Thursday, 22 May 2014

Painting kitchen cupboards...even melamine!

How to go about painting melamine... I've done plenty of research on this subject and I must say, most of it recommends using a super primer like Zinsser or Blackfriars. I also found a few articles suggesting ESP. Mostly on forums where it was recommended by people who paint kitchens for a living.



I've known about ESP since the mid nineties when they mentioned it daily on ''Change That'' the greatest TV show known to man.
I really thought that this was a lazy persons product. For people who can't be bothered to sand properly or for people who are on telly and have a very short time frame in which to paint furniture. Being a total perfectionist, ESP and I never crossed paths.



Until I started researching painted kitchens. I read the words, ''chemically bonds the paint on to a surface'' and I was intrigued. Because that sounds pretty damn good to me.

And let me tell you, it IS pretty damn good. It's the most peculiar stuff. You wipe it on liberally, wait 10 minutes, wipe off the excess with a clean dry cloth, wait two hours and you can paint.

It really gives the greatest adhesion. There was a small area in my cabinet framework where I noticed a little residue of a sticky dot. I left it unpainted and when the surrounding paint was dry, I decided to sand it off. The surrounding areas were sanded too and that paint didn't shift. This was water based eggshell on plastic! I would have imagined that the paint would have peeled away very easily.



This stuff is amazing. Forget your chalk paints. Ugh, who'd want a chalk painted kitchen anyway? Forget your super primers. Definitely forget your cupboard paints! Have you read their reviews?
They just. Cannot. Compete. with ESP.

 I got mine on ebay for £25 with free postage. It's clear and thin like water so it stretches pretty far. One litre would be enough to do my 22 doors more than three times over.

As you can see I have one door up. I only had one handle, my sample handle but the others are coming tomorrow. I think I looked at every handle in the country.

I'm totally thrilled with my one solitary cupboard door. You know when you have a picture in your head? Often things don't turn out quite the same. Well this one has turned out just like it did in my head.

This post is not sponsored by ESP or Owatrol. I'm just a bit in love with it. If you're thinking of painting your kitchen doors, look no further.


before
after

I'm one step closer to having a nice kitchen for the first time ever.

You can see how I'm getting on HERE


Link


123 comments:

  1. OMG Emma Kate. If only you'd written this a week or so ago! I've had a torrid time painting an Ikea Billy bookcase. You would not believe the trauma, tears and tantrums. I really wished I'd just gone out and bought a new Billy bookcase in white. When I'm feeling brave enough I might blog about it but it really nearly pushed me over the edge. I used a useless cupboard primer (Crown) and I stopped counting after 6 coats of satinwood (yes, 6 bloody coats) because I just couldn't take it anymore *strangled cry.....* I may never get over it. xx

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    1. Oh no! I heard bad things about most of the cupboard primers and paints. I'm sorry I'm too late this time, but hey, you know for next time eh? Did it work out in the end after the 6 coats? xx

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  2. Perfect - I'm looking at painting my kitchen cupboards soon, they are in good condition just a little tired looking and I would almost certainly have gone for a cupboard paint if I hadn't seen this - ESP here I come :-) x

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    1. Another top tip is to use a mini roller on the flat bits. You get a really smooth finish like a factory spray job! xx

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  3. I loved Change That - afternoon viewing at its best!
    Your cupboard looks fab - we did something similar with 80s kitchen cupboards at my old house, and I painted them all a really pretty shade of blue ( it was the 90s). I think your muted tones and stylish handles look much better than my blue did!

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    1. Thanks Scarlet, I hear that pale grey kitchens are all the rage which does put me off as I'm not one to be trendy but the colour works with everything else and I'm really pleased with it. It's F&B Cornforth White and looks blue-grey/ beige-grey in different lights. Good old F&B. xx

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  4. the cupboard door looks bloody amazing. I have half a gallon of ESP unopened in my hoard.

    Re Ikea stuff, I've done a few in International cupboard paint, no probs ( it was in Poundland too)
    and loads in chalk paint & varnish - which look quite rustic, paint brush lines etc, but even the plumber liked them.

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    1. Thanks Teri, gerrit opened! I think International Paints are the only good one but they have a very limited colour range and no tester pots. Without a tester it could potentially be an expensive mistake. I wouldn't mind finding some in Poundland! xx

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    2. yes - the colours I have are a nice vintage green and a greyish blue - wouldn't do a kitchen in either of them myself, I expect that's why they ended up in Poundland.
      My poxy computer screen just died on me - pluh, blackness - am now viewing on a mini screen circa 2003. A tv died 10 days ago, what will be the 3rd screen?
      Eats chocolate.

