I was asked to paint  this French Cherry wooden kitchen by Paula Monaghan Interiors, she sent in some photos for a quote to do the job and we met at the Villa in Riviera  just before starting the project to discuss colours.

Paula has a great eye and had ‘Aunty Izzy’s’ drawers which were in the lounge and a vision of ‘sooty charcoal’ as the colour inspiration. It couldn’t have blue undertones and had to be strong enough to stand up to the black granite worktops. Matched to Valacryl S-8000-N, I think it falls somewhere in-between F&B Downpipe and Railings, both of which are classic colours for kitchen cabinetry. It worked really well with the black tops and tiling and all the metals. The kitchen is flooded with sunlight from mid-morning onwards which stops it from looking sombre and instead looks super rich and bold.

Like a lot of 15 year old kitchens there was some damage to the bottom of the end panels – these were sanded back and filled in 2 separate goes, the first to build up and the second to smooth it out again. The interiors of the 3 glass-fronted wall units were also painted to match the new colour. All the hardware is always removed to make painting sharp and I removed the glass canopy above the extractor for the same reason.

Cherry is a hardwood and is particularly good at withstanding the usual nicks and knocks of kitchen life so the doors were in good shape and after thorough cleaning, prepping and sanding at the workshop had 3x undercoat to give a good base for the 3x top coats.

Did have a wobble when I thought that I’d somehow lost a handle but then realised that it must still be in the dishwasher! It’s a quick way to bring back some sparkle to handles and hinges and add that finishing touch.

Deryn Beynon repaired the sink unit base, moved one of the oven housings to correctly align the dishwasher door and put the kitchen back together again – having this done properly makes ‘good’ work look ‘great’ work and is essential to finish the project looking like new.

So we left the kitchen in Riviera looking a little more glamorous and with a fresh lease of life. Almost on cue the kitchen was very sunny for the photographs!

Next time I need to remember to ask who ‘Aunty Izzy’ is, I wonder if she would have approved.

Samantha Bayley
The Painted Kitchen



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