a little painful at times, but it has meant that we will soon (well soon meaning a few months!) have a complete lovely solid French Oak Kitchen which we would otherwise not have been able to afford. Obviously, I am not accounting for the time and love we have lavished on it as it may well have come out more expensive, but we will just brush on by that shall we.
The downside of buying a kitchen in this way does of course mean that even though all the units are meant to be the same colour, the tone never quite matches, although we are perfectionists and most people probably wouldn’t have noticed. However, if I had been happy with the colour then I probably would have left it. The units were meant to be cream but they were a very yellow cream and, much as there is nothing wrong with that, it ‘jars’ with my pottery and the colours that I have in my kitchen so they had to go.
So, paint colours. I absolutely adore my Greengate & Susie Watson pottery and it adorns my home in many different locations but it is in abundance in my kitchen. I tend to go for the very soft pastels, always soft pinks, soft greys, soft blues & duck eggs and quite a bit of off white. With all that colour going on I needed to have a soft background and I tried many different off whites and greys and even duck egg greens before settling on Farrow & Balls Ammonite. I have used this in my Craft Room and as soon as I tried it in there I just knew it would be right for the kitchen and thankfully it is.
Our kitchen is very long, it is approximately 31 foot and has 2 windows and 2 sets of french doors, one side faces South and the other North so the paint colours we chose do change throughout the day. Sometimes Ammonite appears to be very Taupe in colour and sometimes more grey. You can see from the photo below of the units I have painted, that the far right one is more grey and the others more taupe. The more taupe ones are a little more blocked from light by the island unit. We put Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin on the walls which is pretty neutral, but again can appear more white or cream in the darker areas and even seems to have a tinge of green in some lights but overall it all works and more importantly, we love it and it is of course, another tick on my never ending list!
I started painting the units in January (so Mr Chandelier says!) and I have done 7 so far and have another 3 plus the island to do. They are extremely laborious and time consuming and cause quite a mess just doing one, plus I am running a business and have 3 children and I am doing many other house projects, so I kind of have to do it that way.
The problem is, that I have to really heavily sand them back as I am distressing the edges of the units. I then have to apply 5 coats of paint – 2 good quality undercoats and 3 of my chosen Ammonite eggshell. If I don’t sand back that heavily, then when I distress them you will see the cream and I don’t want that. Unfortunately, I really dislike the sanding element but as Mr Chandelier likes to remind me when I complain about it, I could have left them cream!
I know it is predominantly self inflicted hard work but, as they are hard working kitchen units and, our house is often on show to both current and potential clients for both myself and Mr Chandelier, and it is my nature if I do a job to do it properly, then that is how it has to be. The worst is over now as the plate rack was just horrendous, made considerably worse as I had just had a small surgical procedure on my leg and had to try and paint it with my leg raised (yes I know, utter madness – don’t try this at home – never again!) We are also going to pay for a little sanding help for the remaining top units so I just need to motivate myself to picking up the ‘Kitchen Units paintbrush’ again to give it another boost. Then I ‘just’ need to finish the walls, finish grouting the floor and tiles, paint round the doors, paint the main door, paint the table and bench…………….omg – I can’t list any more – insert head in hands emoji here now!
How about you, ever thought about painting your kitchen units and what colour I would love to see.