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  5. Result! This is good news as I have often thought about painting my wooden veneer kitchen cupboard doors but what to do about the melamine sides. (one end shows) I'm glad you recommend a mini roller as this is what I have always used and get a professional finish with, pleased to hear you agree and have found nothing better.

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    1. You can use the ESP on the wooden veneer too. It's good on any non porous surface, even tile or glass. The most important thing is degreasing before you ESP.
      Mini rollers rock! xx

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  6. It looks fantastic! So pleased for you that it's turning out to be the makeover you hoped for :) xxx

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  7. I'm so glad its all working out well for you.x

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  8. It's looking fab so far, you must be chuffed to bits! I think doing it yourself on a budget is sooo much more rewarding than splashing out £20,000 (what? who does that?) Imagine how proud you'll be when it's finished! x

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    1. I'm sooo chuffed! I keep telling my husband how lucky he is to have me! xx

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  9. You have no idea how happy I am to have found this post! I have been searching all over the internet for products that yield decent results on melamine kitchen cupoards for a good 6 months. They seen to have some great products in America but I never found anywhere that shipped to the uk. And there was no way I was going to go anywhere near the crown cupboard paints and primers after everything I read on them.

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    1. Hooray! I'm planning a step by step post about how I got mine looking like this and what I might do differently next time so stay tuned! x

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  10. Success! The door looks great - now for the rest of them...
    ESP? I thought that meant Extra Sensory Perception! xxx

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  11. Looking FAB!!! I did our kitchen a few years ago. I used the ESP then its an amazing product.Can't wait to see the finished kitchen! xx

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  12. Good to know about this product, thanks for sharing! x

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  13. Hi Emma, doors look amazing, what a transformation! did you ever get around to doing a step by step piece? I really want to do my kitchen and would appreciate any tips!! Thanks, Lauren x

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    1. Hi Lauren, thank you. I have a half written post somewhere but I didn't publish it yet. I think most of it is covered in previous posts as far back as ''Here's the plan.'' and some more in between this one and that one.
      You're welcome to email me with any questions you might have. x

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  14. Did you undercoat after using the ESP or did you just go straight to using the eggshell? Thinking of using ESP to paint some old 1980 style wardrobe doors, but I'm not sure the best way to do it.

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    1. Straight to eggshell. I'd primed the wooden trims so I just used the ESP on the melamine parts and the edges. You don't need undercoat aswell. Good luck!

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  15. Hi Emma - nice job! Do you have tons of the ESP left over?

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    1. Thanks Rob, yes I do. A lifetimes supply of it!

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    2. Fancy selling your remainder? Am q local and planning a kitchen repaint

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    3. I'm only halfway through so I'm not done with it yet but I'll use it on other things. Sorry!

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  16. Hi Emma your kitchen door looks amazing. I am going to try and do something similar with my mums 1960's formica wardrobe doors. We did get a quote to get them professionally sprayed but it was hundreds of pounds so I have decided to have a go myself. I have found the ESP on Ebay but I just wondered if you could tell me please did you use the F&B paint for interior wood and metal? And also how many coats of paint did you give your door? Also does it need to be sealed with anything after it has been painted? Kind regards Sue

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    1. Hi Sue, thank you. No I used F&B waterbased eggshell. I needed about 4 or 5 coats as it goes on thin with a mini roller. (gloss roller and a brush on the inside corners...) The eggshell is very tough and my doors have stood up to tea dribbled down them, little muddy cat paws and general kitchen filth. I clean them with a tiny drop of fairy liquid and they really are as good as new. They don't need any further sealing. The MOST important step is the degreasing before you apply the ESP. I cannot stress that enough! Also let the paint cure for the full drying time on the can, between coats, not just when it feels dry. Good luck with yours!

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    2. Actually thinking about it, you might want a proper sized roller for wardrobe doors. If they do them in a smooth gloss. If you get bubbles, don't press too hard, just keep rolling them out. They'll disappear as the paint spreads further.

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    3. Thanks Emma that is really helpful Sue

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  17. Hi ive just been reading your artical and wonderd if this would work on wardrobes I want to paint them black, do I use ordinary gloss

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  18. Hi, yes this would work on melamine wardrobes. You can use gloss if you want a high shine or eggshell for a less shiny look. Definately use a gloss roller though as brush strokes will really show up on large flat surfaces. Good luck!

