Know paint pros and cons

Which is better a hand-painted or spray-painted finish for kitchens? Emma Culshaw Bell explains

21 Mar, 19

Emma Culshaw Bell is a specialist painter who works for kitchen brands, which include Mark Wilkinson and Tom Howley. She shares her experience of which paint products are the most practical for kitchen furniture

Know paint pros and cons

Over the years of working for the top bespoke kitchen companies, I have come across a wide range of paint products and have questioned and tested pretty much all of them.

Ever since the introduction and mainstream use of waterborne paints, there seems to be a mystery over which products are the most practical, efficient and cost-effective in achieving the finest bespoke paint finish.

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The paint choice falls into two basic categories – between a full on-site hand paint or an on-site retouch of factory spray painted furniture.

So which is best, hand paint or spray paint and retouch? Good question. There are arguments for both.

Hand paint

The hand paint options allows for on-site alteration of colour and sheen.

The furniture being bespoke means a certain of hand building on-site may be necessary. The painting of which takes place after this, ensuring an even. consistent and (some might say) soulful paint finish.

Spray paint and retouch

Arguably, spray paint is a much harder-wearing finish and offers much more of a perfectly even painted coating.

But it is difficult to repair as perfect retouch, as emulating the spray finish needs to be achieved.

My advice

Use an on-site colour consultation to ensure the exact colour is required.

Personally, I always feel asking the client to choose from paint chips on a colour card can be more stressful than necessary.

It has the potential room for error or consumers’ to change their minds.

I would choose to have the furniture workshop colour-prime  with a top coat spray, with the final coat hand-painted on site by a specialist painter. This way, you get the best of both finishes.

It will be hard-wearing, fully repairable, and without the common issues, including different coloured primer being visible through glazed beading.

It is a truly bespoke and cost-effective service.