Upgrade: Up-cycle Dream Kitchen Edition - @togged_to_the_bricks

Upgrade: Up-cycle Dream Kitchen Edition - @togged_to_the_bricks

Would you dare paint your kitchen? 

Changing up a kitchen by painting the cabinets is something we get asked about all the time. The most common concerns range from: “Will the paint not come off when I clean the units?” to “What do I do about the handle holes?”.

All valid questions - that we have the answers for. 

The fact is, painting your kitchen is a great way of changing the look, without having to change everything. If you’re on a budget and wondering how to get the kitchen you want for less then this blog should help you. We were lucky enough to be joined by the lovely Jennie - aka @togged_to_the_bricks who painted a second hand kitchen into the dreamy one you see below (of course, using paint from yours truly).




 Deciding to go Second Hand

The second hand kitchen market is one of interior design's best kept secrets. It’s true what they say - one person’s old kitchen is another person’s upgrade. 

While it’s great to make do and mend, save money and minimise waste - it’s not the only logic for opting for a second hand kitchen. A big reason to up-cycle and paint it yourself is colour! 

@Togged_to_the_bricks knew that they wanted a lovely olive green kitchen. They just weren’t sure which shade of green. however they didn’t want to be restricted by what colours were on offer to buy new. That meant their ‘new’ kitchen was going to have to be painted anyhow, so why not save some money and get one second hand? So that’s what they did. 



From Ebay to Gumtree to specific social media accounts set up purely for selling second hand kitchens - there’s a lot of choice out there. The odds of you finding the exact kitchen you want second hand are pretty slim - but, there are a lot of great kitchens out there - all you need is a little imagination. That’s why when looking for your second hand kitchen it’s good to have an idea of what look you’re trying to achieve. 

Jennie wanted to change the layout of her kitchen in the house she’d bought, so going for a second hand kitchen (rather than the very old one already in the property which was too small for the space) meant she could play with the layout and get the open plan feel she was after. 

In the end, Jennie ended up with a mix of the original kitchen, and the ‘new’ second hand kitchen - however because she used the same finish on all the units and doors, there’s no telling that they’re from different sets. 

To get her dream kitchen island, she used old kitchen units and screwed them together with mdf for the backing. This was then painted with the products listed below, and finished off with a new white quartz worktop and some new handles. What a simple way of creating a stunning centrepiece to your kitchen!


Making Matt Paint Kitchen Proof

So the driving force behind up-cycling a kitchen was Jennie knowing she really wanted an olive green kitchen, but everywhere she looked the paint had a slight sheen, and she knew she wanted a matt finish. Matt finish kitchens are super popular at the moment, but depending what you buy, will depend on how feasible it is for kitchen cupboard paint. 

Not all matt paint is created equal. They have different durability - which is kind of essential if you want to be able to keep your kitchen clean and keep the colour intact. That’s why when Jennie came to us we advised her to get the colour she wanted colour matched into our Zinsser AllCoat Interior & Exterior Matt Paint.  

The perks of Zinsser AllCoat Interior & Exterior Matt Paint

We’ve been huge fans of Zinsser AllCoat since it first launched, it's a fantastic all rounder suitable for any surface both inside and out. That paired with its Class 1 scrub rating (the toughest you can get!) makes it our go-to for kitchen upcycling projects! Its key benefits are listed below!

  • Mould resistant properties
  • Suitable for wood, metal, masonry, plastic, concrete, upvc etc
  • Tintable to any colour
  • Self priming
  • Available in Matt, Satin or Gloss finishes
  • Available in 1L, 2.5L and 5L tin sizes. 
  • Flexible and microporous (useful to know for exterior projects!)

We talked through colour options with Jennie and she had a colour match in mind. She tested her first choice with one of our huge 350ml tester pots to make sure it was the colour for her and settled on “Toy Tank Green”.


Getting Stuck In

Top Tip:

It's really important to remove the doors to work on as you will achieve a neater finish without runs. Jennie had garage space so she took her doors off and raised them on boxes to be able to coat them. 



Step 1:

Give you cabinets a good clean. You need a degreaser to remove any unseen nasties on the surface of your kitchen cabinets which come from cooking. 

Step 2:

Once cleaned with a degreaser, clean them again! You need to remove the degreaser spray and sugar soap or a soapy water solution is great for this task.

Step 3:

Time for Preparation! 

  • If you’re changing the handles then remove your existing and fill the holes. We love the Toupret Wood Filler and it comes in a handy 330g tube. The flexible filling blades are great for a smooth application. 
  • Lightly sand the surface using a De-Nib pad. These are spongy sanding pads so they’re really easy to mould around any areas to enable you to give a good ‘key’ to the surface and sand away any imperfections. 
  • Wipe over with a Tack Cloth to remove any sand residue to be ready to paint!

Step 4 (optional) :

Time to Prime! The Zinsser AllCoat is self priming but on really glossy surfaces I always like to use an adhesion primer just to really help the process! The Zinsser BIN is the best in class for adhesion so a quick coat of this first is always my preferred option. It's a little like milk to apply and as it's a shellac based product I tend to use a cheaper brush/roller to be able to dispose of it after application (otherwise it's clean up with methylated spirits) . If you would rather work with a water based adhesion primer you can order the Otex Akva product on the website. These products are really quick drying so work fast and if possible give them 24 hours before moving onto the next step!



Step 5:

Get your paint on! The Zinsser AllCoat is beautiful to apply with a brush or a roller (if you have a sprayer it can be sprayed too!) and we really love the Lime Wood Finish or the Blonde Wool rollers for a neat, streak free application! If your kitchen has mouldings then use a brush to cut in first and then roller for a neat finish!

Step 6:

Time for your second coat! The AllCoat can be reapplied after 1 hour but if possible a day in between coats allows the paint to cure so I would leave a day if possible!


The Right Ingredients

If you’re looking to transform your kitchen, we sell the AllCoat, Zinsser and Degreaser as a bundle here to keep things simple.

So, Jennie’s transformation consisted of:

  • One second hand kitchen 

Jennie got hers from @usedkitchenexchange

If you’re unsure on size this product covers 12m2 per litre and account for needing 2 or 3 coats 

One thing that tends to put people off from up-cycling a kitchen is that it seems like a lot of work; a lot of painting, on a lot of different surfaces. But with the right tools, it really isn’t that hard of a task. Jennie went for the Axus Lime Series Wood Finishing Mini Rollers for the ultra-smooth finish.

  • New kitchen handles

Jennie’s new handles covered the holes from the old ones - however if you need to fill any holes in, we recommend Toupret Wood Filler which works on wood and MDF kitchens. You should fill the holes at the start, while preparing and degreasing the units prior to painting.

  • Kitchen wall paint

If you’re wondering what Jennie paired with those lovely green units, it was Leyland Hardwearing Matt, colour matched by us to designer shade NTB2005.



An appetite to up-cycle?

If you’re planning to #Upgradeupcyle get in touch! We’d love to know how your transformation goes (tag us @decoratingcentreonline so we can feature you on our socials!)