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  19. Hi, I've just moved into a house with an old 80's kitchen, I want to paint them but I'm unsure if I can, the cupboard doors are textured with a grain that runs straight down. I have used esp before and have got some in the garage from an old project but I only used it to paint an old varnished wardrobe and fire surround. Also what paint would you recommend when painting the cupboard doors?

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    1. Hi Rachel, ESP is for any non porous surface. If your cabinets are a dry looking wood surface then ESP wouldn't be the best way to go. If you think the wood is non porous (sealed, feels smooth and has a sheen) then ESP will be fine. You could test the porosity by wetting the wood to see if the water penetrates and soaks into the wood. It will darken if the water goes in.
      If the wood is porous, you won't need ESP as the paint will stick, but do use a primer.
      As for the paint, I used F&B eggshell (water based) but any waterbased eggshell will do. It's really tough and cleans beautifully. It won't need any further sealing. Just stay away from those cupboard paints! Enjoy!

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  20. Hi, love your kitchen, can you let me know where you got your handles from please? x

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    1. Thank you! I looked at every handle in the country. These are George Pull in Iron (128 mm) by Crofts and Assinder. I got them from More Handles. I got cup handles for the drawers which I haven't worked on yet. They are the Brecon cup handles and I think they came from Ironmongery Direct. They're all made by Crofts and Assinder so they're mix and match. I ordered loads of samples. Look at the Crofts and Assinder site for their full range. They're top quality.

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  21. Hi Emma,

    So glad that I have found your blog! We are thinking about re-painting our kitchen cabinets and I am desperately trying to avoid having to sand the cupboards first. Firstly, they are not real wood (mdf with wood effect plastic stuck on), and so I dont think they would actually take to being sanded and secondly because I am not a natural born DIYer.

    Just to confirm - you didnt sand your doors at all, and the paint took fine??

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    1. Hi Vicki, No sanding at all. The ESP makes the paint stick. You can even paint tile or glass with it. My paint is stuck fast and scrubbable which is rather important for kitchen doors. Save all your elbow grease for getting your doors squeaky clean before you ESP them!

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  22. This has just come in time for me thank you soo much, I have invested in a Wagner spray system and want to get painting everything in the house lol. starting with the kitchen cupboards which are woodlike melamine. can you tell me if this ESP is available in diy stores or only online? cant wait to get spraying.

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    1. You might find it in an independant diy store or decorators centre but I got mine (Owatrol) on ebay. You might find it on Amazon. Happy painting!

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  23. Hi, I liked your kitchen. Thanks for sharing cool designs with us.

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  24. Ek ..excited to hear ESP works well on melamine/Laminate
    Planning my own makeover with some good quality recycled cabinets and F&B paint.

    Has anyone actually painted tiles and what paint did they use ..it is for a shower area ..heard sime horror stories of tile paibts peeling off.

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  25. I've never used tile paint but if the reviews are bad ESP might be the way forward. Thoroughly, thoroughly cleaning soap scum and hard water residue would be a must as doing this will help paint adhesion. Perhaps those reviewers didn't do a good job of that? I'd be tempted to tile over the tiles. Tiling is fun. But ESP is suitable for any non porous surface like tile or glass. It's just a matter of getting the paint right inside a shower.

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  26. I LOVE your cupboards and would like to do something similar with my 1970s kitchen. What did you use to create the frames on the outside of your cupboards? Also did you paint them first and then stick it on, or did you stick it on and then paint the whole door?

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    1. Thanks Jo, I used strips of hardwood from the mouldings section of the DIY store. You could save money by cutting your own with a table saw. I primed the wood pieces before I stuck them on with Titebond melamine glue and clamped them. Then I caulked, ESP'd the melamine surfaces and painted all the sections together. Brush for the inside corners and a smooth mini roller for the flat bits. Hope that helps. Here's a post covering some of that... http://paintedstyle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/around-here.html

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  27. Hi Emma your cupboards look amazing, nice work. I have the high gloss cupboard doors but i want to change the colour to white ( they are grey) what kind of white paint would you recommend? Thanks.

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    1. Thanks. So after the degreasing and the ESP you'd need a paint that needs no further sealing, something tough and wipeable like waterbased eggshell (my choice) or gloss. I used Farrow and Ball eggshell here, applied with a mini roller. Good luck.

