Kitchen Painting Techniques

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Overview

Paint is an inexpensive and practical option for adding color to your kitchen. Even the most expensive buckets of paint cost less than $200, and you have the option to paint your room by yourself or hire a carpenter - it's up to you. You have complete control over mixing, matching, and blending colors to achieve your perfect shade, whether it's lavender, yellow, or blue. Because paint is inexpensive, you can swap colors after a few years to redesign your space as you wish. Keep your kitchen looking new by painting your walls and ceiling frequently - you'll increase the value of your home, and even more importantly, you'll have a space that you completely enjoy.

Benefits of Paint

Your kitchen is a space in your home that is prone to accidental spills. No matter how careful you are, fingerprints and splattered food are bound to happen. Paint, unlike other options such as wallpaper is easy to clean, so it is relatively long lasting. You could probably go a few years before your paint starts to peel and face to the extent that a reapplication is necessary. Paint also provides versatile options for decorating. You can blend colors, create accent details, and incorporate patterns to create larger effects.

Drawbacks of Paint

Your kitchen is prone to a number of atmospheric changes - your space can quickly shift from warm and humid to cool and dry. The result of these changes in temperature is that paint, like any other material, will endure damage. With proper ventilation, paint can last for several years; however, if you would like something that lasts longer, you may want to try a different material such as tile or marble, which both last longer and are easier to wipe down and clean. If you use another material, keep in mind that you won't be able to use it everywhere, and you may need to use some paint or wallpaper for at least part of your kitchen.

Process

Believe it or not, the task of painting kitchen walls and cabinets is more complex than just applying a coat of paint.

First, you need to make sure the area is clean and free of clutter. If you are planning to paint cabinets, you will need to sand them down before using a coat of primer. In some instances, if you want the wood pattern and texture to show through the paint, you may not need to use primer. In most instances, however, you will need to use primer, especially if you want to cover up the wood texture altogether. You will have your choice of different primers to use, but you will need to make sure that it is compatible with the type of paint that you are using. Once your cabinets are sanded and primed, they will be ready for painting. Consider detaching the cabinet doors and painting them outside if the fumes are too intense. Apply one or multiple coats - two or three should be enough. Your goal should be to use as much paint as possible without allowing any dripping.

If you are painting your walls, you should expect to take at least one day to complete the process.

Accent Details

An accent trim can add style, personality, and vibrancy to a painted surface. The basic concept is straightforward: paint your ceiling and door trims a different color from the main shade. Accent details can add a sophisticated touch to an otherwise bland color scheme.

When choosing colors for our accent trim, select a shade that is lighter and brighter than the main color. Provide enough of a contrast so that the color variance stands out. If you have a bright yellow kitchen, for example, choose a white shade of paint for an accent trim. If you are an interior decorating beginner, you will likely want to stick to neutral shades, especially if your walls are painted a more vibrant color.

Accent Walls

Accent walls are common in bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. They create an overall effect of a dominant wall-adding bright shades to a room without risking a cluttered or chaotic look and feel.

In a kitchen, an accent wall serves the functional purpose of an aesthetic divider. If you have a dining area or breakfast nook, consider painting an accent wall around that area. This technique will create a subtle and visually appealing division between your kitchen and your eating space.

Accent walls are typically vibrant and bright shades that contrast with the other walls in the room. For this reason, they produce the most aesthetically pleasing effects when the other walls are a dull or neutral shade.

Textures

You may have seen how paint textures can be used to cover up design flaws on walls and ceilings. Typically, texture paint is very thick and granulated so that you can produce a variety of effects such as a slightly three dimensional design or rustic design. You can add texture to your walls by using a paint roller or even spray paint for an artistic quality that resembles graffiti.

In a kitchen, textured walls may be difficult to maintain. Textured surfaces are difficult to wipe clean, and a kitchen's humid atmosphere may cause grime and mold to proliferate. If you would like to achieve a textured look, try to keep the surface as flat as possible. Create the illusion of texture instead of actual texture. Sponging and flicking techniques can help you create feathered designs.

Faux Finishes

Overhaul your paint's color with faux finishing techniques that create the illusion of other materials such as marble or wax. You can even create a rustic and old fashioned look with some feathering techniques. Sponging and ragging are the simplest techniques for uneven surfaces and walls with flaws. You can even try techniques to smear paint.

With faux finishes a common error is to just "wing-it." As with any remodeling job, a faux finish requires strategic planning, so have a clear idea of what style you want before creating it. Unless you feel confident in your painting expertise, consult a guide for step-by-step instructions.

Last Updated: July 22, 2011
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About Ritika Puri Based in California, Ritika Puri has worn a number of professional hats ranging from blogger to quantitative researcher, martial arts instructor, and cartographer. No matter what she does, she loves to write and specializes in topics related to home improvement, personal finance, and business. She writes regularly for Investopedia.com's Financial Edge section, and her work has appeared on SF Gate, Yahoo! Finance, and The Chicago Sun Times Online. She holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an M.A. in Demographic and Social Analysis from the University of California at Irvine.  

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