White Kitchen, Dirty Workmen


Shall I tell you which colour I really hate?


Now you might think, me being Welsh, that I hate white because it’s the colour of the England rugby team. You’d be wrong. If you’re not wearing the glorious red of Wales, I don’t care who you are, I don’t like the colour of your rugby jersey. I’m very fair that way.

No, the reason I hate white is that it’s a pig to paint. It’s a disaster.

It’s very hard to tell whether the paint has covered an area properly. You’re constantly wondering whether the faint grey patch you’re seeing is a shadow or the underlayer peeping through. It’s a nightmare when you have slight OCD tendencies like me. As a result, I put on an extra coat of white, just to be safe. With other colours, I’ll put on a maximum of three coats. With white, it’s a minimum of three coats, usually four.

I recently painted a magnificent kitchen by designer Andrew Ryan. It took me five weeks to complete. I was meticulous. I made sure every single surface was gorgeously finished and, importantly, a pristine white.

Trouble was, the house was a newbuild and it was being finished internally. The place was crawling with workmen, including contractors for the kitchen designer. They were putting in granite work surfaces.

I wasn’t there when they installed the first work surface. Probably just as well. If I had been, I would have introduced them to some very fruity language. They installed the granite slab with the kind of finesse you would expect from an angry airport baggage handler. They left part of my beautiful kitchen scarred, scratched and chipped. I’m not kidding, the butchery would have made your heart bleed. I almost had to take a sick day to recover after I saw what they had done.

I made sure I was in the kitchen when they came to install the main work top. After all, if they could cause that much damage with a small slab of granite, there was no telling what carnage they could be capable of with a larger piece. They might knock the entire house down. Actually, it went fine. They installed the main work surface without a scratch and no fruity words were spoken. As you can see here, the finished kitchen looks spectacular.

(You can see the full set of photographs here: Hand-Painted White Kitchen)

Lee Reeve