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  28. Thanks for your reply Emma, just one more question, would the white gloss if that's what i use, would it not chip, if it was scrapped?!
    I'm quite excited about this haha, but nervous too. :)

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    1. Well, I tried to sand a section of mine where there was some sticker residue and the paint didn't budge! Go for it!

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  29. Good guidelines! Thanks a lot. I am in love with your blog really.
    Lakeville kitchen remodel

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  30. Dear Emma Kate,
    I am so grateful for your excellent advice.
    My husband recently adapted an old computer cupboard to make a sewing storage unit for beneath my sewing table.
    It was typical, ugly flat-pack stuff: chipboard with a plastic laminate surface (in an awful shade of fudge).
    Your experience with ESP has enabled me to create a beautiful flat cream-white finish in Crown Matt for Wood and Metal. I used a small foam gloss roller to apply the ESP (which reduced wastage) and a small emulsion roller to apply the matt paint- using a small brush for awkward areas.
    All I need to do now is sew a pretty front curtain ( the clumsy doors were cut up to make extra shelving inside the cupboard).
    I obtained the ESP quite easily on Ebay; the big DIY retailers probably fear they would lose money on all their terrible cupboard paints and primers if they stocked ESP!
    There's no doubt that the surface should be clean and grease-free before the ESP is applied - but that is pretty much a no-brainer and is still so much easier than hours of sanding.
    Again hats off to you and thank you very much indeed!
    X Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary! You made me blush. I'm so glad you had a good experience with this method. I heard from a lady who painted her kitchen in A S chalk paint and said it was the WORST thing she'd ever done and she needs a new kitchen now. Well done you for getting it right. :) x

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    2. Thanks - but credit where credit is due - you have saved me hours of frustration.
      Chalk paint arrgh! It is very,very cheap at Aldi this week - but I urge people not to buy it!
      The Crown Matt is relatively expensive - but is a non-drip gel which gives a lovely soft effect - whilst being tough and washable.
      Have a lovely weekend, X Mary

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  31. I painted my kitchen units after sugar soaping them. I then used e.s.p for a coat, three coats of urban grey (little green company) then two coats of acrylic varnish. Good result and was as tough as nails after a month. Thabks for the tips on this site. Ot looks amazing. Thanks.

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  32. Hi Emma Kate, I'm really glad I discovered your website through this post! Very handy as me and my partner bought our first home last year and are planning a similar project in our kitchen (as we got a professional quote which was mighty expensive!) We have similar wood effect cupboards, not sure if they are melamine but good to know we can paint them if so!

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    1. Go for it! ESP works on any non porous surface so if they are wood or melamine it will work.

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  33. I have those same cupboards as ur before pic. U certainly did more then just paint them. Had a whole diff design on ur after pic. Looks like uput a wood trim on? Please tell me about that part of ur remodel

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    1. Hi Joyce, there will be a post previous to this one. You can keep hitting ''older post'' at the bottom of the page until you get there or there is a link in the replies to other questions above that you can copy and paste. You can also find out about the special melamine glue I used to attach the timber. It's AWESOME!!!

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  34. Hi I am so glad to have fallen onto this blog. I am just about to embark on
    upcycling my kitchen cupboard doors, and will most definitely take your advise re -ESP. I wast thinking of using VALSPAR premium for the topcoat, can you advise if you have used this and if you were happy with the results and durability in comparison to F&B ( i have never used F & B ) Many thanks for your tutorial bloggs - you have given me the confidence to get on with my kitchen !!!

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    1. Hi Dawn, I'm sorry I've never used Valspar. If it's a tough finish with a sheen to it, it might be good. Do a test on something. When it's fully cured, give it a scrub and rub some oil into it and see how it stands up.
      I'm so glad I've given you confidence. If I can do it, anyone else can! Happy painting!

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  35. Any tips for a top coat?i have a laminate primer but cant stand/work with gloss prefer water base

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    1. Couldn't agree more. I used oil based eggshell for something recently and in the 16 to 24 hours it took to dry, it became a magnet for every airborne particle of dust and looked so crap. My top tip? Farrow and Ball estate eggshell. Waterbased. I would use NOTHING else. It stands up to a scrub, is resistant to kitchen grease and goes on BEAUTIFULLY. It might be budget busting but it's worth every penny. And no, they don't pay me to say that.

