Are you going loopy in lockdown? Do you already hate your kitchen?

10 days into #lockdown in Spain and we are all probably spending a lot more time in our kitchens than normal – preparing family meals is a necessity after all and shifting out of the armchair is pretty important too!

I’m a kitchen painter by trade so kitchens are very much ‘ma thang’. BUT I only ever seem to have time for other people’s kitchens, NEVER my own :0)

Don’t laugh………..I’ve come to realize that my kitchen needs repainting big time!!

It’s ancient now, done years of hard labor with 5 kids, their friends and various school sports teams who magically moved in over weekends and school holidays. Waaaaaaay beyond tired, it’s hanging on by a thread and some pretty exhausted hinges.

We’re quite rightly in quarantine in a bid to reduce the terrible effects of COVID-19 Corona Virus so painting just ain’t happening! I live 20 mins away from my closed workshop and all suppliers are closed and safe too.

I’ve got clients waiting to have their kitchens refinished and bless them we have no idea when we’ll be back to something vaguely regarded as ‘normal’.

SOoooooooooooooo what CAN we do? How can we cope with cabin fever in our kitchens without spending ANY money because we CAN’T?

Here are 4 ideas to relove your kitchen which won’t cost a penny/cent and make your kitchen a happier place even in lockdown.


Yep, it’s that easy! It’s the single, biggest and most effective method of making your kitchen look like new.

A deep clean is the first thing I HAVE to do to old, wooden kitchens and they immediately start to look better even if they’re nearly worn out.

Warm, soapy water and a soft cloth will buff up doors and work surfaces. Old toothbrushes are great for hard-to-get-to corners.

Avoid using harsh cleaning products as they will cause damage over time even on laminate surfaces.

Rinse and thoroughly dry afterwards.

Wipe out cutlery drawers and cupboard interiors – cleanliness truly saves lives.

Microfiber cloths can be machine washed over and over again without disintegrating and are ‘kind’ to kitchen surfaces.

Spanish restaurants use neat Gin or Vodka to polish cutlery which polishes and cleans – clear alcohol is marvelous for removing blemishes too.

Try neat lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda or white vinegar to scrub mould from silicone behind sinks.

Clean, clean, clean! The sparkle will make you feel good, use up some of that excess energy and just might have been on your ‘to-do’ list anyway.


If you can’t clean away rusty marks turn your handles over or ‘hand’ them so that the marks don’t show.

If they’re wobbly or the ‘thread’ has gone inside the handle try a little bit of tin foil to give the bolt something to bind to – we use these tricks all the time if replacing handles isn’t in the budget.

If the metal on older handles has blackened try soaking them in WD40 if you have any then rub off with paper towel to bring the shine back.


Clear those worktops! Nothing says NEW like a tidy work surface FREE of anything surplus and it’s much easier to keep clean. (Cleaning and hygiene have never been more important than at the moment)

Group items together to reduce their footprint.

It’s far easier to create some culinary wonder if you’re not fighting a battle with the household dumping ground.

If it’s not used daily then put it away, your #lockdown self will thank you for it.


If the vinyl plastic wrap is coming off doors and drawer fronts try using clear sellotape to fix it down for now – I recently refinished a kitchen for a couple who had successfully ‘fixed’ their kitchen like this to hide the damage until it could be redone.

This will provide a temporary fix for edging too if you don’t currently have access to glue.

YouTube has videos on how to adjust hinges to straighten up doors if you’re feeling brave!

These ideas are simple, FREE but effective and will ‘buy’ you some time if your kitchen is driving you mad!

Taking charge of your kitchen space will help the quarantine period go a little easier, this is an adventure that none of us knew was going to happen and we need to adapt within the confines of our homes.

Be patient, like all storms this challenge will pass and we must keep going. Keep safe and well folks and see you on the other side.

To my existing clients I’ll be back soon, eager, stronger and armed with a van load of cleaning products. We can DO THIS x

Samantha Bayley – The Painted Kitchen