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  36. Hi Emma Kate, I was wondering if you could advise me. Your kitchen makeover looks amazing. I've used the ESP on my melamine cupboards and then two coats of farrow and ball eggshell. The brush marks are like nothing I've ever seen before. They are extremely prominent and look just awful. When I used a roller everywhere just got covered in hundreds of air bubbles which dried into tiny pinholes and also looked dreadful. I'm not sure what to do next as I spent £90 on the paint and have two half pained awful brush mark covered cupboards! Thanks so much

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    1. Oh dear, sorry you're having problems. I've never had a brush mark problem with this paint. Are you using it too thick/ (sorry my question mark is broken) I had to do 4 or 5 coats to cover, and you're better off doing more thin coats than a couple of thick ones. Also try a good quality new brush/ The mini roller (gloss head) is the same. Thin coats. If you get bubbles (and I did too) it's too much paint on the roller so roller it out as far as you can, keep it moving until they go. They will. For now you might need to sand out those brush strokes and air bubbles and do it again. If you sand back to melamine (doubtful) you can do the ESP again but you should be impressed with the adhesion of the paint as you sand.
      Keep at in Sorcha and take it slow!

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  37. Just ordered ESP after a bit of a rollercoaster ride, I have given my melamine wardrobe doors an undercoat and primer (Ronseal) seems pretty good. But after reading more and more into it I heard different things that I should of sanded the doors first? ( what do you recommend?)
    So I have sanded a few down now but still have cupboards with primer and undercoat on which haven't been sanded.. Will the ESP be ok to apply on the unsanded but primed and undercoated cupboards or shall I sang them all?
    Thanks for your help it's been a great read, and I love the architrave around the cupboards that you done, it just makes it .. Well done
    Cheers Reis

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    1. In truth I'm not sure about using ESP after you've primed and undercoated. I think you'd have an awesome bond between your undercoat and the top paint but you'd not have the benefit of an awesome bond between the melamine and the top paint. I wouldn't bother if I were you.
      With ESP you don't need to sand at all. With melamine primers, I'd go by what it says on the can as they're all different. If it's not a specific melamine primer, I doubt that it's going to stand up to much wear and tear but it's a wardrobe not a kitchen so it shouldn't suffer as much wear and tear in the first place. I hope it works out well. On large flat surfaces I really recommend a mini gloss roller and a waterbased paint. I has the misfortune to use oil based eggshell recently and in the 16-24 hours it took to dry, it became a magnet for every airborne cat hair and dust particle in the house. :( Good luck!

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  38. but what kind of PAINT did you use after the ESP?

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    1. Farrow and Ball Estate Eggshell in Cornforth White. x

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    2. Hello Emma, I love what you're doing to your home! It's gorgeous. I have recently painted my horrendous "fruitbowl" tiles and they are a nice cream colour. I want a strong colour for the cupboard doors, and thought your blog was inspiring! I have looked on the Farrow and Ball site, and found a great "cook's blue" that would really work. How many coats of paint did you need after applying the ESP?
      Thank you,
      Justine

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  39. Thank you Justine. Hmmm, fruitbowl tiles eh? I can just see them...
    I needed about 4 coats but that was because the wood trim I glued on was darker. You might get away with less. Do use a gloss mini roller! Happy painting!

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  40. I wanted to add the trim on my melamine kit doors like u did....however if i do that theres not enough space for them to open......how did u get past that?

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    1. I did have to jiggle about with the adjustable hinges a lot and also shave one door edge with my electric sander, just a millimetre or so but it wasn't an insurmountable problem. You might need to change your hinges if they are opening more than 90 degrees for ones that only open 90 or 95 degrees. Would that help? There's a world of hinges out there... http://www.eurofitdirect.co.uk/hinges-stays-catches/hinges/kitchen-cabinet-hinges/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwwpm3BRDuh5awn4qJpLwBEiQAATTAQaVDybl7xc9VbZBT6ql9qUVKHL19mjJHoHwsNpL9w-0aAv1m8P8HAQ

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  41. Hi, Emma,

    I'm sorry to be so cynical, but in your photos, the cupboard doors look completely different styles and your cooker hood looks different! How did you manage to change the style of door and replace the single knob handle with one needing two screws without leaving any hole marks?

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    1. This is a post about PAINTING melamine. The doors are the same. If you read backwards through the blog by hitting OLDER POST at the bottom of the posts you can see how I added wooden strips to change the appearance of the doors from flat to shaker style. A very simple and effective job. The strips of wood didn't cover the original hole so this was simply filled with wood filler and sanded with fine sandpaper until it was smooth.
      The cooker hood is the same. I think we originally started out with a brown one which died on us.
      I will take your cynicism as a compliment.

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  42. Hi Emma,

    Your kitchen looks amazing and in itching to start ours! We have just bought our first home and alt bought the kitchen is only a couple of years old the colour is hideous! I was just wondering how much F&B paint you needed?

    Thanks,
    Chloe

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    1. Thank you Chloe. I think you need 1 x 750 ml tin per 4 or 5 doors plus frame of cupboards. You use a lot with a roller but it gives the best finish.

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  43. Great to read this as have a wall of melamine wardrobes to paint. They have plastic trims that we want to remove & 2 full length doors are mirrored. Have you ever tried removing either before? Kind regards Marianne

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    1. No I havent. Are you going to use a scraper to get them off? I guess if it damages the door and you can't get it smooth, you could always stick the back on? I'd love to know how it goes!

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  44. Could I ask what paint you then used on the cabinet? You say "water-based eggshell". Was it wall paint or wood paint? I'm about to paint my kitchen cabinets based on your blog but I am dead nervous!!!

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  45. Oh, sorry - I have just seen that you say you used Farrow & Ball. Apologies!

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  46. Good morning, a previous Tennant of our house painted the cupboard doors using a green!! Water based paint and it looked dreadfull especially where you lean against the sink and belt buckles scratch it off but what caused us to revamp the kitchen was not only the scratches of paint around the handles but Aldi version of Mr Muscle acts as paint stripper!! Who knew? So we bought 4 bottles at 89p each and set about cleaning of the paint. To cupboards a day and it has revealed the egg shell cabinets that we always remembered our kitchen to look like.
    Back to the question, what about all the white trimmings such as the top and bottom decorative rails that run around the top and bottom of the cabinets? I was going to sand them lightly to give them a key to adhere to then gloss them. Normal gloss or satin but it would have to be oil based I suppose to stop the paint being washed of during cleaning (obviously not with Aldi cleaner) can you help before I get started and make a hash of it. We have glossed dado rail in the kitchen which looks great so was thinking this would be the solution? What do you think??
    Thank you in advance.

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    1. I would avoid oil based like the plague. It takes 16 to 24 hours to dry and during that time it's a magnet for every speck of dust you didn't even know you had. It also isn't what it used to be and yellows VERY fast due to new EU rulings on toxic chemicals.
      Trust me, you don't need an oil based paint to withstand cleaning. My kitchen is painted in a waterbased eggshell (Farrow & Ball) and it is stain and grease resistant and I clean it a lot! It's worth the extra £ because it's your kitchen.
      It's not so much the paint you use but the prep or primer you use. Your tenants obviously didn't do any. I highly recommend using Owatrol ESP as a primer after thoroughly degreasing. The paint then chemically bonds to the surface (and my kitchen is melamine! We are talking waterbased paint on what is effectively plastic! And it's not going anywhere! Even where I had to sand a bit!) The F&B eggshell dries fast although don't be tempted to overcoat before the drying time. Clean up is easy and environmentally friendly. Oil based gloss is history.
      Happy painting!

      P.S. I don't get paid by Owatrol ESP or Farrow and Ball!

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    2. Thank you so much. great Blog by the way. Some good reading on here.
      Cheers :)

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  47. hi emma so its clean then ESP then a water based eggshell no sanding and a mini gloss roller I'm on a tight budget and I know you said F&B but can I use a different brand of water based eggshell and yes Oil based gloss is a dinosaur I love water based eggshell its the way forward

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    1. Yes that's right. In theory any water based eggshell will do but from experience, some are crap and absorb grease (Fired Earth) and I'm not sure how well others would stand up to scrubbing. If you're saving the life of your kitchen, perhaps it's worth the extra outlay?
      I am a fan of Wilkos paints but cannot comment on their eggshell and how resilient it is as I've not used it.
      Good luck!

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  48. Hi Emma ,
    Cupboard doors looks Beautiful! one question , Did you paint the backsides of the cupboard doors ?

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    1. No, I thought I might do that at a later date, but it probably won't happen. If you plan on selling your house at some point it would make your doors look more like solid wood. Mine had an ugly Schrieber label on them so it put me off.

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  49. I've just discovered this blog and it's fantastic! Your 'before' kitchen looks just like mine! I'm about to paint my doors and this came just in time before I bought one of the typical cupboard paints. Quick question about the ESP, do you think it could be used on tile as well..? I noticed that you decided to pull off your tiles. I'd love to, but I don't want to go through all the hassle for a temporary fix, so I thought I might paint them. I think I also noticed somewhere your floor, which looks the same as mine - linoleum? I've been reading about painting over linoleum, and it seems easier to find appropriate paints in the U.S., but not in the UK. I wonder if ESP might even work for linoleum? Annie Sloan apparently have a great lacquer which can be applied over paint. Sorry lots of questions!

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    Replies
    1. Yes to tile! ESP is for any non porous surface, even tile or glass. In theory ESP will therefore work on limo but the degreasing will be a bitch to do. I mean, any trace of grease residue will stop the paint adhering.
      I'm not an Annie Sloan fan and I'd certainly go for a stronger lacquer than hers. A proper floor lacquer. But what's under your lino? Floor boards? Concrete? Paint those instead!

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    2. Or try a floor paint that doesn't need any sealing with a lacquer. I used Ronseal Diamond Hard on my stairs...

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  50. is ESP the same as TSP ? used to wash units down, degrease and prep for painting without sanding ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's for after you've degreased. It bonds the paint to the surface.

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  51. I have some old Zinsser left. Will this work as well on Melamine or should I just bite the bullet and get some ESP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forget the Zinsser. Bite the bullet. A new kitchen will cost far more so pay up and do it right. I've used Zinsser a lot but I wouldn't in this instance.

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  52. Is it crucial to paint as soon as the ESP is dry? I was hoping to ESP our fitted wardrobes in one go (5 doors and frame) and then come back at a later date and paint.

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    Replies
    1. I think you have about two weeks after you've esp'd. But obviously you can't keep using them and touching them for two weeks. It'll wear off and your fingers (even clean ones) will have grease on them. Are you taking the doors off? Why not do one at a time? With my kitchen, I took the doors off (numbering them carefully!) esp'd and painted the frame first, then did the doors on my dining table two at a time.

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  53. JOHN R.
    Sorry I accidentally deleted your comment. As you have raw untouched MDF you wouldn't need ESP. ESP is used to adhere paint to non porous surfaces. MDF is porous so paint will adhere well. I'd use a good primer, sand lightly between coats if the grain raises, use an undercoat for smoothness and paint.

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  54. Hi Emma. My Doors are mdf. The doors had fake white plastic over them which if you put the edge of a stanley knife under and lift the edge they peel off completely. Leaving behind the moulded shaped door and like new mdf. I guess i wouldnt need tonsugar soap them they have never been exposed. So the question is can i just throw the Esp straight onto the mdf wait 2 hours then start painting.

    Thanks if you can get back ��

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi i resent the comment for you.

    Just thought the mdf may absorb the paint and didnt want to waste F&B expensive paint being drawn/absorbed into mdf. But under the shell the mdf is hardnened & kind of already smooth.

    So are you advising f&b estate eggshell onto a sanded primer and all will be good.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's why you'd use a primer to seal the MDF first. It will be nice and smooth now but the primer may raise the grain slightly so you'd sand lightly to make it super smooth again. Then prime again so all your raw MDf is covered well.

      I'd also try an undercoat as it will add more smoothness. But this is optional. You can get special MDF primers but I've not tried these. I tend to use Wilkinsons and find it excellent. Stick with water based for primer and undercoat.

      I did have to do about 4 or 5 thin coats of F&B to get good coverage with a mini roller and I highly recommend a mini roller (smooth gloss head) for large flat surfaces like you will be working on. Let it dry according to the times on the tin before you overcoat. Don't be tempted to re do it when it feels dry. The paint is still hardening. Keep your mini roller in a sealed plastic bag twisted round it so you're not washing it out every day.

      Happy painting!

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    2. * Wilkinsons water based quick drying primer

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    3. Which type of F&B did you use? Im thinking of estate eggshell. Or did you use a gloss or emulsion?

      So you think with two coats of wilko primer, i could then apply thd F&B

      Thanks

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  56. Estate eggshell. Yes but use undercoat over the primer if it feels rough. If it's beautifully smooth you'll be fine.

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  57. One more thing. You mentioned smooth gloss head mini roller? Is it a certain type. Could you provide a link to type please.

    Many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  58. The smooth foam one here. You'll find them in any DIY store...

    http://www.wilko.com/paint-brushes+rollers/wilko-func-mini-roller-tray-set-4in/invt/0343187

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  59. Ok so i bought everything. Ended up at homebase stocker of F&B went for 2.5ltr of carnforth white. Also was advised to use crown multi surface primer and undercoat. Chap said it works on anything malomine upvc mdf etc. Got the gloss roller heads and super smooth wet dry sand paper if necessary.

    Only thing bugging me now is the peeled back doors mdf are ready to go. But the sides are chipboard white like the interior inside most units.I was thinking leave them do the doors then see what it looks like, if its not a good look do the sides and any other exposed white chipboard after. One other thing was were the 4-5 coats on your doors necessary and and also did you remove every door?

    Sorry for the 20 questions.Im wanting this to go well, as spending big on paint isnt usually something i do.

    Thanks Emma.

    ReplyDelete
  60. https://www.crownpaints.co.uk/products/primer-undercoat/multi-surface/white/397

    That is what i got for primer ^^^^

    Would you apply with brush or mini roller??

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I just used a brush for the primer.
    I also painted the edges of my doors but not the backs. I did it the same time as the rest of the door.

    The 4-5 coats were necessary because I did really thin coats and I am a perfectionist! Yes I took all the doors off but only 3 at a time as I worked on them. Number them!

    Spending big on paint is better than spending big on a new kitchen!

    Using the mini roller- if you''re getting bubbles you're using too much paint. Keep on rolling it out as far as you can until they go. Try to have all your strokes going the same way and don't press too hard because you don't want to see lines where your roller rows meet.

    I want to see it when you're done John!

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  62. Yes i will send it over. Before & after. Not started yet, going to pick the right time with little one running about.

    Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  63. You mentioned painting edges of doors.

    I think i may have confused you with previous comments. Ill be painting the whole door all of them every bit not the backs. But I meant the side of the actual hanging units are white not the doors.

    https://s29.postimg.org/v0mi3otbr/20170111_180749.jpg


    https://s29.postimg.org/65qilwtif/20170111_180703.jpg

    https://s30.postimg.org/by7ay9y01/20170111_180740.jpg

    https://s24.postimg.org/7tv7s2vol/20170111_180721.jpg


    Those images above are to show what i mean. The sides are malomine covered chipboard. Should i really be painting the sides of the units to match the doors? Or would i get away with just the doors? Would probably look a bit rubbish with white malomine sides with fresh looking doors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you should paint the sides. It's not just the colour that won't match but the units will be a completely different sheen to the paint. Don't forget to thoroughly degrease and you'll need ESP on the melamine. You're going to need to be able to clean it where it's next to the cooker and I'd trust ESP more than a melamine primer for adhesion.

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  64. Dear Emma,

    can you confirm you use ESP to clean kitchen door then what paint do you use? It is Farron and Ball egshell or can any water based paint be used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. ESP doesn't clean the door. You wipe on the ESP ONLY when your door is THOROUGHLY cleaned and dry. You can use any water based paint but obviously anything matt will absorb grease and look dreadful unless you seal it. You're better off using a tough eggshell or a satinwood. I really recommend F&B estate eggshell. It's tough, cleanable and my kitchen looks great three years on.

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  65. Karen (busy working mum of two and novice kitchen painter)23 February 2017 at 15:07

    Hi Emma, I am so glad I found your post. I, like many others have been googling all day. What you have done to your kitchen cupboard looks amazing and I know feel I have the information and confidence (gulp) to completely transform my 10 year old beech coloured melamine kitchen. I will do exactly as you suggest. No sanding .......yippee!! Wish me luck.

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  66. Hi Emma
    I'm changing the inside of a static caravan and just to make sure ive understood all the comments here can I just check... on melamine kitchen area firstly degrease/clean all areas pos with sugar soap?
    Throughly dry
    Then wipe over area with ESP
    Then when that's dry I can just paint over areas with a water based paint?
    Eggshell if don't want shiny?
    satinwood if want shiny?
    Also use gloss mini roller for bigger areas?
    x do thin layers of paint but more layers?

    is this same for bedroom units?

    I have learning disabilities so want to ensure ive understood correctly

    Thanks heaps, your blog of this is amazing and by the sounds of it has helped and probably inspired others to give it a go, myself including x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amanda. That's basically it but you don't have to just use sugar soap. Cif is good too.With the ESP, you wipe it on liberally, leave 10 mins, wipe again lightly with a clean cloth, wait two hours, then you can paint. Exactly the same for bedroom units. Good luck!

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  67. Wow this is useful and amazing I found it with the first search on Google. Am now off to Ebay to find the ESP ......and then can do a decent job painting my utility room rather naff melamine cupboards. Emma you are a godsend. Best wishes, Kate at Slap and Dash Painting!

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I love to hear your comments!